Gokarna is a small town in Karnataka, well known for two reasons – its beaches and temples. With its pristine beaches and portrait like landscapes, It is a newly found hub for beach lovers and hippies.
The main beaches (Om and Kudle) were clean and serene, we had a fabulous time playing in the waves and relaxing in the shacks. The landscape at Om beach especially during dawn and dusk hours is a sight to watch. The beaches here are meant for a slow, relaxed holiday and everything on the beach goes at the same relaxed pace. Full of coconut and palm trees, the ocean and clean sands, Gokarna is a ‘one of its kind place’ in the country.
Here we go!!
We were three couples who started their roadtrip to Gokarna with great but wrong hopes. We hired a self drive #MahindraXUV500 and started from Pune at 7 am during the month of August.
It was a beautiful drive all till our destination specially the last 100 kms where we had to drive through a forest area in rural Karnataka. Reached Gokarna at around 7 pm just to find out that the accommodation (forgot the name) which I had pre-booked was not a place for not apt for couples. Phew! we were tired, climate was humid and we were stranded. We pulled our socks and asked many places but being a #longweekend, every place was full. Finally, we found a place, which was ONLY a little better to stay but the owner, was a manner less, arrogant lad. We had no option but to pay a premium for a average stay.
Caution: If you are a Gokarna fan, please do not read further… Here I am going to describe Gokarna from a, “disheartened person’s eyes.”
- It’s an overhyped beach Village – Yeah! I find many less crowded/ hyped beach towns in Maharashtra and Karnataka are way better than Gokarna. There are no roads to drive, no place to park and the locals are busy in finding ways to fool tourists and make money.
- It is not a Party place – If you have reached Gokarna with an aim to booze and dance till you drop on trance numbers. Please make a U-turn and hit Goa. Although, I do not find anything wrong in this but I read many blogs, which promote Gokarna as a party destination.
- Trek to the beach – When in Gokarna, all famous beaches are just a TREK away. Yes, one cannot just WALK to the beach you have to trek downhill. Once you reach the beach, you are surely going to enjoy the waves and some chilled beverages but guess what’s more painful? It is the TREK uphill back to your vehicle parked on the road.
- Food !! whats that bro ?? – For me road trips are better when I have my tummy full but it’s very difficult to find variety of good food in Gokarna. May be we were not lucky enough. You ask anyone for good food and you will get a unanimous answer – Namastey Café. Yes, it’s good but what if everyone end up going there! The service goes for a toss. We literally had to wait for 40 mins to get Omelets and Chai.
- Nau(9) Baj gaye kya? (is it 9 pm already) – Gokarna shuts down latest by 9 pm. Every shop shuts down at 9 pm. It’s extremely difficult for find even a general or a medical store. Carry your necessities with you always.
- Murudeshwar – This is another town about 80 KMs from Gokarna. It is famous for Magnificent lord Shiva Idol on the beach. You must have seen various pictures of this holy place but what you would have not seen is the Crowd on the beach, beneath the temple, on the approach road and until everywhere, your eyes can see on the land. Trust me there must be around 5 lakh people in this place when we visited.
Honestly, I personally did not find Gokarna worth the long drive and money. Probably, I was expecting something else than what it had to offer.
Advice: Visit Gokarna with only with pre-booked accommodation, carry some food and set your expectations right before making plan towards Gokarna.
Please please Do not plan on a long weekend.
Hope this original story would help you plan your trip better!!
Please do share your experience of Gokarna in the comment section below.