Gokarna Tourism
Pilgrimage

Gokarna Tourism

Rank 10
Ranked 10 of 97
Karnataka Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
5.7/7
1341 Ratings & 829 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.  
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Most preferred by...

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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Read 78 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.7/7, 1
out of 829 Gokarna reviews 78
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Pranabesh barbhuiya
  • Pranabesh barbhuiya
  • Lives in Adra
  • 4 Reviews

"Great weekend beach holiday" new review

  • 5/7
  • Posted 2 weeks 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 !
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Prajwal Amin
  • Prajwal Amin
  • Lives in Mangalore
  • 4 Reviews

"A place with lot of fun" new review

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted 3 weeks 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.
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Rashmin Joshi
  • Rashmin Joshi
  • Lives in Morvi
  • 4 Reviews

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

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 1 month 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.
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Saurabh
  • Saurabh
  • Lives in Agra
  • 4 Reviews

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

  • 6/7
  • Posted 2 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.
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  • 1 vote

Santoshkumar Gembali
  • Santoshkumar Gembali
  • Flashpacker
  • Lives in Visakhapatnam
  • 9 Reviews

"Place with beautiful location and scenery"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
It's amazing experience on Gokarna and Murdeshwar Trip. The locations are awesome and beautiful to see and they seem to be wonders on the earth. It is better to take a hotel for staying at Udipi which is may be little far but it is centre point for other visiting places like Kulluru, Kukki Subrahmanyaswamy Temple, Darmastala and etc.
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  • 2 votes

Prashant Agarwal
  • Prashant Agarwal
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 1 Review

"Good place for trekking"

  • 5/7
  • Posted Nov 15, 2014
The place is not that good but the beauty lies in the trekking from one beach to another beaches. Mostly you will find foreigners over there in shorts that will be very sight seeing. :)
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  • 1 vote

Rajat
  • Rajat
  • Lives in Allahabad
  • 7 Reviews

"A good place to enjoy your holidays"

  • 6/7
  • Posted Nov 8, 2014
Nearest Airport to Gokarna is Goa. Very few trains stop at Gokarna station. Places to visit in and near Gokarna are Om Beach, Half Moon Beach, Paradise Beach, Kudle Beach. The Mahabaleshwar Temple and Gokarna Beach are nice. Near Gokarna you have Jog Falls and Murudeshwar Temple.
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Mithun Madhusudan
  • Mithun Madhusudan
  • Lives in New Delhi
  • 4 Reviews

"Great place to get away from the crowd"

  • 6/7
  • Posted Oct 27, 2014
Went in off season so accomodation was not a problem. Stayed at Kudle beach for two days. Paradise Cafe at one end and Ganga at the other end have the best food. Since it was monsoon, the beach was mostly empty. We hung out on the beach mostly, there are no water sports like in Goa.
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  • 1 vote

Arpit Sah
  • Arpit Sah
  • Lives in Bhagalpur
  • 1 Review

"Peaceful beaches, untouched landscapes and awesome beach resorts"

  • 6/7
  • Posted Sep 17, 2014
The best part of Gokarna is the peaceful beaches, untouched landscapes and awesome beach resorts. You can go for Nirvan beach resort. Do visit Om beach. Yana caves is a good place to visit, near Gokarna. Finding good veg food can be a problem. You can go trekking, for some fun.
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  • 3 votes

Saranya Devanathan
  • Saranya Devanathan
  • Cityslicker
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 379 photos
  • 146 Reviews

"Greenery with no pollution"

  • 5/7
  • Posted Sep 14, 2014
Pollution free green town is Gokarna. The beach is clean with no crowd. Mahabaleswara temple and its rituals are also very fulfilling. Apart from Om, Kudle and City beaches, I could go to Apsarakonda water falls 50 km south of Gokarna. The sunset and moon rise were enjoyable in the beach. More enjoyable was moon set and sunrise on the full moon day. Individual houses also were celebrating Anantha Nokia with pomp and show. There were auto-rickshaws to take you round. The whole town can be ravelled by food. The station is little away. Not only rickshaws and taxis, even mini buses take you for Rs.20 per person. They overload the bus. You can enjoy salt making lands on the way to the railway station.
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  • 2 votes

Ravi Mintu Avantika Sufiyan Ravi, Mintu, Avantika and 1316 other people have been to Gokarna.
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Gokarna Sightseeing


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