Gokarna is a small temple town on the Western Coast of India in Karnataka. It is famous as a land of palm trees, blue seas, and golden sands. It has pristine beaches with breathtaking landscapes. The beaches at Gokarna are meant for a slow, relaxed vacation. Here is a list of 13 Best things to do in Gokarna.
1. Mahabaleshwar Temple
Mahabaleshwar Temple is a 4th Century Hindu Temple situated in Gokarna. It is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea. It has a classical Dravidian Architectural Style structure and It is built of granite. It has the main Deity as Shivalinga known as Atmalinga. The stone image of Lord Shiva is 1500 years old. It remains open from 6:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
2. Gokarna Beach
Gokarna Beach is situated at the edge of Gokarna. It has beautiful stretches of sand and pristine locations. It is popular with pilgrims who visit to seek blessings of Lord Shiva. It has large trees which provide shade in the afternoon. It has a ruddy uphill road with forest cover, a good place to beach trek instead of a simple walk. It has an abundance of bird and animal life around the beach. Mornings and Evenings are to be spent here.
3. Kudle Beach
Kudle Beach is at walking distance from Gokarna Beach. It is a paradise for beach lovers and serene place-seekers. It is a recluse beach with the shroud of silence surrounding it. A perfect place to enjoy a sunset, walk on the shore or to simply enjoy the tides. It is generally vacant and hence noiseless.
4. Dolphin Spotting at OM Beach
Om Beach is situated just 8 km away from Gokarna town. It is a pristine beach named Om Beach as it resembles the OM symbol. Palm trees dot its coastline. Its unspoiled beaches have azure water. One can see dolphins here from 10 AM to 3 PM. And do boating here for 30 Mins – 1 Hour.
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5. Murudeshwar Temple
Murudeshwar Temple has a magnificent shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is the second highest statue of Lord Shiva in the world. Built on Kanduka Hill surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides. The temple’s entrance or Gopura is 123 feet. Shiva statue is at the top of Gopura. The surface is covered with detailed and intricate carvings. It does not have any entry fees. It remains open from 3:00 AM – 1:00 PM and 3:00PM – 8:00PM.
6. Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach is best for trekkers beginning from Belekan Beach. The experience here is for a lifetime. The beach is surrounded by black rocks and coconut trees. It is a beautiful and peaceful beach. It is an offbeat place and can be used for camping excursions.
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7. Cocopelli Surf School
Cocopelli Surf School is the only surf school in Gokarna. Gokarna beaches have perfect waves for surf beginners. Clean blue waters and pleasant conditions are ideal for surfing. It also provides surfboards on rental. The courses for surf learning vary from the sessions provided. It is near to OM and Kudle Beach.
Snorkeling is for adventure seekers, fun lovers, and thrill seekers. Snorkeling is available at Om Beach where one can plunge to a depth of 15 feet into an underwater world. Beautiful tropical fishes accompany all the people snorkeling. The reefs swarms with parrotfishes, angelfishes, squirrelfishes, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and corals. The whole expedition requires 2-3 hours.
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9. Mirjan Fort
Mirjan Fort is a 16th Century fort ruled by the longest female ruler in India, Chennabhairav Devi. It is 11 km from Kumta on the West Coast. It is situated by the river Aghanshini. It is known for its architectural elegance. It is tucked in the lap of nature and worth a visit and is restored by ASI.
10. Dandeli River Rafting
Dandeli is a lush evergreen forest with prosperous and stunning sights. It has a variety of flora and fauna. Dandeli River Rafting is located over the river Kali in the Western Ghats. It is a stretch of 12km with Grade 2 and 3 rapids for inexperienced and professional rafters. It is a 4-hour journey beginning at 9:00 AM. It has skilled instructors making the rafting safe for nonswimmers.
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11. Nirvana Beach
Nirvana Beach is an offbeat place to be visited in Gokarna, secluded from the crowd, offers recluse to serene beach lovers. People can dive in the cool blue waters and enjoy a refreshing getaway. This beach has a beautiful stretch which makes it an absolute delight for watching sunrise and sunsets. It is a place to visit with family and friends.
12. Vibhooti Falls
Vibhooti Falls is approximately 50km from Gokarna and are mesmerizing waterfalls. There are multiple small waterfalls on the way. Its sound can be heard from a distance. It is amidst the dense forest and surrounded by huge rocks. The water is super white, cold and deep. It is advisable to not visit its upper part as the velocity of water is very high.
13. Yana Caves
Yana Caves are located near forests of Kumta in Sahyadri mountain range of Western Ghats. It is famous for two massive rocks, Bhairaveshwar Shikhara, and Mohini Shikhara. One need to trek for 2km to trek to the cave. It opens at 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM. The rocks are surrounded by thick forests and streams. The cave also has a Swayambhu Linga. It is 52 km from Gokarna.