Gokarna is a small pilgrimage town on the coast in the Karnataka state of India. It’s a conservative Hindu pilgrimage town, home to several temples and festivals. The town is full of locals and pilgrims, and doesn’t have much in the way of facilities for tourists, other than a handful of guesthouses and local restaurants.
The town is mostly centered around the KSRTC bus stand. About a kilometre from the bus-stand, the Gokarna beach starts, forming the coast of the town. As you trudge along the narrow lanes of the town towards the beach (the lane is named ‘Samudra Marg’), you will come across houses of priests where some religious talk will be going on or people invoking the Holy Lord with chants.
Most foreign tourists come to stay on one of the 4 beaches just south of town. Kudlee Beach is the first, about a 20-minute walk, followed by Om Beach, Half Moon Beach and the secluded Paradise Beach – the beaches get more remote and less populated as you head south.
Most popular time to visit Gokarna is during the 4-day Shiva Ratri festival, when 2 giant chariots are pulled down the main street and up to 20,000 pilgrims descend on the town.
How to reach Gokarna by Air
Travelers who are coming to Gokarna will find the nearest airport in Dabolim in Goa. This airport is around 140 kilometers away from Gokarna and you can hire a taxi to reach the destination. This airport is well linked with both domestic as well as international cities in UK and Germany also.
How to reach Gokarna by Rail
Gokarna has its own rail link which is well connected with Margao. But not every train stops here. If you are coming to Gokarna via railways then the nearest railway station is located in Ankola which is about 20 kilometers away from the region. You can take a taxi or a bus to reach the final destination from outside the railway station.
How to reach Gokarna by Road
KSRTC ply its frequent bus service in the region. There are plenty of buses which connect Gokarna to major and minor cities in the country which will make how to reach Gokarana easy for the travelers. Various destinations such as Madgaon (125 km), Mangalore (225 km), Dabolim (140 km) and Bangalore (475 km) are all well linked to Gokarna by KSRTC buses.
To make your trip more memorable, consider staying at Shri Sai Mata Residency, located just a few minutes away from the national park. It offers spacious and well-equipped rooms with a host of modern amenities like Wi-Fi, 24×7 service and security, an in-house restaurant etc.