Gokarna is a small temple town located on the western coast of India in Karnataka. The frequency that this place emits is phenomenal and hence, Gokarna is often seen as a spiritual destination for westerners and Indians alike. The main temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Maha Shivratri sees the town come alive with power and energy. Gokarna is also amazing if you want to take classes in Sanskrit, yoga or meditation. And, did i mention Om beach.
Why you should visit: The frequencies in this small town are just unreal and irrespective of whether you find yourself or not, you will definitely end up finding some very interesting and creative people in this town. They say that, even a glance on the atmalinga in the Shiva temple or Mahabaleshwara temple here can bless you for life. For people who do not want to consider the spiritual aspect, Gokarna has some of the best beaches in India. If you have fallen out of love with North Goa because of the recent developments and increasing crowd, Gokarna will teach you how to love again. Good food, sea breeze, loving hosts and lots of offbeat travelers gives this temple town a magical charm.
Things to do: Trek from one beach to all the others, Bask in the sun, Jam right on the beach (be it the acoustic or the hang drum), Approach strangers and boost your confidence, Indulge in delicious and affordable vegetarian food, Find yourself, See some of the best sunsets.
Best time to visit: November to March.
Accessible from: The nearest railroad is Gokarna Cross and auto rickshaws ply from the stations right to near the beaches. Even for people coming from Goa, we really suggest using the railways rather than the roads. The roads should be preferred only when self driving from North because the route is out of the world.
Something extra: Ravan’s mother was a Shiva devotee and she wanted to worship the Atmalinga of Lord Shiva. After a lot of devotion and proving his worth, Ravan finally gets the atmalinga but is warned that he should never place it on the ground before reaching home. This was because the linga would be installed in the first place where it touches the ground. Ravan abides and is determined to carry it to Sri Lanka, but Lord Vishnu realizes that if he does so, he will become very powerful by worshiping the linga. Lord Vishnu hence asks Ganesha to handle the situation, and the latter does so like a boss. When Ravan reaches Gokarna, Ganesha who takes the form of a boy coaxes Ravan to perform evening rituals as Gokarna is very spiritual. He promises to carry the linga for Ravan during the rituals. As Ravan goes to perform the rituals, Ganesha places it on the ground and vanishes. Since then, the spot has been home to apparently one of the most powerful lingas in the world and the only Atmalinga. This is also the reason why being in this town for Maha Shivratri is on many people’s bucket lists.