I’ll make a personal admission. I do like the hills, a lot, but I love the sea. I don’t know maybe it’s the vastness of the ocean that attracts me, as in how easy it is to lose your self in the sea.
So after a year of a tumultuous work schedule I did go on another vacation. I wanted to go south this time though not much south. So I decided to go to Gokarna. I had only heard about this town from a friend and he had told me that his trip had been extremely peaceful. I looked up the town on the net and liked what I saw.
I called up my friend Jalaj and asked him if he would want to go. He said yes and I booked the tickets for February 2014. The closest airport to Gokarna is Goa. Gokarna is in Karnataka. It’s a 4-hour drive from Goa along the coast.
The drive from Goa to Gokarna is so scenic. Most of it is along the coast only so you can actually see the sea around 2 km’s to the right. We passed many small towns along the way. Karwar is a major city we crossed. It’s a naval base as well. The road is just amazing and a must for people who love to ride their bikes. We reached Gokarna in about 4 hours, we didn’t stop at all in between, we just wanted to get to this place we had heard so much about. As soon as we entered the city we noticed that the roads become extremely narrow. The city was bustling with foreigners and pilgrims alike. There were so many huge temples about the city. The cars were not allowed beyond a point due to the fact that they wouldn’t fit on the tiny inroads of the city. We had to continue our journey in an auto.
The auto took us through narrow passages in the city and around the main temple and finally we came upon an open road in a hilly area. We were a bit confused at first.
Upon arriving on the edge of a cliff the auto suddenly stopped and the driver announced that we had reached Kudlee beach and told us that we would have to continue our journey by foot. So we took out our bags and walked. There is a 600-700m trek downwards to the beach and as we got closer to the sea the excitement grew. I hadn’t been to a beach in a while and I was really excited. As soon as we got to the bottom of the road I could finally see it. The majestic Arabian ocean in all its glory. Wow! That was the first word that escaped from my mouth.
I have been to a lot of beaches in my time and this was something different. BAM! The exquisite and picturesque scenery just hits you in the face and takes your breath away. I just left my luggage over there and went up and walked right up to face the ocean with my arms outstretched as If I was meeting a long lost brother or trying to embrace everything in one go.
It was serene, the ocean was so blue and so calm. The waves gently falling upon the shore, people relaxing on the beach, automatically Roger shah’s album another day on the terrace started playing in my head. It was a wonderful experience. There were many shacks/lodges on the beach itself and we had no trouble finding suitable rooms. They were very reasonably priced which was a great thing.
We used to get up every morning go to the café on the beach connect my phone to the speakers the owner had and order beer. Then we used to sit there, watch the sea and drink till night. I found peace there. The beach was really clean. There were no broken bottles or anything. After nightfall you’d notice the foreigners making a drum circle and sitting around a fire. Someone was always playing the guitar and the others were all talking, sharing their most intimate experiences with people whom they had barely known for a day. That place had that magic in it.
There are total 5 beaches in Gokarna. We stayed mostly on Kudlee but we did visit a few others as well. Om beach is nice and it is named that as it is actually in the shape of a Trishul. Half moon beach is great as well though extremely small. It took us good 1 hour of trekking through the hills to get there. We took the boat ride from Half moon beach to Kudlee back. It was good as well.
Gokarna is a great place to relax and unwind. If you get the chance do go there for sure. It’s a must have experience.