Gokarna- 1 of the Hippie Paradises in India

Gokarna, a temple town tucked away in the state of Karnataka, is a very popular site for devotees who flock to the main Mahabaleshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple town, however, is gradually turning into a hub for hippies and has come to be a less commercialized version of Goa. Gokarna is easily the best amalgamation of beauty and culture.


Why is Gokarna called the Hippie’s paradise?

The lifestyle in Gokarna is very bohemian, making it the best place for hippies to stay back and enjoy. Right after Hampi became famous, Gokarna also started grabbing a lot of attention, especially from hippies as they began finding Goa too commercialized and crammed up.

Gokarna is characterized by secluded beaches which magnetically pulled in hippies from all over the world, especially the Om Beach which is shaped in the ‘Om’ design. Before the hippies, Gokarna was habituated (still is) by a tribe called Halakkis who kept themselves within the confines of the Mahabaleshwar Temple. These Halakkis still continue to live in Gokarna and lead very ancient lives. You will be able to tell a Halakki only by looking at the way they dress!

1. hippies.jpg

COURTESY: http://www.ghatroads.in/south-india-travel/getaways-tourism-info/Gokarna-Beaches

Things to do in Gokarna:

1) Visit the beaches in Gokarna for a relaxing day out
Gokarna is the land of pristine beaches and glistening sands. There are four prominent beaches in Gokarna: Kudle beach, Halfmoon beach, Om beach, and Paradise Beach. These beaches are only about 20 minutes away from each other, so you can choose to hike the surrounding hills and rocks go from one beach to the other.

If you don’t want to go hiking, you can also take a short boat ride that will take you from one beach to another. You can choose to bask in sun and sunbathe all day or have a sporty day at the beach as you sip on some chilled beer and play beach Volleyball with your group of travel mates.

2) Beaches.jpg

COURTESY: http://www.transindiatravels.com/karnataka/gokarna/beaches-in-gokarna/

2) Experience the nightlife in Gokarna
Now if you are expecting fancy clubs and party scenes like Goa, think again because you are going to be in for a treat when you decide to experience the nightlife in Gokarna. The beaches turn into fun outdoor party places where you will see people strumming their guitars, singing songs while sitting around a bonfire. You can join one of these groups at the beaches but before that, you have to head to one of the beachside shacks to eat some of the best squid that you would have ever eaten! Spending a night under the stars is definitely something you must do when you are in Gokarna.

3) Nightlife in Gokarna.jpg

COURTESY: http://cafechennai.in/go-to-gokarna-this-autumn/

3) Go beach trekking at Gokarna Beach
Beach trekking in Gokarna is a completely different experience, as you might have already gathered, the beaches are intruded and separated by hills and rocks. The main excitement lies in going over these hills and rocks to reach the next beach. This is everything that beach trekking in Gokarna is made up of. You might not see lot trekkers or tourists doing these treks because they are a little difficult and rocky especially during monsoon but are worth a try if you like trekking and want to pack in some adventure when you are in Gokarna.

One of the most thrilling experiences for when you are in Gokarna is paying a visit to the Gokarna cliff. Be very careful and make sure you have appropriate footwear on when you go to the cliff as the path is quite rocky.

4) Beach trek.jpg

COURTESY: https://www.vikipandit.com/gokarna-beach-trek/

Places near Gokarna that you can visit:

1) Gangavathi
Known as the ‘Rice Bowl’ of the state of Karnataka, Gangavathi is a major rice producing town. If you have an interest in agriculture and want to understand the process of rice cultivation, suggest you pay a visit to the paddy fields in Gagavathi. One of the main centres that gets in revenue for the Karnataka state, Gangavathi is only about 14 kilometres away from Hampi, the picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Site.

You can also visit the Tungabhadra Dam when you are visiting Gangavathi as the two are located very close to each other. The town of Gangavathi can also be a stop-over resting point for you before you go forward towards Hampi. Don’t forget to visit the Stone Chariot and Ugra Narasimha when you are in Gangavathi.
Reaching Gangavathi from Gokarna: Gangavathi is about seven hours away from Gokarna if you go via road. Unfortunately, there are no trains that will take you to Gangavathi from Gokarna, as yet.

5) Ganga.gif

COURTESY: https://www.deccanherald.com/content/515401/gangavathi-paddy-farmers-make-hay.html

2) Talakaveri
Talakaveri is said to be the source of River Kaveri. Talakaveri borders the Kasarkod district of Kerala. At Talakaveri, there is a kund (tank) which is called Kaveri Kundike or the Brahma Kundike and is considered to be the main source or the birth place of the River Kaveri. Legend has it that River Kaveri was captivated by sage Agasthya in a container. Lord Ganesha, disguised Himself as a crow and sat on the container when sage Agasthya was meditating. When realization struck upon Agasthya, he tried to shoo the crow away but this encounter made the container topple, which resulted in Kaveri to flow out.

At Talakaveri, there is also a temple which is dedicated to Goddess Kaveramma (Kaveri), Maha Ganapathi and Lord Agasthiswara. You can plan a trip to Coorg from Gokarna which is about 8 hours away and then head over Talakaveri to witness the beauty and tranquillity of the place.
Reaching Talakaveri from Gokarna: Talakaveri is about 9 hours away from Gokarna via road. As of now, there are no trains that run from Gokarna that can take you to Talakaveri.

Talakaveri.jpg

COURTESY: https://coorgtourism.co.in/talakaveri-temple-waterfalls-coorg

How to reach Gokarna?
Gokarna is easily accessible by road, rail and bus. The well-made network of roads makes it easier for travellers to go from Goa and Bangalore to Gokarna by bus. The closest airport to Gokarna is at Dabolim (Goa). The closest railway station is Ankola, you can opt for the Matsyagandha Express which will drop you off at Gokarna itself.

Where to stay in Gokarna?
While there are lots of hotels in Gokarna, we suggest you to head to the Kudle beach and find accommodation at one of the beach shacks so that you can wake up to gorgeous views of the beach every morning. If you still want to go in for a hotel, here are some hotels you can try out:

1) Sanskruti Quality Resort
One of the best Gokarna hotels, Sanskruti is a comfortable stay option with cottages such as deluxe and premium cottages, an outdoor pool, in-house restaurant and a fitness centre.
Price Range: Rs.3000 to Rs.5000 per night.
Where? Om Beach Road, Gokarna, India.

1) Sanskruti Quality Resort.jpg

COURTESY: https://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotel_Review-g651646-d6610424-Reviews-Sanskruti_Quality_Resort-Gokarna_Dakshina_Kannada_District_Karnataka.html

2) Zostel Gokarna
If you are travelling to Gokarna, the hippie’s paradise, why not select accommodation that is also like the hippies would choose? Zostel Gokarna is a backpacker hostel that overlooks the Gokarna Beach and is a very different experience for travellers who usually go in for luxury travel.
Price Range: Rs.600 to Rs. 900 per night.
Where? Kudle Beach Road, Hill Top Gokarna, Gokarna, India.

2) Zostel Gokarna.jpg

COURTESY: https://www.zostel.com/zostel/gokarna/

Best time to visit Gokarna:
The best time to visit Gokarna is from the months of October to March. During these months, the weather pleasant in the evenings and nights and the temperature ranges from 29 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius. It would be best if you avoid the monsoon months as it might become a dull trip around those months.

Have you been to this hippie paradise? Do you like it? Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments section below!

What's your take on this?