Gokarna is the perfect place for those weekend chilling scenes. This place provides you with a tranquil environment, allowing you to introspect by giving you your me-time. With its several beaches and spellbinding panorama, you are bound to be impressed with this modest city.
Since this is a less popular destination in comparison to other beachside places like Goa, Pondicherry, etc., there are a few things you should keep in mind while visiting this beautiful place.
How to Reach Gokarna
As Gokarna is located a few hours away from both Goa and Bangalore, there are multiple transport facilities available.
A lot of state buses and private buses go from Bangalore, Goa, Mangalore and other cities of Karnataka. But while a bus is a cheaper option, the road from Bangalore to Gokarna is not so comfortable. There are a lot of twists and turns so, we were kept awake the whole night.
So, if you have an option, take your private transport. Otherwise, anyway, you will find a lot of direct buses to this place. You can check out buses at Paytm as well. From the bus stop, you can take an auto to the Om/Kudle beach which would cost you around 200 INR.
If you have time, you can also opt to take a direct train to Gokarna Road Railway station. This station is connected via several major cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Mangalore, etc.
From the railway station, you will need to take an auto as it is 21 km away from the beaches. Also, the autos will charge you a lot.
If you are coming from far off places, the best option would be to take a flight to Goa. Then, take a bus or taxi from there to Gokarna.
Accommodation in Gokarna
Our recommendation: Stay in a Shack
Now, this completely depends on you and your budget really. This place offers you with more than enough options for staying both on the beaches and the town itself.
Leisure travelers: Namastey Café (Om Beach), Om Beach Resort, Gokarna International Beach Resort (Kudle Beach), etc.
If you are looking for some super clean and comfortable places to stay, I would suggest that you go to resorts. Most of which you can book online or have an option of pre-booking to beat the high-season crowds.
Just an advice, resorts won’t cost you cheap so if you are on a budget travel, better to avoid them. Some of the nice resorts here which you can go for are Namastey Café (Om Beach), Om Beach Resort, Gokarna International Beach Resort (Kudle Beach), etc.
Budget travelers: Dolphin Café on Om Beach (400-500 INR)
But if you are a budget traveler and you don’t mind a little sand filled rooms, then I would suggest you stay in a shack on the beaches. There are multiple options available costing you not more than 400-500 INR per room.
You don’t need to make an advanced booking for these, just take your lazy ass to the beach and take your pick.
Note: Make sure that you get all the information before deciding on a room. Some places might take advantage of you not being a Kannada and may give you wrong information later.
They might say that you have to be inside the room by 10 p.m. and that they don’t give rooms to non-Kannada people. Can you believe that our room owners locked us outside since we didn’t return at 10 p.m.? So make sure you sort all this out before taking up a room.
Food Options in Gokarna
Our Recommendations: Ice Nutella on Kudle Beach, Nutella Pancakes and Mushroom Cheese Omelette on Om Beach
To be honest, Gokarna is filled with eateries and really you should try as many places as you can. Just know that food might be a little expensive here costing you around 200-300 INR per person per meal. But, most of the restaurants on the beaches are really awesome and deliver you with amazing food which is totally worth the high cost.
We particularly loved our meals in Namastey Café especially their Special breakfast combo and Nutella pancakes which were not only delicious but fulfilling too.
A special mention to the Ice Nutella which you would find on the Kudle beach in a restaurant which lies exactly in the middle of the Kudle Beach. Unfortunately, I don’t remember and curse myself every time I reminisce about that Ice Nutella. (Do tell me if you know the name of the place I am talking about and no it’s not Rock Namastey Cafe).
Places To Visit in Gokarna
Sunset on Kudle Beach, Night Gazing at Om Beach.
If you are short on time like we were, I would suggest you stick to Om beach and Kudle beach. These beaches will provide you with ample opportunities to just relax and have fun. Sitting by the Om beach under the big trees was one of the highlights of our trip.
We got to notice a lot of people around us while eating pineapple pieces, which were being sold here for 60 INR.
Om beach and Kudle beach are just 2km apart and you can easily walk to this place. So, don’t take an auto which would quote you a price of 150 INR.
The best place to witness the sunset would be Kudle Beach. This is because as the sun starts setting by the Kudle cliff, you see a lot of boats on the sea against the orange sky. The whole view is so picturesque and would definitely leave you speechless.
While Kudle beach is famous for its sunset, Om beach is a must for all that night gazing fans out there. It is really a very magical moment when the moon is climbing up in the sky beside the innumerable stars while the sea waves are gently breaking over the seashore. Please do not miss this amazing experience.
There are many other places you could visit if you have the chance like the Half Moon Beach or the Gokarna beach.
Gokarna is famous for a lot of temples too. So, you can check out the Mahabaleshwara Temple, Koti Tirtha, etc.
Things to Carry in Gokarna
Carry Cash, Don’t Rely on Cards.
First and foremost, make sure that you carry an adequate amount of cash with you. It doesn’t matter if it is a last minute plan or a pre-decided plan.
Your first step should be to go to the nearest ATM center and take out as much money as you can. Obviously, this depends on how long you are planning to stay in Gokarna.
Gokarna is a small town in Karnataka and not much commercialized, so there aren’t many ATMs here. You will find around 4-5 ATMs in the town section but, none near the beaches.
Moreover, most of the shacks, resorts, and restaurants don’t have debit card machines so, you need to pay in cash only. So load yourself with a lot of cash while visiting this place otherwise, you might run into a lot of troubles.