Gokarna Tourism
Pilgrimage

Gokarna Tourism

Rank 10
Ranked 10 of 97
Karnataka Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
5.8/7
1596 Ratings & 967 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.  
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Travellers from Bangalore, Mumbai
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Best time to visit Gokarna in the next six months

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Gokarna Traveller Reviews

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with average rating of 5.8/7, 1
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Anurag Saha roy

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  • Anurag Saha roy
  • 4 photos
  • 4 Reviews
  •  331 readers

"Tranquil, Quiet, Clean and Relaxing" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 6 days ago
As the title suggests, the biggest USP of Gokarna over your traditional west coast beaches are its tranquility and virginity. The beaches are clean and sparsely populated. The black sand that demarcates it from the East Coast is prominent in all the major beaches like Om or Kudle. And the best part is that the beaches are still in pristine condition, with natural shrubs and wave-breaks. The beaches also have distinguishable rocky patches strewn all throughout which make for great views.

The Om, Kudle, Gokarna and Paradise beaches are typical tourist spots. The Murudeshwar temple is beautifully located and is another famous tourist. We were staying at the Patang Beach Resort which had cottages right next to the beach, at a minutes walk. This beach was completely devoid of external populace and made for great walks thanks to the flat and clean shoreline. The place had reasonable tariffs and pretty good food. So, the resort made for an additional private-beach-like experience.

The local food is really delectable. The various cafes and restaurants on the beach were reasonably priced and served South Indian as well as North Indian cuisines. The place is not really a shopping destination and we did not buy anything in fact.

The beaches have a horde of activities on offer during the peak season of Autumn to Spring, ranging from rafting to speed boats. In the off season, it is primarily a place to relax and rejuvenate. Swimming farther from the shore is usually prohibited due to whirlpools.

Though monsoon isn't the best time, we were really lucky to find a rain-free weekend. It is not advisable to go during the monsoon, unless the plan is not stare at the roaring ocean in the overcast sky and the drizzling beach; which in fact is a particularly enjoyable experience if you are staying on the beach-facing resorts. Nevertheless, visit Gokarna for its blissful and untouched beauty which is usually scarce in most of the other west coast beaches.
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Kala Nutala

  • Scout
  • Kala Nutala
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 1 Review
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  985 readers

"Fantastic place"

  • 5/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Nice Place to visit. Must watch Place. Nice beaches and heritage temple of lord mahabaleshwara. Near by you can visit murudeshwara temple also which is 80km away from Gokarna. 3 beaches are here. Om beach, Kudle beach and Gokarna beach. Om beach is nice treat for eyes however tides seems to be very dangerous. Kudle beach we enjoyed at most.
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  • 1 vote

Raghavenda Varadharaj

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  • Raghavenda Varadharaj
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 1 Review
  •  5 helpful votes
  •  1364 readers

"Live along the nature"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
The best thing about Gokarna apart from the beaches is the food. Sea food! I am a great fan of sea food and I loved the cuisine there. It tastes different from the other south/north Indian food.

Coming back to nature - my 3 day trip was a complete re-freshener. The beaches, the coastal sand and the vastly spread coconut trees and plantations will bend you along with the nature. Gokarna is a must visit place to get rid of your work pressures and tiredness.

Places to visit: Om beach, Paradise beach, Lalguli falls, kudle beach, kumta.
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  • 5 votes

Ami Bhat

  • Connoisseur
  • Ami Bhat
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 24 photos
  • 18 Reviews
  •  71 helpful votes
  •  4687 readers

"Beautiful and relaxing combination of hills and the beach"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
Gokarna as a destination, was a very different beach experience from Karwar or Goa. The beaches here are beautiful in a very different way . They are dotted with a lot of rocks and one can totally enjoy a completely different landscape here.

We stayed here for three days and completely relaxed ourselves. The mobile signals kept flickering adding to our sense of contentment and calm. The three beaches we visited - Kudle beach, Om beach and Gokarna beach were beautiful. Though we could not really swim here owing to signs of whirlpools put up, we totally enjoyed just sitting around and gazing at the sea and the waves splashing onto the rocks. There is a sense of peace and calm in the atmosphere here, which totally helps you relax.

Most places on the beach and around have body massages and spa facilities available. It is worthwhile taking them on. Along the beach are a few shacks and restaurants of which the most popular and good ones are the Namaste cafe on Om beach and Prema restaurant on the Gokarna beach. Both these are a definite must go while here, especially Prema.

The town is a small temple town and can be walked along. The main market is like the Goan flea market. Though small, it is quite nice and ends at the Gokarna beach. There is not much to do in the town as such.

The night sky here is beautiful and since the beaches are open throughout, you can experience star gazing into the night sky, while lying on the amazing beach with breeze blowing on your face.
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  • 7 votes

Musab Qamri

  • Explorer
  • Musab Qamri
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 7 Reviews
  •  59 helpful votes
  •  7534 readers

"Perfect place with perfect beach"

  • 5/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
Superb destination, a romantic place, a place that you cannot miss, a place that will tempt you to visit again and again. The awesome ambiance, the superb service and the solid nature makes your trip more special. The near by places are awesome and more places to around if you are planning for a long trip. Should be careful if you are on a beach.
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  • 8 votes

Prasad

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  • Prasad
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 5 Reviews
  •  8 helpful votes
  •  1907 readers

"A place with awesome beaches"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
Gokarna was awesome ever green nature place which I have never seen before in my life. It was fantastic movement in my life. People were very good, kind and helpful. Hotel and temple was awesome in nature. Om beach and kodli beach was awesome. Beach and nature was the highlights of gokarna. Really mind blowing!!!!!!
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  • 8 votes

Sudipto Duary

  • Scout
  • Sudipto Duary
  • 1 Review
  •  10 helpful votes
  •  1900 readers

"Awesome Gokarna"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 3 months 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.
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  • 10 votes

Snehal Jadav

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  • Snehal Jadav
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 6 Reviews
  •  28 helpful votes
  •  5869 readers

"Life's a beach"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 3 months 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.
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  • 12 votes

Bhushan Kumar

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  • Bhushan Kumar
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 1 Review
  •  10 helpful votes
  •  2064 readers

"An amazing natures' surprise"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 3 months 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.
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  • 10 votes

Abhimanyu Mahajan

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  • Abhimanyu Mahajan
  • Lives in Agra
  • 1 Review
  •  10 helpful votes
  •  2174 readers

"Clean beaches and good food"

  • 6/7
  • Posted 3 months 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.
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  • 10 votes

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