Gokarna Tourism

Gokarna Tourism

Rank 10
Ranked 10 of 97
Karnataka Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
674 Ratings & 427 Reviews

Gokarna, its not a very big place, but a small town with religious sentiments as well as beautiful beaches. There is an old Shiva temple in the city, and the Shiva Lingham can't be seen but can be touched and felt, as its beneath the earth. Other side of the town is of tourist who come here for relaxation and fun. This is different from all the beaches at least which I have seen, you have to climb a mountain and then trek down to reach the beaches, don't worry you can take a auto or your own cab to reach the top of mountain and from there you can climb down using the stairs, which are not so many.

Basically, there are 4-5 beaches close to each other but to cross each beach to reach the other you need to climb the hill and cross over. Gokarna Beach, which is the biggest and the main beach, is close to town and you don't need to climb the hill for this one only. This is good to watch sunset but for playing in water not recommended.

Ohm beach, this is how I know Gokarna. One of the most famous beach, its beautiful one, you have a islet where you can sit, watch tides hitting stones. There is a very nice well built restaurant on the beach side (Namaste cafe), you get good food there. Nice sandwiches.

Kuddle Beach, Half moon Beach, and Paradise Beach, these are like small small beaches but beautiful. People might say this one was more beautiful than that but I would say all are equally beautiful. Season generally starts post Diwali, so if go during November, December and January month you can get sports activity but other times you can just relax and enjoy the waves.

The cost of living in the town is very low, so don't need to worry about the expenditure, it won't hit your pocket. One more recommendation, you must visit Murdeshwar along with this place. It is again a Shiva Temple but one of its own kind. Its equally beautiful place.

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Travellers from Bangalore, Hyderabad

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Gokarna Traveller Reviews

Read 62 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.7/7, 1
out of 427 Gokarna reviews 427
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  • Karthik
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 2 Reviews

"Must visit place"

  • 4.5/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
December, it was quite hot during the day. Day by day was getting colder during the nights. The beaches are simply beautiful. Town is small and friendly. Best time to visit is during the winter season. There are many shops around the....... More
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Saurabh Maheshwari
  • Saurabh Maheshwari
  • Heritage seeker
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 21 photos
  • 17 Reviews

"Real feel of peace"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
Gokarna, its not a very big place, but a small town with religious sentiments as well as beautiful beaches. There is an old Shiva temple in the city, and the Shiva Lingham can't be seen but can be touched and felt, as its beneath the earth........ More
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  • Dinesh
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 6 Reviews

"Seasonal Birds"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 3 months ago
We visit Gokarna especially one of the beaches except for Gokarna beach and make it a point to stay there for new year. This year we went with our new addition our year old son who had a ball of a time in Gokarna. Carry your swim clothes and....... More
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  • 1 vote

Soumya Reddy
  • Soumya Reddy
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 4 Reviews

"Relaxed Holiday!"

  • 6/7
  • Posted 6 months ago
Gokarna is one of the best places to vacation and its a favorite on my list. I can keep coming to this place for vacation and never get bugged. U can take boat to three islands located near by and good for shopping too. If looking for a....... More
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Shilpz S
  • Shilpz S
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 58 photos
  • 33 Reviews

"Chicken soup for the soul"

  • 6/7
  • Posted 7 months ago
After having wanting to visit Gokarna for 3 years, I finally did this sept 2013 and boy am I glad it happened! Though not the most ideal time to visit it, since its still monsoon in south. Best time would start from October and last through....... More
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Rahul Shivakumar Roshni Venkat Rahul, Shivakumar, Roshni and 665 other people have been to Gokarna.
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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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Gokarna Hotels ranked by Traveller

Gokarna Sightseeing

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