Gokarna is a small town on the West Coast of India in Karnataka. It is a significant religious destination, mainly because of the Mahabaleshwar temple. Besides this temple, there are also other temples of note in this town. Earlier it was mainly devotees coming here for religious purposes, but over the last ten or twelve years, Gokarna has become an attraction for tourists. This is because of its pristine beaches, clean air, and unspoiled countryside. It has now become a destination for foreign and domestic visitors, besides the devotees.
There are a number of temples and exciting places to be seen in and around Gokarna. Listed below are some of the prominent spots –
Best Temples and Beaches in Gokarna
This is a highly revered Shiva Temple and famous because it is believed the Atma Linga that was given by Lord Shiva to Ravana is enshrined here. Ravana was tricked by Lord Ganesh and had to leave the Shivling here. This temple is also known as Dakshin Kashi.
Famous for its unique statue of Lord Shiva that rises to a height of 123 feet. It is the second tallest Shiva statue in the world. The temple Gopura is 20 stories high (249 feet). A lift has been installed inside the gopuram. From the top of the gopuram, one can see beautiful views all around.
Maha Ganpati Temple
This is near the Mahabaleshwar temple. Devotees usually visit this temple before going to the Mahabaleshwar temple. The temple is an exquisite structure of stone with intricate carvings on the walls.
Shree Venkataramana Temple
This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is also the site for Koti Teerth. Another architectural splendor, this temple has ornate pillars leading to the sanctum. Koti Teerth is a sacred kund where devotees bathe.
This unique beach is shaped like the Pranava (OM). Golden sand and a tranquil blue sea is a perfect places to relax and soak in the sun. For the adventurous-minded, speed-boating and a number of watersports activities are available here.
Paradise (Full Moon) Beach
This is accessible by boat or trek. This is a secluded beach without much activity. It is an ideal place to relax and spend some time with nature.
These are about 55 km from Gokarna. This is a small hill station in the lap of nature. The verdant forests and greenery of the Sahyadris is in full bloom here. There are two granite monoliths here that are known as Bhairaveshwar and Mohini peaks.
This is one of the most popular beaches in Gokarna. Secluded and lined with palm trees, this beach is perfect for just walking on the sands or even staying overnight in one of the huts listening to the sounds of the sea. Makeshift shacks and huts are made available by the local people.
How to Reach Gokarna
Gokarna Road railway station is about 11 km from Gokarna.
Dabolim Airport, Goa is about 144 km from Gokarna.
Distances from Gokarna
- Karwar – 60 km
- Hubli – 147 km
- Panaji (Goa) – 154 km
- Pune – 539 km
- Mumbai – 683 km