Gokarna is a small town, situated on the western coast of India in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, and is surrounded by temples, pilgrims and natural beaches – a beautiful tourist destination for the discerning traveller. The town is a popular destination among Hindu pilgrims as it houses among the few Shiva sacred temples, possessing an original image of a god (as a lingam). One of the popular festivals here is the "Shiva Ratri" festival. It is during this festival that two colourful chariots are pulled down the main street.

The area was earlier patronized by European tourists owing to its warm winter climate and natural beaches, offering lesser crowds, touts and police harassment. However, the number of tourists who visit this town has increased Increasing numbers of tourists have visited the area over the last 10 years and it is now also popular with local tourists. The town comprises of four beaches including Kudlee Beach, about a 20 minute walk from town, as well as Om Beach, Half Moon Beach and the secluded Paradise Beach.

Travel Tips

Walking is the best way to explore the area as well as the nearby beaches. Tourists are advised to visit the town during the winter months from October to February. The monsoon period should be avoided.


15C – 33C

When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
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  • July
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  • Dec
sprinkles Pleasant
  • 33° Max
  • 28° Min
  • 0.0 mm
Things to do

The Mahabaleshwar Temple is among the largest in the town as serves as the main pilgrimage place at the western end close to the beach.

The Maha Ganapati Temple is located proximate to the Shiva Temple and was built in memory of Lord Ganesha as he played an instrumental role in taking the Atma Linga from Ravana. Pilgrims usually visit the Ganapati Temple and then proceed towards the the Shiva Temple.

Koti Tirtha is an artificial water tank which pilgrims use to have a ritual bath. It is regarded as holy by the locals. One can even take a small westward trip to Venkateshwara temple.

Beaches: The five famous beaches located nearby are Gokarna beach, Kudle beach, Om beach, Half-moon beach and Paradise beach. Gokarna is popular among pilgrims, while Kudle and Om are patronized by tourists.

Getting Around

Walking is the best way to explore this small town.  Kudle beach (pronounced Kudlee) is the first that you come to which is around a 20 minute walk. Om is another 20-minute walk, and an additional 20 and 40 minute walk will bring you to Half-moon Beach and Paradise Beach respectively.

Places to Stay

How to Reach

  • The nearest airport is in Goa at Panaji located at around 150 kms away.
  • Gokarna is accessible by train from Karwar, Ankola, Kumta, Mangalore and Madgaon. Kumta (35 km) and Ankola (20 km) are the closest railway stations. Public or private transportation is available from the stations.
  • Buses operate from Bangalore and Goa to Gokarna. Private buses also operate to/from Hampi/Hospet.

Surrounding Attractions

Karwar — Tourists can make a journey to Karwar by train, bus or taxi since it is only around 55 kms away. The other nearby attractions include some major and tourist-populated cities like Mysore, Hampi and Goa

Emergency No.

Emergency nos

Police: 9741585156 / 08386-256133