Gokarna Tourism
Pilgrimage

Gokarna Tourism

Rank 9
Ranked 9 of 97
Karnataka Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
5.8 / 7
2687 Ratings & 1538 Reviews

Gokarna Info

  • State: Karnataka
  • Famous for/as: Pilgrimage
Gokarna is a village in Karnataka, in the district of Uttara Kannada. It’s situated on the coast of Karwar and lies between the rivers Gangavali and Agnashini.

History of Gokarna

The name Gokarna is derived from two words, Go and Karna, and literally translates to cow’s ear. It is said that Lord Shiva was born here out of an ear of a cow. Another plausible reason for the naming of the place could be its geographic location. The area where it is located is the confluence of rivers Gangavali and Agnashini and resembles the shape of a cow’s ear. 

The early settlements of the region can be traced back to the Brahmins. They escaped from Gomantak to avoid the forcible conversions being executed by the British and the Portuguese. They came and settled in and around Gokarna in the 15th century and were helped by King Mayurvarma in their resettlement. King Mayurvarma was a Kadamba king of that era. 

Gokarna used to be a part of the kingdoms of Vijaynagar and Sodhe, before the Konkan region was forcefully taken over by the Portuguese. Gokarna also has a few mythological tales associated with it. 

According to one, Ravana, after receiving the Atmalinga from Lord Shiva, stopped here for his evening prayers while going back to Lanka. He had been instructed by Lord Shiva not to keep the Atmalinga on the ground, since it would be fixed wherever it touched ground. 

Atmalinga was a powerful weapon and Lord Ganesha did not want Ravana to get such a powerful weapon, fearing destruction. He then came in disguise, offered to hold the Atmalinga and then keep it on the ground. Ravana, in extreme anger, tried to pull out the Atmalinga from the ground, breaking it in the process. These pieces then resulted in the establishment of various temples in the village. 

Things to do in Gokarna

Apart from being a religious town, Gokarna is also known for its beaches. There are many beaches located close by, which have small shacks serving as accommodation along with many small shops and modern eateries. Om Beach, Gokarna Beach, Half Moon Beach, Kudle Beach and Paradise or Full Moon Beaches are some of the well known beaches of the place. 

The presence of beaches here gives a hippy feel to the town while the presence of many temples make it a pious place, thus creating a contrast that very few places have in the world.

Gokarna can be visited from October to March. With a moderate semi-tropical climate, the temperatures range from 18⁰ - 40⁰ Celsius in summer and 14⁰ - 32⁰ Celsius in winter. The monsoon months are best avoided as the region receives heavy rainfall from June to August, making the beaches inaccessible and swimming dangerous. Shivratri, celebrated in February/March, is a big event here and draws a lot of tourists.

Travelling to Gokarna

Gokarna is well connected by bus to Goa and other cities in Karnataka like Bengaluru (13 hours), Hospet (10 hours) and Mysore (14 hours). Buses are also available from Udupi and Mangalore which take around 6 and 7 hours respectively. Buses terminate at and depart from the KSRTC bus stand, 300 m from Car Street, which is within walking distance from the location of most hotels. 

The region is also connected by trains to Mangalore, in the south and Goa and Mumbai in the north. Trains to Mangalore leave from Gokarna Road railway station at 4:00pm and 1:45am while trains to Goa and Mumbai depart at 7:00pm and 10:45am. Gokarna Road station is at a distance of 9 km from the city centre. Buses, taxis and autorickshaws are available from the station to reach the city centre.


Accommodation options in Gokarna

There are ample accommodation options in Gokarna. Tourists can opt for hotels ranging from budget to luxury and beach resorts.  
More »

Most preferred by...

Travellers from Bangalore, Hyderabad
Couple
Group

Best time to visit Gokarna in the next six months

  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July

Gokarna Traveller Reviews

WRITE A REVIEW
Read 133 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.8/7, 1
out of 1538 Gokarna reviews 133
Sort by:
Nityamukta Banerjee

  • Tourist
  • Nityamukta Banerjee
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 3 photos
  • 1 Review
  •  26 readers

"International-like¯ beach getaway at low cost in Gokarna" new review

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 3 days ago
Om Beach at Gokarna is a very beautiful place. Pristine, clear blue green water, clean beach, handful of people, mostly foreigners! Rocks and luscious green mountains add to the beauty. Shacks are available on the beach ranging from 300/- to Rs. 1000/-, however rooms are not beach facing but within 500 mtrs of the beach. Cafes are attached to these shacks where you can laze around all day, just be yourself and watch the waves go by. Whenever you feel hot, just take your swimming trunk clad body and run for 300 mtrs and dip it into the cool sea water. Come back and soak yourself in the sun while reading a book or, just doing nothing.

As the sun gets ready to dusk, people are out with their hoola-hoops, some playing with the Frisbee, some doing yoga and while some lost in meditation. Watch the sunset as the cool breeze hits your face. Put on your evening dress and get ready for a lamp lit dinner. Food is not that an attraction. Shiva and Ganpati temple can be visited along with the local market. Autos take you at a cost of Rs. 150/- to 200/-.

To get to this place, take a train till Karwar, hop in an auto to Karwar bus stop (Rs. 80-100/-), take a KSRTC bus to Ankola (Rs. 33/-) and take another bus from Ankola to Gokarna bus stand (Rs. 25/-). Take an auto to Om beach (Rs. 150-200/-). Buses have a good frequency and are a comfortable ride. Rejuvenating place to move away from the hustle bustle of the city!
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Satwik  Patil

  • Tourist
  • Satwik Patil
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 1 Review
  •  37 readers

"Gokarna, an amazing place" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 5 days ago
Well Gokarna is know for its awesome beaches. We visited it during the new years eve. Amazing place to rest after the hectic semester exams. The beaches are calm and clean. Half moon and om beaches are a must visit. Local food involves mainly sea food, generally pomphrets. There are few temples to visit too. Markets are also nice for shopping. Well a perfect destination to spend some calm time on a beach.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Jasneet Singh

  • Tourist
  • Jasneet Singh
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 1 Review
  •  23 readers

"Peaceful beach,Gokarna" new review

  • 4.5/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
Gokarna is about 4 hours from Panjim. There is not much to do in this place except visiting temples. Its better to stay for 1 night and for relaxing at the beautiful Om beach. Book a room at namaste cafe which is on Om beach and rooms are also very cheap there if you book in advance. Gokarna beach is very dirty and it is near the city.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Shivam Doshi

  • Tourist
  • Shivam Doshi
  • 2 photos
  • 5 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  323 readers

"Don't think twice, just go." new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
Gokarna, A place so calm and tranquil(on weekdays only) you won't believe. The best time is of course during winter when the weather is bearable but during peak summer months too this place is pure magic. If you have the time on weekdays then this should be the first place on your list. The crowd is 95% foreigners mostly coming from Israel, Russia, Europe and they are super friendly. I spent two weeks in Gokarna alone and I didn't get bored even once. Apart from the main Gokarna beach (not worth it), Kudle, Om, Half moon and Paradise beaches are worth dying for. You can reach these beaches easily through boats or if your adventurous side is up, you can trek through the little hills all over, just don't forget a water bottle. An amazing experience that I had at the top of the hill overlooking the Paradise beach is watching a group of dolphins swimming and jumping as they sailed into the sunset, Pure bliss. Apart from that, if you are lazy (like me) you can just chill at one beach, go to play something in the evening like Frisbee, racket ball, football, cricket, volleyball as you'll find people playing everywhere in the evening. The beaches are lined up with cafes, which have extremely amazing food that you wouldn't expect at such an underrated destination. They have tons of different cuisines and I've tried almost all of them over my 3 trips to Gokarna, almost everything I tried was magic. And of course, eating in front of the Arabian sea in so much peace can't be compared by even your best restaurants in cities. At night the shacks shut off their lights and the clear skies make up for an amazing view of stars that would put the city lights to shame. Accommodation on these beaches in not an issue as almost every restaurant has a lot of rooms just behind them. The price range varies from 250-2500 depending on the rooms. 250 being the price of a bamboo hut which I don't mind. All in all its a perfect place to getaway from the hectic city life or the maddening crowd that India has to offer almost everywhere.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 1 vote

Navitha

  • Tourist
  • Navitha
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 1 photo
  • 1 Review
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  176 readers

"Head to Gokarna and let time stand still" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Go Gokarna! Don't think twice!

We were a group of four people, who boarded an overnight bus from Bangalore and reached Gokarna early morning. The first look when we got down from the bus was that it looks like a very peaceful village. There are five beaches in Gokarna. Gokarna beach, Kudle beach, Om beach, Half moon beach and Paradise beach. We reached Kudle beach directly which is around 5-6km from the bus stop, as we were instructed by other friends not to waste much time trying out the Gokarna beach. There are plenty of shacks and reasonably priced hotels. We checked in and spent all day playing on the beach, eating breakfast by the sea side and just chilling.

Even though it was peak season, there were not too many people! One can easily lie down by the beach side with a book, listening to the waves and not a soul would disturb anyone. The next day, we visited Paradise beach, On beach and Half moon beach. Take a boat ride that covers all three and the boat man will also show dolphins! We did a bit of shopping in the Gokarna city - lots of pretty trinklets, bracelets, earrings.

Food is reasonably priced and the beaches are one of the cleanest in India. Go there if you want to get away from the typical Goan-crowded beaches and have a relaxed weekend.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 1 vote

Pavan D

  • Tourist
  • Pavan D
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 1 photo
  • 1 Review
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  191 readers

"Gokarna - A wonderful beach location for a relaxing vacation!" new review

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Gokarna is a places with nice beaches and is know for its historical significance. There is a lot of history in Gokarna. The best time to visit is between November and February when the weather is comfortable. This is a must visit place in south India and it will be fun to come in a group for a relaxed vacation. Om beach and kudle beach are the best beaches. The Mahabaleshwara Temple is a must visit here. You can visit a few nice places like Goukindi and Jatayu Thirtha. Trekking is also a lot of fun.

There are many beautiful waterfalls but the best one is 40kms from gokarna is Vibhoothi falls. One of the best places to stay in gokarna is MG Cottages but Namaste cafe is also preferable. The food in MG cottage is mind blowing. The chef takes about 30 minutes to cook after taking the order but serves piping hot food. Sweets are very famous here like the jack fruit idli's and peda's. The food in namaste cafe is also very nice. There are camp-fires put up every night in MG cottage.

Jet skies, boating are nice activities to try out. Trekking is a lot of fun. But nothing beats chilling in the beach. A very nice place to relax.

Bus is the best way to travel and the journey is around 12 hours. Its around 450 kms from Bangalore. Taking your own vehicle if possible.

Advice: Take your own vehicle to travel in Gokarna, there are a lot of rental cars available too. Drink lot of fluids because people get often dehydrated. Nights are very cold and warm clothes are recommended. I had an amazing experience here. No negatives at all.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 2 votes

Chirag

  • Tourist
  • Chirag
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 3 photos
  • 2 Reviews
  •  101 readers

"Good deatination for a relaxed holiday" new review

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
The destination is located at coastal Karnataka and has one of the beaches i have visited in India so far. The water is clean and so are the beaches. We did not visit too many places but Gokarna main beach is one fine place is advised to visit this place for a leisure holiday with a group of friends.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Srinivasulu G

  • Tourist
  • Srinivasulu G
  • Lives in Hyderabad
  • 3 Reviews
  •  18 readers

"Good experience" new review

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 4 weeks ago
We had a good experience at Gokarna. Om beach is good and clean. The temple is good and many seva pooja options available. There are many foreigner visitors are here to learn our tradition and culture. Food and Accommodation options are minimal. You can book online accommodation in advance during peak holiday seasons.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Madhu .

  • Tourist
  • Madhu .
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 3 Reviews
  •  43 readers

"A peaceful vacation" new review

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 4 weeks ago
If you want to spend few days away from crowd and city life please visit Gokarna. Om beach, Kudle beach all are so divine. This is mini south Goa minus the crowd. Beaches are so clean, water is blue. Though the roads are not good enough. Tourism department and govt has to take care of that. The local people are friendly. Food is nice, place is good for weekend outing with friends.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Jain Pragam

  • Tourist
  • Jain Pragam
  • Lives in Gwalior
  • 2 Reviews
  •  17 readers

"Had fun and enjoyed alot" new review

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 4 weeks ago
It was a wonderful trip to Gokarna, I would like to share my experience: it was an awesome tour we started from Bangalore the route to Gokarna was round and round it was excited to travel on hills. It was scary and joyful, once we reached we took our rented bikes and moved to our resort. The local market was good, we can get fresh fruits. In the whole journey the worst thing happen was our bike got puncher at Kudle beach and there was no mechanic to rectify, so we need to drag it till the garage. Overall it was a memorable trip for me.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Nagarajan Sairaman Anand mohan Bharath Nagarajan, Sairaman, Anand mohan and 2607 other people have been to Gokarna.
View their ratings...

Gokarna Sightseeing


Gokarna Blogs


Best time to visit Gokarna with family

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec


Gokarna Information