If you love the ambience of Goa and want to stay away from the crowd, Gokarna is the ideal destination for you. It is for this reason that this coastal tourist destination has flourished over the years as people have travelled for the calm and quiet that can be experienced here beside the stretches of the Arabian Sea.
Hindu mythology has some interesting stories about Gokarna and that is how the place gets its name which means cow’s ear (go-cow, karna-ear). It developed as a tourist destination which could provide an alternative to Goa and became popular among foreign tourists as well.
Things to Do and Major Attractions:
While those craving the beach find Gokarna to be an attractive destination, there is also something in store for the spiritual tourist. The Mahabaleswar Temple is located here and Lord Shiva is worshipped in this temple. Koti Temple is another major holy site in Gokarna and the temple tank is used by the devotees to bathe them. The place is, of course, famous for the calm and quiet beaches which provide the ideal destination for spending quality time.
Om Beach is the most famous among the several beaches in Gokarna. Paradise and Half Moon beaches are even more secluded and offer a peaceful retreat by the sea. The white sandy beaches of Kudie beach and Gokarna beach also pull a lot of tourists to experience a perfect beach vacation. Those who are interested in water sports can indulge in activities such as parasailing, scuba diving, jet-skiing, snorkeling, and many other fun activities. Tourists also take interest in some other locations in Gokarna such as Shiva Cave and Maha Ganapati Temple.
People and Culture:
The people here are comfortable in the Kannada language and they also speak English and Konkani. Being a tourist destination, the language will not be a barrier here and the people are known to be hospitable. The region is populated by a predominantly Hindu population.
Local Food and Popular Shopping Items:
You can treat yourself to all kinds of cuisine in the various restaurants of Gokarna but it is advised to try out local delicacies such as sea-food like Lobster, fish, shrimp, and crab. Some of the best eateries in the region are Ocean Pearl, Café Surya, Mantra Café, Dolphin View, and many others. For those who are interested in shopping, you can pick up some idols and pictures of Gods and Goddesses. The incense sticks and brass lamps that are available in Gokarna are popular among the tourists and can be found in most street stalls and markets.
Best Time to Visit:
The months from October to March are a good time to visit Gokarna due to the comfortable weather. From November to February, the tourist footfall is at an all-time high.
Availability of Accommodation Type:
For cheaper forms of accommodation, you can choose places such as Shanti Paradise and Arya Ayurvedic Panchkarna Centre. If you seek luxury and comfortable living then resorts like Kudle Beach View Resort, Sanskurti Resort, etc. will allow you a pleasant stay.