This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Gokarna.
Gokarna is a tiny temple town running along the west coast of India. Gokarna is translated as "cow's ear." The way the Gangavali and Aghanashini rivers merge appears to be the shape of a cow's ear. The main temple of the town is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is said to have emerged from a cow's ear.
There are also many other temples in Gokarna since it is one of the seven Hindu pilgrimage points. Yet within the past ten years or so, a new type of individual has been drawn to this quaint beach town: the tourist. As a result, quite a few accommodations, including resorts, have popped up along the beaches of the city. For now, you will find one or two hostels within the 4.2 square mile village; the tourism industry has only begun as travelers slowly discover this charming place running along the Arabian Sea.
You can fly into either Goa International Airport or Mangalore International Airport. As you take the drive up to Gokarna, you will take in the magical landscape of coconut and banana trees alongside the expanse of beaches. Once you arrive at your hostel in Gokarna, you will enjoy a carefree vibe and hospitable staff welcoming you. As you settle either into a private or dorm room, you can expect food and beautiful beach views. Since the town is tiny, you can get around on foot.
The first destination for most tourists will be one of the numerous clean, safe beaches with inviting names such as Paradise, Kudle, Om, Half Moon, and of course Gokarna Beach. One of the highest rated (yet less crowded) options is Kudle Beach. It provides a serene ambiance. Here you can rent a hut to settle into with a favorite summer novel. The hours will fly by as you read, grab a snack in one of the cafes, and take a stroll or dip in the water. Just be cautious if you enter the sea because there are strong whirlpools.
A more crowded, energetic choice would be Om Beach, which forms the shape of the Sanskrit letter "om." Volleyball is a popular sport here; if you arrive in the right season, there are also options such as jet skis. You can take a boat ride to some of the other beaches as well. For surfing lessons, for example, head straight to Gokarna Beach.
If your sun-kissed skin and salty hair are starting a demonstration, you might want to put your clothes back on and head on into town. Here you will find two main streets filled with shops and other venues where you can buy the most interesting souvenirs to make all your friends back home want to join you on your return trip. You can also visit what Gokarna is famous for: the ornate temples.
Written by local enthusiast for Gokarna hostelsJakob Lombardi