Murudeshwar temple is one of the most popular temples in the world and is one of the most visited pilgrimage centers in India. Several tourists who are visiting the Murudeshwar temple are shocked to hear the fact that this temple was built hundreds of years ago because the contemporary look of the temple creates an impression that it was built just a few years ago.
As you would probably know, Murudeshwara is another name of the Hindu God Shiva. This means that the main deity of worship in Gokarna’s Murudeshwar temple is Lord Shiva himself. One of the best things about the temple is that it is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides. The temple, which is built on Kanduka hill of Karnataka, can be easily viewed from quite a distance due to the big Raja Gopura and the huge statue in the temple.
Several people who are visiting this famous Shiva temple are not aware of the fact that the Linga in this temple is actually immersed a couple of feet below the sea level. The natives in the town believe that the Linga, which is placed in this temple, is parts of the original Atma-Linga.
You will be able to find a Saneshwara Temple right next to the huge statue of Lord Shiva. This temple has been modernized by the authorities to lure in more tourists. However, the sanctum of the temple still boasts an ancient appeal and it is lighted by using only oil lamps. It is crucial to note that tourists and natives are prohibited from entering the sanctum.
It might come as a surprise to you when you hear the fact that the statue of Lord Shiva in Murudeshwar temple is the second tallest Shiva statue in the entire world. The tallest Shiva statue in the world is the Kailashnath Mahadev statue, which is located in Nepal.
It took approximately 2 years to construct the Shiva statue here. The architects who constructed the massive Shiva statue in Murudeshwar temple has put in extra efforts to ensure that the sunlight falls exactly on the face of the statue. This in turn makes the enormous statue to look shiny at all times.
The temple town of Gokarna is not a place where you could explore all its delights in one go. Instead, you should take things slow and steady, visiting each of its top and even obscure attractions to truly delve into the spirit of Gokarna. You should allocate at least 2 or 3 days in your itinerary and find a comfortable place to stay to enjoy the place relaxingly. There are plenty of beach resorts in Gokarna, but some of them might be expensive and may not always fit in with your budget.
The best alternative for staying in Gokarna on a budget is homestays. There are several homestays in and around the small temple town, where you can enjoy a relaxing stay well within your budget. These homestays offer good amenities and even give you the chance to try out some homely foods. Some of the homestays are located in scenic locales and beach sides, which give you the chance to explore those areas too. Below are some reasons why homestays are the best places to stay in Gokarna.
With a homestay, you could save a lot that usually goes away when you prefer expensive resorts or lodges. Minimizing the comforts offered at hotels, a homestay could give you all the necessary facilities at a lesser price. Usually, the staying options become the most expensive after considering the food expenses while visiting a place. Opting for a comfortable homestay in Gokarna can help you save more while making your trip more pleasurable.
Homestays usually have all the facilities that you need the most. They have well-maintained rooms with necessary facilities like power, water supply, and even homely foods. You could be sure about the hygiene offered, as homestays are known for their cleanliness and pleasant staying experience. Most homestays offer breakfast and dinner to their occupants, which is yet another chance to savor some local delights.
Homestays are located near to all the major attractions around Gokarna. This is a great advantage, as it makes it easier for getting around these places and returning to the homestays due to their proximity. Most homestays in Gokarna are centered on the popular beaches like Om Beach, Kudle Beach, and Half Moon Beach, etc. Some of the homestays are located in the beautiful villages near Gokarna giving you a chance to explore these regions that remains hidden from the normal tourist routes.
The beautiful little Indian town, Gokarna, which lies along the West Coast, has gone on to become one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country. It might come as a surprise to you when that Gokarna was once just a Hindu pilgrimage center. However, things have considerably changed over the last few years and today, Gokarna, is well known for its elegant beaches and other attractions.
You can find a number of beaches, tourist spots, and engaging adventurous activities in this little Indian town. However, if you wish to enjoy this tiny Indian city to its fullest and leave an everlasting travel memory, you should head to the Half Moon beach while you are in the city.
The Half moon beach is actually the third beach that is located on the coastline of Gokarna town. However, several tourists who are visiting Gokarna for the first time in their life are not aware of the fact that the Half Moon beach is not connected to the road. This means that if you wish to visit this beach, then you will either have to hike or get in a motorboat from the Om beach in the town.
Visitors who are planning to hike to the Half Moon beach should take note of the fact that they will have to walk right towards Om beach’s southern end. From there, they will have to follow a narrow trail, which will lead them straight to the Dolphin café. Right outside the café, you can find a white sideboard that indicates the direction to your destination, that is, the Half Moon beach.
The name “Half Moon” was coined to this beach because of its similarities to a Half Moon. The small patches of sand are sparkling clean, and you won’t find such beautiful sand in any other beaches in the country. The currents in the waterway are too strong, which means that it is best to be a little bit cautious while you are swimming.
In addition to that, you should also note that the hiking path to the Half Moon beach will be very slippery during the monsoon seasons. So, it is best to avoid hiking during these months of the year; instead, get on a motorboat and get ready for an exciting vacation.
Photography is pretty much a part of the larger fabric of a coastal area anywhere in South India alongside sightseeing the tourist attractions. That is the reason why you should keep a high-resolution camera at hand when you pack your bags to the temple town in Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district.
Take Daylight Snaps along the Temple Street
The street spanning in and around the Mahabaleshwar Temple in Gokarna is rife with wall graffiti and is full of locals and tribal people selling flowers to the visitors. Go for a walk through that particular street and you will come across a beautiful pond with a Brahmin community living nearby. Note that it is best to rise early morning if you want to capture photographs of the street and the temple in all its glory.
Photography Hotspots in Tadadi
This gorgeous-looking fishing port is situated in Kumta, and it would take a short trip of some 5 to 10 kilometers to reach there from Gokarna. The path that leads one to the area features plenty of fishing boats along the backwaters, which throws lights into how fishermen earn a living. For sightseeing, make the trip in the evening which is when fishermen return from the shores and unload their day’s worth of netting fish.
Salt Fields on the Outskirts
Situated around five kilometers or so from the temple town and en route to Bangalore, you can find a field that features dry salt. Much like areas of flat land enveloped in an additional layer of salt anywhere in India, this place is a sight for sore eyes, not to mention a perfect spot for taking pictures.
The Beaches in Gokarna
The sunset in the beachside is not only gorgeous to look at from afar but also worth capturing in the camera. The main beaches in Gokarna include Half Moon, Paradise, Om, and Kudle. While the Half Moon beachside is essentially laidback featuring lots of beach bums enjoying the sunset against the shorelines of the Arabian Sea, the Paradise beach is rife with hippie lifestyle and Om’s has a diverse set of crowd including foreigners and natives.
Sometimes, you can also see a few pilgrims taking a religious bath at any of the Gokarna beaches, and capturing that into a perfect frame would be a great addition to your photographing skills. A temple near a cliff can be seen from there alongside fishing boats, which is another amazing spot to take pictures.
Gokarna is one of the best pilgrimage destinations for Hindus located in the state of Karnataka in South India. This serene town is abundant with natural beauty, especially the magnificent beaches, and wondrous architectures. Visiting this natural gateway is one of the best ways to spend your holidays in serenity.
Since Gokarna is rich with beautiful beaches such as Om beach, Kudle beach, etc., you can enjoy many adventurous water sports over here. You can also go hiking and parasailing if you are an adrenaline junkie. In short, Gokarna is a combo package of every interesting thing that you can enjoy and cherish for a lifetime.
When it comes to the matter of accommodation, it is always better to choose the budget hotels in Gokarna. The main reason for this is that most of the cost-effective hotels here offer almost the same comfort and amenities a posh hotel could offer. Besides, it is a sheer waste of money, if you have to pay a huge amount of money for a matter of mere hours that you may spend in the hotel room. However, you must be cautious and look for certain amenities, while choosing budget hotels in Gokarna. Some of them are listed below.
Even though you may spend only wee hours in your hotel room, make sure to choose a hotel with well-maintained rooms. For this, you can check the photos on their website or consult with the staff about the same. Ask for rooms with cozy bed, soft pillows, hygiene bathrooms, etc. Since Gokarna is a coastal area, it will be chilly at times, hence make sure that you have hot water facility.
Since India is a tropical country, air conditioning has become mandatory in every hotel in this country and this not an over-spending thing. If you prefer that, just confirm that your budget hotel has AC rooms, and that they provide cozy comforters and blankets as well, in case it is cold at night.
Stable Internet Connection
If you are a social media junkie, you will surely want to update the pictures you take during your vacation to the profile on the go. That would require a stable internet connection, so check if your hotel offers that. Note that you will need internet for searching nearby places in Gokarna or checking email too.
The coastal area is rife with plenty of beaches lined up with beachside cottages in Gokarna, and tourists often find themselves confused with the plethora of shacks situated in and around Kudle beach. There is a perception among visitors that Half Moon beach, Om beach, and Paradise beach are trendier than the Kudle. It is most likely because of Kudle beach in Gokarna is easier to reach, or that there are only little things to do when it comes to nightlife there. However, what works in favor of visitors to Kudle is that the joints there still have the most number of beach bums.
If you can find a café in around the said beach selling Nutella pancakes, it is worth the try, especially for those who remain concerned about excess sugar intake. If you are non-vegetarian, though, it is best to seek out beach bum joints in Gokarna selling Prawns Chilli recipe and calamari rings.
The temple town is not only a small knot on top of the hillside, but also a spiritual delight. When you visit Gokarna during the Maha Shivaratri Festival, for instance, you can see a sight of hundreds of men with a dreadlock hairstyle and ochre color dhotis leading a chariot procession or a ‘ratha yatra’ along the premises of the Mahabaleshwar Temple, and waiting for several others to draw ropes for the chariot to move forward. It is also that time of the year, when the street sellers in Gokarna get the most sales of the religious paraphernalia including everything from ‘Om’ printed bags to graffiti arts and prayer beads.
If you spot a sales stop in the markets in this town offering permanent tattoos, pants for practice yoga, and so forth, it will come in handy when you choose to occupy a beachside cottage in Gokarna. This way, no one will be able to tell apart the difference between a hippie with religious beliefs and the anonymous tourist to have fallen in love with Gokarna and its traditions.
Another customary practice in the town is spending nights around the bonfire, and that allows tourists to meet and communicate with different people from different countries, cultures, and races. In short, staying at one of the beachside cottages in Gokarna opens a whole new chapter of ways to relax and rejuvenate.
Beach destinations seem too much noisy and crowded especially during the onset of tourist seasons. If you were thinking of a place, where you could enjoy the oceanic backdrops without the rush, Gokarna is the right spot to be.
The place is unlike any other chiefly due to the spiritual ambiance that surrounds it and the rich legacy traceable to the periods from the great Puranas and Itihasa. You will find here a place with lots of historic temples and splendid beaches unlike any other beach destinations in India.
The Magnificent Beaches
Free-spirited individuals would talk only about one special aspect of Gokarna, its beaches. This small temple town located west of Karnataka has some of the most incredible beaches in the entire country. Suffused in a spiritual atmosphere, the beaches here even have their own religious connotations. For instance, the famous Om Beach has a natural shape that forms the beach in the shape of the sacred syllable Om.
Shacks and Restaurants
Gokarna is the place to go on an exploration with the taste buds due to the good cuisine offered here. You can enjoy tasty seafood among the several eateries located along its famous beaches. If you are a vegetarian, this temple town has a lot to offer in the form of a rich and flavoring vegan diet that you can sumptuously feed yourself.
Some of the hotels like the Namaste Café near the Om Beach have an incredible menu featuring various types of cuisine. The Elephant View restaurant in the Kudle Beach has various delicious offerings along with drinks. Another top restaurant, the Prema’s, which is located near the Gokarna Beach, is the ideal place to check out if you wish to enjoy some exceptional South Indian and North Indian cuisine.
Though Gokarna has many good hotels, it is best that you consider staying in its resorts and cottages. Staying at any of the Gokarna beach resorts gives you a relaxing experience while visiting the place. Besides, the cottages in Gokarna are the perfect places to enjoy the beach, and are a boon for those who are on a budget.
You can even stay on a homestay if you want to experience the place at its best. Several homestays and cottages in Gokarna near the Om Beach and Kudle Beach have good facilities and well-maintained washrooms that can give you a comfortable stay in close proximity to these beaches.
If you are a person, who loves to travel solo, and if you are in search of an ideal destination to make the most of your vacation, then pack your bags and head straight to Gokarna.
Gokarna, which is an elegant beach town in India, was once considered just a Hindu pilgrimage centre. However, things have changed over the last few years, and now, Gokarna is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country, thanks to the rocky hills and lovely beaches here.
You find a number of regular buses from both Mangalore and Bangalore to Gokarna, which means that you will be able to get here with ease. The beach town is just around 550 kms away from Bangalore and the roads are pretty good. So, if you are ready for a long drive, then that is another viable option for you to get to Gokarna. Below are a few must do things that will help you to make your solo trip to Gokarna a lot more exciting and memorable.
Visit Vibhooti Falls
The famous Vibhooti falls in Gokarna is actually a beautiful waterfall, which is hidden in the Western Ghats. The best thing about Vibhooti falls is that it is not over-crowded. So, if you are a person who wishes to stay away from crowded tourist attractions and spend a quality amount of time in a calm and relaxed atmosphere, you will instantly fall in love with Vibhooti falls. The natives believe that the water in Vibhooti falls comes from Yana or sacred ash.
Kudle beach, which is just a few kilometers away from the Om beach in Gokarna, is one of the most popular sites-to-visit here. This beach is actually an absolute treat for the ones who love quietude and peace when they are traveling solo. The serene and silent atmosphere at the Kudle beach makes it an ideal spot for watching the sunset in the evening and for gazing at the stars on a lovely night.
Try the Local Cuisines
Most of the budget hotels in Gokarna offer a wide variety of local cuisines to tourists. The ‘Indianized’ continental dishes served in Gokarna beach resorts are an absolute treat for every foodie. So, if you are a person who loves to try different local cuisines, then it is best to stay in any one of the budget hotels in Gokarna.
As summer is approaching, it is getting hot and humid with every passing day. Gokarna is one of the perfect places for you to escape the heat for some days and chill. This rural town is one of the well known tourist destinations in Karnataka.
This beautiful natural gateway is crammed with various attractions like wondrous architectures and sculptures, pilgrim centers, trekking, water sports, etc. You can choose any of the best Gokarna beach resorts in order to ensure a pleasant and comfortable stay.
Most of the Gokarna beach resorts feature many highlights like water sports, campfire, beach parties, and various other activities. However, you need to consider many factors while choosing your beach resort. Remember, a small mistake is enough to ruin all your holiday plans. So to help you out, below are a few tips to choose a perfect beach resort in Gokarna.
To choose the best accommodation, figure out the answers to some questions like whether you want a calm and serene holiday or an adventurous and exhilarating one. Furthermore, understand the type of trip you prefer; single, friends, or family. Figure out the answers to the following things as well.
- Is it a cultural trip or a pleasure trip?
- Do you need a vibrant nightlife or a refreshing and calm independent cottage?
- Will you make use of the hotel spa and other luxurious amenities over here?
Asking such questions will help you to pick from the best Gokarna beach hotels and make sure that it has all the amenities you need. You can even check out the brochures of various Gokarna beach resorts and pick the perfect one.
Choose a Great and Exotic Beach
What is the point of choosing beach resorts if you cannot embrace the dancing waves and cool breeze peacefully? Most of the beaches in Gokarna are not that crowded, but you still need to make sure that the place you choose to stay allows you to enjoy the serene beauty of the tourist destination to the core. Check if the resort you choose has a private beach that offers various beach activities in order to have a pleasant trip.
While choosing any of the Gokarna beach hotels, do not just limit yourselves to water sports and other luxurious things. Try to be versatile with your choices. For instance, if you choose a beach resort with a serene and harmonic environment, also see if they have the options for vibrant music and addictive nightlife, if you are into it.
Tourists in Gokarna on picnic mood can take up numerous beachside activities along the Om beach in particular. Find stay in one of the cottages in Gokarna along the beach that forms the shape of the Om symbol from Hindu mythology. A beachside shack in this in the temple town gives you an opportunity to enjoy surfing, boat rides, scuba diving, parasailing, etc., among other things.
Even getting sightings of the dolphin surfacing from the aquamarine waters of the Arabian Sea and getting breathtaking sunset views will be quite pleasurable to tourists. A laidback attitude is a must-have when it comes to exploring the beaches in Gokarna by foot. Venture ahead into the blue ocean for more sightseeing activities along the Om beach.
This is amongst the few beaches in South India to give views to the sight of dolphins surfacing from underwater in perfect harmony. The guides from beachside cottages in Gokarna take guests to the Arabian Sea and catches this favorite pastime activity this side of people watching along the Om beach. As and when they spot the dolphins flit in and out of the bluish water, tourists tend to take out of their cameras to capture the gorgeous sight.
A Boat Ride
The favorable wind conditions and the clear blue waters make a perfect beach to try a ride in a recreational boat that is best towed by a ‘helmsman’. The location is replete with coconut grove trees lined up along the beachside shacks, which makes it one of the most trending activities for those to have visited Gokarna. Lifeguards are available for ensuring the safety of the passengers on a boat ride, but ensure that you find the best driver to propel the boat forth with precaution.
Tourists in Gokarna can challenge themselves for a ride to the Arabian on a boat, drop a fishhook into the deep ocean, and try their luck in catching fish. It is an entirely different activity since the boat is completely different onboard with a handful of people only. Just as you keep yourselves engaged in fishing off the coastline of the Om beach, do not forget to soak in the beauty or the vastness of the ocean right in front of your eyes.