Gokarna & Beaches: The Perfect Sunset Treat

Gokarna and its beaches comprise the ideal sunset treat. It is the go to destination for people who don’t need the pressure of an itinerary. A more “chilled-out” version of Goa, Gokarna has the beauty of Goa without the hustle and bustle of it.


Gokarna is the ideal retreat for fun, serenity and adventure. Photography by Sushobhan Dhar

Gokarna: The Planning Stage

Location South India
State Karnataka
Best time to Visit October to May
Best mode of transport Deluxe Buses, Cars and trains (not direct)
Best mode of internal transport City buses and Autos
Budget Accommodation Shacks and home stays
Recommended food places Namaste Cafe (Om Beach)
Cost of a 3-day trip Moderate

Gokarna: An Introduction to the Small Town

Gokarna is a small town situated in the state of Karnataka, known for its temples and its beaches. Once a centre of pilgrimage, due to the increasing numbers of tourists the tone and character of this place has now changed to that of a serene and peaceful getaway where people can relax and enjoy all that is good in life. With such a reputation it is no wonder that people from all over the world visit this tourist friendly place. 

Beaches at Gokarna are perfect examples of serenity personified. Photography by Avishek Dasgupta

 Gokarna: Accomodation Options

Stay in Gokarna is a debate especially during tourist season. To actually immerse yourself in the (now) prominent “hippie” vibe of this place it is always better to stay close to the Gokarna beach. You will get to meet the other tourists and join in impromptu JAM sessions across the beach. To facilitate this atmosphere various eateries throughout the beaches have opened up shacks/rooms, the most famous of which is Namaste Cafe in Om Beach. However if you are travelling during peak tourist season it is very likely that Namaste Cafe will be booked but with a little adjusting you can join the “shack” dwellers and stay in one of the other eateries. If however you would prefer to have your own space you can always check in town for inns or if nothing works out you can check out home stays in nearby places such as Kumta.

The entrance to Namaste Cafe. Photography by Gopal Sharma


Great food and a great view equals to a beautiful moment at Namaste Cafe. Photography by Praveen Kumar

Gokarna Beach: The Four

While there are many beaches in and around Gokarna the four main ones that you should definitely visit are the Kudle, Om, Half-moon and Paradise ; the best thing about these four are the fact that they can all be visited in one trek. The order of the trek goes Kudle to Om to Half-moon to Paradise and then back. If you get tired you can find shacks on Half-moon, Om and Kudle to spend the night.

Kudle to Om beach is the longest to trek so it’s best to wait out the sun before starting or else you can take an auto from Kudle to Om and then trek towards Half-moon and Paradise. Another cool thing that you can do is take the boat from Kudle or Om to Half-moon and depending on the time either trek to Paradise and back or trek back towards Om.

The Four: Character Review

Kudle Beach West facing; lots of cafes and resorts with shacks
Om Beach South facing; enough cafes and eateries with shacks
Half-Moon Beach South facing; a couple of eateries with shacks; shaped like a perfect half-moon
Paradise Beach South facing; secluded and peaceful; no shacks or eateries

Om Beach. Photography by Mayank Bhushan


Half Moon Beach. Photography by Madhu CM


Paradise Beach. Photography by Lino Jac

Gokarna: Boat Ride

Picture this: The sun is dipping slowly beyond the horizon where it meets the sea, the gentle hum of the motor of the boat and the perfect song in your ear. You feel the waves of the sea underneath slowly rocking the boat and you see the beach slowly blend into rock and then melt back into beach. It is a relaxing and freeing experience. Once you reach Half-moon beach, at the far end of the beach, there are a couple of eateries in front of which there are a pile of rocks, sitting on it watching the sun set with a slow song playing on your speakers you will feel alive, glad and content.

Gokarna : Trek Back

The trek back should be done carefully if it is done after sunset. While the climb itself isn’t too treacherous there are some narrow pathways on the trek back from Half-moon to Om. Carry torches and make sure not to do the trek alone. The trek path leads you over hill, then to its side and after quite a bit of walking right before you reach Om, you come across a cleared area that looks over Om and if it is dark the cafes will be lit and the lighthouse light slowly swinging back and forth. It is a beautiful sight and like everything here, calming.

Awesomeness is when you return from the trek and find a bone fire. Photography by Manoj Kulkarni

Gokarna: Afterwards

A trip to Gokarna can be as long or as short as you want. The beaches and the people never get old or lose their effect on you and you can always discover nooks and crannies along the trek path or the beach which will always alter the view. You might even be able to spot dolphins. The morning yoga with the people you meet, the songs around a campfire and the spectacular sunrises and sunsets, will always stay with you even as you get back to the demands and responsibilities of life.

Happy Wayfaring 🙂


This is me returning from the boat ride


With a lot of unchecked wanderlust and an endured passion for writing, I – Deepti Prakash recently joined the team at Budget Wayfarers. Born in Kerala, brought up in Dubai and now settled in Bangalore, I never lost my excitement over the prospect of an airport. Travel and the prospect of experiencing life in the way the people of each place does is something that I relish and for a hardcore introvert like me that is saying something!! For now my future is a blank page waiting to be filled with different adventures and all I hope is to end up a “been there-seen that” kind of a person with maybe a few published books in my name.

Gokarna Beach  Gokarna Beach