Living in a beach state you don’t expect a lot when you plan a trip to a place like Gokarna. Its a remote village with not many connecting public transport. But when you get there, you realize why it needs to be so. I adored coastal Karnataka for its natural beauty from the time I went for the drive, but this was a true discovery.
Night/Day 1 : We got on train on Thursday night from Cochin/Thrissur, a good sleep later, we were at Kumta, a quite Karnataka town with a deserted railway station. To be honest, we were quite skeptical of coolness of the place walking down to the bus stand through the dirt road. Took a bus along with few tourists there to Gokarna.
Now, on reaching Gokarna, the first thing you would notice is how religious this place is. We even found few hippies dressed in those bright orange ‘OM’ kurtas 😉 . About 3Km through the market corridors and unpaved roads, you reach ‘Kudle Beach’. Although you would find people walking, it is suggested you take an Autorickshaw which costs you about 80-100 Rs.
If you have been to Goa, the restaurants on these beaches are pretty much the same but without the crowd. You can go there and get yourself a shack behind the restaurant costing 200-500Rs a day.
Day 2 : The Kudle is our usual beach with good waves coming in all the time. 30 mins walk apart, lies the famous ‘OM’ beach, which has very calm and quite sea. The fun part of this beach is, you can literally float in it. And we did that for some good long hours. Have food, go in water and relax.
A typical dusk here is as awesome as the place ! People lying with books, playing Dogs, Guitars, Frisbees and doing what not. And the Animals ? We would be amazed how loving they are, have you ever seen a cow coming to you to get cuddled ? Dogs, plenty of them, are very friendly. But for some reason the they hate people who beg money on the beaches, the dogs would literally bark them off the beach 😉
Day 3 Our train back home was from Karwar in the evening, 1.5 hours on bus from Gokarna, through Ankola. We would have opted to go to Murudeshwara if we had some more time. But leaving that, we headed in the morning to Karwar, which is also Naval base. Coming back to civilization was not something we really enjoyed. Especially the lame War ship museum in Karwar. Albeit the boring wait, we were greeted by this sweet lady at the Karwar bus stand, who sounded much more educated and friendly to run a small tea shop there, very helpful lady ! she even kept our backpacks at her shop while we were roaming around Karwar.
Try the Fish fries with dinner/lunch in the small shops when you are here.
Another 20mins of a very crowded bus journey to the the railway station and we were told (in different intervals) by the punctual Railway guys that the train would be 3 hours late.