Living in Gokarna for almost about 3 months left me pretty familiar with the place, to say the least. Sure, it’s basically sand and forests, but there’s so much to discover! I wouldn’t want to give it all away because it might take away from your experience of figuring new things on your own, but here are a few things which you just should not miss!
- Live on the beach.
While there are many hotels and resorts off the beach which seem fancy and comfy, go for the beach, guys! Sure, it’s sandy and hot, but BEACH!
I lived at Hemashree Gardens Resort, on the main Gokarna Beach. The feeling of hearing the waves crashing right before you fall asleep and waking up to the sun shining through the little roof of the cottage was the best feeling ever. Stepping out of the room, you see trees and the ocean. I don’t remember ever waking up so happy.
- Walk. A lot.
Yes, Gokarna is hot. No, it’s not unbearable. But the heat can demotivate you. All you need to do is remember that the ocean is right outside your door when you want to cool off.
Gokarna has many beaches, the main attractions being the Main beach, Kudle beach, Om beach, Paradise beach and Half Moon beach. All these beaches are little communities in themselves. The market or “town” is where people from all these beaches often cross their paths. Although rickshaws are available, I would suggest that walking is the best way to get around (there are trails to get to all the beaches). Initially, walking on the sand is tiring, but it takes a bit to get used to. The walk from my room to the market would be about 20 minutes long one way, and I had grown to love them over time.
- Go to Prema’s
A sweet little joint right at the entrance of the Main beach, Prema has the best dosas and ice creams, especially their Ginger-Mint ice cream, which blew my mind.
Do not miss the chai outside Prema 😉
- Go for a live gig at Chez Christophe
A French cafe 5 minutes from Hemashree, this place has some delicious desserts and great music. Our favourite way to unwind after a long day would be going here for a couple of chilled beers and way too much food.
The market will bring out the shopaholic in you! Funky jewelry, light cotton clothes, organic teas, spices, bongs, even a couple of (sketchy) tattoo studios. The market has it all. If you meet Roopa, one of the shop owners at the entrance of the Main beach, tell her I say hi and I miss her a lot.
- Hike to the beaches
From Main beach to Kudle, the hike is about 25-30 minutes long. From Kudle to Om, about 15 minutes. Paradise and Half Moon are a little further away but take about the same time.
- Visit Vibhooti falls
About 60 km from town, this waterfall is absolutely gorgeous. Not jumping in is just not an option.
- Have Cucumber curd rice at Mahalaxmi
Beat the heat with a refreshing plate of cucumber curd rice. Giulia and I had this for lunch for a week straight! And it’s cheap, just 60 bucks and you get a delicious and healthy meal.
- Get to know the locals!
I was lucky enough to make many close friends during my stay. Some of them still call me just to say hi 🙂
One of the guys who worked at Hemashree took me to his Grandma’s house and we had the best sweet potato chips I have ever had. And guess what? It was free 😀
- Keep an eye out for all the cool street art around!
All the walls in Gokarna tell a story. Look out for them, take them in.