It is the perfect beach winter holiday destination in India - The Fearless Indian
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It is the perfect beach winter holiday destination in India

  • Mrinalini Singh
  • September 23, 2017
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Until five years ago or so, almost everyone between the ages of 20–30 simply packed their bags and headed to Goa for the winter season. And why won’t they? Goa has beaches, a fun tourist crowd, late-night parties, shacks with cheap beer and fresh golden-fried prawns. Then there’s the other part of Goa with churches and imposingly beautiful Portuguese and Gothic architecture. But it’s time to move on from Goa. It’s crowded and loud and has achieved a monotony of events that happen. The next beach destination to head this winter in India is the quaint town of Gokarna in Karnataka.

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Gokarna is a small temple town on the coast of Karnataka, known for its holiness and several temples. Millions of tourists visit this little beach town every year, especially devotees of Lord Shiva. The main temple and deity are called Mahabaleshwara and it is said to house the original image of Shiva’s lingam, known as the Atmalinga. It is said that this was even to Ravana by Lord Shiva himself.

Places to visit at Gokarna

  • Om Beach: The beach is one of the prime attractions of the town. The shoreline is shaped in the form of Om, the Hindu symbol. Activities like jet-skiing, banana boat, surfing, etc. on the beach add to the beach experience.

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  • Mahabaleshwar Temple: The temple is the fulcrum around which Gokarna revolves. The Shivling is known as Atmalinga and was given to Ravan by Lord Shiva. The temple is considered second only to Kashi Vishwanath in holiness. The temple is considered one of the sacred Mukti Stalas, where people pray for their ancestors and perform obsequies. The temple is built in the Dravidian architectural style from granite stone.

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  • Maha Ganpati Temple: Located outside the Mahabaleshwar Temple complex, the temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Devotees first visit the Maha Ganpati temple before visiting the Mahabaleshwar temple. The temple houses a tall black stone idol of Lord Ganesha. The idol has a hole on its head, believed to have been caused when Ravan hit Ganesha in anger.

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  • Kudle Beach: This is one of the most famous tourist spot, located around 20-minutes (walking distance) away from Gokarna. Here travellers will get a number of simple huts and beach-side eating places where one can enjoy lots of things. A kilometres-long pure white sandy beach surrounded by palm trees is the major attraction of this beach that attracts a large number of travellers.

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How to Reach?

Gokarna is located in Karnataka just a few hours from Goa and Bangalore. Although it does not have an airport, it is well-connected by road to all major cities. Dabolim airport in Goa is the nearest airport about 140 km away. The airport is well connected by flights to Indian and international cities. From the airport, taxi services are available. The nearest railway station is at Ankola, about 20 km from Gokarna. Trains from several cities including Mangalore, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, Veraval halt at the station.

If not here, then where? If not now, then when?

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