Gokarna : A pilgrim place in Karnataka

Gokarna is a small town in Karnataka on the seashore. This town is very famous for Hindu temples and many pilgrims visit this place to have the darshan of deities in various temples located here. In addition to these temples, there are many good beaches which attracts tourists. The beaches here are very good and people who can't go to Goa can spend some time in the beaches. This article presents some details about this place.


In Sanskrit language, Gokarna is nothing but the ear of a cow. The God in Mahabaleshwar temple in this place is in the shape of an ear of a cow. That is why this name came to this place. There are many Hindu temples located in this town. The town will always have many visitors to see these temples. This town is a small place. Some good restaurants, guest houses and hotels are available for the visitors. Gokarna Beach is located very close to this town. Many foreign tourists are visiting this place to see the beaches of this town. This is a good place for temples and beaches.

There are four good beaches in this place and they are Kudlee Beach, Om Beach, Half Moon Beach and Paradise beach. There is a beach called Gokarna Beach just behind the main temple in addition to the four beaches mentioned above.

Shivaratri festival will be a special attraction in this place and more people will be visiting this place during that season. The Shivaratri will be celebrated here as a 4-day festival. During this festival, two big chariots will be pulled down the main street and a very big crowd will be here those days.

The story behind the Mahabaleshwar temple is as follows: The great King Ravana prayed Lord Shiva for Atma Linga. With his prayers, Shiva is very happy and gave him the same. Ravana started going back with this. Lord Vishnu came to know about this and asked Lord Vinayaka to see that Ravana will not take it to Lanka. On the way, as it is evening Ravana has to offer his evening prayers. He can't keep the Atmalinga on the ground. Once it is kept on the ground nobody can lift it back. So he is thinking how to manage. Meanwhile, Ganapathi came there like a small boy. Ravana asked him to hold that idol and went for his evening prayers. After a little time, the boy started shouting that he is not able to hold it and asked Ravana to come back quickly. He waited for a few minutes and kept the Linga on the ground. By the time Ravana returned back the Linga is on the floor. Ravana tried to lift it back but couldn't. So the Atma Linga which is in the shape of a Cow's ear is permanently here only.

How to reach

This place is well connected to all the places in Karnataka and the other South States by buses as well as by trains. Kumta (35 km) and Ankola (20 km) are the nearest major railway stations and many express trains will stop in one of the two railway stations here. Gokarna road is also a railway station in Konkan Railway. Taxis, autos and buses are available from railway station to go to the actual town.

There are regular bus services from Bangalore to this place and it is an overnight journey. KSRTC operates these buses and some private buses also fly from Bangalore and other parts of the State.

The nearest airport is Goa Airport. From Goa, there are trains which will come to Ankola. Buses are also available from Goa to Karwar from where buses to Gokarna are available.

What to see

  • The Mahabaleshvara Temple: It is one of the largest in the town. This temple is at the western end of the town to the beach. The Lord in this temple is Shiva.

  • The Maha Ganapati Temple: It is very near to the Shiva Temple. This temple is made as Lord Ganesha as the main God who played an important role in getting the Atma Linga from Ravana. Generally, people visit first this temple and then go to the main temple.

  • Rama Temple: It is located in between Gokarna beach and Kudle beach. This temple is having a natural water spring. The people around here say that the water spring will be always running.

  • Kudle Beach: From Gokarna beach which is just by the side of Mahabaleshwara temple a walk about 20 minutes will bring you to this beach. This beach will have many tourists during the season between November and February. There are some cafes on this beach which will serve tasty food.

  • Om Beach: A 20 minutes' walk from the Kudle beach towards the south will take us to this beach. Here many people stay for a longer time and even days to enjoy the atmosphere. Many people perform Yoga also here The shape of this beach is like that of the Hindu religious symbol "Om" and hence this name came to this place. This beach is about a kilometre from the main Gokarna town and approachable by road,

  • Half-moon Beach: From the end of the Om beach about a 20 minutes' walk is required to reach this beach. The shape of this beach is like that of a half-moon and the name has been given to this beach because of its shape only. The beach is very beautiful. During the season one or two shacks will operate. In the off season, there are no facilities to stay here. There is no power connection to this place.

  • Paradise Beach: A 20 minutes' walk from Half-moon Beach is required to reach this beach. This is the last beach of the Gokarna. It is very much isolated from the crowd. it's a very rocky beach with sand in between. Waves are very strong and it is quite dangerous to go out very far into the sea. Boats are available from Om beach to all other beaches including this beach. From Gokarna beach also boats are available.

Where to stay

Accommodation in huts or shacks are available near all the beaches. Food is also available. There are some good restaurants and hotels in the Gokarna town. Staying there and starting in the morning to see these beaches is the best way. The rates are very reasonable and not expensive. Some restaurants are available near the beaches also. One can plan their stay based on their interest and availability.

  • Nearest Railway Station: Gokarna Road
  • Nearest Bus Station: Gokarna Bus Station
  • Nearest Airport: Goa Airport


Author: Umesh24 Jan 2019 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

A nicely narrated article about the place Gokarna.

India is a big country and we have a variety of pilgrim places which are slowly picking up as tourist places as well. The domestic tourists, as well as the foreign tourists, are finding these places unique in respect of not only their geographical location but also the mythological background. Govt is also now giving emphasis for civic development of these places and mulling about creating a good infrastructure around such places as these can be good revenue earners not only for the local people but other tourist ventures also.

I was not well informed about this place, though faintly had read about it. This article has given an in-depth coverage of the place.

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: