#weekendgetaway from Bengaluru.
Another gem of an option for a weekend holiday.
Best way to get to #gokarna
By foot: hahhaha… Just kidding
By Air: this place is like 140 kms from Goa and the roads are pretty okay. You can get a cab from Goa or a bus to get here. You could also get a flight to Mangalore(230 kms) or Bangalore(450 kms). Basically loads of airports around.
By Train: The nearest station is Ankola (about 20 kms from Gokarna). You get ample taxis to get you to Om, Kudle or any location.
By Bus: If you’re from Bangalore, and on a budget, then opt for busses. There are busses from Goa, Managlore and other locations to. Check out KSRTC SERVICES to get a better idea. There are numerous private busses with sleeper seats available… If you prefer that.
By Car or bike: This is a great terrain for driving. You could take the Chitradurga(visit the fort if it isn’t too hot), Davangere(food place) and Haveri route. After Sirsi, the Ghats begin, so, pretty views would be your friend. This route is smooth(ish) and is a nice highway road. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try out the Shivamoga and Honnavar route. The route from Honnavar to Gokarna is really really pretty. You can take short detours to the pristine beaches (Dhareshwar, Shiva, Brahma, Saraswati beach) and then take the Kumta route and get to Gokarna.
There are some amazing places enroute. There is Yellapur and Yanna caves. They are these “off the route” spots which can really amaze you.
Gokarna is a small village named after a famous and highly revered Shiva temple.
As legend goes, Ravana(villain of the epic Ramayan), who was a great devotee of Shiva went to Kailash to request Shiva for the Atmalinga, at the wish of his mother who wishes to pray to that specific Linga. Pleased with his tapa, Shiva granted that to him, on one condition that he would not put it down anywhere else. Ravana… walked back extremely happy. He knew, that praying to this Linga, would make him even more powerfull and awesome. Vishnu, on realizing this, figured that it would be quite a menace. So he calls Ganesh and asks for help.
Ganesh, in the guise of a Brahmin boy appeared before Ravan, Vishnu covered the sun, so it looked like the evening. Every Brahman needs to perform the evening Puja, so Ravana enlists the help of a brahmin boy hanging around and specifically asks him to not put it on the ground. The lil Brahman says… “all right, but if it starts hurting my arms, then I’ll call you thrice and if you don’t come by then, I’ll put it down”. They shook hands on it and Ravana went about his Puja. You can guess the rest. Ganesha put the linga down and vanished. Ravana realizes that he has been tricked and tries to uproot the Linga, but too bad… What’s done is done. He dishapes the linga a bit and bits of it fall in surrounding areas(which eventually become famous temples on their own). This spot is called Gokarna. Some people say its called Gokarna coz the linga is shaped like a cows ear, but its not so. Gokarna is located between the Gangavali and Agnashini river mouth and it is named after the ear-shaped confluence of two rivers. Devotees believe that Gokarna derives its name from the legend in which Lord Shiva emerged from the ear of a cow.
Thats the story, but the temple is not the only awesome thing about this place… Its the Goa-like vibe of the beaches. Much more chilled out, calmer and more relaxed that Goa and has an awesome mood of its own. You can pick great resorts or shady beachside Shacks(please carry all sorts of sheets and disinfectant in case of later)… And it would still be awesome. One can trek from Kudle Beach to Om beach to Half moon beach to Paradise beach.. And if you have more life left in you then trek more. There are some amazing places to explore enroute. Ask locals about it and you would know. This trek is an absolute delight. You can spot bioluminescent planktons at night too (if you’re lucky).
You can cover these beaches by boat too, and with luck, you may spot Dolphins!!!!
The best part though… Is the food. Delicious and absolutely heavenly…. You could eat all day and wake up next day and eat again. You get it all.. Pizzas, pies, smoothies, Israeli cuisine , all in addition to the local food. Must try the fish and other sea creatures, if you’re into that.
If you’re travelling solo, try the Zostel. It’s a good spot, has cost effective dorm rooms and it’s got all that you need. You can meet some fellow travelers from all continents and do local trips with them!
Also, I must tell you this thing that happened. Story time! .So, the first time we got there, three of my friends and I stayed at a shack on the Om beach. We met this really friendly and fun guy called John. We spoke a bit and then he told us that he is a tarrot reader! How cool!! . Cusiosity piqued, we asked him to read for us. He said he would do that in the evening post sunset at a place which was a bit of a trek up and secluded so that he can “connect with the divine”. So my friend went first and came back after a long long time, completely mum and upset. I went after her and the sight was… Well, interesting. Candles were lit.. And some paraphernalia was spread around… You get the whiff, weird stuff. So… He takes a puff of a smoke (not cigarette, wink wink) and blows it on to the cards. Now him and the cards… Are happy… Soooo happy…. and they begin. In 15 mins, I have really good career, but no money… Marriage could happen any moment now … And i might die while engaging in some sport. I was advised against sky diving. I came back and got to know that my friend was’nt upset, but psyched! All he saw was deaaathhh, And poverty and sad stuff and bizzare future(none is true, it’s been a while). Wonder what he was high on! Hahaha. Looking back, that was fun.
The next time we were there, we(4 of us this time) reached really late and got lost and had to take some weird route that brought us out from behind a shack in Kudle. I was like…. Carefully treading… One step at a time and being super mindful, holding on to the rock walls of the shack (did I mention that it was dark?). Suddenly i feel a prick on my palm, just as we are about to emerge on the beach. I get to light and I see catterpillar (or something similar) hair stuck to my entire palm, like a straight line … Diagonally. Black and brown in color and hurt quite a bit. Because, I happen to be cool and composed(my friends might say otherwise, don’t listen to them), I silently started picking them. A guy walked up and says brush it along you hair, it would get out. It did, quite a bit. My palm hurt quite a bit and itched like crazy. In about two days skin started peeling and it got weird. But then it got okay,obviouly, and I lived to tell the tale. The end
Once you’re done with routine life, and it’s the time to leave… Get some courage, apply for that long leave, or just put down your papers and head to Gokarna… Hehehhe. Or don’t listen to me and go back to your boring desks(sigh) and earn the money for your next trip.