I traveled to Gokarna for the new year so that I could be away from the madness of the city. I was looking forward to relaxing on the beach and drinking my beer.
I reached on 31st morning and checked into Sunset Cafe on main beach. It’s a small, basic cafe that offers rooms that come with both attached bathrooms and shared bathrooms. The tariff is around 250-500 bucks per night which is cheap!
Their menu is decent for Indian food, I didn’t really enjoy their other cuisines. The beer is not cheap like in Pondi, it’s similar pricing to Bangalore.
The first day after breakfast, I tried to step out to explore and was burnt by the heat in 10 seconds! The place is hot even in December! But when you look around, you see 90% of the beaches and cafes are full of foreigners from all over the world sun bathing, learning Yoga, surfing, etc without a care in the world.
I unfortunately had to take a nap and then head out in the evening. I took an auto to Om beach. The primary mode of transport here is auto where they charge a minimum of 100 rupees. They don’t have bike rental or car rental services. It’s better when you have your own car or bike if you want to go exploring.
Om beach is crowded as they have neighboring beaches called Half Moon and Paradise beach that can be visited by taking a boat from Om beach. You can swim with the dolphins if you get lucky at one of the beaches early in the morning. If you want to stay on Om beach, there is Namaste Cafe which has fancier rooms compared to the other cafes. The tariff starts at 2k.
We had dinner at Rasta Cafe as Namaste was too crowded. The pizza and Shakshuka was quite delicious, don’t bother trying the popular chocolate ball dessert.
After dinner we headed back to main beach, where there was big beach party with sky lanterns and fireworks to welcome the new year. I would suggest bringing your camping gear and camping on the beach at night, it’s beautiful at night and nobody objects!
The next 2 days passed quickly in taking a dip in the beach, long afternoon naps and drinking chilled beer. Most of the cafes along the main beach are similar in the menu, pricing and taste. Try the Russian food to find out if you enjoy it.
On our last day, we took an auto to explore the town. We ate at the local restaurant called Pai, the masala dosas are crisp and yummy. But, the best restaurant was Shree Shakti. Mouth watering fried aloo and paneer paranthas that look like pie, creamy ice creams and milk shakes. You cannot leave the town without going there.
The markets are full of hippie pants, leather note books, religious t shirts, colored beads and chilums. You can find some interesting stuff if you look around all the lanes.
We wanted to explore Kudle beach as well though I have been there in the past, I wanted to see if it had changed. Unfortunately we had not time to spare and had to head to the bus stop.
Gokarna is the perfect get away to relax and explore. There are lots of places nearby to explore like Murdeshwar, Goa, Karwar, etc yet there are so many beaches that you can do absolutely nothing in if you’re looking for that. It’s a good mix of both.
I am definitely heading back someday!