Gokarna Tourism

Gokarna is renowned for the pristine beaches.  Gokarna is located in the Uttara Kannada District on the Western Coast of Kumta Taluk, Karnataka and this is a small temple town.  Gokarna Om Beach is a popular beach.  This place is a holiday destination with temples and beaches.

How To Reach

Om Beach in Gokarna’s distance from Bangalore is 517 kilometers via NH48.  The duration of the trip to Gokarna is 8 hours and 35 minutes by road.  Gokarna to Om Beach is 7 km via Om Beach Road.  Perfect for those who like long drives and road trip adventure to have a holiday vacation.

Gokarna Om Beach View

Buses are available to Gokarna from Bangalore.  From Gokarna, one should hire Auto or Car Taxi to reach the beaches.

Several trains ply from Bangalore to Gokarna.

If you are looking to travel through Air, then the nearest airport is Goa International Airport known as Dabolim Airport.  The distance from this to Gokarna is 155 kms.

Also, one can plan to take a detour to Jog Falls via Shimoga Road on the way to Gokarna.  Bangalore to Jog Falls is 428 km which is 7 hours and 35 minutes ride.  Jog Falls to Gokarna is 117 km which is 2 hours and 45 minutes ride.  Jog falls is the 8th tallest waterfall in India.

Jog Falls is created by the Sharavati River and breaks into 4 and is termed as Raja, Rani, Roarer, and Rocket.  Best time to visit Jog Falls is from July to September.  October through January is okay.  During the summer, the amount of water will be very less.

Jog Falls


Ravana received the Atmalinga by Lord Shiva and instructed that it would stay forever where it is first positioned on the land.  Then, Lord Ganesha arrived in the form of a boy and positioned the Atmalinga in Gokarna while Ravana was accomplishing the evening rituals.  Once positioned, Ravana was not able to take out the Linga from the ground.  Then, in the process of removing, he took out some pieces of Linga and threw them in several directions.  Ravana then tried to remove and was not able to lift the Atmalinga from the ground and termed the Lord Shiva Atmalinga as Mahabala (who has great strength) and since then the Atmalinga was called as Mahabaleshwar.

Gokarna means (Cow’s Ear).  It is considered that Lord Shiva arose from the ear of a cow, Mother Earth, Prithvi here.  It is at the ear-shaped convergence of 2 rivers Aghanashini and Gangavali.

Gokarna Temple

Temples to Visit in Gokarna

  • Mahabaleshwar Temple
  • Uma Maheshwara Temple
  • Maha Ganapathi Temple
  • Tamra Gauri Temple
  • Bhadrakali Temple
  • Venkataramana Temple
  • Kotiteertha is the sacred pond situated at walking distance from Mahabaleshwar Temple.  This is a man-made tank used for immersing idols and ritual bathing.

Important Occasions

  • Kartika Mahotsava
  • Mahashivaratri
  • The main cultural festival of Halakki Vakkaligas is Suggi Habba

Beaches to Visit in Gokarna

Top 5 Beaches in Gokarna

Gokarna Beach

  • This is the main beach of Gokarna.  It is believed as per the spiritual traditions that pilgrims need to dip in the waters of this beach before visiting the Mahabaleshwar Temple, Lord Shiva (Atmalinga).  Swimming is not recommended in this part of the Arabian Sea as this is untidy.

Kudle Beach

  • This beach is most preferred in Gokarna.  Kudle Beach lies in the middle of the main beach of Gokarna and Om Beach.  Kudle beach has numerous Cafes, Shacks, and resorts.

Half Moon Beach

  • This small beach is in the shape of a half moon, are an isolated one and a paradise for seclusion searchers.  Half Moon Beach during the peak season also, there are not many tourists here, as there are only a couple of shacks.  This beach can be accessed on a catamaran/boat or only by trek.

Paradise Beach

  • This beach is towards the south of Half Moon beach and is the southern beach in Gokarna.  Another isolated beach and also can only be reached through trek or boat.

Om Beach


  • This is one of the favorite beaches to visit in Gokarna.  Om Beach is a beautiful beach in Gokarna.  The most famous beach which has a naturally  Om shaped appearance.  This beach has a serene atmosphere where one can spend time and relish upon watching the splendid sunrise and sunset which makes your day.   Early morning walk along the beachside rejuvenates completely and seeing the sunrise is awesome and wonderful feeling to experience.  Most of the tourists from India and foreigners often visit Om Beach and enjoy most of the time they are here.  This is a wonderful place for photography enthusiasts with the green tinge surrounding the beaches.  We can do Yoga at the beach in the early morning and Surya Namaskar.  The road to Om beach is superb to drive.

Gokarna Om Beach Road

Best time to visit the Beaches in Gokarna is from October through May.  The weather is pleasant during this time.  There is no entry fee for the beaches.

How can we forget about the seafood delicacies and other foods available in the resorts and shacks on the beach.  The resorts do have a variety and categories of food to choose from.

Water Sports in Gokarna

Numerous activities like banana boat ride, bumper boat ride, jet skiing, fishing trips, and dolphin spotting, depending on the availability of these sports.  During the monsoons, water sports will not be there.  Best time to enjoy the sports on beaches is from October through May.

Gokarna Om Beach Accommodation

There are numerous resorts for a night stay and for a longer duration at Om Beach.  Do check the reviews of them and choose the right one you prefer.

Sunrise View

Gokarna Om Beach Sunrise View

We chose to stay in Namaste Café on the Om Beach as it was opposite the beach to enjoy the splendid view.  Night stay at the Om Beach watching the star-filled sky with the pleasant weather, cool breeze to soothe in a peaceful beach environment, listening to the ocean waves is a just an amazing feeling to experience.  I wonder while reading this, you are planning a trip to visit this destination.   I would recommend staying at Namaste Café as I had a good experience staying there.

Om Beach, Gokarna Evening View


Need to be little careful while walking on the beaches.  Carry sufficient sunscreen.

Places to visit near Gokarna

  • Mirjan Fort
  • Karwar
  • Murudeshwar
  • Dandeli
  • Yana
  • Canacona
  • Goa

Thank you for reading this article.

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