Gokarna is a beautiful town in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, known for its rich history and gorgeous beaches. I visited Gokarna with my best friend last year, and absolutely fell in love with the place. I had so many unique experiences here, some of which, were my first-times. I have crafted this post to share my list of top 6 unique experiences to have in Gokarna, which can truly elevate your mood, uplift your spirit and get you an inch closer to the city!
Meditate on the Rocks, Near Om Beach
I can’t even begin to explain how I felt when I meditated on the rocks, a little further from Om Beach. As soon as I closed my eyes and silenced my mind, my soul reunited with nature. The sound of the gushing waves completely consumed my senses. It was so surreal that I couldn’t even tell the difference between the sea and my being. Sometimes, I would go on for more than 30 minutes which was quite a surprise for me given that the maximum I have ever done is for 10-15 minutes or so.
When you visit Gokarna, you should try meditating on the rocks, near Om Beach. The experience is truly magical. If you are not into meditation, you can sit on the rocks and observe the waves hitting against the rocks. It is so beautiful! The pattern in which the waves hit is truly a wonder of nature. If you stay at Shantidham Cafe in Gokarna (which I totally recommend), you can find beautiful spots to meditate and get closer with nature.
View the Sunset in a Ferry
As much as viewing the sunset lying down on a beach or a shack nearby can be mesmerising, watching it from a ferry, on the waters of the massive sea can be a completely different experience. Imagine, the only entities that exist in the aura of your senses are you, the water and the orange sun.
You can take the ferry from Paradise Beach/Half-Moon Beach to Om Beach, and witness the magnificent sunset along the way. The right time to witness the sunset depends on the season. If you visit between October to March, take the ferry between 5:30 PM – 6:00 PM.
Go Stargazing at Night
I have glanced at the sky multiple times in my city, but never really gazed at it. Perhaps, because it wasn’t enchanting enough to captivate my senses. However, when I had been to Gokarna, I realized what a star-studded sky can do to your senses. The lucid sky adorned with a million stars shining bright and a few comets here and there, had allured me into a state of trance. Enter some light Jazz music, and I was in a completely different world.
If you are in Gokarna, carry a mat to Om Beach, lie down on it, and don’t ever close your eyes when you look up at the sky. Or rather you won’t be able to. And then, you can thank me.
Eat at Prema’s Restaurant
Let’s talk about food now. When you’re in Gokarna, head to this cute little vegetarian restaurant near Gokarna Beach which will awe you once you read their menu. Serving cuisines from across the world and catering to every diet that possibly exists (including vegan!), this restaurant is an exemplar of the famous saying – “Small in stature, but high in value”. They serve everything from a simple bowl of boiled vegetables (yes, gimme the fibre and the nutrients please!) to crispy dosas, to creamy hummus and delectable pastas. You can also buy a variety of home-made natural products like nut butters (yes, they have cashew, almond and sesame butters), pickles and other savouries.
However, an important thing to notice is that they don’t offer takeaways. You will have to eat there or probably get your own containers and pack food once you order. This annoyed us a bit because we wanted to pack food for our bus journey. However, we appreciated the restaurant’s efforts to avoid the use of plastic containers that usually results in offering takeaways.
Camp at Paradise Beach
There is no better beach than Paradise Beach in Gokarna, to camp the night away. Located away from the bustling crowds, and without a single shack onshore, this beach is a solitary heaven. It is the perfect place to spend the night in the lap of nature, under a cozy little tent, all while watching the effusive tides of the Arabian Sea.
Plan Your Own Beach Trek
There can be nothing more adventurous than planning your own beach trek in Gokarna. Today, there are many groups/organizations offering beach treks in Gokarna, but I honestly feel that they are self-doable, preferably in the company of a friend. You can choose Om Beach as your starting point and trek to Kudle Beach on one day, and to Half-Moon and Paradise Beaches on the other. For more information on how to plan your own beach trek, read my detailed post here.
Read Next: The Ultimate Travel Guide to Gokarna