Gokarna Tourism
Pilgrimage

Gokarna Tourism

Rank 10
Ranked 10 of 97
Karnataka Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
5.7/7
1403 Ratings & 875 Reviews

Gokarna Info

  • State: Karnataka
  • Famous for/as: Pilgrimage
Gokarna is a village in Karnataka, in the district of Uttara Kannada. Its 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 cows 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 cows 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, Mumbai
Couple
Group

Best time to visit Gokarna in the next six months

  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

Gokarna Traveller Reviews

WRITE A REVIEW
Read 84 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.7/7, 1
out of 875 Gokarna reviews 84
Sort by:
Sudipto Duary
  • Sudipto Duary
  • 1 Review

"Awesome Gokarna" new review

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
"Awesome Gokarna" the two words describes everything. Specially too good for the young guys for relaxation. No restrictions in the beach and bornfire. Don't forget to take sun cream. But its worth going to the place. Its very good for party people, though family also may visit. We hired two wheelers which helped us in visiting all the nearby places. It is just awesome place. You also can spent the night in the beach with a beach side bonfire. You can see lots of foreigners too. Some places are very adventurous, and good for trekking as well.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 1 vote

Snehal Jadav
  • Snehal Jadav
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 6 Reviews

"Life's a beach" new review

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Gokarna is a heavenly destination and the perfect holiday plan you can make. This place is so beautiful and soothing that you'll want to stay there or visit it quite often. I've come here twice in the last 6 months and my experience has been amazing. I'm in love with the beaches, beach huts, shacks and cafes. To those who go here for the first time relax at kudle beach or half moon beach but, you got to trek few miles to reach these beaches and make sure you eat at "Namaste Cafe" because this place makes you go gaga. Ask the localites or the shack owners for directions or help, people are here very welcoming. The place is very peaceful in off season and in the season you have too many options and it's packed but, you will sure love the place. Just have a check on your stay and book your accommodation in prior! The treks, beach walks, water sports and food will sure make your trip the most memorable one.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 2 votes

Bhushan Kumar
  • Bhushan Kumar
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 1 Review

"An amazing natures' surprise" new review

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 3 weeks ago
So, we initially planned for a road trip to Gokarna, expecting the least of the place. Once we reached in there we were stunned to see some awesome nature bliss we were so excited that we can't explain. Please do check with food as no good places aren't available for food. And please do check with the accommodation before getting scammed like we did. Have a nice journey.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 1 vote

Abhimanyu Mahajan
  • Abhimanyu Mahajan
  • Lives in Agra
  • 1 Review

"Clean beaches and good food" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 3 weeks ago
I just loved the place. The beaches in Gokarna are very clean and tidy. There was no problem in finding a hotel for a stay.

The food in restaurants was also good. The sunset view is great to view. It was a overall a relaxing and a fun filled trip. Loved being there with my friends.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 1 vote

Durlabh
  • Durlabh
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 1 Review

"Solitude by the setting sun" new review

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 4 weeks ago
NIRVANA BEACH - Kumta, Gokarna

This is a isolated lonely beach with very few amenities in the village of Kagal, kumta nearby Gokarna Karnataka.

Unlike other beaches in and around Gokarna this is quite peaceful with the least number of tourists and non availability of a party environment. You can reach here via an auto or bus from Kumta town, just ask for Nirvana Beach

There's a resort called Nirvana Nature here, this was the only place to live when I visited during October 2014, the people are very friendly and food is quite good.
This place is dedicated to enjoy a natural environment free from everything that you left behind however you get WiFi for free. This place itself is an artistic wonder, beautifully crafted out of nature and art.

So if you are seeking to runaway to solitude, hide in the night as one, feel the sea humming in your ear, this would be a good option. The off-season months hardly have one or no tourists but during seasons this place gets a little more lively. In both the cases you can enjoy a peaceful relaxing vacation. The sunset behind the hills by the sea, that tint of scarlet in the sky ...oh my oh my when will I again come by ....

I would say this place is a "must visit", for a travelling nomad.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 3 votes

Prashant Dobhal
  • Prashant Dobhal
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 21 photos
  • 8 Reviews

"Perfect beaches for relaxation"

  • 6/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Gokarna's air is filled with the spiritual vibe and a sense of yoga. Beaches are clean, quiet and serene.

Places to visit: Gokarna Beach, Kudle Beach, Om Beach, Paradise Beach.
One can skip the regular mode of transport and go with a beach trek.

Food: Uttapam is pretty awesome @Pai restaurant (on the way to Gokarna Beach). French Fries @Namaste Cafe (Om Beach) - nothing special but clubbing with the view and vibe it works differently.

Have been to Gokrana twice, but found the beaches loaded with Jelly Fish on my last visit.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 3 votes

Pranabesh barbhuiya
  • Pranabesh barbhuiya
  • Lives in Adra
  • 4 Reviews

"Great weekend beach holiday"

  • 5/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
Gokarna had always sparked a curiosity in my mind as my friends always spoke about their hangout there. As a long weekend was just enough to travel to and fro with a daylong adventure, I got my chance this time.

With a bunch of people we thought that bus travel would avoid the hassle of driving a long distance from Bangalore, so we booked our tickets and set off. We were greeted by the strong sunlight of the beach city and after checking into a hotel, we headed off to the beach. There were multiple cuisines with a vast collection of seafood. You have a choice of fun sports around the beach or you could just bask in the sun if you want a natural tan. Needless to say don't forget your shades and sun-screens at home! We had a well spent day till dusk and binged on seafood later.

A big issue we faced was that our cellphones were virtually useless without network signal availability across most areas near the beach. A word of advice would be to keep your family informed that there was a known issue of phone network near the beach in case they worry if you are unreachable. We'd hit the beach again at Gokarna if we get a long weekend soon !
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 5 votes

Prajwal Amin
  • Prajwal Amin
  • Lives in Mangalore
  • 4 Reviews

"A place with lot of fun"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
The destination has a endless variety filled roads where we can find religious touch along with history and some natures amaze. And its not hard to plan for such destination as we planned previous eve. We can night out in om beach with a tent or some beach sided hotels. It really very easy. And its better to have some contacts over there to make the plan still easier. Food is ok here, we prepared chicken barbecue and cooked ourselves and late night visited om beach. Early morning we had fun in the beach lot more varieties inside Dolphins, blue water ETC.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 5 votes

Rashmin Joshi
  • Rashmin Joshi
  • Lives in Morvi
  • 4 Reviews

"Nice place to visit and stay for calm and relaxing holidays."

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
Best Beaches in India are in Gokarna. Gokarna has spiritual and religious significance too. Gokarna has many famous temples. Foreigners loves to visit, explore and stay longterm here, some of them settled too. Many Portuguese and Russians made Gokarna their home. Gokarna is connected to Mumbai, Goa and Bangalore by Train, Bus. People give Gokarna thumbs up over Goa. Its a must visit place. From height one can view "OM" over Om beach.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 5 votes

Saurabh
  • Saurabh
  • Lives in Agra
  • 4 Reviews

"Perfect for seeking some quality time with closest of your buddies"

  • 6/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
In my opinion Gokarna would be a perfect destination for you if you wanna spend some great moments with closest of your buddies. It offers you relaxing and adventurous times together. Get spiritual in holy temple of Murudeshwara, feel like a conqueror in Mirjan fort, bring out your carefree nomad in Om and Kudle beaches and finally feel like an alien in Yana. The place offers you a lot. A must visit.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 6 votes

Vanita Bindhu Vailbhav umarys Debottam Vanita, Bindhu, Vailbhav umarys and 1372 other people have been to Gokarna.
View their ratings...

Gokarna Sightseeing


Best time to visit Gokarna with family

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


Gokarna Information


- Posted by
1 of