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  • Writer's pictureYogesh Kardile

Gokarna: the hippie vibe on other side

I saw grown ups playing like kids, children playing with their parent, modern yogis, musicians and dancers unwinding and doing their stuff in front of the mighty ocean. With open hands we submitted to the nature and someone sitting quietly curling his fingers in the sand. Couples weaving their hands together and leaning head on beloved’s shoulder. People from different walks and different part of the world being so intimate in the open. This is what the magic of the place where every form of love and devotion is accepted.

There's hardly any distance between beaches of Gokarna & the temple town. But the environment is entirely different. Thick forest descending towards the beaches hide them. And all of a sudden you are on the beach. These beaches are calm and free from typical hustle bustle of any famous tourist destination.

The only common thing it shares with the Gokarna town is its‘s laid back nature. Here people connect with spirituality through ocean and in the main town through ancient Shiva temple. Either through a form or formless enlightenment is an intrinsic part of this place.

Some places have those vibes that attracts like minded people across the globe. Gokarna is that place one seeks. Kudle beach, Om beach , Gokarna beach and few more beaches offer you much needed vitamin D and B(each) . The place is vibrant round the year. Even monsoon has it’s own charm. Fortunately I have been to witness the glory of the forests and dark ocean in the monsoon.

Those who wants to explore on their own and need peace of mind this is the place. One can do treks by the beach climbing up into the forest; disappearing completely and descending down to a beach. Those rocks on Om beach looks gigantic especially different when crashing waves creates an epic music. Winter mornings when sun shines through the coconut leaves and creating patterns on the sand.

Absorbing the morning energy and evening blues is must. Play of life goes on with each passing wave. Surfers riding on the waves and other side dogs and cows chilling out in the open. This vast open space is just like a dream that you don’t want to finish.

Due to international traveler the environment has another level of energy. Many of them perform morning Yoga routines, Across Yoga , dance and playing musical instruments. It's like a celebration offered to the ocean. We were lucky to witness one performance by a group of dancers, musicians and in the night. It transported us into the age when people used to gather around fire and dance.

Due to the increase in traveler numbers there are shacks and hotels by the beach. Kudle beach and Om beach are having very good option to stay. Fortunately it's in sync with the nature and hidden by the tree cover. So you feel like part of the whole scenario. Good food and music is also another reason to stay there and relax.

For those who love to buy souvenirs as a fond memory; local vendors roam around in the beach. Selling trinkets, shells, hippie clothes and jewellery they make their livings.

But nowhere is the compulsion or someone running behind you. This is a soothing experience compared to the typical crowded tourist destination.

Someone who wants to spend time with his /her beloved, family, kids or alone this place is for you. It is like discovering yourself at your own pace. You may not become Gautam Buddha or Kabir but it will surely bring back some sanity in you even after returning to the mad world.

Why you must visit Gokarna ?

Beautiful beaches , the only place where you can trek into the forest as well relax on multiple beaches.

Good food, music , shacks and also ancient temple closely. It's well connected to Karwar, Goa , Hampi and other known cities. It's very peaceful & obviously safe.

Close-by attractions :

Mirjan fort ( Kumta ) , Karwar beach & ship museum , Yana rocks ( caves at Sirsi ) , Dandeli National Park & Murdeshwar Shiva temple.

Do's & Don't : wear appropriate clothes when you are near the temple premises. While roaming on the beach do not stay there post 07: 30 p.m. Carry sunglasses, sunscreen lotion , mosquito cream ( if you are going in the forest area near beaches).

Distances :

Mumbai to Gokarna : 686 kms

Panjim to Gokarna : 155 kms

Bangalore to Gokarna : 480 kms

Nearest Railway station : Ankola 20kms

Nearest Airport : Dabolim Goa 140 kms

Wish you happy journey. Create memorable moments at Gokarna.

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