One Day Gokarna Local Sightseeing Trip by Cab

Gokarna, a picturesque town in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, is a pilgrimage as well as a paradise for beach lovers. It is home to sacred temples and serene beaches that attract tourists and pilgrims in large numbers across the year. The beaches in Gokarna are so clean, pristine and with fewer crowds that today many beach lovers prefer to come here than going to Goa. On a vacation to Gokarna, you will get an amazing opportunity to relax and unwind on its unspoiled, sandy beaches and visit the revered temples the town is famous for.

The name ‘Gokarna’ is a combination of two words – ‘Gau’ meaning cow and ‘Karna’ meaning ear. The story behind its name is associated with the Hindu mythology. As per legends, Lord Brahma once sent Lord Shiva to the Pataal Lok; when he returned back, he came out of the ear of a cow at this place. Another interesting aspect with regard to its name is that two rivers, namely Gangavati and Aghanashini converge at Gokarna, and the confluence of these rivers resembles the shape of a cow’s ear. Hence, the name Gokarna.

Over the years, this quaint town has turned into a tourist hotspot yet remains a popular pilgrimage center for the Hindus. It is easily accessible by road and rail from major cities of Karnataka and Goa. The closest airport to this place is the Dabolim Airport in Goa. On reaching Gokarna, you can opt for private car tours in order to explore the town in a planned manner.

  • Gokarna Places to visit in 1 Day - Option 1: Gokarna Beach, Om Beach, Maha Ganapati Temple, Mahabaleswara Temple and Half Moon Beach
  • Gokarna Places to visit in 1 Day - Option 2: Mirjan Fort, Paradise Beach, Nirvana Beach, Koti Tirtha and Gokarna Beach
  • Gokarna Places to visit in 1 Day - Option 3: Maha Ganapati Temple, Mahabaleswara Temple, Bhadrakali Temple, Belekan Beach and Kudle Beach

Below is a list of popular attractions to visit in the calm and peaceful town of Gokarna:

1. Kudle Beach
Places to Visit Kudle Beach, Gokarna

Kudle Beach, one of the popular beaches of Gokarna, is known for its scenic beauty and azure waters. Situated close to the main Gokarna Beach and Om Beach, this place is an isolated stretch of sea and land flanked by coconut trees.

The beach is lined with many restaurants and cafes. It is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the view of the waves hitting the seashore. If you are looking for solitude, then a visit to the Kudle Beach can be a great experience. Swimming in its waters may not be a good idea unless you are an expert swimmer; the reason being that you may not come across many lifeguards around.

2. Om Beach
Places to Visit Om Beach, Gokarna

Om Beach is another much-loved tourist attraction in the town. A photographer’s paradise, this beach is popular for its early morning sunrise and evenings’ sunset views. The reason why it is called ‘Om’ beach is that its shape when viewed from the top resembles the ‘Om’ symbol. Hence, it is considered quite sacred by the locals as well as the pilgrims.

The beach is also popular as a number of adrenaline-pumping adventure activities like surfing, parasailing, water-skiing, speed boating and jet skiing are on offer here.

3. Paradise Beach
Places to Visit Paradise Beach, Gokarna

Paradise Beach, also called the Full Moon Beach, is a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. This 150-meter long beach is covered 70% with rocks while the remaining area has strikingly beautiful white sand.

A lot of tourists love to camp at the beach and spend the night, cooking and gazing at the sky. There is a freshwater well at the beach, which makes it possible for people to use its water during their camping.

It is believed that the water currents at this beach are quite strong and swimming at this place should be avoided. This beach cannot be accessed by road and can only be reached by motorboat rides from Om Beach and Hall Moon Beach. Another way to reach here is by hiking from Half Moon Beach.

4. Mirjan Fort
Places to Visit Mirjan Fort, Gokarna

Situated about 21 km from Gokarna, Mirjan Fort is a 16th century fort that is believed to have been built by Queen Chennabhairadevi of the Saluva Dynasty, who ruled from 1552 to 1606 and was known as the Pepper Queen. The fort, which lies on the banks of the Aghanashini River, is spread over an area of approximately 10 acres.

Built with laterite stone, the fort has four main entrances and features a number of wells that are linked to the moat around it. Such a design was put in place as a defense mechanism against any external attacks. Hence, the fort was a site of many battles during the 16th and 17th century.

After the British captured the fort, it was used as their armory. It was also used as a place for spice trade by the British, Dutch and Portuguese. Today, the structure is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. The Mirjan Fort’s moats, canals, secret passageways and its brilliant architecture are definitely worth exploring.

5. Mahabaleswara Temple
Places to Visit Mahabaleswara Temple, Gokarna

One of the most revered temples of South India is the Mahabaleswara Temple in Gokarna. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this 4th century temple houses a six feet tall Shivalinga, which is called Atmalinga. The main deity of the shrine is Lord Shiva and inside the temple, there is a 1500-year-old idol of him in a standing position. Such is the importance of this place of worship that it is called as Dakshin Kashi, drawing parallels with the famous Shiva Temple in Kashi (presently Varanasi).

A classic example of Dravidian architecture, the Mahabaleswara Temple was built by Kadamba King Mayurasharma. As per the customs of the temple, devotees first need to take a holy dip in the Karwar Beach or Gokarna Beach, which are located nearby and then visit the Maha Ganapati Temple, before entering the Mahabaleswara Temple.

6. Half Moon Beach
Places to Visit Half Moon Beach, Gokarna

Half Moon Beach is considered to be the most charming beach in Gokarna. It is known for its shimmering sands and clean, transparent waters. It has been named Half Moon owing to its shape like a half moon. A favorite among backpackers and foreign tourists, this beach is an ideal spot to indulge in enjoyable activities like sunbathing and swimming.

Those who want to enjoy the beach view and relish some lip-smacking delicacies can head to the beach shacks here. One of the interesting ways to reach this place is by hiking from Om Beach.

7. Gokarna Beach
Places to Visit Gokarna Beach, Gokarna

The main beach in the town – the Gokarna Beach is a fantastic tourist hotspot, featuring white sand for kilometers and pristine waters. A perfect setting for families, this beach serves as a great picnic spot and for water sports like surfing. Over the years, this beach has become popular among tourists, who flock to this place all year round.

Another interesting aspect of this beach is that it has its association with the revered Mahabaleswara Temple. It is a custom that pilgrims need to take a dip in its water or that of the Karwar Beach before visiting the temple. The waters at this beach at some places can be quite aggressive; hence, it is suggested not to try swimming here.

8. Maha Ganapati Temple
Places to Visit Maha Ganapati Temple, Gokarna

Dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the Maha Ganapati Temple is one of the revered places of worship in not just Gokarna but throughout Southern India. Hence, pilgrims in large numbers come to pay their homage at this place. Located close to the Mahabaleswara Temple, this shrine boasts of fine Dravidian architecture.

According to legends, Lord Ganesha had tricked Ravana into dropping the Atmalinga here while he was on his way to Lanka after pleasing Lord Shiva and obtaining the linga from him. Hence, both the Ganapati and Mahabaleswara temples are located in the town, close to each other.

9. Belekan Beach

Enveloped by scenic mountains, the Belekan Beach is a remote beach that can be reached by taking a boat ride from the Gokarna Beach. Known for its serene atmosphere, the beach offers some amazing views of the sunrise and the sunset.

Besides swimming, beach volleyball is another activity that tourists love to indulge in at this place, besides relaxing and unwinding. Another way to reach here is by trekking from Gokarna Beach.

10. Koti Tirtha
Places to Visit Koti Tirtha, Gokarna

A man made tank, Koti Tirtha is one of the most sacred places in the town of Gokarna. This tank is surrounded by temples all around and is used for immersing idols and ritual bathing. A popular legend is that Koti Tirtha is the origin of thousand springs.

It is situated in the vicinity of the two other popular and sacred pilgrimages of Gokarna – the Maha Ganapati Temple and the Mahabaleswara Temple.

11. Nirvana Beach

Nirvana Beach is a quiet and peaceful beach, known for its blue waters and calm atmosphere. Being a less crowded beach, it offers an ideal setting for picnics with family and friends and to indulge in fun activities.

Water sports are not available here but people are seen sunbathing and playing beach volleyball. To reach here, the best way is to hop onto a ferry from any of the popular beaches of the town.

12. Bhadrakali Temple

Devoted to Goddess Uma, an incarnation of Goddess Kali, the Bhadrakali Temple is one of the most important places of worship in Gokarna. It is believed that the goddess is the protector of the town.

Located in the Mahabaleswara Temple complex, this shrine has a simple structure with an entrance featuring sculptures of two ferocious lions and two warriors on each side. Inside the temple, there is an idol of Goddess Kali depicted in a ferocious avatar, with huge eyes staring with anger, holding weapons in one hand.

Shopping and Dining in Gokarna

Shopping in Gokarna can be mainly done at the famous Car Street and the Gokarna Temple Market. Souvenirs items like handicrafts, prayer beads, brass lamps, incense sticks, conchs, photo frames of Hindu gods and goddesses and other religious items can be purchased here.

Besides these, jewelry and decorative items made from seashells as well as musical instruments and books can be bought too. T-shirts, pants, slippers and beachwear can be easily bought at these markets or at the shops close to the beaches.

Food varieties available in Gokarna range from South Indian, Continental, French and Pan Asian to Italian and Spanish. However, if you are looking to try out some local specialties, then tasting Kallusakkare, Patrode and Todadevu can be a joyful affair. ‘Kallusakkare’ is a sort of a sugar candy while ‘Patrode’ is a vegetarian dish made with colocasia leaves and spiced batter. Patrode is usually served for breakfast along with butter or ghee.

Todadevu is a delicacy made using the batter of the Konana Katte (a variety of sugarcane) juice. It is somewhat like Dosa and is served with milk or ghee. Besides this, there are a lot of options available for non-vegetarians in the town, especially seafood delicacies. Seer Fish Fry, Prawn Masala Curry and Konkani Fish thali are definite tryouts. Food at the beachside cafes and shacks are popular too and should definitely be enjoyed.

The beautiful town of Gokarna is an amazing tourist destination, offering the best of both worlds – the beaches and spirituality. Exploring the top tourist attractions of Gokarna in a day can be a hectic affair, but it can be done by opting for a one day tour service.

Alternatively, you can plan to choose for the Gokarna 2 days and Gokarna 3 days tour options offered by us. The travel packages offered by us have been created in such a way that tourists get the best possible opportunity to enjoy and explore the town of Gokarna comfortably. Plenty of options are offered to tourists, depending on their choice.

So plan a trip to the amazing, little town of Gokarna, situated alongside the majestic Arabian Sea, and make your holiday at this scenic place a truly memorable affair.