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Goa beach, India: Why you should include Gokarna over Goa on your bucket list for your next trip.

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

Gokarna with its serene, calm and beautiful beaches can be your next choice for a beach holiday over the crowded beaches of Goa. Beaches in Gokarna are the new favorites of beach lovers in India. With the picturesque landscapes and calm and pristine beaches, Gokarna is turned into a hub of the beach lovers. Gokarna means “ear of cow'' is a town in the South Indian state Karnataka which even has its mentions in the Hindu mythology books

Gokarna beach
Image source: Unplash

Goa has always been the first choice of tourists for beach holidays in India. Beaches in Goa are no doubt are amongst the most sought after in the world but they are extremely crowded and highly overvisited. The South Indian town Gokarna in the state of Karnataka has now emerged as a new choice for beach vacations in the country. Beaches in Gokarna are seeing attention from tourists from India as well as from abroad because of their pristine condition, calmness, serenity and picturesque landscapes. 

Where is Gokarna?

Gokarna, a Hindu pilgrimage town is located in the South Indian state Karnataka. This coastal town is famous for seven important Hindu pilgrimage centres including the famous Mahabaleswara temple of Lord Shiva that is believed to be the house of the original image of Lord Shiva’s Anantalinga which has its mentions in Hindu mythology. 

Beaches in Gokarna
Source: Unplash

Gokarna had always been the host of tourists visiting for devotional purposes until western tourists started coming to this coastal town for the unexplored beaches. With its getting popularity for the serene picturesque beaches, Gokarna has now turned into a great choice for beach holidays over the highly crowded, overhyped beaches in Goa. 

Why Gokarna? Beaches in Gokarna: Things to do in Gokarna:

For a chilled and laid back vacation, these offbeat, serene and pristine beaches in Gokarna should definitely be in your bucket list.

1. Om beach: Named for its Om shaped appearance which is actually formed due to a geographical design of two adjacent caves, this beach is a favorite of the backpackers, travellers and beach lovers. A very long beach with rocky surface and serene nature is a must visit. The view of the sunset at the Arabian sea from the top of the rocks is peaceful to watch. One can go for rock climbing to gaze at the magical views of the Arabian sea with the sun setting at the horizon.

Beaches in Gokarna
Om beach, Gokarna

2. Kundle beach: One of the last hippie outposts in India, this beautiful beach in Gokarna can be reached by hiking only. This beach has seen an increase in the numbers of western visitors in recent years. It's very common to see Westerners doing yoga and tai chi during the time of sunset here. Walking on this serene beach, you can enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets of your life.

Kundle beach, Gokarna

3. Gokarna beach: Comparatively less popular than the other beaches of Gokarna, this beach is mostly visited for pilgrimage purposes. Mahabaleshwar temple which is said to be the house of Lord Shiva’s Anantalinga is the main attraction of this beach. Pilgrims are expected to visit this temple only after a dip in the holy water of this beach as per religious customs. 

Gokarna beach
Source: Net Geo Traveller, India

4. Half moon beach: Spreading across a wide verdant jungle near the never ending arabian sea, this beach offers you to have an experience on swimming, trekking, kayaking and camping. One of the beautiful beaches in Gokarna which you can pace up through a trek starting from Gokarna beach and cover all the five beaches in one go. 

Half Moon Beach, Gokarna

5. Paradise Beach: An ideal destination for a secluded beach holiday, this beach is a  bit rocky. Offbeat in nature, Paradise Beach in Gokarna has a beautiful view to offer and a perfect location to enjoy a charming picturesque sunrise.

Paradise beach, Gokarna

Why you should choose Gokarna over Goa: 

Far away from the chaotic monotonous life, visitors are choosing Gokarna because of its less explored, calm and less commercialized beaches. Goa has been highly commercialised which is also a big reason for tourists choosing Gokarna over Goa who want to experience serene beauty and calmness of nature.

1. Secluded: More interaction with nature and less with humans: Why does someone go on a beach vacation? Certainly not to be surrounded by thousands of people around. People go for vacations to spend some quality time in the serenity of nature far away from the hustle of the cities. Beaches in Goa are highly crowded. Goa seems more like a crowded station than a serene location. Comparatively beaches in Gokarna are very clean, pristine and super affordable. Gokarna is a perfect choice for someone who wants less human interaction and more interactions with nature.

Secluded beach
Credit: Unplash

2. Mahabaleshwar temple: Gokarna has always been a Hindu pilgrimage town. Mahabaleshwar temple is one of the main attractions of Gokarna. This 4th century classic Dravidian style temple is relieved to be the house of the origin of Lord Shiva’s Anantalinga as mentioned on Hindu mythology books. This is the place where the demon king Ravana was fooled by the gods to regain the Anantalinga from Ravana. As per stories, Ravana was given the Anantalinga by Lord Shiva and as per his instructions, the Anantalinga would stay permanent at the place where it first touched the land. Lord Ganesha appeared in the form of a brahmin and rescued the Anantalinga from the demon king Ravana while he was performing rituals. Ravana could not remove it but threw some pieces of it in different directions. Mahabaleshwar temple is now one of the most visited hindu pilgrimage locations in India.

Mahabaleshwar temple, Gokarna
Credit: Hindu Temples Of India

3. Camping in Gokarna: Beach camping: Imagine spending a magical night alongside a serene beach at a beach camp gazing at the stars while sitting around a bonfire. Heavenly, isn't it? All these things can just be real at Gokarna. Forget those cliche hotel stories of Goa, the Gokarna experience will be your memories of a lifetime.

Beach camping
Credit: Unplash

4.Jog falls: After the Nohkalikai waterfall in Meghalaya, Jog falls in the south Indian state Karnataka is the second largest waterfall in India. At a two hours drive from Gokarna, this waterfall formed due to falling of river Sharavathi has now become one of the prime attractions for tourists visiting Gokarna. 

Jog falls

5. The Majestic Lord Shiva Statue: At a one hour drive from Gokarna, this second largest Lord Shiva’s statue in Murudeshwar is a common bucket list destination of all the Shiv Bhakts visiting Gokarna. This Majestic Lord Shiva’s statue is a must visit on your Gokarna trip. 

Majestic Lord Shiva Statue in Murudeshwar

Conclusion: Goa has always been the most famous beach destination in India. Gokarna being less explored is now getting attention from tourists from all across the globe for a serene, calm beach experience. Beaches in Gokarna are the best choice for someone who wants less interactions with humans and more with the nature. These beaches in Gokarna are surely better choices for someone seeking for peace love any of the Goa beaches in India.

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