Located 170 km from Mangalore
, Gokarna is a celebrated Shaivite
pilgrim center in Karnataka
, as famous as Varanasi
. This is a coastal town with narrow streets, traditional houses, and temples. It is a favorite haunt of Hindu pilgrims, Sanskrit enthusiasts and beach buffs. Gokarna derives its name from the legend in which
emerged from the ear of a cow. Also, this town is formed by the ear-shaped confluence of two rivers.
Gokarna, renowned for its beaches, is also a major center of Sanskrit learning. It is home to the ancient Mahabaleshwar Temple with its Atmalinga,Venkatramana Temple, Ganapati Temple, and Kotiteertha, a large temple tank where pilgrims perform their ablutions.
Om beach is one of the five famed beaches in Gokarna. It takes the shape of an 'Om', a spiritual symbol. Wedged between gigantic cliffs, other beaches that protrude like delicate fingers into the sea are Gokarna, Kudle and Half-moon and Paradise. Gokarna is a scenic delight with the
Western Ghats on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other side.
Gokarna is well-connected to Bangalore and Mysore. There are regular buses from Karwar, Goa and Mangalore.