Gokarna is a place that draws the beach lovers, sun soakers and the pilgrims alike.
Gokarna is a city on the Karwar coast in North Karnataka, 141kms from Goa, India. It is about 500kms from Bangalore and a perfect holiday destination and a pilgrim centre depending on how you would like to explore Gokarna…
To give you some mythological trivia about this place, it is said that Ravana – the 10 headed ruler of Lanka performed penance of Lord Shiva – our beloved Bholenath, to receive an atmalinga. When Ravana was carrying the atmalinga he reached Gokarna during the hours of dusk and had to perform an evening pooja. As per the instructions of Shiva the atmalinga when placed in his kingdom would make his kingdom imperishable and powerful. Which is why he had to put it down only in his kingdom. But the evening bath and pooja could not be given a miss so he requested a passerby Brahmin to carry the atmalinga for timebeing while he took bath and performed the pooja. Ganapati, who was disguised as that Brahmin was intending adversely of Ravana’s plan to make his kingdom non-destroyable. The Brahmin puts down the linga in Gokarna and relieves all the devas from the terror that Ravana would cause the world. Hence Gokarna is considered a place of Victory and a holy visit to many worshippers who come there to pray at Lord Mahabaleshwar temple.
I completely believed the story when I touched the Atmalinga underground and the temple is literally constructed above and around the Atmalinga. God only knows how many more anecdotes we are yet to be uncovered in our – ‘Incredible India !’
Beaches – High and dry:
Gokarna is a place to visit atleast once in a lifetime. The beaches, its waves, the dusky hours and the sunset are simply spectacular. Its a visual treat and a quiet retreat in Nature. A non-nature lover can be assured to have a smile on her face.
There are 4 beaches in Gokarna viz. Kudle beach, Om Beach, Paradise Beach and Half-moon beach.
Since I was intending for a day’s visit I could see just Om beach and Kudle beach and probably that’s why I could not get enough of it. I stayed at the Gokarna International Beach Resort where you would get non-vegetarian food and liquor in abundance but vegetarians and teetotallers like me, will have to make some other arrangements.
I was hungry and famished and almost had a sun stroke as I reached there at 2pm when Sun was at his super excited mood. I had to go trekking for 15mins to reach the Hotel in scorching heat carrying my bag which though light felt like quintal. And when I reached the beach, I saw the small board that pointed to something saying Gokarna International Beach Hotel and I thought another 100 steps away and I would be relieved. As I walked through the hot sand, I was running out on my stamina, my mouth went dry, sweat dripping and drenching me, making me think of only one thing – Stepping into water and turning down the temperature of my blistered feet. The trekking timing on my empty stomach and the season of early June wasn’t quite right.
But what the heck, where there is struggle there are beautiful results.
Once I reached the hotel all I wanted was a bucket of cold water poured on my head. At 5pm I found a thatched hut which claimed itself to be a restaurant and thats where I managed to get some Roti and tea. A walk at the beach and the entire evening at Om and Kudle Beach is what made the whole struggle worth it.
After the beautiful evening I spent on the beaches and a good night sleep, the next day morning I was excited again to visit the holy temples in Gokarna city…