Places to visit in Gokarna

26 Top Places to Visit in Gokarna(Things to do Included)

Are you planning a trip to Gokarna and looking for the top places to visit and things to do? Your search ends here! After visiting multiple times, I’ve put together a complete Gokarna guide. This guide will take you on a virtual tour of Gokarna’s top attractions and activities. You’ll discover the hidden gems and must-visit spots in Gokarna, from exploring the picturesque Om Beach to embarking on a thrilling beach trek.

Read More: Plan your travel for these 14 Long weekends in 2024

Best Places to visit in Gokarna

1. Gokarna beach

Gokarna Beach view from Zostel
Gokarna Beach view from Zostel

The main Gokarna beach is a famous tourist spot amongst the locals and is very close to the Mahabaleshwar Temple. The pilgrims who come to the temple first visit the beach to take a dip. You can also do various activities like camel riding or water sports at Gokarna Beach. 

Gokarna Beach is also the starting point of the famous Gokarna beach trek, which covers other beaches of Gokarna.

Read More: A budget trip to Gokarna in under ₹3000

2. Kudle Beach

Kudle Beach
Kudle Beach

One of the most famous beaches of Gokarna, Kudle Beach is a long-stretched beach covered with hills on both sides. 

To reach Kudle Beach from either side, you need to trek down a few hundred meters. Kudle Beach is a famous tourist spot amongst both local and international travelers. You can also opt for different water sports on Kudle Beach like jet skiing, parasailing, a banana boat ride, and many more activities.

If you are looking for a great spot to watch the sunset, Kudle Beach has to be your choice! It’s one of my favorite spots to watch the sunset.

The beach also has a lot of shacks where you can stay for cheap!

Where to Eat on Kudle Beach: Sea Rock Cafe

Where to Stay on Kudle Beach: Sea Rock Cafe has its accommodation which you can directly reach and book

3. Om Beach

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Om Beach has to be the most famous beach in Gokarna. It’s called Om Beach because it’s shaped like the ‘ॐ’ religious Hindu symbol, representing the sound of ‘Om’.

To see the Om shape of the beach from a height, it’s best to view it from the Om Beach Viewpoint which lies between Om Beach and Half Moon Beach.

To reach here you can either take an auto from the town or also trek from Kudle Beach. 

The famous Namaste cafe is also situated on Om Beach, which has some amazing beachfront views. The beach is also getting popular with other activities like camel rides and dolphin-watching tours.

One can also take a boat from here to reach Paradise Beach if they don’t want to trek.

Note: Parts of Om Beach have a sudden drop in a sandbank, which can be dangerous for people who don’t know how to swim.

Where to eat on Om Beach: Namaste Cafe, Nirvana Cafe

4. Half Moon Beach

Half Moon Beach is a cute little beach on your Gokarna beach trek. It’s a small beach shaped like a half-moon, thus the name. What’s also exciting is the scenery behind the beach with all the rice fields, it makes the whole scene very picturesque.

To reach the Half Moon beach you can either trek from Om Beach or Paradise Beach or you can take a boat from Om Beach. I would really prefer the trek, as it’s very thrilling and offers some amazing views of the sea.

There are two small restaurants on Half Moon Beach which are a great spot for a quick snack on your Gokarna Beach trek.

Read More: The perfect 3 day Gokarna itinerary

5. Paradise Beach & Small Hell Beach

View of Small Hell Beach & Paradise Beach
View of Small Hell Beach & Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach is your last stop on the Gokarna beach trek if you start from the town or Kudle Beach. It is a very secluded beach which can only be reached via the beach trek or boat. The beach has some amazing views and I have seen one of the best sunsets when I was camping here in 2019. 

While on the way from Half Moon Beach, you will also find a small beach on the way to Paradise Beach, this beach is called Small Hell Beach. 

Earlier, there was no official camping in Paradise Beach, so if one had to camp they had to manage everything by themselves. Currently, there is a company that manages everything for you. 

But because of this, I feel Paradise Beach has lost its charm, with so many small shops and the camping setup it’s become a tourist hub!

6. Mahabaleshwar Temple & Mahaganpati Temple

Mahabaleshwar temple Gokarna
Mahabaleshwar temple Gokarna

The Mahabaleshwar temple in Gokarna is one of the most prominent religious sites in the region. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and holds great importance among Hindu devotees. 

According to the legends, Lord Shiva dropped the Atmalinga (a form of himself) into the sea at Gokarna, and it is believed that the temple was built around this sacred object. Another mythical tale associated with the temple is that it is the place where Lord Ravana performed penance to please Lord Shiva. The temple is also believed to be one of the seven sacred Muktikshetras (places of salvation) in Karnataka.

When Lord Ravana couldn’t lift the linga, he called it ‘Mahabala’ or ‘the strongest.’ That’s how the temple got its name, Mahabaleshwar.

Just beside the Mahabaleshwar temple is the Maha Ganpati temple which you should visit first according to the Hindu religious beliefs. 

Note: For men, a dhoti is mandatory to enter the temple. For women, no short or revealing clothes are allowed.

Temple timings: 6 am – 12:30 pm & 5 pm – 8 pm – Every day

The temples also serve Prasad Bhojana which I will highly recommend

Prasad Timings: 12 pm – 2 pm & 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

7. Middle Beach

Sunset at middle beach
Sunset at Middle Beach

Middle Beach in Gokarna is on the same stretch as Gokarna Beach but a little ahead and it might also be one of my favorite beaches in all of Gokarna. There are two main reasons for that. All the other beaches in Gokarna have started to get very crowded and Middle Beach is still a little untouched. The other reason is this beach has the best sunsets. 

If you want to experience the other beaches, it’s better to stay near Kudle Beach. But if you want a crowd-free beach, then Middle Beach is a great option.

Where to eat in Middle Beach: Bhagvan Cafe, Sunset Cafe, Chez Christophe French Cafe

Where to Stay in Middle Beach: Trippr Gokarna

8. Jatayu Teertha

view from Jatayu teertha
View from Jatayu Teertha

Jatayu Teertha is another scenic spot that is also famous because of it being linked to Ramayana. Some say when Jatayu was trying to save Sita from being taken away by Ravana, he was killed and fell at the same spot. According to Hindu mythology, his wing was first cut, which landed at this spot, and he fell in a place near Varkala which is famously known as Jatayu Earth’s Centre.

This spot has some of the best views of the sea, just like the beach trek. While not many tourists know about this place, the place still has a lot of garbage.

There is no beach, but you can get closer to half-submerged rocks. The path can be a little risky, so it’s advised to not go there alone.

Jatayu Teertha falls between Gokarna Beach and Kudle Beach.

Location: Jatayu Teertha

9. Gogarbha Cave

Gogarbha Cave is still an offbeat spot in Gokarna, and not a lot of people know about it. It is also known as the Shiva Cave or Gokarna Cave and is near Kudle Beach

According to Hindu mythology, the cave is said to be where Lord Shiva came out from a cow’s ear, which is why it’s called Gogarbha.

Inside the cave, there’s a Shiva Lingam. They say that if you make a wish here, it can come true.

Location: Gogarbha Cave

10. Belekan Beach

Belekan Beach Gokarna
Belekan Beach Gokarna

If you want a quieter beach than Middle Beach, Belekan Beach is the one for you. The beach is famous because you can also start the Gokarna beach trek from here. The trek from here first leads you to Paradise Beach, Half Moon Beach, Om Beach, and to Kudle & Gokarna Beach.

While the beach doesn’t have many activities to do, you should visit the Anjaneya Temple which is situated close to the beach.

Places to eat in Belekan Beach: Om Shanti Paradise Cafe

These were some of the best places to visit in Gokarna. The next section focuses on places to visit near Gokarna, which can either be visited by a scooty or car

11. Kotiteertha(Holy pond of Gokarna)

Kotiteertha Holy pond in Gokarna

I have lost count now of how many times I’ve been to Gokarna, and it was only this time(Mar’24) that I had the chance to visit Kotiteertha. It is a holy water pond and translates to  Thousand Springs or a Crore holy water. For me, this place denotes the real Gokarna. The lanes that lead you to the pond and the houses that still show the mix of Karnataka and Maharashtra cultures are truly amazing.

The locals generally visit the holy pond and take a dip in it. Don’t forget to visit the Naga temple(Snake temple) which is on the way to Kotiteertha when you come from the Ganapati Dev temple.

Location: Kotiteertha & Naga temple

Places to visit near Gokarna(Within 100kms)

12. Yana Caves

Myseterious Yana Caves Gokarna
Yans Caves

Yana Caves are well known for their unique rock formations that took thousands of years to form naturally. The main attractions are two big limestone rocks called Bhairaveshwara Shikara and Mohini Shikara. These caves are sacred for Hindus and pilgrims visit them.

At the entrance of the cave is also a small temple which you must visit.

There is also a mythological story behind the formation of the caves. It is said that a demon king named Bamasura was given a boon by Lord Shiva, because of which he could burn anyone to ashes. He then started to misuse his powers. Lord Vishnu then transformed into Mohini, a seductress, and then made him burn himself to ashes, and thus the caves were formed.

The best time to visit the caves is during Maha Shivratri as the people around celebrate a 10-day-long festival at Yana Caves.

Cave timings: 8 am – 6 pm

Location: Yana Caves

Distance from Gokarna: 57 km

13. Vibhoothi Falls

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Vibhoothi Falls is a beautiful waterfall located 45 km away from Gokarna. The waterfall is nestled inside the forest, and one needs to walk a few 100 meters from parking to reach the waterfall. The waterfall cascades down from a height of 25 feet and is a beautiful sight to watch. 

Don’t forget to pack your swimming gear as you can take a refreshing dip in this waterfall. For people who don’t know how to swim and want to get under the waterfalls, you’ll find a local providing life jackets at a very minimal cost. 

While there are spots to jump into the waterfall, it can be dangerous. Thus I advise you to be cautious.

Timings: 8 am -5:30 pm

Location: Vibhoothi Falls

Parking Fees: ₹10

Distance from Gokarna: 45 km

14. Murudeshwara Temple

Shiva statue view from Raja Gopuram
Shiva statue view from Raja Gopuram

How can a trip to Gokarna be completed without visiting the Murdeshwar Temple? Murdeshwar temple is a well-known Hindu sacred place devoted to Lord Shiva. People visit it for two main reasons:

  • It has the world’s second-largest statue of Lord Shiva, towering at 37 meters (about 121 feet).
  • The temple boasts the world’s second-largest gopuram (entrance tower), with 18 floors and a towering height of 72 meters (about 237 feet)

And this is not all. You can also climb(take a lift) to the 18th floor of the Gopuram and have an amazing panoramic view of the temple and sea. 

There are several other watersports that you can try near the temple. This has to be one of the most beautiful temples one can visit.

Murdeshwar Temple Timings: 7 a.m – 1 p.m. & 3 p.m – 8:15 p.m.

Raaja Gopura Timings: 6 a.m.  – 8:15 p.m.

Distance from Gokarna: 82 km

15. Mirjan Fort

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Mirjan Fort is an old fortress constructed in the 16th century by the Vijaynagar Empire leaders. When you go there, you can check out the strong walls, secret pathways, and tall watchtowers of the fort. 

The best time to visit is during or just after the monsoon season when the fort’s walls turn lush and green due to the overgrown grass.

This astounding fort should be on your list when you visit Gokarna.

Note: You are not allowed to take your camera inside the fort, only mobile photography allowed

Fort Timings: 8 am – 5:30 pm

Distance from Gokarna: 25km

16. Nirvana Beach

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Nirvana Beach is the most secluded beach near Gokarna. The beach is famous for its sandy shores and mesmerizing sunsets. To reach here, you can either take a ferry from Om Beach or come by road.

While there are few resorts to stay on this beach, it’s not crowded like any other beach in Gokarna. 

If you are looking for some quiet time, who knows you might find nirvana at this beach here.

Distance from Gokarna: 48 km

17. Honnavar Mangrove Walk

Sharavathi Kandla Mangrove Boardwalks
Sharavathi Kandla Mangrove Boardwalks

Honnavar Mangrove Walk, also known as Sharavathi Kandla Mangrove Boardwalks, is a popular tourist attraction known for its natural beauty and serene ambiance. Located in Honnavar, 45 km away from Gokarna, this nature walk has recently gained popularity because of Instagram.

The elevated wooden pathway takes you through the dense mangroves, providing stunning views of the surrounding river and its inhabitants. You can read more about the boardwalk here. This unique tourist spot is one of the best places near Gokarna. You can also take a boat ride here and explore the Honnavar backwaters.

Entry Fees: ₹10

Timings: 9 am – 6:30 pm

Location: Sharavathi Kandla Mangrove Boardwalk

Distance from Gokarna: 58 km

18. Apsarakonda Waterfalls

After visiting Vibhoothi Falls, I was excited to visit the Apsarakonda Waterfalls. Though it’s a very popular waterfall near Honnavar, it is very important to understand it’s a very small waterfall and should be best visited during the monsoon.

When I visited in January, it seemed more like a stream of water dropping from a height.

The waterfall has very picturesque surroundings and is popular amongst couples for their pre-wedding shoot.

Parking Fees: ₹10

Timings: 6 am – 6 pm

Location: Apsarakonda Waterfall

Distance from Gokarna: 70 km

Waterfalls to visit near Gokarns within 150kms 

19. Jog Falls

Jog Falls near Gokarna
Jog Falls near Gokarna

The majority of you would have heard about the famous Jog Falls in Karnataka. Jog Falls is situated in the Shimoga district of Karnataka and makes for a great day trip from Gokarna.

The Jog Falls is also considered to be one of the highest waterfalls in India, falling from a height of 830ft. The waterfall is formed by the River Sharavathi, which cascades down the rocky landscape in four distinct segments known as Raja, Rani, Rocket, and Roarer.

Without giving away too much about the falls, this is a must-visit for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts visiting Gokarna during monsoon.

Jog Falls Entry Fees: ₹10

Timings: 7:30 am – 9:30 pm

Location: Jog Falls

Distance from Gokarna: 117 km

20. Sathodi Falls

Sathodi Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in the Yellapur district in Karnataka. It is nestled amidst the lush green forests of the Western Ghats, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The waterfall cascades down from a height of around 50 feet.

To reach the waterfall, you have to walk a few hundred meters to reach this picturesque waterfalls. While you might see a lot of people swimming, it is not advised as it can get really dangerous because of the flow of water.

To have a real experience of how this waterfall unfolds, check this video by Not in Office.

You should also visit Shivpura Hanging Bridge, which is close to the waterfalls.

Timings: 6 am – 5 pm

Sathodi Falls Entry Fees: ₹10

Location: Sathodi Falls

Distance from Gokarna: 106 km

These were some of the most prominent tourist attractions in and around Gokarna that you must visit. But this is not all Gokarna has to offer. Let us look at some of the best activities and things to do in Gokarna.

Things to do in & around Gokarna

21. Water sports at Kudle Beach

parasailing at kudle beach
Water sports in Gokarna

As I mentioned earlier, Kudle Beach has become a great hotspot for water and adventure lovers. You can try different water sports like jet skiing, kayaking, banana rides, and parasailing. 

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping experience, you should try the water sports at Kudle Beach.

22. Dinner in Chez Christophe French Cafe

Dinner at Chez Christophe Gokarna
Chez Christophe French Cafe

Chez Christophe is one of the hidden gems of Gokarna. If you are looking for a nice ambient cafe with great music, you need to visit here.

The cafe offers chilled vibes with authentic French Cuisine, you read that right. During the evening, you can find an artist performing at the cafe and making the atmosphere more lively.  

Finding this place can be a little tricky, but it is all worth it. Do try the crème brûlée dessert as it is a specialty here. Overall they have great food and a good ambiance.

Looking to explore more places to eat in Gokarna? Read this blog 10 Most amazing cafes & restaurants in Gokarna

23. Gokarna Beach Trek

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Gokarna is famous for its beaches, but what it’s also famous for is the beach trek to reach these beautiful beaches. The trek starts from Gokarna town or Gokarna beach, covering all the other famous beaches like Kudle Beach, Om Beach, Half Moon Beach, Hell Beach, and Paradise Beach. Each of these is 20-40mins apart and offers some of the best views of the landscape Gokarna has to offer. 

Some parts of the trail are very risky and it’s advised to do it with a group.

24. Sunsets from different beaches

Sunset at Kudle Beach
Sunset at Kudle Beach

If you’re like me and love sunsets, Gokarna is not going to disappoint you. I have seen some of the most beautiful sunsets here and there’s not just one spot, there are multiple spots where you can enjoy the sunset. Here are my top spots to watch the sunset from in Gokarna:

  • Middle Beach
  • Kudle Beach
  • Jatayu Teertha
  • Small Hell & Paradise Beach

25. Dolphin Watching from Om and Kudle Beach

Apart from beaches and temples, Gokarna is also famous for spotting dolphins. One can spot the dolphins in these two ways

  1. Take a boat tour early in the morning from Om Beach, Kudle Beach, or Middle Beach
  2. While trekking, there are spots between Kudle Beach to Om Beach, and Om Beach to Half Moon Beach.

While there is no surety as to when one can see them, you can try your luck.

26. Honnavar Backwater Boating

Honnavar Backwater Boating
Honnavar Backwater boating

Did you think the backwaters only existed in Kerala? The Honnavar Backwater might not be as famous as the Alleppey Backwaters, but you can’t miss this unique experience when visiting Gokarna. 

You can directly go to Honnavar backwater boating or Contact Ramanna(9980771411) to book your Honnavar boating experience. The boating is 1 hour long and they take you around the backwaters, and mangroves and also show you the railway bridge. The best time to do this boating would either be during Sunrise or sunset.

When I visited the backwater with my friend I paid 1k for an hour-long boat ride which I found to be the true value for money.

How to reach Gokarna

Gokarna is a popular tour spot, and there are several ways to reach Gokarna depending on where you start.

If you’re traveling from Bangalore or Mumbai you can easily reach Gokarna via air, bus, or train.

The closest airport to Gokarna is the Dabolim Airport in Goa, which is 140 km away from Gokarna.

If you prefer to travel by train, Gokarna Road is the nearest railway station. 

The best time to visit Gokarna

If you want to experience the beaches of Gokarna, it’s best to visit during October and March. The weather is pleasant after the monsoon, and it’s not hot. If you want to visit Gokarna to experience some of the best waterfalls, it’s best to visit during the monsoon from June to September.

If you’re looking for fewer tourists, the months from April – June would be best but the weather would also be touching 40°

Where to Stay in Gokarna on Budget

Book your stay at these spots using these links at no extra cost.

Frequently Asked Questions about Gokarna

Q1. Which is the best month to visit Gokarna?

Ans. It depends on your preference. If you want to experience the beaches, it’s best to visit between October & March

Q2. What is the budget for Gokarna?

Ans. Gokarna is a great place if you’re looking for an affordable trip. You can explore and enjoy the town for 2-3 days with a budget of around 3000 to 5000 rupees.

Read more: Budget trip to Gokarna

Q3. How many days are enough for Gokarna?

Ans. It’s best to visit Gokarna for 3 days to cover all the amazing beaches and temples in and around Gokarna.

Q4. Is Gokarna safe for female travelers?

Gokarna is safe for female travelers, but unlike any other place, it’s best to be cautious and not go out to the beach by yourself.

If you have any other questions about Gokarna drop them below and I’ll try my best to provide you with all the answers! Let me know which place should I cover next in the comments!


    • storiesofraku

      It is going to be hot, so during the day you can’t really be outside. But I would say mornings and evening are still very pleasant. If you’re going by mid April then I would still suggest yes, but after that maybe some other spot like a hill station

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