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Introducing Gokarna

Best time to visit : October-March
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Gokarna, a temple town in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka state is well known for its historical attractions and religious edifices. Though it is predominantly a pilgrimage destination, Gokarna is also famous for its spectacular beaches and leisure activities. Popular among hippies, Gokarna turns into an entertainment hub with drum beats, guitars and hammocks along the beaches during evenings.

Facts

Gokarna is named so as it is located at the ear-shaped confluence of two rivers Gangavali and Aghanashini. Gokarna is a town of paradoxes as it is a temple town and a famous beach destination alike. Gokarna is a seat of Sanskrit learning where Sanskrit is passed down the generations in Brahmin families at Bhandikeri Math and Toggu Math.

Gokarna has a myriad of places to eat out, mostly near the beach. Most of the restaurants offer tasty vegetarian food at low rates. Mahalaxmi restaurant is a popular eatery where you get a variety of dishes. Namaste café is another name to reckon. Apart from offering a diverse menu, it also offers basic huts at Paradise Beach and cottages at Namaste Farm during season.

Street markets are quite popular among tourists in Gokarna, where you can shop for all types of interesting things. From hippy clothes to post cards and balloon skirts or handmade bags, you have a wide variety of options. The street along the Lord Mahabaleshwara temple is another shopper’s hub. There are many hole-in the -wall shops that sell interesting items like brass idols, temple bells, lamps, tridents, beaded jewellery and sandalwood incense among many others. Look around before starting the shopping as you are likely to get the same item for a better price a few blocks away.

Nearby Places:
Some of the must visit places around this highly acclaimed tourist destination include the following-

  • Yana: Tucked into the thick woods of Western Ghats, Yana is a laid back tourist destination set amidst the forests of the Sahyadri Mountains. The Rocky Mountains, cascading waterfalls and the ancient temples along the way, gives Yana a surreal beauty. Yana is a trekker’s paradise as well.
  • Kumta: A sea coast town near Gokarna, Kumta was an erstwhile commercial trade post during the British. It has many beaches, forts and temples. Kumta is one of the best spots to watch massive flocks of seabirds.

Overall Climate in Gokarna: Moderate semi-tropical climate

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