How to Spend 2 Days in Gokarna

Gokarna food

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How to Reach Gokarna

Bangalore to Gokarna

There are regular buses on this route. Bangalore to Gokarna takes roughly 9 hours by road. Book an overnight bus on a Friday and you'll be dropped off on the main Gokarna bus stand on Saturday morning. Bus fares start from Rs 750. I don't suggest travelling by train because they usually take much longer than travelling by bus.

Goa to Gokarna

There are different options for this route. You can catch one of the many KSRTC buses between Goa and Gokarna. The fares are super cheap and the buses are regular. The major stops between the 2 cities are Karwar and Ankola. You can catch a bus to one of these cities and then take a bus to Gokarna from there. Fares are from Rs 25 to Rs 70, depending on the route.

Gokarna

Gokarna is a tiny temple town located on the coast of Karnataka. While this often leads people to believe that it's a small town filled with nothing but temples, priests and pilgrims seeking peace, they couldn't be more wrong. Well, technically, they would be right but there's a lot more to this place than just the temples. Gokarna, infact, is a popular hippie destination famous for it's beaches. Two of the most popular Gokarna beaches are Om beach and Kudle beach. Unknown to regular tourists, there are a bunch of hidden beaches which are accessible only to those who seek adventure. This is exactly what I was looking for when I set out to Gokarna for 2 days on a weekend.

Where to Stay in Gokarna

Gokarna Zostel

Okay so here's the thing about places to stay in Gokarna. Most people go for the Gokarna beach resorts immediately. Book such resorts if you're travelling with your family or in a large group. However, if you're a young couple, a solo traveller or a bunch of friends out to explore, the Gokarna Zostel is your best friend. They have dorm rooms, private cottages, a cafe overlooking the Gokarna beach and a funky common room (see image above). They also organize tours and walks at super affordable prices. Plus, you'll meet really interesting people there!

Find hotels in Gokarna on Booking.com

Watch the Sunset

Gokarna Sunset

It's a no-brainer that we've all seen sunsets, and some truly magnificent ones too. One of the most serene sunsets I've ever experienced was at Gokarna. Maybe it was because it was my first solo trip, or because I managed to meet a bunch of truly amazing people. Whatever the reason may be, sitting on a cliff by myself, with gentle winds playing with the stands of my hair and an endless ocean ahead of me, I witnessed a magical moment that lasted a while. The spot where I watched the sun go down is located off the kudle road, on the right hand side of the road, when you're facing the kudle beach. Look for a makeshift playing ground where some youngsters are playing cricket, opposite to the kudle beach parking lot. Go towards the cliff that you see farther from the ground.

Explore the Town and Visit the Gokarna Temple

Gokarna temple town

Given that the Gokarna temples are a major attraction, it would be a sin to not visit them! Just kidding, I didn't visit the temples on my Gokarna trip either. But you mustn't skip out on exploring the charming old town. As you walk down the narrow lanes with houses packed closely on both sides, you'll find some commonality among all the houses. Almost every house has a white rangoli - a pattern drawn outside the house and a diya lighting up the outside. I would recommend walking around the town right after the sunset. The heat can be unbearable during the day. Besides, watching the diya filled lanes and the priests performing evening rituals is enlightening. Pun intended.

Gokarna Beach Trek

Gokarna Beach Trek

Although Om beach and Kudle beach are the most popular beaches in Gokarna, there are 3 other not-so-famous Gokarna beaches that are relatively unexplored. These beaches are Belekal beach, Paradise beach and Half moon beach. While most treks start from Om, take you to Half moon and Paradise beach, they require you to trek back to Om beach. A better alternative is to get to Belekal beach by an autorikshaw (tuk-tuk), trek to Paradise beach, Half moon beach and finally Om beach. This is the route that my gang followed. It look us 6 hours, But we took it easy, bathed in the sea and had a humongous breakfast at half moon beach!

Start the day early at 6 am so that you can catch the sunrise at Belekan beach!

Explore the Gokarna Food Scene

Gokarna food

After you're exhausted from the early morning-afternoon beach trek, take some time to chill and explore the food scene. Zostel's in-house Mantra cafe overlooks the Gokarna beach, as shown in the picture. I would come back just for that view! Kudle beach has a bunch of shacks serving decent food which you can enjoy while watching the waves. Namaste cafe at Om beach is another popular albeit over-hyped spot. Personally, I think you can find hip shacks serving better food at lower rates at Om beach. Find a shack, sip a healthy juice and rejuvenate before you head back to your city after a break.

Best time to Visit Gokarna

Gokarna Trip

Anytime is a good time for Gokarna! Just avoid the monsoon season from June to August. You won't be able to enjoy the beaches and treks during this time. Also, if you can't bear the summer heat, then I don't suggest visiting Gokarna in May either. October to April is the best time to plan your trip to Gokarna. While there aren't many Gokarna attractions, beaches, treks, temples and a hammock will be your best friends during your short vacay in Gokarna!

If you like reading itineraries, I suggest reading 2 days in Hampi and 3 weeks in Rajasthan.

13 Replies to “How to Spend 2 Days in Gokarna”

  1. Great info! I love the look of your recommended accommodation. Love finding funky hostels that offer private rooms!

    1. Thank you Kristi ! I love funky hostels too 🙂 They’re great for meeting fun people!

  2. […] 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. […]

  3. Love the Insta shot you included. We think it’s nice and not awkward at all! Be confident and no one will know the difference 🙂

    1. That’s sweet of you! I’ll keep the advice in mind. Thank you 🙂

  4. Loved all the pics… great information… 🙂

  5. […] Read MoreIf you want to know more about Gokarna, where I traveled solo for the first time, take a look at my article How to Spend 2 Days in Gokarna […]

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