Gokarna is a small town, known for its temples, on the in the Kumta taluk of Uttara Kannada districts of Karnataka. The Mahaaleshwar temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is the most famous of all temples here. It is one of the seven pilgrimage sites for Hindus and is away from commercialization. It is well connected by rails and road to other major cities of Karnataka and Bangalore bike rentals have even made it far simpler for riders to get bikes on rent in Bangalore or hire two-wheelers like scooters of their choice to visit other cities of the beautiful state.
The town overflows with unspoiled beauty, which to this day is still as untouched as it was a few decades, making it an even quieter and serene place. It lies on the estuaries of river Aghanashini.
The Mahabaleshwar temple, one of the seven Hindu pilgrimage sites is known for its Atma Linga, believed to be the real image of Lord Shiva. Many legends say that Ravana, the Demon king of Lanka performed rigorous penance in Kailasha to attain the Atma Linga. When he finally won Lord Shiva over with his devotion, he gave him the Atma Linga but warned him that he should not place it on the ground until he reached Lanka as the Linga wold get embedded at the soil eternally, where it is first placed. Somehow Lord Ganesha thwarted Ravana’s plans and he placed the lingam at Gokaran. When he tried to pick it up again, the Atma Lingam didn’t budge, as told by Lord Shiva, and Ravan called shiva the ‘Mahabala’, hence christening the name of the temple. In his fury Ravana threw some parts of the lingam in different directions which then got established there as Dhareshwara, Gunavanteshwara, Murudeshwara and Shejjeshwar temples respectively.
Gokarna is an important centre of Sanskrit learning and houses Bhandikeri Math and Toggu Math where the knowledge is passed down from generations and people take pride in their heritage. A few other temples here are Maha Ganapathi temple, Uma Maheshwara Temple, Bhadrakali Temple, Tamra Gauri Temple and the Venkataramana Temple.
The scenic beauty one gets to see while driving up to Gokarna is inexplicable. One can only experience the magnificence of nature and bow one’s head in gratitude. It is hence suggested that tourists choose to hire bikes in Bangalore and go visit the town by road, drinking in the beauty of nature. Bangalore bike rentals have a number of two-wheelers on rent that one can choose from and enjoy the trip thoroughly.
There are famous beaches in the town that have not yet been commercialized and hence are still as God made them, pure, serene and full of calm. It is a laid back town with beautiful beaches like Kudle beach, the most - popular beach, Om beach, Paradise beach which can only be reached by boat and after some trekking, Half Moon beach and Belekan beach. The beaches have a few stalls that provide snacks and drinks but no bigger shops. Many people spend a quite weekend here to get refreshed for work again. Gokarna is a very quiet town and appeals to the nature of solitude lovers who wish to get away from the crowd for a day or two. If you want you can hire a scooter or get a Royal Enfield on rent in Bangalore and make Gokarna your weekend getaway.