GOKARNA Tourism, GOKARNA Travel Guide

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About Gokarna - Karnataka Tourism

Gokarna, meaning Cow’s Ear, is a popular beach tourism destination in Karnataka. Gokarna is also a well known pilgrimage travel destination famous as a temple town with its main deity being Lord Mahabaleshwara, a form of Hindu god Shiva. Gokarna and Karwar (38 km from Gokarna), are slowly becoming strong competitors to Goa beaches due to their splendid natural beauty and growing tourism infrastructure. 

Gokarna is slowly getting popular among travellers who are looking for white sandy beaches to relax among natural beauty. The city's beaches are very picturesque and scenic located amongst the Western Ghats. Travellers do fall in love with the city with its long stretch of beaches lined with palm trees, its clean white sandy beaches, and its traditional town look with shopping streets and tile-roofed brick houses. The town is also frequented by hippies with options of cheap tents and beach huts available here. 

The main beaches in Gokarna are - Gokarna beach, the main beach, Om beach, Kuddle beach, Half Moon beach and Paradise beach. The main beach and Gokarna beach lie to the north of town and the other four beaches lie to the south of town. The main beach is frequented by religious travellers and its best to dress modest while visiting this beach. Travellers who are looking for options to sunbath, the other four beaches are more suited for that purpose. The other four beaches are a little away from the main Gokarna town and can be reached by rickshaw, on foot or by boat. Om beach is named like that, as the beach is shaped like the Om symbol. Half moon beach is named like that because its shape resembles that of a half moon.

The name of Gokarna is based on the belief that Lord Shiva emerged from the ear of a cow (Prithvi, the mother Earth) here. This town is frequented by thousands of pilgrims to visit the Mahabaleshwar temple that houses the 'Atmalinga'. There are also other religious attractions here including the Maha Ganapathi temple, Uma Maheshwara temple, Bhadrakali temple, and Venkataramana temple. There is also mythological story attached with Gokarna - it is believed that Lord Ganesha tricked Ravana here to leave Atmalinga here, that could have made him invincible. Thousands of pilgrims visit Gokarna during the Maha Shivratri festival, when two giant chariots are pulled down streets of the city. 

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