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Embark on a Pilgrimage cum Vacation at Gokarna
Exploring the coastal town of Uttara Kannada
Gokarna a small coastal town situated in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. This town is a pilgrimage centre due to the famous Mahableshwara Shiva Temple and a tourist hotspot for its beautiful beaches. The best time to visit Gokarna is during the four day Shiva Ratri festival. 

History of the Town Gokarna
The Mahableshwar Shiva Temple makes this city the central pilgrimage site for Hindus and Shivaites. The temple has been mentioned and glorified in the verses of Tamil poets like Appar and Sambandar, who have praised the Lord of Tulu Nadu in their Hymns. The place was originally under the rule of the Vijayanagara Kings, called the Kadambas and was later occupied by the Portuguese. The Shiva Linga at the Mahableshwar Temple said to have been placed there by Ravana. According to myth, Ravana obtained the Atmalinga, which made him invincible. But the devas did not want the evil king to be more powerful than they were and hence, with the help of Lord Ganesh they tricked Ravana into leaving the Linga here.
Other prominent Temples here are the Maha Ganapathi Temple, the Varadaraja Temple, the Venkataramana Temple and the Bhadrakali Temple. The town is located at the meeting point of two rivers Gangavali and Aganashini, where they form a shape that is similar to a cow’s ear, hence the name of the town is Gokarna (in local language meaning cow’s ear).

 Popular places of attraction in Gokarna
With just five beautiful beaches that could rival all the beaches of Goa, Gokarna is fast becoming a popular tourist location. As you head south along the sandy beach, the coastline begins to get calmer and also less populated.

Gokarna Beach: Located just at the edge of Gokarna town, this is town’s main beach. Pilgrims gather here when they are visiting the Mahableshwar temple.

Kudle Beach:  Located in Southern side of the Gokarna Beach is one of the most popular and developed beach named Kudle. This beautiful beach has accommodation which ranges from expensive rooms to cheap and well- designed huts with attached restaurants. It is the largest of the five beaches and crowded the most during the peak season between November and February.

Om Beach: Further along Kudle is the Om Beach. The name Om is given to this beach because of its shape which is split by an island which is rocky. You can find many cheap accommodations here in concrete or bamboo beach huts. The curve of the beach that symbolizes the word Om is the safest coastal area in Gokarna to go for a swim.

Half Moon Beach: Being a Small and less developed beach, the Half Moon Beach can be reached from Om Beach by taking a 20 minute long walk around a hillock. The beach resembles the shape of a half- moon when looked at it from an Ariel viewing point, hence its name. There are only a couple of restaurants on this beach and a very small number of well designed huts for accommodation.

Paradise Beach: The furthest beach from Gokarna Beach is Paradise Beach. It is a beautiful rocky beach that has been secluded from all restaurants, pollution and noise. By law no restaurants and lodges can be opened on this beach and police frequently visit the beach to evict the residents if any.      

Gokarna is a rare place which attracts both Pilgrims and tourists with equal ease. The magnificent temples and beautiful beaches are making Gokarna a prominent tourist destination.


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