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 to when I joined 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 to my mind when someone says a vacation is a beach. When anyone hears of a beach there are only two choices most of the time, 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 everything you need to know about the place, how to save that extra buck and places to visit in Gokarna in 2 days.
Like to plan your travels early? Take a look at these 14 Long weekends in 2024
|Things to know
|Distance from Bangalore to Gokarna
|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 attract 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 bus 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. The bus price usually ranges from Rs 800 to 1200(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 the 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 Kudle beach the view will take your breath away. Staying in Gokarna is never an issue until it is a festival season. You could try a few of the beach shacks on Kudle or a 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 a cement block covered with wood on the top and you have a private washroom to yourself. The place looked decent and safe for women. The Gokarna beach trek connects all the main beaches of Gokarna and the town. Once we were settled in the shack we had breakfast there which cost us Rs 100.
The other stay option I’ll recommend to you is Zostel which is on the way to Kudle Beach. Zostel is safe for women travellers as well.
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, one of the most crowded beaches apart from OM beach. After relaxing on the Gokarna beach we had lunch at
Prema Cold Drinks (permanently closed). Which cost us around Rs 100 – Rs 150
Once we were done with the lunch we returned to the shack and relaxed.
Planning to stay for longer in Gokarna? Check this comprehensive Gokarna 3-Day itinerary.
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(Now known as Ganga Cafe) which cost 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 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 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 into Om Beach there is a sudden drop, so be careful who don’t know how to swim. One of the worst things I experienced here was the native people and tourists from India troubling the foreigners for a photo. Request to everyone, let the foreigners alone as they too are on vacation and wouldn’t want to be disturbed. The time is already 11 am. Here you can get ferries to Half-moon Beach, Paradise Beach and Nirvana Beach (Cost: 200 – 400 per person). We didn’t take the ferry and resumed 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 a half-moon and is named so. You will find very few 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 cost us Rs 150.
Paradise Beach: The camper’s heaven
The next stop was the Paradise Beach. The trek from Half Moon Beach presumes from the backside of the cafe we had lunch from. Upon reaching this beach I made up my mind to come here and camp as I saw a few people camping and it was one of the best and most peaceful beaches.
There are two parts 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 2 hours. We reached our shacks by 4:30 – 5 p.m.
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 hairpin 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.
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
- Please don’t disturb the foreigners as they too are on vacation and wouldn’t want to be disturbed
- The transport will cost you Rs 1600-2000 round trip
- Staying in the shacks will be another Rs 800 – 1000
- Rest all the money on food
- Carry shoes with you as you’ll have to trek to reach the beaches or else you can also hop on the boat
- Carrying a backpack makes it easier to travel and sometimes saves the auto cost
- 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, Half Moon 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 2-3 days are enough. If you want to camp at the beach you should have one extra day.
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!