Any adventure loving person must have the Gokarna trek on their to-do list. Gokarna is located in Karnataka and on the Arabian Sea and is well-known for its beaches. It is both a temple town as well as a beach-town. Religious people flock to Gokarna to visit the Mahabaleshwar temple, a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus. Since Gokarna has the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats on two of its sides, the place has mountains, beaches and valleys.
Goa has been a weekend beach destination for so long that it is done-to-death by many. For those who have been looking for a suitable alternative,Gokarna offers a peaceful one. Among the many beaches, the top 5 which are a must visit for beach lovers are Gokarna Beach, Om Beach, Kudle Beach, Paradise beach and Half-moon Beach. These are all near to Gokarna city and are idyllic pristine beaches. As you can understand from the name, Gokarna beach is the main beach of the town. A Gokarna trek can be done without the usual touristy places and it is still going to be an adventurous one.
For your next long weekend, book your tickets and plan your trip to Gokarna. It will offer you a refreshing break from the daily monotonous and hectic life. This quaint temple town is the new favourite hippie town which you can easily reach from Hyderabad. Experience the hippie lifestyle as you stay in a tent, go on treks, enjoy local and continental cuisines, and enjoy breathtaking scenes as you trek through the unadulterated beaches lining up the Arabian Sea. The clear blue water is going to transport you into another world. The laidback lifestyle is a hit with international tourists and also young Indians.
A short overview of what to expect:
A Gokarna beach trek will offer you an enjoyable beach hopping experience. As you explore Gokarna, Om, Kudle and Paradise beach, the beauty of nature will mesmerise you. From the cliffs of half-moon beach, you might even see some dolphins if you are lucky! You can visit the Mirjan Fort if history interests you and you are keen to know about the architecture and history of Gokarna. When you book a Gokarna camping experience, be sure that you will be creating a lifetime of grand memories with friends or family. There are boats on beaches to give you a ride to enjoy the tranquility of the sea.
The beaches in Gokarna lie beyond the hills. To reach the beach, you will have to trek through winding roads to reach any beach. Out of the 5 main beaches, 2 are in the west and 3 are in the south. There are trekking trails amidst the hills connecting all the beaches. Young travelling enthusiasts often choose to go on the beach trail trek Gokarna offers.
An idea to help you plan your trip:
When you opt for Gokarna beach camping, one of the most exciting parts is the Gokarna tent stay. Tents are available on the wonderful campsites which are available on a sharing basis, mostly 2-3 people sharing one tent. The tents offer a comfortable staying option where travellers can check-in, freshen up, relax and rejuvenate. You will also get an opportunity to see the glorious sunrise while staying on the campsite and of course the scenery around the campsite will be a sight to behold. You can have your breakfast here to start your beach trekking.
The trekking starts from Belekan beach. As mentioned earlier, you can spot dolphins, especially near the lighthouse during the trek. You will have to do a good bit of trekking to cover all the main beaches. Once you have visited the Paradise beach and the half-moon beach, your next destination is Om beach where you might get to enjoy some water activities. This beach is lined up with cool cafes where you can have your lunch. After all that exploration, you are bound to feel hungry, so fill up your tummy with some delicious dishes. After Om beach, the next beach on the list is the Kudle beach and last of all, the Gokarna beach which is the main beach.
The campsite marks the end of the beach trek and you can view the sunset from here too as you relax. After enjoying the sunrise from the tent area, you can choose to enjoy an equally grand sunset and the beauty of the seaside, when you take a ride on the ferry at the right time.Spend the evening by having snacks and tea in the evening and dinner at night. The campfire and the music will make you have a great time with others. Dance, chat, play games, tell stories – do whatever pleases you.
The Gokarna trek route is a very beautiful one and the scenes which you capture mentally or digitally are going to make such great throwbacks later on.
For travellers who love visiting offbeat places, Gokarna has a variety of options. It has hills, forests, beaches, temples and even waterfalls.There are many places near Gokarna which can be included for day trips. Any place from Gokarna can be the starting point of these trips. If you have been wondering if there is any amazing place within 100 kms from Gokarna, Vibhooti Falls must be mentioned. The falls is multi-tiered. For a weekend trip, or a trip where you have two or three full days, places like Vibhooti Falls shouldn’t be missed out. It is a good place to visit for a half-day trip and will be equally enjoyable for solo travellers and tourists who will visit with their families.
Towards the east of Gokarna, at a distance of approx. 42-51 kms. From the main town, you will find this waterfall after driving for about an hour. The Yana caves are located at a distance of 9 kms from here and visitors generally visit both Vibhooti waterfalls and Yanna caves together.
As a tourist destination, Vibhooti Falls is gaining popularity. But as of yet, this waterfall has still not become a crowded spot. Vibhuti falls is hidden amidst deep forest in the western ghats. It is surrounded by rocks having limestone deposits and green forests. The roar of the waterfall is powerful.
There is a legend which connects Yana rocks to Vibhuti falls. The story goes that the water flowing out from Yana is the holy ash or ‘Vibhuti’ and this is how it has got the name of Vibhuti waterfalls. It is also believed that the ashes of the mythological demon known as Bhamasura was washed away by this waterfall and hence the name.
Best time to visit:
During or just after monsoon, the water can become pretty deep and the rocks slippery. Keeping these points in mind, the best time would probably be anytime between October and March. The autumn and winter season would be great for visiting for travellers of all ages or fitness levels. Even if you go during the summer season, the waterfall will not be completely dried up like it happens with many waterfalls.
Should seniors go to see the waterfall? What about children?
As mentioned earlier, the place is not very crowded and the roads leading to the entrance gate aren’t bad either. The walk or hike starting from the entrance gate to the waterfalls can be challenging for older visitors. But older tourists visit hill stations and many of them are fit enough. For them reaching the falls is not impossible. There are benches along the way where they can sit and take a break.
If you are taking a little kid, just know that the water is cold but again, it’s clean water and relaxing. It will be a fun experience for any kid. But of course as a parent, you will be the best judge.
One can leave their camp or tent on the beach early in the morning and can head out for the beach. You can reach Vibhooti falls by taking a bike. Take the help of Google Maps to reach Vibhuti Falls. If you are heading out for the falls from the main Gokarna beach, the ride will take around 2 hours but you are going to enjoy the drive or ride.
If you are a backpacker or like to travel light, the best way to travel to offbeat destinations like this one is to rent a bike. You might take an auto too. But the best options are going by a two-wheeler or a car. Bikes and scooters are rented out in Gokarna and you can find these places easily.
Consider having breakfast at any restaurant on the way. The food might not be great but it will be decent and filling South Indian breakfast. If you like to swim, do not miss swimming in the Vibhuti waterfalls.
Another alternate way of starting the day of visiting the waterfalls is by having breakfast at one of the beach cafes of Gokarna. You might feel like stopping on your way to buy some snacks.
After reaching the falls, you have to park your vehicle and have to pay a parking fee. At the entrance,a minimal entry charge will be taken too. You will have to walk half a kilometer and then do a hike for about 20 minutes. The way is amidst dense forests too. After doing a 700m hike, you will reach the waterfall. The hiking will be on rocky terrain, mind you.
What to do here?
Go in for a swim when you reach, especially if you are young. The uphill trek might make you feel tired, but as soon as you hit the water, you will forget about your tiredness. The water of the pool is actually the water that has been collected from the falls. And if you’re having doubts before diving in about the safety, you must know that there is a lifeguard posted who keeps a check.
There is an arrangement or a changing room where you can change your clothes too if you want, after taking a dip. It is advisable that you carry an extra set of clothes. It is also advisable that you leave valuables like wallets, purses, mobiles etc. in your vehicle as you might misplace them, especially if everyone in your group is planning to go for the swim. While you walk back to the gate, enjoy some snacks. You will find a canteen selling some refreshments. The foodie travellers would definitely like it too.
For a day trip from Gokarna, this waterfall is a great option. You will enjoy the opportunity to escape from the fast-paced life as you hike from the entrance to the waterfalls, amidst the lush greenery, hearing the chirping of the birds. It is an awesome gem of a place for nature-lovers.
It is a small town which is located in Bhatkal Taluk of North Karnataka district. It is at a distance of nearly 78 kms from Gokarna. It is a hot spot for regular travellers and among religious people. The second largest statue of Shiva is found here, making it a favourite of Hindu pilgrims. The devotees of Lord Shiva come here in large numbers. The presence of beautiful monuments makes this town a big attraction for tourists. Even if you are a non-religious person and are an adventurer and thrill-seeker, Murudeshwar is a must-visit for you. When visiting places near Gokarna, tourists almost always club Murudeshwar with other spots like Vibhuti waterfalls. Read on to know more
In Murudeshwar, the water of the Arabian Sea surrounds the statue of Lord Shiva on three sides. The statue is set on the top of a hill and the landscape is absolutely gorgeous. It looks like magnificent Lord Shiva is keeping his protective eyes on the whole town of Murudeshwar. Lord Shiva has been sculpted to show him in a meditative state. The height or length of the statue is a whopping 123m!
There is a legend based on Murudeshwar too. The Shiva Linga or Atma Linga was brought from Kailash mountain by none other than demon king Ravana. Lord Ganesha fooled Ravana by tricking him while Ravana was headed towards island Lanka. Ravana got puzzled and had placed the Linga on the land of Gokarna. When Ravana realised this, his temper flared and he tried his best to damage the Linga by uprooting it.
The Murudeshwar Temple is located on a protruded island and is no less either. The temple is almost tall like a building having 20 floors and is located just beside the idol of Lord Shiva. The gopura of the Murudeshwar temple (the ornate monumental entrance tower), is 20-storeyed with two big elephants. It is also the tallest Gopura or Gopuram as it is 250 feet tall! This Rajagopuram is the second remarkable landmark of Murudeshwar. Visitors can go to the top taking the elevator of the temple. From there, they can see the statue of Lord Shiva towering over Murudeshwar town. The statue with the Arabian Sea around it makes for an unforgettable view.
Don’t forget to take your camera or be ready to take a lot of pictures using your mobile, because Murudeshwar will give you views which are very insta-worthy. Or if you are someone who uploads albums on FB, you are going to get some amazing pictures clicked here.
Under the same area, you will also find the statue park. There are many statues here which have been built based on various mythological events. There is a waterfall and few ponds too, but they are not natural but man-made.
As with places in and around Gokarna, there is a small beach in Murudeshwar too. The beach is clean and is maintained well. There are boating and water sports arrangements too. One can do jet skiing at the beach here. Visitors can enjoy themselves doing these activities or just sit and enjoy the marvellous sight. The Gopuram and the statue of Shiva makes for a mindblowing view from the beach. Those who like to trek can go see the remains of the ancient Murudeshwar Fort.
One can also enjoy scuba diving and snorkelling in Murudeshwar if they visit Netrani Island. Underwater adventure sports has become quite an attraction here for all thrill-seekers. Naturally you will find many scuba diving companies. You can enjoy the water sports with their help but of course the weather has to be suitable.
Understandably, the scuba diving or snorkelling experience might not be very impressive to experienced adventure lovers. Their experience might fall short when compared to other spots. But for first timers, the underwater activities on Netrani Island will be a memorable experience.
This coastal town is 200 kms from south Goa and 140 kms from Mangalore. As has been mentioned previously, Murudeshwar is at a distance of 78kms from Gokarna. The long distance can be uncomfortable and tiresome if you ride a bike or scooter.
You can take a bus from the Gokarna bus station. You can also avail a train from the railway station. But check out the frequencies of both for going to Murudeshwar and coming back too. Travelling by a public bus or train is always a more budget-friendly option. The code for Murudeshwar Railway Station is MRDW (in-case you want to check online). Also, if you can rent a car, go for it because that is undoubtedly going to be the most comfortable and convenient option.
If you drive, the ride is going to be a smooth one and you will be enjoying the scenery. And if you are going from Gokarna to Murudeshwar, you can make a quick stop at Apsarakonda which will fall on the way. It will take around two hours to reach Murudeshwar because you will be driving on a national highway. There is a garden which is located on the top of a hill. It serves as a good viewpoint for looking at the Apsarakonda beach below. The Apsarakonda waterfalls is there too where you can take a dip to feel refreshed.
The best time to visit Murudeshwar, like Gokarna, is from autumn to spring. So you can plan to go anytime from October to March. During the summer, it can be pretty hot. So avoid months like April and May. Being situated on the coastal area, the humidity level is stifling too. Also you should avoid going there from June to September as it is the rainy season. It is risky for trekking and water sports will be prohibited too.
If you are a devotee of Shiva, then of course the best time to visit Murudeshwar is March. That is when the festival of Maha Shivaratri falls or takes place. It is obvious that this temple town celebrates the festival with vigour and pomp.
Having all this information at hand, you can now plan your trip yourself. But if you have a daily hectic schedule and have no time to plan and book tickets and hotels, book a package with us. It’s economical and is going to be totally worth your money!
Getting on the train for going to Hubli
From Hyd Deccan Railway Station at 3:50pm
From Begumpet at 4pm
From Lingampalli at 4:30pm
Tips to remember:
Wear appropriate clothes for Vibhooti Falls before boarding the train. There will be no opportunity for changing clothes till reaching the waterfalls the next morning.
As it is an overnight train journey, pack in a thin blanket
Arrive at Hubli by 6:30 in the morning
As a time-saving tactic, train washrooms will be used by us
Take a private car from Hubli
Quick stop on the way for having breakfast
Approx. at 10 a.m., we’ll reach Vibhooti waterfall
We’ll aim to reach early to enjoy our swim here without any crowd
From the entrance gate, we have to hike for 10 ins to reach the waterfall
Pay rs.50 only, rent a life jacket, wear it and dive right in!
Spend a long time enjoying here
After some time, change our wet clothes (if needed) & return to our car
Stopping for a quick lunch, costing rs.80 -100 for a Veg platter
By 2p.m, we’ll reach Belekan Beach & start hiking towards Om Beach
We’ll reach our favourite Paradise Beach after 20 mins. Swimming in the sea and kayaking will be a thrilling experience. We will spend one hour here.
Renting a life jacket costs 50 rupees. Total cost for Kayaking will be 300 (incl. Life jacket). This is a special rate for our customers.
Non-swimmers need not worry, the life jackets are functional and quality products. Experience the thrill of kayaking!
There are changing rooms and washrooms here
By 3:30pm, start trekking from Paradise Beach
Trek through Half-moon beach, Small Hell Beach and arrive at Om Beach before sunset
View the amazing sunset here and get in the vehicle for going to our lovely seaside accommodation
The accommodation is just at a distance of 20 meters from the waves. A 15 mins drive and a walk of 10 mins from Om beach will take us here
Time to freshen up, enjoy dinner and play team games!
The food will take 30 mins to reach you, so place your order accordingly.
The food is absolutely delicious here!
Rise early and spend time on the beach
Leave for Murudeshwar Temple
By 11 a.m, we’ll reach Murudeshwar Temple. We’ll take our lunch here.
Leave here by 2 p.m
By 8 p.m, we’ll arrive at Hubli Railway Station
Board the train after having dinner
Reach Hyderabad at 8 a.m.