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Gokarna, a temple town in Karnataka, India is gradually growing into a favored beach destination, and rightly so. The Gokarna beaches are clean, untouched, and tranquil. Om beach is the most popular one, offering water sports and plenty of shacks. On the other hand, Belekan beach is an unheard-of beach with no one but fisherman strutting around. The best way to experience these Gokarna beaches is to hike through all of them. Start just before sunrise and you should be done in 5-6 hours, depending on how much time you spend at each beach. If you're not into trekking, look at how else I spent 2 days in Gokarna.
Map of Gokarna Beaches
Our group started the trek by hiring a van to drop us to Belekan beach. It's ideal to leave your hotel/ hostel at 6 am in order to catch the sunrise at the beach. From there, we hiked to Paradise beach. After a quick rest at paradise, we went over to Half moon beach. This is where we had an amazing breakfast and took a dip in the ocean, more on that later. Next, we hiked up to the Om beach view point. This is where you get to see the "Om" shape of the beach. We descended down to Om beach, relaxed, took a dip again and ended our trek at Kudle beach. All the beaches are described in detail, below.
Belekan beach is the least visited one among all the Gokarna beaches. This is where you start your trek. Leave your accommodation at 6 am in order to catch the sunrise at Belekan. As can be seen in the picture above, there won't be another soul on the beach except for wee fisherman. Besides, this is the most beautiful beach in Gokarna, in my opinion. Spend some time here to brace yourself for the grueling hike coming your way.
From Belekan beach, it's an easy climb and a clearly marked trail to get to Paradise beach. Paradise beach is a popular tenting spot among travelers. Here you'll find groups of people who will be packing up their tents after a dreamy night under the stars, on the beach. It's imperative to mention that due to a large number of people that camp here, there's also a lot of trash which is thrown on the beach which is uncool. Responsible travel is very important. Before you leave your trash on the beach, try to picture how you would feel if you came to a beach and found it littered with plastic. In any case, paradise beach is a beautiful beach and it's even better for a night out.
The hike from paradise to half moon beach takes you though huge boulders which are picture perfect!
Half moon Beach
Among all the Gokarna beaches, I had the most fun at the half moon beach. Irrespective of what trail you follow on your Gokarna trip, I highly recommend keeping this beach on your list. There are many reasons why. Firstly, the beach is uninhabited and the only people on the beach are wandering adventurers like you. Secondly, the beach shack right the beach(I didn't note the name) serves the most delicious, generous breakfast at the lowest possible rates! My group ordered our breakfast and swam around in the waters by ourselves until breakfast was prepared. Finally, we had a hearty breakfast of eggs, toast, potato and tea/coffee. Right after that we took a group picture and set out to Om beach.
Another breathtaking hike is the one from half moon to om beach. This trail takes you through cliffs with the Arabian sea just below you! Of course, you need to be a tad bit careful and maintain steady footing but the views you get are well-worth the cautiousness! Get to the Om beach viewpoint, where you can see the "om" shape of the beach. It's also a great spot for clicking pictures. From there, climb down to om beach. Om beach is segregated into 2 sections. The part of the beach from where to trek to half moon has hip shacks, great waves and very few people. The other half of the beach, from where you climb steps to get out of the beach, onto the road is a touristy spot. This is where water sports are conducted and there are scores of people bathing, reading books and having fun.
The last beach on the Gokarna beaches trek is kudle beach. It's a tiny beach but has plentiful shacks. After you get here, you can either have lunch at one of the beach shacks or you can head back to your accommodation to freshen up first. That's it!!! You completed the 6 hour 5 beach trek!! You can spend the rest of the day chilling at the Mantra cafe at Zostel, located at the kudle beach road. It overlooks the Gokarna beach and has really cool vibes.