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If beach is your favorite monsoon holiday destination, Gokarna in the state of Karnataka will cheer you up. Gokarna is a small coastal town by the Arabian Sea. The coastline of Gokarna comprises of more than 10 pristine beaches which are separated from the town’s populated parts by hills and cliffs. Of them, Gokarna beach, Om beach, Paradise beach and Halfmoon beach are favorites of holidaymakers. Serenity and solitude are the highlights of Gokarna beaches. Gokarna receives maximum footfalls from October to February. However, monsoon is the best time for those who love romancing waves and rains at the same time.
Om beach is the most popular haunt for beach lovers in Gokarna. Known for its resemblance to the “OM” shape, the beach has a sprawling sandy surface dotted with rocks. Om beach for its serenity is the best escape from the crazy crowds of Goa. A 6-km drive from Gokarna town, the beach receives travelers from different walks of life. Among them are hippies, foreign backpackers, Indian elders, and monks.
Gokarna was a temple town before its evolution as a seaside destination. The religious significance of the town is still evident in the large numbers of pilgrims to the Mahabaleshwar Temple here. Located near Gokarna beach, the temple is an outstanding piece of Dravidian architecture. The presiding deity of the temple is Shivlinga or Atmalinga. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the deity through a hole in the pedestal.
Gokarna beach is a big hit with pilgrims and religious tourists who visit Gokarna to worship Lord Shiva in the Mahabaleshwar Temple. It is customary for the pilgrims to take a holy dip in the waters of Gokarna beach before visiting the temple. Photographers should visit the beach to click stunning views of the Arabian Sea.
Half moon beach
Half moon beach is located on the southern end of Om beach. A narrow trail from the southern tip of Om beach leads to Half moon beach through green landscapes of the hills. It is smaller in size than the other beaches of Gokarna in Karnataka. Despite its small size, Half moon beach is popular as a hub of solitude amidst marvelous vistas of the Arabian Sea. Catching crabs on the sandy surface is one of the things to do here.
Beach hoppers must visit Gokarna for a catamaran ride. A boat ride from one beach to the other offers the most blissful moments of beach hopping in Gokarna. Some fishermen will take you on a ride over a safe distance into the Arabian Sea. Beach hopping is one of the most exciting things to do in Gokarna.
How to go to Gokarna
Gokarna is a 7-hour long drive from Bangalore International Airport and a 2-hour short drive from Goa International Airport. Gokarna is well connected to Bangalore and Goa by regular bus and train services. Foreign backpackers and tourists can easily book cheap flights to Bangalore and Goa online.
Apart from beaches, Karnataka has beautiful hill stations blessed with lush greenery and stunning waterfalls.