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What to Do in Gokarna

Gokarna is a small temple town located in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. Known for its pristine beaches and rich Hindu temples, it has become an attractive tourist destination in recent years. If you’re planning a trip to Gokarna, here is a complete travel guide on what you can do there.

Relax at the Beaches

Gokarna’s beaches are the biggest attraction, especially for those who want to relax and unwind. The two most popular beaches are Gokarna Beach and Kudle Beach.

What to Do in Gokarna

Gokarna Beach is shaped like a giant ‘C’ and meets the town while Kudle Beach is much longer with golden sands. You can swim, sunbathe, try water sports, take long walks or just sit back and enjoy the views. Both beaches can get crowded in peak seasons.

Om Beach has a unique shape that resembles the Hindu spiritual symbol ‘Om’. It has soft-hued sands and is surrounded by hills on three sides. It offers scenic landscapes perfect for photography.

Half Moon Beach and Paradise Beach take some effort to reach but offer pristine environs away from crowds.

Visit Temples

Gokarna gets its name from a popular Shiva temple - the Mahabaleshwara Temple - which houses a natural stone shaped like an Atma Linga. This 1500-year-old temple should be on the must-visit list of every tourist.

Other prominent temples are the Mahamaya Temple dedicated to the goddess Shakti and Tamra Gowri Temple which has connections to the famous Saraswati temple in Jammu & Kashmir.

Outdoor Activities

If you love the outdoors, Gokarna offers plenty of options beyond the beaches:

  • Trekking - For breathtaking views, you can trek up to Kudle or Half Moon beaches. More intense treks go up to Mirjan Fort and Paradise Beach.

  • Water Sports - Banana boat rides, jet skiing, surfing, paddle boarding, scuba diving, snorkeling etc are available.

  • Yoga & Spas - Many wellness resorts and ashrams offer yoga along with Ayurvedic massages and treatments.


Gokarna town has a bazaar lane full of shops selling jewelry, clothes, religious items and souvenirs. This is the place to buy traditional crafts and handicrafts unique to the region. You can also shop for locally-made essential oils and Ayurvedic products.

The beaches have shacks selling beachwear, hats and bags with traditional designs. Roadside stalls sell small knick-knacks and snacks.

Where to Stay

Gokarna has accommodation options suiting all budgets - from basic lodges to 3-star hotels. Most hotels are clustered around Gokarna Beach.

You can also choose to stay at beach shacks for a laidback experience. Kudle, Om and Half Moon beaches have such beach hut properties right on the sands.

How to Reach

By Air - Dabolim Airport in Goa is the nearest airport, about 140 km from Gokarna. Cabs are available.

By Train - The nearest railhead is Gokarna Road Station, 14 km away. Buses and taxis ply to Gokarna town.

By Bus - Daily buses connect Gokarna to major cities like Goa, Bengaluru, Mangaluru and Pune. Karnataka State Road Transport has regular bus services.


So if you love beaches, nature, adventure or history - Gokarna has something for every kind of traveler! With this handy travel guide, you can now make the most of your visit to this beach paradise.


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