- Destination: Gokarna, Karnataka, India
- Visited on: August 8th – 9th 2015
- Peak Season: November – January
- Suggestion: Try to carry a backpack and not a suitcase as route to beach/hotel has stairs or stones.
- How To Reach:
- By Train – Only one train from Bangalore, i.e. Karwar express
- By Bus – KSRTC operates daily bus to Gokarna from Bangalore.
About: Gokarna is a small temple town located on the western coast of India in the Uttara Kannada district of the Indian state of Karnataka. Main temple and deity is Lord Shiva, who is also known as Mahabhaleshwar. Gokarna is also renowned for beaches and it is quite close to Goa.
Our Journey Starts:
Gokarna was in my plan for a long time. Suddenly my friend Niloy asked to join him for a trip to Gokarna during monsoon and I couldn’t say no. Me, Anindita, Niloy and his wife Saheli are all set for a trip to Gokarna. This is my first trip with Niloy after his marriage last year in November. The main purpose of this trip is to celebrate Niloy’s birthday which is on 8th August.
I and Anindita booked a Volvo which departs Bangalore on Friday night so that we can reach early in the morning next day. Whereas, Niloy and Saheli booked bus from VRL on the same day as they didn’t manage to get a seat in the bus we booked. Our Volvo departed Majestic at 9.30 PM. After a smooth journey reached Gokarna next day at 8.30AM. The distance from the bus stop and Gokarna beach is only 1KM. So decided to walk to the beach with backpacks, instead of taking an auto as they were charging a lot seeing a tourist.
On the way to Gokarna beach, we found the famous Mahabaleshwar temple. We entered to offer prayers. Men need to enter the temple in bare body. They have nice facilities to keep luggage. One can see the Gokarna beach from the temple entrance. After puja, we walked till Gokarna beach. Our plan was to trek the hill to reach the next beach, which is Kudle beach. One can take an auto to reach Kudle beach also. But do bargain. Gokarna beach was lovely; however the entrance to the beach was quite dirty. We started to trek through the beach and reached a hill. We climbed the hill through stairs and walked straight for 5 minutes to reach the entrance of Kudle beach. Followed the easy trail and reached Kudle beach.
Found Kudle beach to be more beautiful than Gokarna beach. As we went during monsoon, most of the shacks and hotels were closed. Our accommodation was not pre-booked. Walked along the coast and found hotel Gokarna International right on Kudle beach. This is the only hotel which was open in Kudle beach along with pathetic “German bakery”. Among rush, we managed to get a room for Rs. 1800 where four of us will stay together. Room was fair but not great. My friend Niloy and his wife Saheli joined soon. Without wasting any time, I and Niloy got prepared to take bath in the sea. Be very careful while taking bath there. Don’t go too deep. I have seen two people fell in the whirlpool and the good local fishermen had to rescue them. Had a refreshing bath. In between had beer too on beach. After bath, we freshened up and order fish and rice for lunch. Spotted two surfers surfing in the sea. For the first time seeing surfing in the sea with my bare eyes. The only shack adjacent to the hotel which offers food is pathetic. But, we finished the food quickly as we had other plans.
Later in the day, we planned to visit Om beach, next to Kudle beach. To reach there, one needs to climb the hill for around 10 minutes and then take an auto. The auto driver charged Rs. 150 after bargaining for four of us. Again, we walked down through stairs to reach Om beach. Om beach is quite a rocky beach but it has a beauty of its own. The beach is in the shape of “Om”. One can see the lonely coconut tree standing on the top of a cliff and taking a view of the sea. “Parvati Rocks” has it’s beauty of its own. We had a plan to take a boat ride to reach Half-moon beach and Paradise beach. But, the boat service was closed and remain closed the entire monsoon. The only place to stay in Om beach during monsoon is “Namaste Café” as everything else remains closed. “Namaste café” is very good for accommodation and relaxing in the shacks. The room rate in “Namaste Café” is from Rs. 800- Rs. 2000. Rooms were good but the staffs were arrogant and they give more preference to foreigners. Always advisable to pre-book these rooms before visiting Gokarna during peak season or in weekends.
We walked along the long stretch of the beach. Took many photographs. Took photos of fishing boat out for fishing in the middle of the sea. Came back to “Namaste Café’ had beer. Food was quite good. Time flies like anything. Once we realized it was quite late. It was around 9PM. Climbed up the hill, took an auto and reached Kudle. To reach the actual beach, had to walk among the forest trail. While walking, it started to rain. After quite a bit of struggle, we reached hotel in Kudle beach. Once we reached hotel, we decided to celebrate Niloy’s birthday. We were carrying fruit cake from Bangalore. All people staying in that hotel sang the famous happy birthday song and wished him. I made him a beer bath. It was fun.
We woke up next day morning at 6AM to see sunrise. But one has to be very lucky to see sun-rise during monsoon. It was raining heavily. We finished our breakfast. Hot tea and coffee added flavor to the atmosphere. After breakfast, we decided to take a walk on Kudle beach wearing a rain-coat. It was fun too. Later, I again took a bath in the sea. Then we decided to move to Om beach and stay in “Namaste Café”. On 9th, we moved there and took a room. Niloy extended his plan with his wife for another day. However, I and Anindita were scheduled to return to Bangalore on 9th taking a KSRTC Volvo which departs from Gokarna at 7.30PM. They got a room and we kept our luggage there. We four spent the entire day in the shacks eating food and drinking beer. I booked a cab from Namaste café to reach bus stop. It is highly suggested to book a cab from there as the auto drivers charges like anything. The cab only charged Rs. 200. We left Om beach saying “Adieu” to the sea. Niloy and his wife came with us to see us off. On the way we stopped at a point over the hill from where the entire Gokarna beach can be seen. We enjoyed the splendid sunset from there.
We reached Majestic in Bangalore next day at 6.30AM. Niloy and his wife left next day on 10th and reached Bangalore by train.
The trip to Gokarna was memorable. It’s always fun with friends.
- Book accommodation in advance just by a phone call if going in peak season or on weekends
- Try to carry a backpack and not a suitcase as you need to climb up and down to reach auto stand
- Kindly follow no trace policy and save mother earth.
- Namaste Café (Om beach) – Ph: +91 9886466565
- Namaste Sanjeevini (Kudle Beach) – Ph: +91 9483122233
- Gokarna International (Kudle beach) – Ph: +91 9739629390 , (08286) 256622/256848