Gokarna Tourism

Gokarna Tourism

Rank 9
Ranked 9 of 97
Karnataka Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
5.7 / 7
3630 Ratings & 2262 Reviews

Gokarna Info

  • State: Karnataka
  • Famous for/as: Pilgrimage
  • District: Uttara Kannada

History of Gokarna

A small town tucked in North Karnataka, the history of Gokarna goes back to the times of Ravana and Shiva. It is believed that Ravana performed Tapas on Mount Kailash to receive blessings from Lord Shiva. Ravana was looking for a blessing in the form of Atmalinga. Impressed by the devotion, Shiva granted the Atmalinga but put forth restrictions to avoid any misuse and took help of Lord Ganesha in the process. In the current day, the linga is established in Mahabaleshwara temple, which is now a Gokarna attraction.

People And Culture of Gokarna

Initially, Gokarna was visited for its religious importance. The story of the legends, the beautiful temples of Gokarna are all held great in the eyes of the devotees. But off late, Gokarna has turned into a beautiful holiday destination. Kannada is the main language spoken in Gokarna, followed by Konkani and English. With traditional tiled roofing, Gokarna is a pretty laid back town with two main streets filled with all shops. Gokarna places to visit hold up the culture very well.

Things To Do in Gokarna

Places to visit in Gokarna are mainly beaches and temples. Kudle beach, Om beach, half moon beach, Paradise beach are a must go to when in Gokarna. The beautiful beaches are perfect for a relaxed break, a massage and also yoga retreats. Apart from that one can also hit the Gokarna tourist places by visiting the Anshi National Park, Kotitirtha, Lalguli Falls, Karwar, to enjoy stunning scenic beauty and nature’s creations. Gokarna sightseeing for the religious ones is not a disappointed as they can head to the famous Mahabaleshwar temple where the Atmalinga is placed. Murdeshwara temple and Badrakali temple are always the famous places to see in Gokarna one should not miss when in Gokarna.

Food And Shopping in Gokarna

There are so many things to do in Gokarna apart from sightseeing. From cafes to beach side restaurants, hotels to luxury dining, all kinds of food can be enjoyed in Gokarna. Gokarna tour is incomplete without Namaste Cafe, a famous hot spot to go to which serves western food like shakes, burgers and pizzas. Mahalaxmi restaurant is another must go to, owing to its amazing food and relaxing ambience. Prema and Pai restaurants are a few other to mention. Shopping in Gokarna is all about souvenirs, brass lamps, decorative items and jewellery made out of sea shell. Kallusakkare is very famous in Gokarna, which is a must to take back home. Street shopping in Gokarna is highly reasonable, famous amongst the tourists for their hippie dresses.

Accommodation in Gokarna

There are many options to choose from on how to reach Gokarna. Goa is the nearest airport to Gokarna, which is well connected to all cities. If a traveller chooses to take the train, Ankola railway station is the nearest. Trains to Ankola run from Mangalore and Mumbai as well. There is very good connectivity by bus to Gokarna from Bangalore, Mangalore, Mumbai, Madagaon, Kochi.

Sightseeing in Gokarna can be made easier by making the right choice to stay. From beach resorts to shacks, hotels in Gokarna have a huge variety. Om Beach resort, Sanskruti resort, Gokarna International beach resort are a few to mention.

Best time to visit Gokarna in the next six months

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Gokarna Traveller Reviews

Read 146 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.7/7, 1
out of 2262 Gokarna reviews 146
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  • Tourist
  • Balasubramanian
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 2 Reviews
  •  609 readers

"A nice experience for an adventure enthusiast"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
A beautiful place to ride & have fun and especially the sunset was amazing. Beaches could have been maintained better without plastics and wastes washing ashore. Overall a nice experience for an adventure enthusiast like me. I would certainly recommend this place to all my friends who would like to have fun.
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Priyanka Agarwal

  • Tourist
  • Priyanka Agarwal
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 3 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  1760 readers

"The Perfect beach destination!"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
Gokarna has 5 popular beaches: Om Beach, Kudle beach, Half moon beach, Paradise Beach and Gokarna beach. Since I visited Gokarna in June, it was an off-season period and I could only visit Om beach and Kudle beach. The ferries that take you to the other beaches were not operational because of the monsoon waves.
In spite of this, I had an absolutely brilliant time at Gokarna. The first day was spent lazying around Om beach. Namaste cafe is the most popular cafe there. It is situated right at the beach, and the food is really good. It's a nice place to chill, eat and drink while looking at the sea.
Kudle beach was a totally different beach altogether. We trekked up to cafe 1987 and it was a great find! I loved the graffiti done all over and the entire cafe gives you a very positive and different vibe altogether. The food at Cafe 1987 was delicious! The best in Gokarna I would say. The best part of the trip was the Clifftop, just a few meters above the cafe. You can see the entire sea from atop, and the view is truly mesmerising! It was the most beautiful sight I had seen in a long time. You can see the entire Kudle beach and Gokarna beach as well from top, and you can easily spend 4 to 5 hours at the clifftop.
I will definitely come back to Gokarna during the peak season, and explore the other beaches as well. Overall, it was a beautiful trip and you'll definitely want to come back to Gokarna once you've been there.
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Ashish Gupta

  • Tourist
  • Ashish Gupta
  • Lives in New Delhi
  • 1 Review
  •  722 readers

"Awesome place for a lazy vacation"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
One of the best place ever visited, amazing food from every cuisine, cheap beer and lazy beaches. Wonderful shacks at very reasonable prices. Best place to visit with friends. Best time to visit in between October to March. Jog falls in the way so a must go there too.
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  • Tourist
  • Bikash
  • 11 photos
  • 5 Reviews
  •  1661 readers

"Away from the madding crowd"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
This is by far the best beach in India if you are in a mood to hang out with your loved ones. Quiet and simple is the only word I can assure you. The food available in the local eateries are too good. Wanna feel like home.. There's a homestay too.. The people don't stare at you as it happens in other beaches... Go as you like...
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Atira .

  • Tourist
  • Atira .
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 2 Reviews
  •  1370 readers

"Beautiful place"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted May 11, 2016
Had a great experience staying in this place with my friends. Every thing was totally good. A great place to stay with friends and family either. Service was good except at reception. Food was kinda fine and night life in the beach watching the stars was beyond words.
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Sulav Kumar

  • Connoisseur
  • Sulav Kumar
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 10 photos
  • 38 Reviews
  •  34 helpful votes
  •  35029 readers

"If its not Goa, then its Gokarna"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Apr 27, 2016
Look at the map of India and locate the Om symbol near the coastlines of Karnataka, and that's how you identify Gokarna. The destination has multiple things to offer you - babes, beaches and booze. The best of the beaches would be the OM beach. Plan it so that you don't miss the below:

1. Rent a cottage on the Kudle beach, which is as cheap as 500/ night and lenders the feeling of private beach but not an option if you're on Your own vehicle as the cottages are not motorable.

2. Trek from Kudle beach to Om beach (3 km approx) - The Autos will charge 150 for the same 3 km.

3. Swim/sunbath at the OM beach.

4. A beer/coffee is mandatory in Namaste cafe at the OM beach.

5. Moon light walk on the Kudle beach.

6. Don't miss the Cafe 1987 at the Kudle beach.

Other sites includes Gokarna beach - city beach and is too crowded. Paradise beach is a better choice over the city beach. Bargain for some hippie like dresses in the city market.

All in all a complete package that can offer you everything you need to chillax on a 2 day/night outing.
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Tinu Dalal

  • Tourist
  • Tinu Dalal
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 53 photos
  • 8 Reviews
  •  14 helpful votes
  •  106368 readers

"Gokarna is always a good idea!!"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Apr 20, 2016
Gokarna has its own charm, it's called mini Goa, but still I would pick Gokarna over Goa, for a simple reason, it's less commercialized and more serene and peaceful. During the season you will finds lots of hippies out there and the atmosphere is buzzing with energy.

I visited Gokarna with my office colleagues, 12 in number, and we stayed at Kudlu beach on day one and headed to a simple trek on top of the mountains on kudlu beach to get the best view of the sunset, and this by far was the best part of the trip. You can sit there, see and hear the waves crashing onto the rocks. There was a kind of serenity in that place. Next you can head out to the Gokarna International hotel Restaurant on the beach for some drinks and dinner, you can play your own music and enjoy the time, the restaurant usually remains open till late in the night.

Next day we headed out to OM beach, which too was beautiful and neat and clean as well. For brunch head to - Le Cafe on the beach, sit there enjoy your beer, read the book, listen to your fav music and relax. Perfect place to relax and have a great conversation with your friends.

There are couple of other beaches- Half moon beach, paradise beach, but since it was rainy season both the beaches were closed that time due to high tides.

Overall it was a great trip, the city is neat and clean, You have to visit it atleast once. Gokarna is a great Idea for a beach holiday!!!
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  • 1 vote

Anand Solanki

  • Scout
  • Anand Solanki
  • Lives in Mathura
  • 4 photos
  • 10 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  5682 readers

"An enlivening place"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Apr 19, 2016
It's a real rejuvenating as well as a place where you can unclench. Well we were taken aback by the topography of the beaches here and especially the Om beach. On this beach there is rocky space to sit on as well as sandy area to gambol upon and much more. You can just sit back here and enjoy the sunset. Well the best part is that all four beaches in Gokarna are adjacent and three of them are accessible by trekking. And this trekking from Om beach to Half moon beach really adds joy to your trip. And again this place is religious so it is brimming with temples. In a nutshell a recommended place to visit but in winter season as summers may prove a bit harsh. A really gratifying place.
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Smriti Mahale

  • Tourist
  • Smriti Mahale
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 7 photos
  • 12 Reviews
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  9347 readers

"A perfect road trip destination"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Mar 16, 2016
Gokarna is the ideal place for a trip with family or friends. While the elder can pay a visit to the Omkareshwar Temple, that supposedly homes a piece of the Holy Aatmaling of Lord Shiva. The lingh is in the shape of a cow's ear, hence the name Gokarna! There is always a long queue for the darshan of the Aatmaling. Devotees are allowed to touch the same for a milisecond. The temple also has a Goshaala where one can feed the cows and calves which is considered to be holy.

The small town of Gokarna has three beaches. OM Beach being the most prominent of the all. The place is filled with hippies and foreigners. The beach near the temple is a fifteen minute walk from the bus stand and ideal for family time. The other beaches on the other side of the small town is restricted to local tourists since it is infamous for illegal drugs and alcoholism. The shops outside are a treat for ladies with a variety of jewellery and dresses to shop.

The town has the options of many hotels and resorts to stay at. But most of the time these are occupied by foreigners. The location is ideal for a road trip, with the nearest district being Karwar. -an hour and half drive from Gokarna

A day is enough to explore the small town and a day more if you wish to laze on the beach. Make sure you carry a lot of sunscreen with you if you are visiting the place in summer!
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  • 1 vote


  • Tourist
  • Sagar
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 3 Reviews
  •  3771 readers

"Awesome beaches"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Mar 13, 2016
Please do visit if you want a peaceful beach experience. I visited OM and Kudle beach and spent my evenings there which were pristine and pretty vibrant. Sunsets are something which shouldn't be missed at these beaches. Also, do try all varieties of seafood available.
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Avinash Haril Anirban das Sathish Avinash, Haril, Anirban das and 3537 other people have been to Gokarna.
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