Be warned, Gokarna is an eldorado for the police officers, who want to fulfil their bank accounts and whose main occupation is to hunt the smoker. Think of that : it's 20000 rps for a spliff.
65km form Gokarna. Second highest waterfall in India. Drop of 253m. Used for hydro electricity and can generate 6.7MW. Major tourist attraction.
This is near the town, but quite dirty (including sewage!)
This has been over developed, its simple atmosphere now ruined. Backpackers are no longer the preferred clientele on this beach, having caused many problems for the locals over the years with drugs, parties, theft, noise and and unwillingness to pay for much of anything.
Occupied mostly by Indians. Clean.
Half Moon Beach
Less developed than Om Beach.
Buildings have been destroyed by the Forest Department. Visited by police who extract large bribes for anyone smoking charas (pot).
Things to Do
Beach Trail Trek
You can trek all 5 beaches and back in 6-7 hours if you are reasonably fit. Try to start early morning.
At Gokarna Beach
Mostly at Kudle Beach
Possible at Kudle and Om Beaches (clean) but check locally for strong currents.
Mahabaleshwar Temple is an important Hindu religious pilgrimage centre in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. A Shiva Linga, popularly known as the Atmalinga is worshipped in this temple. This temple is considered as holy as the Shiva Temple in Varanasi and Kashi. The deity, 1500 years old carved stone image of Lord Shiva in the standing position, is also worshipped here. Shivarathri is the main festival celebrated here and tourists from all over the world visit the temple on this auspicious occasion.
It is dedicated to Shiva, and a 20-storied gopura (=entrance) is constructed at the temple. The temple authorities have installed a lift that provides a breath-taking view of the 123-feet Shiva idol from the top of the Raja gopura. A huge towering statue of Lord Shiva, visible from great distances, is present in the temple complex. It is the second highest statue of Lord Shiva in the world at 37m high and costing Rs 50 million.
Maha Ganapati Temple
Maha Ganapati Temple is located just a few metres away from Mahabaleshwar Temple. This temple was built in honour of Lord Ganesha, who succeeded in taking the Atmalinga away from Ravana. As per legend, tourists need to first visit this temple before heading towards Mahabaleshwar Temple.
Bhadrakali Temple is situated at a distance of 1 km from Gokarna, which was built to honour Goddess Uma, the wife of Lord Shiva.
Shiva's birthday is celebrated here with great fanfare (As in many places in India). Each year a team builds up two great temple chariots which is used during the Shiva Ratri festival.
The two great temple chariots lead a procession through the town's narrow streets, while priests and pilgrims chant hymns in praise of Shiva. More than a hundred people are needed to pull the chariots with thick ropes while priests conduct religious ceremonies inside. During the four day Shiva Ratri festival the small town of Gokarna is visited by up to 20,000 pilgrims.
Goa airport (150km)
Gokarna is accessible by train from the stations Karwar, Ankola, Kumta, Mangalore and Madgaon (also called Margao). Gokarna Road (GOK) is the nearest station 8km from Gokarna town, which one can get to by taxi or auto or bus.
Bangalore is a 12 hour bus journey, although with poor drivers. Bus connections to Hampi.
Summer: Gokarna witness its summer season from the month of March to May which experiences temperature that varies between 18 °C and 40 °C. Gokarna has a semi tropical moderate climate which is easily bearable by travelers.
Monsoon: Monsoon commences from June and lasts till August which usually accompanies heavy rainfalls that make it difficult for travelers to move around the beaches. This season is considered as dangerous for swimming. So it is better to avoid visiting the town in monsoons.
Winter: Winter starts from the month of November and lasts till January in this town. This place has a temperature varying from 14 °C to 32 °C. Winters are considered as perfect weather for visitors who are planning to visit the town.