Gokarna, a place that has become synonymous to Nirvana (not the band!). This is where we were on last year’s Valentine’s day along with couple of our friends. If you are planning a Gokarna getaway for a weekend, you are in the right place (or if it’s in near future, feel free to bookmark this). So, without further ado, here was our itinerary to Gokarna.
Gokarna Travelogue | 2-day itinerary to Gokarna
Day 1 in Gokarna: Om Beach, Half-moon Beach, Paradise Beach
We left on Friday night by a sleeper bus at around 10:00 pm and reached on Saturday morning by 9:00 am. It’s a relatively longer journey (almost 10 hrs from Bangalore), so be prepared. We stayed in the town, approximately 3kms from Om beach. As we did not take our own vehicles, we hired rental bikes for 2 days (Although, it wasn’t much of use for the first day). We headed to Om Beach first as we hadn’t planned anything in particular.
Om Beach got its name from the “Om” shape the shore takes as seen from a bird’s eye view. You shouldn’t miss Om Beach while planning your itinerary to Gokarna. It was already nearing 12 pm by the time we reached Om beach and it was hot. Not hot enough to get burnt, but if we stayed longer in sun, we sure would have gotten toasted at least. On a good day, you will find one or two water sports here. We spotted jet-skiing but all they did was go for 100 mts or so and come back, that too with the guide! I know I wouldn’t have had the guts to drive it, but still I would like to have an option The water was not so good, Om beach’s water is dirty. The kind that stings your eyes if you take a dip. But that didn’t stop us from diving into it in the hot sun like a bunch of dogs that wanna cool off There are lots of cafés and shacks around including the very famous Namaste café. We ended up having our brunch in one of the cafés.
After strolling around aimlessly in the shores of Om beach, we decided to head to Half-moon beach which is around 1 km from Om. It’s small hike that takes not more than half hour (provided you are on the right track). And what a blessing in disguise it was. Had we been still strolling around back in Om beach, we would have missed the views the nature presented itself to us completely! The sights were more than awesome. The Half-moon beach was less crowded than Om beach. After spending half hour more, we took a boat that just gave us glimpses of Paradise beach and the lighthouse. If you have time, complete the entire circuit on foot i.e., Om beach – Half-moon beach – Paradise beach – lighthouse. Of course, leave a little earlier and ask any of café owners for right directions as one would definitely get lost on the way.
The short boat trip ended at Om beach and we witnessed one of the most gorgeous sunsets ever! Om beach truly has one of the most colorful sunsets. The sun appeared like a bright orange ball on fire. There was nothing much we could do but stare at it in awe. In spite of hundreds of people on the shore, a sense of calmness surrounded me. Even thoughts could go mute there. And thus ended our Saturday, more beautifully than we could ask for.
A photo posted by Anuradha Rao (@anu_rao) on
Day 2 in Gokarna: Mahabaleshwara & Ganesha Temples, Gokarna Beach, Mirjan Fort, Kudle Beach
Today, we decided to put our bikes to some good use and visit the nearby places in Gokarna. We headed to the famous Mahabaleshwara & Ganesha temples in Gokarna and street shopped for a while after that. On the way to the temples we spotted a peacock on the road! Wish I had a picture, but we were too enthralled to take out our cameras. The Gokarna beach is well within a few meters to the temples and street shops. Since it was very hot and humid, we spent more time in the little shops sipping tender coconut rather than getting grilled in the sun.
After a while, we found out that Mirjan Fort is around 25 kms from Gokarna and took our bikes out for a ride. The roads were good except for the last stretch. The fort was a beauty on its own and a perfect place for a photoshoot during dusk. It might take around half hour to one to explore the fort. Do add t Once our legs started giving away we headed back to Gokarna but this time towards Kudle beach. Kudle was way less crowded than Om and the water was nice too! The sunset was splendid and we just sat there, absorbing the last few beautiful images that Gokarna had to offer to us before we headed back to Bangalore.
And thus ended our small weekend getaway with many memories.. etched (and hence the very detailed recollection, even after a year!). Have a great vacation in Gokarna, if you are headed there soon. If not, please make it your next in the bucket list.
Tips for your stay in Gokarna:
- If you are planning to drive from Bangalore to Gokarna, I suggest not to. Gokarna is approximately 500 kms from Bangalore and it would be a very long drive (unless you want to do it). There are plenty of buses available from KSRTC or other private buses (Check Redbus).
- We had stayed in Gokarna town at Greenland Guest House, which was approximately 3 kms from Gokarna Beach. A decent budget-friendly stay. The owners are friendly and they can arrange a bonfire on request.
- Rentals bikes cost you around Rs.250 to 300 per day, without petrol, during peak season (lesser during off-season). If quoted more, try to bargain.
- Check with the hotel/resort staff to get you a good deal on rental bikes/cars.
- Park your vehicles in the designated parking areas of the places only. Otherwise you are risking damaging your vehicle even more. Both Gokarna and Kudle beaches have parking areas of their own, use them.
- If you are in the mood, try to cover the trek circuit of Kudle – Om – Half-moon – Paradise beaches and back (or vice-versa). You will be blessed with splendid views (and I will sport the “you are welcome” face).
- Do not try to cover everything in “Places to visit in Gokarna” list of yours. Enjoy and relax where you are. There is no place more chilled out, beautiful, with-the-nature AND spiritual than Gokarna.
Have you been there already? How has your experience been? Do comment and share your itinerary to Gokarna and your experiences.
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