Gokarna is a famous beach town situated in the North-West of Karnataka near the border of Goa. Famous for several serene beaches along the Arabian sea shore, Gokarna is always tourist’s favorite destination. Most of the tourist that arrive at Gokarna are from Bangalore.
Gokarna Road trip from Bangalore at a Glance:
Distance from Bangalore: Around 500 Kms
Average time to reach there in a private car: Around 10 hours.
Route: Bangalore -> Tumkur -> Chitradurga -> Haveri -> Sirsi -> Kumta -> Gokarna
Road Trip from Bangalore to Gokarna:
If you are planning a road trip from Bangalore to Gokarna, you should be knowing about the road condition from Bangalore to Gokarna.
Bangalore to Haveri on AH 47 (320 Kms):
The distance of 320 Kms from Bangalore to Haveri can be covered in just 5.5 hours. The road is a proper highway at least two-lane on one side in minimum. However, there are not many Dhaba or roadside shops options after Chitradurga which is around 200 Kms from Bangalore.
As you will be driving on the highway, this is evident that you will have to pay the toll charges also. There will be around 600 rupees in toll charges from Bangalore to Haveri. After Haveri, you hit the state road and I do not think there are any toll charges from Haveri to Gokarna.
Haveri to Gokarna (180 Kms):
The distance of 180 km from Haveri to Gokarna takes around 4.5 hours via Sirsi including breaks. This route is usually single-lane two-way drive through reserve forest and jungle which are scenic during monsoon or post monsoon but dry during summer.
Planning your road trip from Bangalore to Gokarna: Tips
Try to leave Bangalore as early as possible. On the average, general cars take around 10 hours. If you start late in the midnight or post midnight, you will reach Gokarna in the noon or afternoon. Gokarna being a rocky terrain and a sea nearby gets humid and warm easily.
The best time to start would be around 8 or 9 PM on Friday. So, that you can reach Gokarna early morning. Another thing is, if you start late, by the time you reach Sirsi, it will be already morning. So, for the rest of the 180 Kms, you will have to drive through the day traffic.
Understand the Gokarna beaches:
There is a total of famous five beaches around Gokarna along the Arabian Sea. Those beaches are:
- Gokarna beach
- Kudle Beach
- Om Beach
- Half Moon beach and,
- Paradise beach aka small Hell beach.
Note: The walking trail given in the map above is wrong between Kudle to Om beach. You can actually directly walk from Kudle to Om beach through Gokarna Cliff. Once you reach the Kudle beach, the trail is pretty evident.
Gokarna Beaches Accessibility:
Gokarna bus stand, market, vegetable shops, local shops and cheap hotels are all located in the Gokarna town. Gokarna beach is the nearest beach from there. Just before entering the Gokarna town, there is a road-cut which takes you there to the Kudle beach and the Om beach.
That means you can drive directly to the Kudle beach or the Om beach if you have your own vehicle. In case, if you do not have your own vehicle, a tempo or auto or tuk-tuk can be hired in the Gokarna town (in case you arrive by bus) to drive you to the hotel or Kudle or the Om beach towards the south of the Gokarna beach.
Kudle beach is situated at a distance of around 4 Kms from the Gokarna town towards the south. Om beach is situated at a distance of around 7 Kms in the same route further.
Gokarna beach is the nearest beach to the town. As a tourist, I would not recommend going to this beach. This beach is mainly crowded by the locals. If you want to relax there drinking beer, it might look little awkward among the locals.
Kudle beach is the beach next to Gokarna beach. I would say this one is the one of the most famous and populated beach among the Gokarna beaches where you can sit and relax in the restaurants and have a beer or just do sun-bathing. This beach is also clean and easy to relax.
There are some restaurants on the beaches which serve you drinks and food where you can sit and enjoy. This beach is little costlier than the Gokarna main town beach but affordable because of the choices of the restaurants.
Om beach is the beach next to Kudle beach. It is little expensive compared to Kudle beach and the most expensive among the all. There is only one famous restaurant on this beach beside one or two local restaurants. So, it depends on where are you staying. If you are going to stay near the Om beach, of course, restaurants near the Om beach are your best choices otherwise try to stick to the Kudle beach.
Half moon and paradise beach (Small hell beach):
There is almost nil option on these beaches as far as food, drinks or even water is concerned. But these beaches definitely worth a visit because they are not so crowded and you can relax there on the beach.
Best time to travel to Gokarna:
Monsoon is surely not the best time to travel to Gokarna as water becomes murky and beaches also smell. You also cannot see the sun and relax there because of the infrequent rain. The best time to visit Gokarna would be from January until March. Most of the foreigners also arrive during this season only.
How to reach Gokarna?
Gokarna is almost 500 Kms from Bangalore so, I would prefer to go by train/ Private vehicle rather by bus.
|From||To||Distance||By bus||by train|
|Bangalore||Gokarna||500 kms||10-12 hours||17.5 hours|
|Goa||Gokarna||140 kms||4 hours||2-2.5 hours|
|Mangalore||Gokarna||220 kms||6 hours||3-4 hours|
Train from Bangalore to Gokarna road station:
Karwar Express (16523) leaves Bangalore city Junction @ 20;00 reaches Gokarna road station @ 13:19; frequency: everyday
Sleeper chargees: 405
Third AC charges: 1100
Gokarna Beach Camping:
If you are carrying your own tent, you can pitch that at Paradise beach ( the only beach where camping is allowed). You can also camp at the Namaste cafe or some resorts allow you to camp if you are in a group. They would only provide you space. Rest you have to arrange yourself.
If you are opting for camping, make sure you carry everything with you including water and other needs as there are no shops or restaurants at the Paradise beach as it is secluded. During the monsoon, make sure you have a proper tent which does not fly off under the high winds.
Also, you will have to trek for about 7 Kms from Gokarna beach to the Paradise beach if you are going for the camping. If you want to avoid trekking so much, you can park your vehicle at the Om beach and then trek from there to the Paradise beach.
Staying Option in Gokarna:
There are a lot of staying options in Gokarna on the various beaches including Gokarna town, Gokarna beach, Kudle beach and Om beach. The cost varies from place to place and the location of your stay.
Staying in the Gokarna town or staying on the Gokarna beach is cheaper than staying near the Kudle beach. However, in terms of money, Om beach is the most expensive. If you want to find an affordable place to stay, go for the Kudle beach. Here is a Wikitravel article with details on staying option in Gokarna.
Gokarna beach trekking:
Gokarna Beach trekking starts from the Gokarna beach and ends on the paradise beach aka small hell beach as marked on the Google Maps. There is a straightforward trail from one to another beach. If you are going to use the Google GPS trail map, it won’t show you the correct trail from the Kudle beach to the Om beach.
If you feel too confused, just follow other people who are trekking or ask the local people. Everyone almost knows about the trail as well as the trail is pretty evident. Here is a nice article on the detailed walking experience from one to another beach.
– Book the accommodation well in advance if you are planning to go there on weekends or during holidays
– Avoid any quarrel with locals or police.
Read this: http://www.bangaloremirror.com/bangalore/cover-story/200-foreigners-accuse-Gokarna-cops-of-brutal-assault-at-V-Day-party/articleshow/30633255.cms
Places to see around Gokarna:
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