I end up completing Gokarna beach trek twice within the last three years. If you compare beaches in Goa to Gokarna; Goa is all about music, party and commercialisation. Whereas, beaches in Gokarna are mostly untouched and full of the tranquil beauty of nature. During both of my Gokarna beach trek, three common things happened. Firstly, I end up making some new and deep friendships. Secondly, at the end of each trek, I decided to come back again. Recommended reading: https://tearingshoes.com/loneliness/
Gokarna beach trek is a soulful journey which will fill you with heartwarming solitude even when you are in a crowd. The serene and unspoiled beauty of beaches In Gokarna will fill you with a spiritual but cool vibe.
Why should you try Gokarna beach trek once in your life?
Gokarna is a place where mountains, jungle and beaches meet each other and fell in love forever. And it will also bring out the romantic, spiritual and adventurers shades within all kinds of travellers. Gokarna is a small temple town in Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka, India. Uttara Kannada district is also filled with countless beautiful destinations like the Jog waterfalls, Yana caves, Murdeshwar Temple, Mirjan Fort and many more besides these marvellous beaches. Check out the complete list of destinations in Uttara Kanada district here: https://www.tripoto.com/places-to-visit/in-uttara-kannada. This is also one of the main reason besides its tranquil beauty why the Gokarna beach trek become famous among all type of travellers during the past few years.
Gokarna Beach (Gokarna Main Beach)
We reached Gokarna as on 29 – 10 – 2019. Auto rickshaws will drop you right into the Gokarna beach from Gokarna road railway station for rupees 200. Gokarna beach is the main beach in the city. This beach is situated right in front of the to the Mahabaleshwar temple. This temple is very famous and is believed to house the original image of Lord Shiva’s Atmalinga.
We decided to have our breakfast from a small but clean hotel right next to the Mahabaleshwar temple. The hotel looks like an extension of their house. Therefore the food was very delicious and homely.
Local people here are very religious. They use the Gokarna beach for religious purposes. Therefore the beach may look like the least attractive one when compared to all other beaches here in Gokarna. But the trail from Gokarna beach to the Kudle beach will fill your heart with amazing cliff views of the beach.
Almost all beaches in Gokarna has the western ghat hills running parallel to them. It is what make the beaches in Gokarna really magical. In Gokarna, in most cases, you have to climb down the hills to reach from one beach to another.
From Gokarna beach walk to the extreme left until you reach old temple premises. From there climb up the stairs to the hill. Up the hill, there is a well-marked trail. If you go up towards the trail the cliff view is mesmerizing. On the way, near to the entrance of Kudle beach, there is a small old temple. Locals believe that this temple is the birthplace of the mighty Hanuman.
Kudle beach- the second destination on the Gokarna beach trek
Kudle beach is around 3 K.M. away from Gokarna beach. On my previous visit, Kudle beach provided me with a lot of beautiful memories. That was in the middle of September though. The water level was very low then. This time we choose later part of October. Therefore the right side of the beach was completely under the water due to the heavy rain during the week.
But the left side of the beach is very clean and beautiful. There are plenty of shacks and cafes. The beach was filled with travellers enjoying the waves. Some sit around quietly in the cafes and enjoyed their beer. A lot of young couples were busy out there deepening their bonding. My friend Geo decides to take a bath while I decided to sit down and enjoy the amazing view.
To reach the next destination on our trek – Which is Om beach; you have to walk beside the beach from one end to another towards the left side. From their climb the stairs through the jungle which will take you to the main road. Then you have to cross the main road for 3 K. M. to reach the most famous and busiest destination. I choose to walk the road barefooted as my shoes got damaged. But walking 3 K.M. barefoot at one clock at noon wasn’t the best of the idea you can think of. One word of warning though; This marks the end of the easiest parts of the trek.
OM beach – is the busiest destination among entire Gokarna beach trekking
OM beach is segregated into two sections by the rock formation right at the middle of the beach. The part of the beach from where the trek to half-moon start has great waves and very few people. This part is mostly occupied by the solitude loving solo travellers. The other part of the beach is where most people choose to spend their time. The OM beach has got plenty of famous cafes and a sunset point.
However, we choose to walk across the beach and climb up the trail towards half-moon beach around 6 P.M. evening. At the top of the cliff, there is a point where you can clearly see the resemblances of OM beach to the Hindu Symbol OM.
To me, the real Gokarna beach trek started here. The hike gets difficult from here on. This trail takes you through the cliffs with the Arabian Sea just below you. That makes this trek most scenic among all. The beach is very tiny. Because of the nature of the trail, you won’t meet many people here. There are not many cafes either. That make half-moon the favourite destination for the solitude loving adventure travellers. This is the cleanest and beautiful destination for me. It seems like the universe was with me. When we reached the sky and the beach looked amazing with a beautiful looking rainbow forming in the background.
According to the local people, its just a matter of twenty-minute walks from the half-moon beach to the paradise beach. However, during both of my Gokarna beach trek, I lost my way and end up wandering in the jungle. This was the third factor between me and the Gokarna beach trek which I mentioned in the beginning.
Even Google can’t save you once you lost your way in the jungle and the sun is out. However, on each occasion, I end up making some good friends. This time it was three guys from Thrissur ( Nirmal, Polachan and Godwin). (On the last occasion it was Dipin, the crazy traveller from Punjab) And we some somehow managed to get out to the main road and decided to take some rest for the night. We went back near to Gokarna beach and managed to secure a clean room for ourself at the Shree Katyayani residency for an 800 rupees.
We set out early in the morning to complete our last two destinations. We choose to drive our way to Tadri Village. Tadari is a small village, 8 K.M away from Gokarna beach. After having our breakfast, we visited Belekan beach. It is the least visited remote beach in entire Gokarna. This beach is situated between Tadari and the paradise beach. As of now once you left Belekan there is no shops or cafes out there.
I have yet to come across an article on the internet which does mention the trail we choose to reach the paradise beach. Most people choose to trek from OM beach to reach here. For us too it was a forced choice. But honestly, if you want to get the real taste of Gokarna beach trek; go on and choose this root.
This trail is the most difficult and the most adventurous in the entire trail. This trail literally represents the saying – the path to heaven (paradise) will get narrow and difficult as you reach the destination.
Paradise beach is the most popular camping spot among travellers.70 per cent of the beach is covered in rocks. There won’t be anyone else but some rare adventurous travellers like you here. The waves here are very strong. So just be safe and don’t be overconfident.
Some important endnotes on Gokarna beach trek
Gokarna beach trek is one of a kind and fulfilling experience which you shouldn’t miss at any cost. There is no definite rule as to where you should start or end it.
I have done it twice at very different weather condition. The situation of the beaches will vary according to weather conditions. OM and Kudle beach are the best places to plan your stays. There won’t be many facilities available at the rest of the beaches.
Don’t depend on Google search or google map much. Most of the writers don’t consider the varying conditions. Try to book your stays as early as possible. Always better to wear a chappel with good grip. The list of beaches in Gokarna does not end here. There are many untouched beautiful beaches like small hell and Alvekodi. Most of them can be only reached by boats.
Gokana is about 232 K.M from Mangalore and 483 K.M from Bengaluru. The nearest airport is Dabolim in Goa. Click here to know how to reach Gokarna by train. Just go out and enjoy the serene experience. Happy Journey.