I think I speak for the majority when I say that every Indian’s idea of a beach holiday ends up in Goa. Surely, it can be heavenly for some with the sound of upbeat music hanging in the air as they sunbathe under the summer sun. But what if I told you that there is a place which is reminiscent of a Goa that existed 20 years ago? The place is called Gokarna.
If you do plan to take that leap and go to Gokarna instead of Goa, here are a few tips:
Gokarna has a lot of beaches and the best way to spend your time is by swimming in the sea. But not all the waters is swim-worthy. In this case, the best option is to go to Kudle Beach.
This beach offers the best of both worlds. Located at the south of Gokarna beach, it provides cheap food and accommodation to backpackers, right on the beach! Little hammocks hanging in the verandah sets the mood for some quality ‘me’ time. Beer seems to be the staple drink here, and the local Upbeat beer does the trick for many! There are many cafes stretched along the beach which provide a wide range of snacks to satisfy your after-swim hunger. Evenings are made magical with a random musical jam happening at some far corner of the beach. Kudle is the perfect destination for the ones who want to be alone but not lonely.
Watersport on Om Beach
Further from Kudle, this beach gets the name from its shape and is split by a rock island. Mainly occupied by Indian tourists and a sprinkle of foreigners, it offers a range of sea sports for the ones interested. It is reasonably clean all year round. Swimming is permissible on this beach. The second half of the beach offers cheap food and accommodation too. It is a long beach and a walk in the evening along the shore paints a completely different picture than a walk in the day. It is a really long beach and therefore it is perfect for long, solitude walks.
Trek to Half Moon Beach
This beach is accessible after a short trek over a headland from Om beach. It is a very small beach with limited facilities. The water on this beach is a perfect turquoise and even though swimming can be a little dangerous in these waters, it is surely a worthwhile experience. Sunset on this beach is something which should not be missed. The trek is often referred to as a ‘monlight trek’, the route passes through a patch of forest in between and then winds up to a thin strip between the forest and the sea. This beach can make you miss a heartbeat with the breath-taking view that unfolds infront of your eyes. It is a very small beach, with just one shack just around the corner. If you’re looking for bliss then chances are that it’s hiding in Half Moon.
Explore Paradise Beach
Also known as Full Moon beach, it is further ahead of Half Moon, the farthest from Gokarna. Previously a nudist beach, it is now enjoyed solely for its natural beauty. Untouched and raw in its appeal, the beach is far away from the hustle bustle of the town (and tourists). Paradise is a delight during late evenings with the breath-taking sight of the sea shining in the bright moonlight. It is atleast an hour long trek from Om Beach but it is totally worth it. Where else in India can you find a place where there is scope for mountains and the sea too? The trekking however is not very difficult and can be completed very easily. A swim into the amazing waters of the sea is something that is worthy of a trek.
Swim at sunset on Nirvana Beach
On the outskirts of Gokarna, remains a beach which is still unknown to most people. Nirvana beach needs to be reached through a town named Kumta. The tide on this beach does not cease to light up one’s mood. A swim into the white, foamy waters of the Arabian Sea at sunset is the perfect way to end the day. With just a few shacks scattered in the vicinity, this beach provides utmost privacy to its visitors. Imagine you are alone on a beach that is stretched upto as far as the eyes can see. The water at sunset is dyed into a stunning pale orange with specks of red as the huge sun sets behind it. If this view is not enough to light up your soul, then I don’t know what else will.
On the outskirts of Gokarna, remains a beach which is still unknown to most people. Nirvana beach needs to be reached through a town named Kumta. The tide on this beach does not cease to light up one’s mood. A swim into the white, foamy waters of the Arabian Sea at sunset is the perfect way to end the day. With just a few shacks scattered in the vicinity, this beach provides utmost privacy to its visitors.
Visit to Gokarna cliff
When in Gokarna, a visit to the cliff is a must. It is rocky and stands tall from on top of which you can witness a 220 degree view of the entire water body that lies beneath you. A panoramic view of the blue ocean is something that will stay in your memory for a long time.
Relish tasty food on the beach
The shacks on the beaches invite you in with its wide variety of food. Given that it’s a beach, seafood is the best option here. Do make it a point to try the squid! It will leave you spellbound! Another popular dish here is the tuna sandwich. Cheap, good food for your hungry tummy is all that you need to survive in Gokarna. A pint of the loyal Upbeat beer is all that you need to complete your meal.
The town of beaches will never fail to meet your expectations. There seems to be a beach for every kind of personality. Whether you come to Gokarna on a solo trip or with your friends, the place will take care of you all the same, a perfect getaway from the commercial buzz on the beaches of India.
At Gokarna, blue water under blue skies will chase all your blues away!