Does the word 'trekking' flash images of tall mountains and challenging uphill climbs in your mind? Well, what if we told you that there's a trek which doesn't demand a taxing uphill climb? In fact, it is really a hike along the sea and not into the mountains! Wondering what we are talking about? We're talking about a beach trek. Yes, you read it right, a beach trek in Gokarna!
Situated on the banks of Arabian sea in North Karnataka, the temple town of Gokarna is a famous Hindu pilgrimage place. Given its pristine and secluded beaches and a peaceful atmosphere, many Westerners and European travellers have settled in Gokarna over the last couple of decades. While it still continues to be an important pilgrimage centre, Gokarna is slowly catching up on the hippie culture and party vibes of Goa.
So while most travellers visit Gokarna to party or relax and unwind, another offbeat way to explore the serene beaches of Gokarna is by trekking along its beachline. The trail also called the 'Golden Trail' involves walking on the sandy shores between the hills and expansive Arabian sea, crossing over through many beaches. It is a moderate 8 km trek, usually spread over 2 days with an overnight camping by the beach.
Rise and shine and head to the Kudle beach. The beach usually serves as the start point for the Gokarna beach trek. The arch-shaped shoreline spreadsover 1 km and it can be hiked in about 30-40 minutes leisurely.
Enjoy the rhythm of crashing waves against the golden sand and get ready for a riveting experience of beach hopping. Grab a bite and warm up with a game of beach volleyball before you embark on this unique trek.
About a kilometre long hike through a slightly inclined trodden path used frequently by the locals, you will arrive at the popular Om Beach. The Om beach, which is in the shape of the spiritual symbol 'OM', is considered auspicious and hence many believers can be seen taking a dip here. Swimming here is completely safe and enjoyable.
A relevantly medium-sized cliff on one side leads you to a viewpoint, popularly known as the Shiva point. One can witness serene views of the boundless blue waters from this viewpoint. The Om beach also has many shacks and cafes that offer good food.
The hike to the next beach which is Half Moon or Crescent Beach takes you through a more rocky and hilly stretch. A huge rock called the Rock of Peace on the way to the Half Moon Beach is another viewpoint. If you are lucky you can spot dolphins from here; it's a refreshing experience to spot the playful fish in the open waters.
Pit stop by the Half Moon beach to refuel before heading to the last beach of the trek. This point onwards there's no commercial activity and hence you won't find shops or shacks.
True to its name, the Paradise Beach is one of the virgin beaches in Gokarna, unspoiled and void of much human activity. Surrounded by abundant palm trees, the beach has clean, white sand with lots of rocky patches. Tucked away in nature's lap, the secluded Paradise beach is a perfect place to experience the most tranquil moments.
Watch the nature paint the evening sky in vibrant colours as the sun takes a dip in the Arabian sea. Pitch a tent and light a bonfire, share laughter and stories over dinner. Call it a day after the adventurous trek and fall asleep under the sky, listening to the music of the waves lapping gently against the shore.
Also Read : Other Places To Visit In Gokarna
Distance from Bangalore: 520 km
Distance from Mangalore: 238 km
Distance from Goa: 150 km
Nearest railway station: Gokarna
Nearest airports: Goa, Mangalore
Best time to visit: November - June
Difficulty level of trek: Easy to moderate
Things to carry: A good backpack, food, water bottle, clothes, basic medicines, cap/hat, sunscreen, toiletries and a torch.