Gokarna Tourism
Pilgrimage

Gokarna Tourism

Rank 10
Ranked 10 of 97
Karnataka Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
5.7/7
938 Ratings & 617 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, Hyderabad
Couple
Group

Best time to visit Gokarna in the next six months

  • November
  • December
  • January
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Gokarna Traveller Reviews

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Read 73 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.7/7, 1
out of 617 Gokarna reviews 73
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Prashant Agarwal
  • Prashant Agarwal
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 1 Review

"Good place for trekking" new review

  • 5/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
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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Rajat
  • Rajat
  • Lives in Allahabad
  • 7 Reviews

"A good place to enjoy your holidays" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
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
  • 3 Reviews

"Great place to get away from the crowd" new review

  • 6/7
  • Posted 4 weeks ago
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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Arpit Sah
  • Arpit Sah
  • Lives in Bhagalpur
  • 1 Review

"Peaceful beaches, untouched landscapes and awesome beach resorts"

  • 6/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
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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  • 2 votes

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

"Greenery with no pollution"

  • 5/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
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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Famees Ammanatt
  • Famees Ammanatt
  • 2 photos
  • 1 Review

"Worthwhile trip for peace of mind"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 2 months ago
Gokarna was a great experience for me and it purely a peace oriented moments. Gokarna gives me a everlasting mild stone period in my life! Anybody who indeed peace of mind should visit Gokarna.
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  • 4 votes

Mohd ashfaq
  • Mohd ashfaq
  • Lives in Bhopal
  • 2 Reviews

"Good place to spend time and temple town"

  • 6/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
We were there for two night and three days. It was very secluded and peaceful. From the next village, Ankola it is Eight km. This was a really nice resort mostly for romantic couple. The property is beautiful. The service was excellent. The food was very tasty and the price is amazing. Thank you for a lovely holiday. Am torn between telling everyone about it and keeping it a secret. So good
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  • 1 vote

Oli Ghosh
  • Oli Ghosh
  • 1 Review

"Serenity at its best"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
Kudle & Om Beach were amazing. Awesome food & virgin beaches. A great place to visit for peace and serenity, and a wonderful break from a noisy and hectic life in the city. The moonlight and breeze are incredibly romantic. The seafood is a must have. Wood oven pizzas, nutella pancakes with ice-cream, cheese and olive toast and hash browns are a must have at the Gokarna Beach Resort at Kudle. It's a lot of fun staying in the shacks but carry an extra bed sheet if you can, will come in handy.
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Krishna Ram
  • Krishna Ram
  • Beachbum
  • 2 Reviews

"Beach and Bottles"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted Jul 18, 2014
We can check 4 beaches across Gokarna: Om beach, Kudle beach, half moon beach and Main beach. It was awesome trip, we can go for night trekking on all the beaches. In Om beach, we have beach sports and in Kudle, beach resorts are nice. You can enjoy sunset, you can go in new year time and enjoy.
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Nishant Tripathi
  • Nishant Tripathi
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 2 photos
  • 1 Review

"Go! What are you waiting for?"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted May 23, 2014
It will be a tough task to succinctly put my "out of the world" experience at Gokarna. But I will give it a try for sure. We reached there early morning from Manipal. From quite a distance, while we where approaching the very famous OM beach, we could hear the sea roaring. It had given us a nice kick already. No sooner than we climbed down the stairs to reach the beach, we were left gaping at the beautiful scene in front of us. Our slow walk turned brisk and we even stopped talking for a while. Then our group captain took us to the his usual shack. Choosing a shack is not a concern, for they all give you a very similar "remote and raw" feeling. Anyways you don't go to Gokarna to enjoy AC and artificial decorations. You go there to live nature at it's best and the place delivers it bang-on.

We wanted to eat something before we could start the fun in the Arabian sea. So, we ordered light breakfast. I had one of the best breakfasts of my life. Maybe because I was very hungry (as hunger is the best way to relish food) but whatever, I wasn't disappointed and neither was our accountant friend. The place was swarming with foreigners. Indians might be preferring Goa, but unlike my other fellow countrymen, I would rate Gokarna a bigger and bettr destination. As the day passes you will start feeling even better. At night, do not expect electricity over there. It's just the moon light and torches which guides you on the tracks. If you are lucky to be there on a full moon light with your beloved partner, go sit on the rocks at shore with him/her, make future plans, forget about the past and live a moment which shall remain etched in your memories forever.

Gokarna, especially OM beach is a place which, despite being a famous tourist destination, is neither expensive nor exhausting. So, don't wait for others to make the plans for you. Take a bus from Bangalore in the evening and open your eyes into a very special part of the world, the next morning.
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  • 2 votes

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Gokarna Sightseeing


Best time to visit Gokarna with family

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