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Gokarna - The land of Beaches and temples

Author: Siddhant Jain

I spent the last day of 2016 tripping with my friends to a small coastal town of Gokarna. Originally a temple town and an important Hindu pilgrimage centre dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is now a famous tourist destination with lovely beaches and hills. 

Gokarna is a more laid-back and less-commercialized version of Goa. It attracts a crowd for a low-key, chilled-out beach holiday and not for full-scale parties. 
I like to call it Mini - Goa.


Beach trekking is the specialty of the place. You really have to trek, and not walk, to the beaches of Gokarna. The town being situated with hills on one side and beaches on another, one has to climb and descend along the hilly rocks to go from one beach to another. There are 5 major beaches - Gokarna beach, Kudle beach, OM beach, Half Moon Beach and Paradise Beach. 

We visited the Kudle an the OM beaches which are the most popular among tourists. I was surprised to see too many foreign tourists here. They were sunbathing and enjoying their time. 

The Kudle beach have many shacks and inns while there are limited options at OM beach. OM beach is in the shape of the Hindu symbol of OM, and thus got its name.

There are a few ancient temples with great historical significance. Mahabaleshwar Temple is the most famous. Gokarna literally means "cow's ears". The town is situated at the confluence of Gangavali and Agnashini rivers and the town is thus shaped like an ear of a cow. According to a legend, Lord Shiva emerged from the cow's ears and hence the name.


Kerala Ayurvedic Massages are very popular here. Massage services are enjoyed by tourists as it gives them a soothing experience. Yoga by the beach, star gazing, water sports are other things that give the tourists an amazing experience.


A completely different experience from Goa, Gokarna offers a peaceful and exciting beach holiday.


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