Thinking of soft sands beneath your feet, the melody of waves, and breeze of the sea? If yes, head to the blissful beach town of Gokarna. Located in Karnataka, the town is a popular pilgrimage site that slowly transformed its image into a beach paradise.
Not conventionally touristy, Gokarna offers more of a relaxed holiday on the beach. But, with amazing places to visit and many things to do here, you will have an exciting itinerary. Enjoy the serenity, learn about many legends, and bask in the holy bliss of the town.
For a memorable time, here is our list of the famous things to do in Gokarna for a joyous trip –
- Sri Mahabaleshwara Swamy Temple
- Banana Boat Rides and Other Watersports
- Beach Trekking and Camping
- Visit the Holy Shiva Cave
- Pray at Kotiteertha
- Explore the Mirjan Fort
- Enjoy the Beauty of Vibhooti Falls
1. Visit the sacred Sri Mahabaleshwara Swamy Temple
Among the list of Gokarna must-try activities, a visit to the sacred Sri Mahabaleshwara Swamy Temple is on top. The temple complex envelopes visitors in serenity. And the elegant Dravidian architecture is a timeless beauty that makes you wonder at the fine erstwhile craftsmanship. The revered Aatmalinga of Lord Shiva in the temple is in the shape of a cow’s ear, thus the name – Gokarna.
If you are in Gokarna for peace or spiritual wellness, a visit to the temple is a must.
Trivia: Besides the temple customs, worship here is also performed by the tribal Halakkis according to their age-old rituals and way of life.
2. Try Banana Boat Rides and Other Watersports
If you are looking for something thrilling, banana boat rides are one of the best things to do as you visit Gokarna beach.
You will be pulled into the waves and enjoy a 15-20 minute adrenaline rush. For this fun ride, you need not any particular skill or expertise; anyone can enjoy the ride. Besides banana boat rides, you can try other water sports. There are options for jet-skiing, surfing, parasailing, diving, and snorkeling.
Trivia: Gokarna has unspoilt beaches and waters that offer some of the best experiences.
3. Beach Trekking and Camping
Moving on with our list; beach trekking and camping are among the amazing things to do in Gokarna. Known for the laid-back vibes, the beaches offer some relaxing experiences. Most beaches are known for scenic walks but in Gokarna, the beaches are meant for treks.
Rocky outcrops outline the beaches and these need some serious exercise. You have to push yourself to savor this little piece of paradise.
Trek through Gokarna beach, Kudle beach, OM beach, Half Moon beach, and Paradise beach. At the end of the day, stay at the beach camps. Get away from the cities and enjoy camping in nature’s lap. Enjoy the melody of waves and star gazing.
Trivia: Beach trekking and camping in Gokarna was started by the hippies but now it is the most favored weekend activity for tourists.
4. Visit the Holy Shiva Cave
Next on our list of things to do in Gokarna includes a visit to the Shiva Cave. An interesting place to visit, the cave is relatively unknown to most but a handful of pilgrims. It is believed to be a holy shrine of Lord Shiva. Devotees come to seek fulfilment of their wishes. You can visit it to meditate in peace.
Trivia: Shiva Cave is an ancient sacred site, locally called “gogarbha” or “cow’s womb”. It is home to a population of small bats.
5. Pray at Kotiteertha
Next on our list of things to do in Gokarna is offering prayers at the Kotiteertha. The sacred site as per popular legend is the origin of a thousand springs. The holy pond is flanked by colourful temples, monasteries, and residences.
On your visit, dip in the waters, perform rituals and pay respect to the ancestors. The spiritual ambience is soothing for your senses.
Trivia: The holy pond is believed to be among the holiest of pilgrimage sites of Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. In the sacred waters, idols are also immersed.
6. Explore the Mirjan Fort
Gokarna is not just about beaches and pilgrimage, history and adventure are there as well. One of the best things to do in Gokarna is a visit to the Mirjan Fort. A trademark of the cultural glory of Karnataka, the 16th-century fort is a popular tourist attraction. Mirjan Fort on the banks of Agnanishi River is a popular place that you must include in your Gokarna trip itinerary.
Trivia: Mirjan Fort has a mix of Deccan and Mughal architectural elements. The ancient defence measures of the fort have stood against many battles. The fort still stands with its head high.
7. Enjoy the Beauty of Vibhooti Falls
Last but not least on our list, we have the Vibhooti Falls. One of the many beautiful waterfalls in the Western Ghats, Vibhuti falls is located between Sirsi and Gokarna. Surrounded by large rocks and limestone deposits, the waterfall is a picturesque spot.
Trivia: Vibhooti translates to ash in local language. According to local legends, the waterfall was formed when ashes after Bhasmasur was burnt had washed away.
Restless already to be amidst the enchanting beauty of Gokarna and savor its serene bliss? This beautiful town offers a blend of adventure and peaceful holiday opportunities to its visitors. Head straight to Gokarna for a thrilling vacation. Be it with friends, your special one, family, or even solo; Gokarna offers amazing things to do that offer cherished experiences.