Diwali is around the corner, while most of us are fortunate enough to go back home and celebrate with our family and friends, some of us or not. Reasons might vary from person to person. But when you live in a place like Bangalore, you’ve got plenty of options to explore too. And Diwali might be the perfect time to do that. There are so many places that you could visit that are near Bangalore. But since we are talking about the Diwali break, you can increase the radius a bit. One such place is the temple town of Gokarna. It is a must-visit for all you folks staying in Bangalore as it is easily accessible.
Along the West Coast of India, in the state of Karnataka, lies this town called Gokarna whose literal meaning is “Cow’s Ear”. Sounds funny? The geographical reason for the name is that the town is at the confluence of Gangavali and Agnashini river and is shaped like the cow’s ear. But there is another mythological version to it. To know more about that here .
Years ago, this place used to be an important Hindu pilgrimage spot but now it is a huge tourist destination, accounting to its lovely rock beaches and hills. This place also attracts a lot of foreign tourists. If you want a peaceful beach holiday, this place is perfect for you.
How to reach from Bangalore
- There are a lot of AC as well as Non-AC direct buses from Bangalore to Gokarna. It takes roughly 10 hours. So you can hop in one of them at night and reach Gokarna in the morning. You can book the bus through RedBus or KSRTC
- There are only 2 direct trains from Bangalore to Gokarna. Also, it takes more than 15 hours. But if you are comfortable with a train journey, then you have this option too.
- You can rent a car on ZoomCar and self-drive. It is approximately 500 kms and takes around 8 hours. According to me, this option is the most convenient one if you plan to go in groups of more than 5.
Hotels in Gokarna
There are plenty of options from which you can choose. You can stay in a hotel or a resort as per your choice. Some of them are beach facing ones and are absolutely stunning. You can get hotels in any range that you want. You can book them through popular sites like Goibibo or MakeMyTrip (they have anyways merged now).
Things to do
Now this is the most important part. What do you do once you’ve reached Gokarna? Well, again, there is a long list of places and things to do there. Here’s our pick.
- Kudle Beach
The first thing you do in Gokarna is going to Kudle Beach, take off your clothes and dive into the cool, clear waters. It is a picturesque beach. It is a less commercialized beach with clean waters. It also has really good resorts and shacks. But no one is allowed inside the water after 5:00 pm and the officials are strict. You will find a ton of people playing volleyball, football and water games. Join in or make your own game. Spend the night chilling on the beach. There are fire shows and bonfires you can huddle around. Making your own fire isn’t a bad idea either.
- Trek to OM Beach
Head out on a hike to Om beach from Kudle. It is a bit of a walk on the hill so be ready for it. But it’s a fairly easy trek and no one should face any major problems. Oh! And it’s totally worth it as the view is breathtaking on the other side.
The name Om beach is derived from the fact that you can actually see the shape of “Om” if you look at the beach from the sky. But this beach has limited food and restaurant options.
- So Many Temples!
I’m not sure if any of you would be a temple fan out here but I would definitely suggest you visit some of them, simply because of their architectural beauty. After all, it is renowned as the Temple Town.
The most important among all of them is the Mahabaleshwar temple which is the main town. Other interesting ones are the Aadi Gokarneshwara temple and Ganpati temple.
- Trip on food
I am sure this will interest all you foodies out there. With the shacks on the beaches and good local restaurants, you will never run out of options. The choices range from Italian Pasta to Indian Dosas. Two particularly famous food places are the Prema restaurant which is the main town and the Namaste Café at Om beach. At the former, you will find everything from Israeli bread to Indian thalis. Homemade ice-creams are a must try there. The latter also has a variety of food options but the amazing view of the Arabian sea is what you should look out for.
- The Massage
Doesn’t matter which hotel or resort you land up in, most of them will offer you a massage service. Make sure you take it at least once. There is variety in this too, but the most popular one is the Kerala Ayurvedic one. You can have a full body massage or go specific based on your preferences. They have a lot of options ranging from head massage to foot massage.
Have you ever been to Gokarna? Let us know interesting things about Gokarna that we might have missed out.