October 8th, 2017
Another train ride and off we go to Gokarna.ðŸš‚ðŸš‚ðŸš‚
Gokarna is a town on the Arabian Sea, located in the Southwestern Indian State of Karnataka. A popular pilgrimage destinations for Hindus, it's known for sacred sites like the Mahabaleshwar Temple, which has a shrine that is dedicated to the deity Shiva.Nearby, is a temple tank called Koti Teertha, where devotees wash in the holy waters.The town is also home to beaches such as the palm-lined Gokarna, in the center and Kudle and Om beach located further South.
We arrived in the afternoon of November 27, 2016 at Gokarna Road Railway Station from Margao after almost 3 hours of train travel. We rode a rickshaw going to Gokarna town for 100 Rupees. Riding a rickshaw is sometimes frightening because they seem to be always in a hurry. We told the driver to take us to Gokarna International Hotel because that is the only landmark we know that was nearby the Green Land Guest House, the guest house where we are staying.We didn't really know where it was located and it was a bit unclear on the Google maps. So we ended up walking back and forth with our heavy bags looking for it. After about 30 minutes of searching and getting some help from the locals we finally found it. We stayed there for 500 Rupees a night for two nights.
The following day we went to Kudle Beach to look for a place to stay. The beach is lined with fine black sand with big waves. Along the shore you can see photos of people who drowned as a sign of warning. So be extra careful when swimming.
Going to Gokarna was a bit of an escape for us. With nothing to do but check temples in the town, people watching,lounging on the shore, swimming, hiking to other nearby beaches and getting lost in the process.We were enjoying to be somewhat disconnected from the busy city.
Kudle Beach is one of the top 5 beaches in Gokarna. It is famous among foreigners because of the peace and tranquility it can offer. With The C-shaped shore lined with coconut trees, Kudle beach is a famous destination for beach trekking.
Accomodation here is a bit scarce but food is plentiful with food shacks along the shore. You will not go hungry.
We stayed at Kudle Beach for 3 days before heading to the next beach, the OM beach.
We hiked from KUDLE beach to OM beach. Om beach is famous for being naturally shaped like the symbol OM, which is formed by two semi crescents joined together. The fine sand and unspoiled water attracts tourists all year round. Fun water activities are also available here like banana boat riding,speedboats and surfing.OM's serenity is known only to very few,that is why you can hardly find this beach crowded. Commercialism and tourism haven't taken its toll here that is why its natural beauty will surely recharge your mind with a simple stroll along the beach,trekking, a quick dip in the water or by simply sun bathing.Its beauty will clearly leave a mark on you. We stayed at the Dolphin Bay cafe, they offer concrete rooms and bamboo shacks and they have their own restaurant. It's interesting to see people who have been staying here with a kind of hippie lifestyle. They tend to know everybody because they've been here several times before. As usual,we have our own world and we enjoyed every minute of it. Be aware that the supply of water here is not so good and sometimes we only get sea water during the day. We stayed here for 8 days.
Half Moon beach
Further south almost 1 km away from OM beach, is the Half moon beach. This beach is not connected by a road.Hence, you can only reach it by hiking or by motor boats from Om beach.It is called half moon beach because it actually looks like a half moon. Accomodation here is seasonal, usually starting from November to February where locals set up huts which is very basic and there is no electricity. This beach is famous for hippies, backpackers who are looking for a place to relax and stay away from civilization.The hike was a bit scary for me because of its cliffs, and I am afraid of heights.
The fourth and final beach along the shore of Gokarna is Paradise Beach. Like the Half moon beach, you can only reach it by hiking or by motor boats. Usually travellers go here for a day tour, paying the motor boat captain to wait for them till the afternoon. Some also stay over night bringing their own tent or hammock because no accomodation is available here. Rob and I hiked from Half moon beach to Paradise beach to know what the fuss is all about as the paradise beach is famous to travellers. When you decide to hike make sure to follow the big rocks along the cliffs. With nothing but google maps, Rob and I mistakenly took a wrong turn towards the inside of the forest. I was a bit scared because we didn't know if we're on the right track and there where no trails. Luckily about an hour of walking we finally saw the beach front and saw people passing by. I was so relieved,after watching all those wrong turn movies you'll definitely imagine how i felt.If you want some isolation, this beach is for you. With camping as the only option and no electricity you will be surely cut off from the rest of the world.
If you want to be disconnected from the outside world. Gokarna is the best place for you. With its peaceful beaches, low wifi connectivity and basic accomodation, You will surely be breaking free from the modern world.
See you on our next adventure, as we continue to explore India.
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