How everyone wishes to travel but just can’t because of no leaves or limited leaves. I always thought this was a myth that there are no leaves in the corporate world. Fast forward when I join the same world all those myths became true. But planning a trip once a month I knew wasn’t going to be that tough. I started shortlisting the places nearby Bangalore which can be easily done in 2 days(come on you can manage 2 days in a month at least) and are also budget-friendly.
The first thing that comes in my mind when someone says a vacation is a beach. When anyone hears a beach there are only two choices most of the times, Goa or Pondicherry. But very few people know about a town called Gokarna which is located on the western coast of India. With its pristine, less crowded beaches and Gokarna beach trek it is a great vacation spot. This Gokarna travel guide will tell you each and everything you need to know about the place, how to save that extra buck and places to visit in Gokarna in 2 days.
|Things to know||Details|
|Distance from Bangalore to Gokarna||485 km|
|Time taken to reach Gokarna||10 -11 Hrs|
|Best time to visit Gokarna||Sep - Mar|
|No of day to be spent in Gokarna||2 Days - 2 months you can never get bored of this place|
|What is Gokarna famous for?||Gokarna beach trek, camping and it's beaches|
|Where to stay in Gokarna||Zostel or other cheaper shacks on the beaches|
|Budget for Gokarna||Rs 3000 - 3500|
What is the best time to visit Gokarna?
The best time to visit Gokarna can be in the months after the Monsoon which is from
September October to March. But since people have been knowing about Gokarna in the last few years you might be able to see a good crowd. The months from April to June are quite hot but attracts a lot of lesser tourists and could be one of the ways to save some money during the offseason.
Gokarna Travel Guide – Day by day itinerary
Day 0: How to Reach Gokarna
Starting my trip from Bangalore. Gokarna is easily accessible by buses and train. The latter is not an option because it takes a lot of time. But if you plan to go to Gokarna for 3 days train is the most suitable option to travel at least from one side. (Stay tuned for camping in Gokarna for 3 days). The bus price usually ranges from Rs 600 to 700(sleeper) if booked a few days in advance. There are KSRTC buses which charge around Rs 500 but are seater. The buses are usually late in the night and you reach Gokarna early morning.
Day 1: Things to do in Gokarna on day 1
Upon reaching Gokarna by 8 am there are two places the bus usually drops you. If you get down at the Gokarna check-post don’t ever take the left towards Kudle beach as that is a longer route. Then you walk straight, the town is just 1km. If you take an auto to the town or the beach it will cost you a minimum of Rs200. But if you get down at the main bus stand which is in the centre of the town going to beaches becomes easier. Don’t take the auto to the beaches as it will cost you Rs 100 for just a km. Instead, it is great to have a walk in the morning. If you don’t want to do the Gokarna beach trek then you can rent a scootie starting from Rs 300(more details can be found online)
Where to stay in Gokarna
As soon as you trek down and enter the Kudle beach the view will surely take your breath away. Staying in Gokarna is never an issue until it is holidays for everyone. You could try a few of the beach shacks on Kudle or few hostels on the way to the Kudle beach. They range from Rs 400 – Rs 600 per person. I stayed at Sea rock cafe which cost me Rs700 for a night which can accommodate 2 people easily. The room is basically cement block covered with wood on the top and you have a private washroom to yourself. The place looked decent and safe for women. Gokarna beach trek connects all the main beaches of Gokarna and the town. Once we were settled in the shack we had breakfast there itself which cost us Rs 100.
The other stay option I’ll recommend you is zostel and hostel lavie which is on the way to Kudle beach. Zostel is safe for women but haven’t heard much about hostel lavie. But since it falls in the budget so recommending it here.
After 12 we left to explore the town and the temples. I wouldn’t bore you much with the history of the town, just that the Mahabaleshwar temple was built in the 4th Century. The Gokarna town is very small and can be covered on feet. Then we went towards the Gokarna beach which is one of the most crowded beaches apart from OM beach. After relaxing on the Gokarna beach we had lunch at Prema cold drinks. Which cost us around Rs 100 – Rs 150
Once we were done with the lunch we returned to the shack and relaxed.
Kudle Beach: The best sunset ever
In the evening we took a dip in the Kudle beach and just sat there to experience one of the best sunsets ever. According to me, experiencing the sunset is one of the top things to do in Gokarna. In the night while going for dinner we found a lot of crabs on the beach so make sure to not stamp them. We had dinner again at the la pizzeria cafe which costed us around Rs 250 – 300 max.
Day 2: Gokarna beach trek
We woke up early to check out the sunrise, though not being a morning person. It resembled just like a red ball. Never knew sunrise was also a great experience but sunsets still win hands down. After having breakfast at the shack which cost us Rs 100 we left for the Gokarna beach trek. The total distance of the trek is approx 6km. The beaches connected to this trek are Gokarna beach, kudle beach, OM beach, half-moon beach and Paradise beach all at a distance of 1-1.5km. Carry enough water to keep you hydrated. The next stop was the OM beach. The trek starts from the end of Kudle beach where the steps will lead you to the other side of the cliff. The trek was moderately easy if you don’t want to trek you can take an auto/taxi. The next part was the descent towards the Om beach. I did find a lot of trash and garbage on the way.
Om beach: Why is it named so?
The beach is named as OM because it forms two crescent shapes which result in the OM shape(Hindu symbol)
On reaching the OM beach we rested a while at the Namaste cafe which is too overrated and also very expensive. We didn’t have anything from the cafe and just relaxed on the beach. The waves were very wild here as compared to the Kudle beach. After going a little deep in the om beach there is a sudden drop in the land under the water. So be careful who don’t know swimming. One of the worst things i experienced here is the native people and tourist from India troubling the foreigners for a photo. Request to everyone, let the foreigners alone as they too are on a vacation and wouldn’t want to be disturbed. The time is already 11 am. Here you can get ferries to the half-moon beach, paradise beach and nirvana beach(Cost: 200 – 400 per person). We didn’t take the ferry and resumed with our trek to the Half-moon beach. I also discovered a new point on the way to the half-moon beach(Om beach viewpoint) The trek is a bit tough and very dangerous at one point. So don’t look too much on the right as it is 60-70 ft deep.
Half Moon beach: the cute beach
The beach is in the shape of half-moon and is named so. You will find very fewer people on this beach. Since the beach is very small, it is actually like a private beach with less or no people. Just behind the half-moon beach are the rice paddy fields. I was seeing rice fields for the first time this close to the beach. Crossing the half-moon beach there is another unnamed beach with a lot of black pebbles and rocks. There are 2 cafes on this beach so we decided to have our lunch in one of the cafes. They served some really good bread omelette or maybe we were too hungry so the total lunch costed us Rs 150.
Paradise Beach: The camper’s heaven
Next stop was the paradise beach. The trek from half moon beach presumes from the backside of the cafe we had the lunch from. Upon reaching this beach I made my mind to come here and camp as I saw a few people camping and also it was one of the best and peaceful beaches.
There are two-part to the beaches separated by a huge rock in between. There are only two local sellers here selling fruits. If you are lucky you can even find someone making an omelette for you. Visiting paradise beach has to be one of the top things to do in Gokarna. While returning it took us around 2hrs. We reached our shacks by 4:30 – 5 pm.
Another sunset at the Kudle beach
After relaxing for some time and then we had our last meal at 6:30 pm at the La pizzeria cafe. I know it’s too early but since the bus goes through a lot of hairpins bends it was better to have the meal beforehand. The snacks/dinner cost us Rs 300 approx. Before catching the bus we went to the temple and had prasad. The bus was at 8:30 pm and we reached Bangalore by 7 am in the morning.
Gokarna travel guide: Everything you need to know about Gokarna
- The place is safe for women and women can roam the town and beaches till 9-10 pm
- Don’t disturb the foreigners as they to are on their vacation and wouldn’t want to be disturbed
- The transport will cost you Rs 1400 round trip
- Staying in the shacks will be another Rs 500
- Rest all the money on food
- Non-veg and seafood can be found on the beaches and not in the town as it is a holy Hindu town
- Carry a lot of water for the Gokarna beach trek
- Must visit beaches in Gokarna: Kudle, OM and paradise beach
- Top things to do in Gokarna: Sunset at Kudle beach, Gokarna beach trek and dipping in the waters of OM and paradise beach.
FAQ’s about Gokarna
Q1. How do I travel within Gokarna?
Ans. The main beaches(Gokarna beach, Kudle beach, OM beach, Halfmoon beach and Paradise beach) are connected via a small trek so no transport is needed. If you want to visit the vibhooti falls you can rent a scooter.
Q2. What is the best time to visit Gokarna
Ans. The best time to Gokarna is after the monsoon stops ie. October – March. If you don’t want to see many travellers you must try going between March and May.
Q3. How many days are needed to visit Gokarna?
Ans. To visit and see the main attractions 2 days are enough. If you want to camp at the beach you should have min 3 days.
Have any more questions about Gokarna or need help in planning the itinerary, feel free to drop a comment or contact me on any social media!
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