When one visits the temple town of Gokarna here are some must-do things around the town and on the remote beaches which still have the hippie cult thriving at their very best.
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1. Gokarna Hiking:
The best way of getting around the beaches in this temple town is by hiking and one can get from Gokarna town of Paradise Beach in under an hour. The hikes are very easy and the trails are very well marked.
2. Ice Nutella:
At Rock Namaste Cafe on Kuldee Beach you can quench your thirst and indulge your sweet tooth with Ice Nutella. A drink served in a large glass with ample of Nutella served with crushed ice. Along with Ice Nutella, you can also find a variety of other options on the menu such as ice Kit Kat and Ice Strawberry.
3. Prawn Pizza on a Banana leaf:
If you like pizzas then the Prawn Pizza at Rock Namaste Cafe on Kudlee Beach is a must. They have 12″ pizzas served at an extremely reasonable price and to top it up the thin crust prepared in a real clay oven makes the Prawn Pizza a mouth watering meal. The icing on the cake is that they serve you a pizza on a Banana leaf.
4. Seafood Lasagna:
A must try for sea food lovers is the Sea food Lasagna at Namaste Cafe on Kudlee Beach. The Lasagna includes prawns, king fish, squids and even crab meat if your lucky. Served with bread toast this is one Lasagna which will leave a lasting memory.
5. Collect Souvenir:
We all travel for various reasons but one thing which is synonymous to all travellers is collecting souvenirs and at travellers can take back shells which can be found lying over the rocks towards the end of beach where the trail to Paradise Beach (Full Moon) Beach starts.
6. Hippie Shopping:
Gokarna is all about reliving the vibrant hippie culture of the 80’s which is very much still alive and rocking on these beaches and the best way for you to get into the hippie groove to feel like one is by dressing like one. The flea market in the town area has plenty of shops selling kurtas, harem pants, skirts, Om and Shiva T-shirts, loose dresses etc. Bargaining is a tool which come very hand while shopping here.
7. Idli dosa:
Gokarna being a temple town in South India means your breakfast will surely be cheap and healthy. The steaming hot dishes of fermented food make for a tasty, scrumptious meal.
8. Kudlee flea market:
Post sun down, the shore of Kudlee Beach turns into a bustling Hippie market where backpackers from all over the world can be seen selling various kinds of hand made jewellery, musical instruments, some even sell medicinal herbs. The market is surely worth a look and is vital source of income to many travellers who have made Indian their home for a long period of time.
9. Selfie on the way to Half Moon Beach:
A perfect spot for a selfie which will surely get you tonnes of likes on your social media profile is on the hike to Half Moon Beach from Om Beach. One will get a never ending view of the Arabian Sea and if you’re good at selfies you’ll even manage to get the entire Om shape of the beach.
10. Lemon soda:
A good way to beat the scorching heat at Gokarna is by having a glass of masala soda which is available at Gokarna town on the way to Gokarna Beach. The lemon soda is a must-try.
11. Picture of Om:
Om Beach has been given the name because the beach has an Om shape. The best place to capture this is while walking down the steps to enter the beach. The rocks at the entrance are the perfect spot to capture the shape.
12. Night walk:
We all love taking a walk in the night and the walk from Kudlee Beach to Gokarna town is one totally worth doing. It’s safe since the trail is very well marked and wide unlike the rest of the beach trails. The cool night breeze clubbed with the sounds of the waves and the moonlight make it a walk everyone must do.
13. Blessings of Lord Shiva:
Gokarna is well known amongst the Hindu community as a pilgrim spot for the Shiva temple situated in the centre of the town. The Shiv Ling in the temple is believed to be installed by the demon king Ravana centuries ago to take Lord Shiva’s blessings. The temple present today was then built around this ling. So while at Gokarna, visiting the temple to seek the Lord’s blessings is a must do.
14. Stay at the beach:
The best way to sync into the Hippie vibe of Gokarna is by renting a shack at the beach. These shacks are virtually right on the beach and make an excellent stay for anyone and everyone. These shacks are mostly very basic and provide noting more than a bed, fan, plug point and a mosquito net. The washrooms are mostly shared.
15. Candle light dinner:
Sick and tired of eating in the same old shacks on the beach then buy a candle place it in the sand and sit with your food on the beach and enjoy a candle light dinner with nothing but the sound of the sea.
There is something about beaches and beer they both go hand in hand and if you like either of the two then you should seriously consider clubbing them at Gokarna. Especially in the afternoon when the sun is blazing with all its might, one of the best ways to kill time is to read a book and have a beer or two.
17. Sunset at Om Beach:
Dolphin Cafe at Om Beach is located on the hill leading to Half Moon Beach and offers travellers arguably the best sunset of all four beaches. The multiple shades of orange and yellow which can be seen from the cafe is something which a camera can never capture fully and words can’t describe.
18. Take a dip:
Grab your swim wear and run into the sea. The best beaches to take a dip are Half Moon and Kudlee but avoid going beyond waist level because these beaches have very strong under current and plenty of rocks inside the water and can prove fatal if the currents are strong on a particular day.
19. Play at the beach:
Buy a frisbee or a set of racquet ball from the town of Gokarna and enjoy the evenings playing on the beach and while doing so you’ll surely make some new friends who will tag along and enjoy the game with you.
20. Alone in Paradise:
The best place to get some much needed personal time and be away from the world is at Paradise Beach. The beach has all the needed ingredients to help one reconnect with Mother Nature and in turn find peace. Paradise Beach is a short 20 minute hike from Half Moon Beach. Paradise Beach has no shacks for food or accommodation.
21. Free yoga:
On the hike to Kudlee Beach from the town of Gokarna at the top of the hill lock near the road are a few huts and mud houses. A couple of these huts which have been turned into guest houses have daily free yoga classes in the morning. If you like yoga or even want to start learning this is the place to be.
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