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Ask me about the best decision I’ve made in terms of travel in the last couple of months. You won’t be on the loose until you hear about my 5-day trip to Gokarna. A beautiful palm-lined small town wide open to the Arabian Sea. While largely attracting pilgrims, I set out to this piece of heaven to seek some quiet and a great deal of fun.
Just as another semester passed, a chill trip was called for by my friends. Though the choice of destination didn’t come as easy as Coorg, Gokarna met our expectations and more. A rundown of my experience here? The beach, the company, the Nutella pancakes, and The beach.
What could one possibly have on their itinerary for the first day at the seaside? If you can’t guess, I sympathize. Allow me to help.
1: Kick off your shoes
2: Get into the water
3: HAVE FUN
4: Stay in until the tides get stronger and you can feel something strange in your toes
5: Feast like a beast
DAY 02 BEACH HOPPING
Most of Gokarna’s beaches are concealed by tiny hills that didn’t feel so tiny when we were trekking. What started as an “8 min trek to Om Beach” went on to become a 5-hour unprepared beach-hopping adventure.
Kudle Beach to Om Beach
Trek Time: 30 min
The trail starting from Kudle Beach to Om Beach is by far one of the easiest trek steered by paved tar roads and signboards.
Viewpoint en route to Om Beach
The ambiance in Om Beach is such that it insists you lie on the rocks and watch the boats sail in the distance.
Cafes can be found on the shore. Ideal for breakfast with views.
A gist of geology
Om Beach derives its name from its natural shape identical to the auspicious Om symbol (two meeting semi crescents). This pronounced feature can be noticed vividly from the top of the hills.
Om Beach to Half-Moon Beach
Trek Time: 1 hour
Since boat rides were prohibited for a few days to avoid high tides, trekking over the hills was our only way to reach our next destination. That’s when the real trekking began.
Now, by this time, the sun was just the right amount and our energy bars were full from breakfast on Om Beach. The adrenaline kicked in. Climbing an incline, breathing the scent of salty air and sensibly declining down the hill was time-consuming but rewarding at best.
Small Hell Beach
Half-Moon Beach to Small Hell Beach
Trek Time: 1 hour (provided you don’t lose track)
Trouble began when we went looking for Small Hell Beach. The thicket of trees and shrubs playfully made way for narrow paths demarked by the locals. The sun was gentle no more. Sweat trickled down our foreheads as we got lost in the woods. We regained our path somehow.
Small Hell Beach, as the name suggests, is a beach so tiny you would assume it isn’t one. It can easily be mistaken for just another rocky shore on the way.
It’s a running joke that it’s probably called Small Hell Beach because it is one hell of a trek to reach this small beach.
Small Hell Beach to Paradise Beach
Trek Time: 1 hour 3o min
With energy bars and ample mental preparedness, the trek to Paradise Beach wouldn’t have felt as exhausting as it did to us. At least, that’s what I’d like to think. This trail will get you small cuts in the arms and legs (if not cautious), make you jump slippery rocks, and indefinitely make you feel like an adventurer. (Bear Grylls or Dora the Explorer. Your choice.) The latter is true especially if you’re a beginner like me.
Finally digging toes into the sand on Paradise Beach was gratifying. But the only thing you’d want to do after 5 hours of trekking without food supplies is lie down on the sand, under the palm trees, and hope a coconut doesn’t fall on your head.
The trek back to civilization takes about 40 min after which an auto can take you to town.
Follow standard rules of trekking:
Don’t sleep in late
Carry plenty of water and food supplies
Most importantly, don’t depend on Google Maps for walking time. It doesn’t account for the drastic alteration in the terrain.
Despite all the ranting, the stretch of trail won us over with a wealth of sceneries of Karnataka’s coasts. In millennial words, it’s your friendly Instagrammable destination.
You’ll thank me for this. How to recuperate from sore muscles from trekking? Spend it on the beach. Sit in the water. Collect seashells. Or, Throw a blanket on the sand. Grab a beer with your friends.
The entire day? The entire day.
This is most of what I even remember from this day in Gokarna. I had the most relaxing time soaking up the sun and having a good laugh in the water.
Gokarna’s popular attraction, the Mahabaleshwar Temple was built in classical Dravidian Architecture style. A quick visit to the temple was followed by window shopping in the colorful market.
Beaded jewelry, summer dresses, and harem pants can be found in plenty. If you’re nice enough, you can manage to buy for a cheaper price.
On the last day in Gokarna, we visited the Shiva Cave which is super close to Kudle Beach. It’s a 2 min trek to a small cave that looks abandoned. You’ll need to use torchlights to guide you through the cave. At the end of it, a Shiva Temple can be found.
Staying on Kudle beach in a shack was advantageous in terms of the budget and the crowd. What’s more, is the opportunity to enjoy foot-tapping beats played on the beach and have long night conversations amid the sound of the waves crashing. Gokarna is an experience that richly exhibits its indie culture through a “live and let live” mantra.
Before I knew it, the trip climaxed.
With one last sunset on Kudle.
An amber-November sun.
Eclipsed by the sea.
In the blink of an eye.
This article was submitted to us by Saakshi Kumar who runs her own blog, Unveil The World.