Om Beach is the most popular beach of Gokarna region, where tourists can enjoy an emotionally, spiritually and physically riveting experience. This site was named after the spiritual Hindu symbol Om as its shape is similar to that of the auspicious mark, thus, making it the only beach to be named as such. Travellers planning a visit to Om Beach at Gokarna can undertake activities, such as skiing, surfing and banana boat cruising, to name a few.
Tourists interested in water sports can enjoy the same under the supervision of qualified instructors. Tea shops and huts can be found at this beach where visitors can taste local delicacies.
Half Moon Beach is a lesser known beach located in Gokarna, Uttara Kannada District that visitors may choose to stop by if time permits. This beach can be reached only from Om Beach by foot or boat. Om Beach and Half Moon Beach are divided by a cliff that offers travellers a beautiful view of the Arabian Sea.
Classical Indian huts alongside the Half Moon Beach add to the beauty of the site. Water sports activities are not available here but tourists can enjoy paintball, volleyball, canoes, cabins, paddleboats and camping, along with swimming. In addition, tourists can enjoy sun bathing during the afternoons and spend nights lying on hammocks.
Kudle Beach is located at a distance of 2 km from Gokarna town that travellers may visit if time permits. In order to reach this beach, tourists can take conduit from the southern side of Ganapati Temple. They can even hire a rickshaw from Gokarna to reach this beach. Upon reaching Kudle Beach, travellers will be swept away by the sight of a white sandy beach that is bordered by palm trees.
Cafes and small huts that serve local delicacies are present at this beach. In order to enjoy the region to the fullest, tourists can rent a small hut that is located alongside Kudle Beach. During the night, people can take a walk from Kudle to Paradise Beach.
Mahabaleshwar Temple is one of the most popular attractions of Uttara Kannada District. It is popular among devotees due to a Shiva Linga present here, otherwise known as Pranalinga or Atmalinga. This religious site is deemed to be as holy as the Shiva Temples of Kashi or Varanasi and is counted among the seven sacred Muktikshetras.
Devotees who plan a visit to Mahabaleshwar Temple take a dip in the Arabian Sea before visiting the site. This structure represents the Dravidian architectural style and has been constructed using white granite stones.
Upon reaching the temple, tourists will notice that the Shiva Linga is placed in a square Saligrama Peetha with a hole in the middle. This central hole enables devotees to easily view the top of the Shiva Linga.
Apart from this Shiva Linga, the temple also has a 1500 year old carved stone figure of Lord Shiva. People belonging to Hindu religion pay a visit to this temple in order to carry out the final rituals of their deceased relatives. It is said that devotees who catch a glimpse of the linga are showered with blessings.
Mahabaleshwar Temple is thronged by hundreds of devotees during the occasion of Shivarathri.
Gokarna Beach is another popular beach that is located in proximity of Gokarna Town. Upon reaching this beach, tourists can enjoy the view of the Arabian Sea on one side and the Western Ghats on the other. Local food stalls, water sports and sun bathing are other things that can be enjoyed at Gokarna Beach.
The best thing about visiting this beach is its locale, which is devoid of any commercialisation, pollution and noise. The scenic beauty of the beach and the hammocks, drums and guitars present here create the ideal ambiance for tourists who are looking for a tranquil atmosphere. Travellers planning a trip to the Gokarna Beach can visit the site at any time of the year.
Kotitheertha is a holy pond that is located in proximity of the Mahabaleshwar Temple. According to folklore, the Kotitheertha was created by Garuda, the ride of Lord Shiva. Pilgrims coming to Gokarna take a dip in Kotitheertha before offering prayers inside the temple complex. It is suggested that all people on a pilgrimage should visit this site in order to cleanse themselves.
Idagunji or Idangunji is renowned among tourists as an extremely important place of worship for the Hindus. A temple known as Mhatobar Shree Vinayaka Devaru, devoted to Lord Ganapati, is the prime attraction of this site. This temple has a two-handed idol of Lord Ganapati with Padma (Lotus) and Modaka in each hand.
Devotees visiting this temple are offered free lunch. It is believed that the wishes of thousands of worshippers who come here regularly come true. The statue of Lord Ganapati at Idagunji has striking resemblance to that of Ganapati at Gokarna.
Lord Ganesha Temple located here is visited by over 1 million devotees on an annual basis. According to popular folklore, Lord Ganapati used to reside here, when it was known as Kunjaranya. This site also served as the place for performing penance by ancient rishis or saints.
Maha Ganapati Temple is a renowned religious site in Gokarna that is situated in proximity of the Mahabaleshwar Temple. It was constructed to commemorate Lord Ganesha's act, who succeeded in deceiving Ravana, the king of demons, and took away the Atmalinga from him.
As per local belief, devotees should visit Maha Ganapati Temple before going to Mahabaleshwar Temple. This temple is well known among travellers for its 1.3 m tall black stone idol of Lord Ganesha. Pilgrims first offer prayers at the Maha Ganesha Temple because it is said that Lord Shiva blessed him with the honour of first worship.
Bhadrakali Temple, dedicated to Goddess Uma, is another popular pilgrimage attraction of Gokarna Town. The prime deity of this temple, which is situated 1 km from the town, is believed to be the protector of Gokarna.
This temple is part of Mahabaleshwar Temple complex. It is said that Lord Vishnu asked Uma, the wife of Lord Shiva, to stay at Gokarna when Ravana abandoned her here. Currently devotees visiting Gokarna pray to Uma as the Mother Goddess Bhadrakali. If time permits, visitors passing by this town should stop by Bhadrakali Temple in order to pay their respects.
Tamra-Gauri or Tamragowri Temple is a well known temple located in Gokarna that visitors should see while journeying through this town. A six ft tall Shivalingam is placed within the peetham. This lingam can be viewed only once in four decades, when the Ashta Bandana Kumbhabhishekam is held here.
Also christened as Gokarnayaki, this temple has a shrine of the local deity, also called Gokarnayaki, situated behind the sanctum.