A trekking expedition makes us envision lofty mountains to lush green slopes, welcoming expeditioners in the midst of the untouched great outdoors and it’s hard to imagine a trek that’s not in the rugged slopes. But this Gokarna trek is a far call, different from everything that you have known about trekking all this long. A temple town located 484 km offside of Bangalore, to the Western Coast of the subcontinent, Gokarna has magnificent ancient spiritual relics strewn in the alleyways of the old town. The Lord Shiva, also known as the Mahabaleshwara is the presiding deity of Gokarna. The temple of the Mahabaleshwara is the sanctum of Shiva, housing an ancient Shiva lingam. Moving away from the temple complexes of the old town, one comes directly facing the seas. The rustic beaches of Gokarna are surrounded with ruggedly rocky mountains upon which the waves of Arabian Sea can be seen continuously crashing and breaking into many splendid droplets. Driving pass rock faces and beating through the fringes of the Western Ghats mountains, you will fall face to face with the Arabian Sea on the other side, the trek route is a winding way by the sea from here. A comfortably even-walk, the only challenge on the Gokarna beach hike is the humid weather.
Gokarna- meaning the ‘cow’s ear’ originated in the legend of Lord Shiva emerging from the Mother Earth through the ear of the cow. The sea town is a conflux between the Sahyadri hills of the Western Ghats and the vast and limitless Arabian Sea on the other side. Precipitous hillocks of the Western Ghats range surround the sea shores of Gokarna. The famous Gokarna beach trek trail passes by a handful of beaches, namely-- Paradise Beach, Half Moon Beach, Om Beach, and Kudle Beach. Punctuating the sandy shores and the infinite expanse of the Arabian Sea, there are rocky patches to sit and rest or gloriously climb to the top. Stay tuned for the Rock of Peace spot by the sea where you will reach on the trek at sunset to spot lazy dolphins coasting through the waves. Another boulder patch happens right on the way to Half Moon Beach. Trekkers could push their stamina climbing atop the Hell Cliff rock boulder here and learn in detail from the Trek Lead about ‘3 point contact climbing’. In the spirit of Gokarna, this boulder climb feat is popularly called the ‘the Shiva climb’! The best part however about the Gokarna Beach hiking holiday is the night trekking opportunity. As the day dwindles into darkness, trekkers move on across the backdrop of changing hues in the sky. Definitely, look forward to a team campfire in the moonshine!
Altitude is not a relevant factor on this trek as the hike takes place close to sea level. The only climbing opportunity on this hike is at the Hell Cliff boulder.
The most preferable time for visiting Gokarna on a beach hike is during October to March. During this period, the days are warm and pleasant and humidity is experienced in the minimum. The average temperature expected during this time is 32 degrees, considered not too punishing for trekking.
By Air: The airport nearest to Gokarna is Dabolim in Goa. From here, you can reserve cabs to Gokarna, or find buses to Gokarna from Dabolim Bogmalo Cross.
By Rail: The nearest railway station connected elaborately with towns and cities of India is at Ankola, Karnataka. From ankola, you will find certain trains like the Matsyagandha Express to Gokarna railway station, which is much less connected with the rest of the country.
By Road: It is easy to find convenient road transport from nearest towns and cities to Gokarna. You can find direct buses from Goa, Bangalore, Mangalore, and even Delhi to Gokarna.
Are There Any Shops Available On the Gokarna Beach Trek?
Plenty of shops, restaurants, cafes and shacks fall on the beach hike trail of Gokarna. According to TripAdvisor, Mantra Cafe on Kudle Beach is one of the best places to check out!
Height gain remains out of the question on this beach trek in Gokarna, thank to the level walk and near sea level operation. However, prepare well for maintaining good fitness on the trek to enjoy to the fullest.
You will find the trail thoroughly populated during all seasons, as the trail happens to move well within locality and the tourist hub of Gokarna, and it is a well known activity to beach trek in these parts.