Gokarna – A Combination of Spirituality and Beauty

Gokarna – A Combination of Spirituality and Beauty

Gokarna is a small temple town on the west coast of India’s south-western state of Karnataka. The numerous temples at Gokarna attract Hindu pilgrims throughout the year.

 

The place is also well-known as a ‘Mukti Sthala’ (the place of deliverance), where Hindus perform funeral rites.

 

Scenic Gokarna, bounded by the majestic Western Ghats in the east and the Arabian Sea in the west, is resplendent with five sandy white beaches that rival those of Goa in their pristine beauty.

 

Gokarna in Sanskrit means cow’s ear. It has gained that name because of the shape of the confluence of Gangavali and Agnashini rivers at the town resembling that of a cow’s ear.

 

How to Reach Gokarna

 

  • The nearest airport at Dabolim in Goa is at about 140km from Gokarna. Dabolim airport provides Gokarna the air connectivity to all major Indian and international cities.
  • The nearest railway station at Ankola in Maharashtra is located at about 20km from Gokarna. Frequent train services are available from Ankola to major Indian cities, including Mumbai, Mangalore and Thruvananthapuram.
  • Ordinary and luxury buses, private as well as state transport services operated, ply regularly between Gokarna and other cities of Karnataka

 

 

Places to Visit

 

  • Mahabaleshvara Temple – It is one of the largest temples in the town. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is the main place of pilgrimage for the Hindus (especially the ‘Shaivaites’ or the devotees of Shiva). The ‘Shiva Linga’ (the symbol representing the deity) worshiped there is believed to be one of the few original ones available in the whole of India.
  • Maha Ganapati Temple– Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, this temple is located at just a few meters away from the Shiva Temple.

 

 

Places and Activities of Interest for European Travellers

 

  • Koti Tirtha- This artificial water tank, regarded as holy by the locals, is used for ritual bathing. The tank and its surroundings make you experience a queer old-world feeling that will make your trip worth it.
  • Beaches – The five beaches (Gokarna, Kudle, Om, Half-moon and Paradise) at Gokarna hold special interest to European visitors as they are more secluded and less crowded.

While Gokarna beach is popular with the pilgrims, the tourists mostly throng to Kudle and Om beaches. The Yoga School at Kudle offers yoga classes from November till March.

The Half Moon beach, resembling the shape of a half moon, can be reached within a twenty-minute walk from Om beach after maneuvering a small hillock.

The Paradise beach is a beautiful and secluded place. Hence it has earned its name. This rocky beach is not ideal for swimming as the furious waves from the sea lash violently on the rocky shores.

  • Shiva Ratri Festival – The ‘Mahashivratri’ festival is celebrated with great fanfare at the Shiva temple in Gokarna. Usually this festival falls during the month of February. The festival is not advisable to those who are averse to huge crowds.

 

Food and Lodging

 

Gokarna has several mid-range hotels and beach resorts that provide modern amenities, but you may not find lavish food options there.

The restaurants are simple enough but serve scrumptious meals, especially the all-inclusive vegetarian ‘thali’ dishes.

 

Best Time to Visit

 

The moderately cool winter months between October and February are best suited Gokarna visit. It is the ideal period to bask in the sunny and sandy beaches of Gokarna.

The colourful Mahashivratri festival is celebrated with great fanfare usually during the month of February.

Hope the above information will help the travelling worth enjoying .

 


 

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