About Gokarna

Country: India | State: Karnataka

Ideal Trip Duration: Full Day

Nearest City to Gokarna: Hubli (165 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Gokarna: October to March

Peak Season: December to January

At a distance of 58 km from Karwar, 75 km from Murudeshwar, 21 km from Ankola, 165 km from Hubli, 163 km from Panjim, and 514 km from Bangalore, Gokarna is a small town in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. It is one of the top places to visit in Karnataka, and among the must-visit places as part of Goa packages.

Gokarna is considered one of the famous places of pilgrimage in Karnataka. Sri Mahabaleshwar Temple which houses the Atmalinga is the must include place in Gokarna tour packages. The Atmalinga was given to Ravana by Lord Shiva himself. Ravana was stopped here for his evening prayers while going back to Lanka. He had been instructed by Lord Shiva not to keep the Atmalinga on the ground, since it would be fixed wherever it touched the ground. Atmalinga was a powerful weapon and devatas did not want Ravana to get such a powerful weapon, fearing destruction. Lord Ganesh took the avatar of a boy and offered Ravana to hold the Atmalinga during his prayer. Ganesha then kept the linga on the ground before Ravana comes back from prayer. Ravana, in extreme anger, tried to pull out the Atmalinga from the ground, breaking it in the process. These pieces then resulted in the establishment of various temples in Karnataka. Besides Mahabaleshwara temple, Maha Ganapathi Temple, Bhadrakali Temple, Varadaraja temple and Venkataramana temple are other places to visit in Gokarna.

The name of the town Gokarna is derived from two words, Go and Karna, which means cow's ear. According to mythology, Lord Shiva appeared from a cow's ear, after he was sent to Patal Lok by Lord Brahma. Some believe that the town is located at the confluence of two rivers Aganashini and Gangavali, and the place where the rivers converge forms a shape that is similar to the ear of a cow, hence the name Gokarna. Gokarna was under the rule of the Kadambas, Vijayanagara kings, and was later conquered by the Portuguese.

Apart from being a religious town, Gokarna is also known for its beaches. There are many beautiful beaches located close by, which have small shacks serving as accommodation along with many small shops and modern eateries. The Om Beach, Kudle Beach, Gokarna Beach, Half Moon Beach and Paradise Beach are the five main beaches here. Gokarna Beach is the town's main beach and pilgrims gather here when they visit the Mahabaleshwar Temple. Kudle Beach is the largest of the five beaches and it is crowded during the peak season from November to February. Among the beaches in Gokarna, the Om beach is extremely popular among surfers. The beach gets its name due to the natural formation of the holy Om symbol.

Gokarna is considered to be the Mukti Stala, where Hindus perform funeral rites. Devotees visit the Gokarna temple in large numbers during Mahashivratri and Kartika Purnima festivals. The entire town is decorated during the four days of the Mahashivratri festival and the temple deity is taken out in a procession.

The best time to visit Gokarna is from October to March. It usually takes one full day to visit Gokarna.

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Other Info
Internet Availability: Poor
STD Code: 08386
Languages Spoken: Kannada, Hindi, English
Major Festivals: Mahashivratri (February / March),
Kartika mahotsava (November)
Notes/Tips:
Foreigners and non-Hindus are not allowed inside Gokarna temples.

How to Reach Gokarna

By Air

Nearest Airport: Vasco Da Gama - Dabolim Airport (154 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Gokarna Road Railway Station (9 Kms)
Karwar Railway Station (58 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Gokarna Bus Station (0 Kms)

Top 10 Places to Visit in Gokarna

Pilgrimage

#1 of 9 Places to Visit in Gokarna

At a distance of 500 m from Gokarna Bus Station, Sri Mahabaleshwar Temple is a sacred Hindu temple situated in Gokarna, Karnataka. It is one of the important places of pilgrimage in South India, and among the must include places in Gokarna Tour Packages.

The Mahabaleshwar Temple in Gokarna enshrines the Aatmalinga or Pranalinga of Lord Shiva. This is one of the best places to visit in Gokarna. This temple is regarded second only to the Kashi Vishwanatha Temple in Varanasi and is often called the Dakshina Kashi. The temple is said to be one of the seven sacred Muktikshetras and is visited by Hindus to perform the death rites for their ancestors.

According to the legend, Ravana performed a severe penance to Lord Shiva to possess his powerful Atmalinga. Pleased by his penance, Shiva gives him the Atmalinga. .....

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Beach

#2 of 9 Places to Visit in Gokarna

At a distance of 6 km from Gokarna Bus Station, Om Beach is a pristine beach situated in Gokarna. Along the Arabian Sea coast, it is one of the most famous Karnataka beaches, and among the must visit Gokarna tourist places.

Om Beach is the most famous beach in Gokarna. It is shaped as two semi crescents joined together forming the shape of Om (Hindu religious symbol) hence the name Om Beach. Om Beach is further along the coast from Kudle Beach. The curve of the symbol forms a pool which can be a safe bathing area for even non-swimmers.

Blessed with tropical weather, the area has plenty of palm trees dotting its coastline. Its azure waters are ideal for an exciting dolphin spotting trip. Om Beach is the center for several water sport activities such as boating, surfing, water-skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides, which will surely spike your adrenaline .....

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Beach

#3 of 9 Places to Visit in Gokarna

At a distance of 800 meters from Gokarna Bus Station and 300 meters from Sri Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna Beach is also known as Main Beach and is also known as Indian Beach. Gokarna Beach is the closest beach to Gokarna town.

It is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Gokarna. This beach is mainly used by Indian pilgrims because it is located right behind the Mahabaleshwar Temple. As per the religious customs, pilgrims usually visit the temple after a dip in the waters of this beach (not mandatory though).

It is a long open beach and also known for surfing. Tourists can enjoy the view of the rocky mountains on one side and Arabian Sea on the other, while reaching Gokarna Beach. The Gangavalli river meets the sea near the beach. This part of the Arabian Sea is little aggressive and swimming here is not recommended.

The beach may not look very pretty due to a lot of litter, but this beach is famous for sunset. .....

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Adventure | Nature

#4 of 9 Places to Visit in Gokarna

At a distance of 24 km from Benne Hole Falls, 30 km from Kumta, 55 km from Sirsi, 86 km from Karwar, and 103 km from Jog Falls, Yana is a village in Uttar Kannada district in Karnataka. It is well known for the unique rock formations in the Western Ghats.

places to visit in Jog Falls, Yana is famous for two massive rock formations known as the Bhairaveshwara Shikhara and the Mohini Shikhara. The huge rocks are composed of solid black, crystalline Karst limestone. Bhairaveshwara Shikhara is 120 m (390 feet) in height, while the Mohini Shikhara, which is smaller, is 90 m (300 feet) in height. A cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is found at the base of the Bhairaveshwara Shikhara. Water drips from the projecting rocks over the Shiva lingam, and people call this water Gangodbhava. The idol of Goddess Parvathi is found at the base of the Mohini Shikhara. .....

Distance (From Gokarna): 51 Kms
Trip Duration (From Gokarna - Including Travel): Half Day to Full Day
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Waterfall

#5 of 9 Places to Visit in Gokarna

At a distance of 36 km from Sirsi, and 54 km from Jog Falls, Unchalli Falls is a magnificent waterfall situated at Heggarni in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. It is one of the best waterfalls in Karnataka, and among the must include places in Jog Falls Tour Packages.

Also known as Lushington Falls, Unchalli Falls is created by a 116 m drop in the Aghanashini River. The Aghanashini River here takes a deep plunge to create this spectacular waterfall. The waterfall is named after J.D. Lushington, a district collector of the British empire who discovered it in 1845. This waterfall is also known as Keppa Joga because of the deafening sound it makes. It is one fof the top places to visit in Jog Falls.

Heggarne is the nearest village to Unchalli Falls, which is about 5 km away and the last 2 .....

Distance (From Gokarna): 98 Kms
Trip Duration (From Gokarna - Including Travel): Half Day to Full Day
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Heritage

#6 of 9 Places to Visit in Gokarna

At a distance of 11 km from Kumta, 22 km from Gokarna, 31 km from Honavar, 59 km from Karwar and 56 km from Murudeshwar, Mirjan Fort is a beautiful fort located in the village of Mirjan near Gokarna. It is one of the most popular heritage places to visit in Gokarna.

Located on the banks of the Aganashini River, a tributary of Sharavathi River, the Mirjan Fort is known for its architectural elegance, and is one of the must include places in Gokarna Tour Packages. Built over an area of about 10 acres, the fort is approached through a series of wide steps that lead to the interiors of the fort. It is a double-walled fort built using laterite stones and has high walls and bastions with high turrets. The fort has four entrances and is surrounded by a moat with interconnected wells.

Mirjan Fort has .....

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City

#7 of 9 Places to Visit in Gokarna

At a distance of 22 km from Dharwad, 57 km from Gadag, 76 km from Dandeli, 100 km from Belgaum, 102 km from Sirsi, 104 km from Badami, 147 km from Gokarna, 169 km from Karwar, 177 km from Panjim, 183 km from Shimoga, 205 km from Murudeshwar, 210 km from Ballari, 361 km from Mangalore, 406 km from Bangalore, 435 km from Mysore, and 527 km from Hyderabad, Hubli, officially known as Hubballi, is a city in the Indian state of Karnataka. Along with its twin city Dharwad, it is the second-largest city in the state after Bangalore, and among the must include places in Karnataka tour packages.

Hubli or Hubballi is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state of Karnataka. Lying on the 'Golden Quadrilateral' this multi-faceted city is also known as the cultural, educational, and music capital of the state. The city boasts numerous monuments and monasteries, that can be visited as part of Hubli tour packages. Hubli .....

Distance (From Gokarna): 147 Kms
Trip Duration (From Gokarna - Including Travel): Full Day
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Heritage

#8 of 9 Places to Visit in Gokarna

At a distance of 1 km from Pavinakurva village, 12 km from Honnavar, 48 km from Gokarna and 36 km from Murudeshwar, Basavaraja Durga Fort was an island fortress situated in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Honnavar Taluk in Uttara Kannada District of Karnataka.

The fort was constructed in 16th century during Vijayanagara rule. Shivappa Nayaka, the Keladi ruler captured the fort and gave it the name of Basavaraja Durga in memory of Keladi Prince Basavaraj. This fort is surrounded by a strong fortification raised by gigantic laterite blocks also this fort has eight ruined mounted guns. Basavaraja Durga Fort is built at a height of 50 m above sea level and the island covers a total area of 19 hectares. The inner section of the fort is almost empty and only the external part is survived today.

The top of the island is a plateau covered with dry grass and trees. The island has .....

Distance (From Gokarna): 48 Kms
Trip Duration (From Gokarna - Including Travel): 2-3 Hours
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Hill Station

#9 of 9 Places to Visit in Gokarna

At a distance of 84 km from Gokarna, 99 km from Shimoga, 100 km from Dandeli, 102 km from Hubli, 115 km from Karwar, 125 km from Murudeshwar, 196 km from Belgaum, 202 km from Panjim, 277 km from Mangalore, 376 km from Mysore, 395 km from Bangalore, and 588 km from Hyderabad, Sirsi is a small hill station located in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. It is the main commercial center and a business hub in the Malnadu region, and among the must include places in Karnataka tour packages.

Situated at an altitude of 2000 feet, Sirsi is a tourist destination that is surrounded by thick forests and towering hills. Sirsi is a place full of surprises and one can visit numerous religious spots, waterfalls, and forests replete with rich flora and fauna as part of Sirsi tour packages. In the old times, Sirsi was ruled by the Sonda Dynasty and was known by the name of Kalyanapattana. .....

Distance (From Gokarna): 84 Kms
Trip Duration (From Gokarna - Including Travel): Full Day
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Top 5 Gokarna Packages