Gokarna, Gokarna Tour, Gokarna in Karnataka


Information about Gokarna

It is one of the most important Hindu pilgrim centers of Southern India. Mythological legends suggest that Rudra (Shiva) arrived here shortly after the creation of earth, squeezing thorough the ear of the earth and named it as ‘Gokarna’ or the ‘ear of the cow’. According to ‘Gokarna Purana’, “by just entering into this sacred Ksetra, one is absolved of all the sins, including even brahmahatya (the killing of a Brahmin).” And is set free from the cycle of birth and death by a mere glance of the holy Atmaling, by hearing the roar of the sea, or by taking birth in this Kotitirtha. Gokarna is also an important beach resort and has several secluded beaches nearby.

Tourist Attractions in Gokarna

Mahabaleshwar Temple
The magnificent shrine is considered next in sanctity to Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. It is perched beautifully on a hillock near the beach. The temple is famous for its Atmalinga, which was resued by Lord Ganapathi. A mythological legend suggests, that the demon king Ravana appeased Lord Shiva through penance and obtained a Shivalinga with special powers from the Lord. Ganapathi and other gods were worried by the growing power of Ravana and decided to take away the Shivalinga from Him. Ravana was on his way to Lanka and Ganapathi tricked him into putting the linga down on the ground the Gokarna for performing puja. Ravana was unable to lift the linga up again and hence the linga is known as mahabal, around which the Mahabaleshwar temple is built. Ravana was infuriated and tried to pull the linga out of the earth, but it broke into pieces and scattered in the nearby areas. These pieces are believed to be venerated at the temples of Dhareshwar, Gunavanthe and Murudeshwar.

Around Gokarna
Kudle Beach

The lovely beach on the southern outskirts of Gokarna.

Om Beach

It resembles the auspicious Hindu symbol of ‘Om’ and is located further south of Kudle beach. The secluded beach is worth visiting for its beauty.

Murudeshwar (76 kms.)
The pilgrim centre amidst idyllic surroundings is famous for the hill top temple of Lord Shiva. View of the sea from the hill is breath-taking. A charming and clean beach is located nearby.

Honnavar (45 kms.)

The coastal town is an important railhead on the Konkan Railway. The newly built bridge on the river Sharavathi, dominates the landscape. Some important attractions nearby are – Apsara Konda Falls or the “pond of the Celestial Nymph”: it is set amidst scenic settings. There is also fine beach.

Idagunji :
It is 15 kms. From Honnavar and is known for a Ganapathi temple. Yakshagana, a beautiful costumed dance drama is held here.

Yana (50 kms.)
The twin peaks of Bhairaveshwara Shikara and Mohini Shikara, surrounded by thick forest are venerated by the locals. A small shrine of Lord Shiva has a Shivalinga which is continuously bathed by a perennial stream. The annual Mahashivarathri fair is held here in the month of March – April, attracting a large number of devotees.

Karwar (50 kms.)
This excellent beach resort and port town at the mouth of Kali river is the district headquarters of Uttara Kannada district. The town is also an angler’s paradise and is dotted with many picnic spots.

The historic site is 147 kms. From Karwar and 22 kms. From Sirsi. It was the capital of Kadamba’s, who established the first Kannada Empire in 345 A.D. The town is known for the Madhukeshwara Temple, which enshrines a honey (madhu) coloured linga. Other interesting sites are the relics of a Buddhist Stupa, the Veerbhadra temple and a number of idols and Jain icons.

Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
The famous sanctuary lying 175 kms. From Karwar and 75 kms. From Hubli is a safe haven for barking deer, sloth bear, civet cat, panther, flying squirrel, Malabar squirrel, hornbills etc. the Kali wilderness camp and Bison River Resort are worth visiting. Boating on the waters of river in a coracle (round basket like boat) is a unique experience.

How to reach Gokarna
By Air:

Nearest airport for Gokarna is at Dabolim (Goa) (150 kms.)

By Rail:

Gokarna is connected by the Konkan Railway. Gokarna Rd. railhead is 9 kms. From town. Express trains stop at Ankola & Kumta, about 25 kms. away.

By Road:
Connected by road.

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