Gokarna, Karnataka, India

Budget: Rs 5500 per person
Inclusions:

  • Bus travel to Madangiri from Mumbai and back.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner x2
  • Intercity auto and cab expenses

Day 1

My friends and I left on a Saturday evening from Mumbai. Booked the bus tickets on Friday night from Mausam Tours +91 9594446492 , 8108518401 . We booked semi recliner while going because we were on a budget trip and we would get some rest the next day. Semi recliner buses aren’t much comfortable for an overnight journey. The cost for this was Rs 1250/- per person. We booked a sleeper bus for Rs. 1700/- per person while returning because next day ( Tuesday ) we had office so we thought we’ll get some rest. This was the long weekend of Holi.

We got in the bus at 5:30 pm on Saturday and reached Madangiri at 5:30 am on Sunday.

We had called for an auto driver already – Mahesh+91 9741277893 . Both of them speak Hindi. We spoke the landlady in English but she didn’t reciprocate. So I don’t know if she only understands and can’t speak or doesn’t understand.

Within 20 minutes we reached our guesthouse- Haripriya Residency. She normally charges Rs. 700/- per night. Since we had checked in at odd hours of 6 am she charged us ₹1000 instead of ₹700. Check in and check out time is 12 noon. There’s free WiFi too.

We crashed immediately and got at 8:30 am to leave for Om Beach which is 7 km from guesthouse. There was an auto and bus stand, 100 meters away from the guesthouse. We took an auto (₹150) to Om Beach.

We were famished and hence went to the nearest shack – Namaste Cafe. Decent options were available on the menu. Only beer is served there. We ordered Mushroom Cheese omelette , coffee and Parathas. It costed us ₹500 approx. There only one more shack in the area-Dolphin Shack.

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Namaste Cafe
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We went on top to chill and have our meals.
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Recommended place to sir – far corner seats.
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Shape of this beach is the reason of this name
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We were on the opposite side and hence the mirror image of Om Beach
 

We went for a stroll and we’re planning to walk it up to Paradise Beach and Half moon Beach. I had read on some blogs that it’s just a kilometer away. But it wasn’t and it was 30* . There were several boat rowers. He offered us to take us to both the beaches and drop us back to Om Beach but no getting down at either beaches. He charged us ₹250 per person. At Half Moon Beach we saw a few dolphins !

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Walking to these beaches wouldn’t have been possible because it was a LONG LONG trek. We weren’t well equipped and dressed for it. Also, we didn’t know the roads. The boat rower told us that people from different nationalities come to stay in tents ( its theirs ) at Paradise beach after bringing  necessities from the market and stay there. There are no hotels, shacks, nothing on that beach.

After seeing Half moon beach, We returned to Om Beach and went to Namaste Cafe again to have our brunch. This time we ordered a beer, pasta, mango milkshake and — . The bill was around ₹600/- . We stayed there for 2-3 hours and were enjoying the view.

We headed back home for a nap.

Post lunch we left for Murudeshwar Temple. We booked a cab (from the bus stop only). Driver’s number  +91 8088676881. He charged ₹2000 for a Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. Yes, ₹500 per person to and fro for Murudeshwara – Yayy !

It was a 2 hour journey one way. While returning we went to a Ganesha Temple.

We had a South Indian Thali for dinner at a local restaurant once we reached home. Everything shuts around 8 – 9 and there are just 1-2 options for meals in that area. So make sure you reach and plan your dinner accordingly.

Day 2

Today we had planned on visiting Sahasralinga, Sirsi but exhaustion crept in my friends and had to cancel this plan. The same cabbie had offered us to take us there in a hatchback for ₹1000. If you’re taking a detour via Yana Caves, he’d charge ₹1600.

We had also thought to riding it down there. One day bike rent is ₹500/- 

So instead we headed for Kudle beach. On the way we stopped to see the only standing Ganesh idol. There is Gokarna Bazaar (market) too beside the temple.

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Walking towards Kudle Beach
We loved this beach the most because it was huddled between two mountains!!

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We headed for Little Paradise Shack. Ordered a Healthy Breakfast ( cereals, milk, fruit bowl, toast bread and juice) and an English Breakfast ( in picture). Cost – Rs 450 for both. They served beer ( Budweiser Premium ₹220/- ) and some alcohol too. They had more cuisine options compared to Namaste Beach.

Chilled on the beach for 4 hours. There are many people from different nationalities sun bathing on the beach. Maybe you can pack your bikinis and a sarong for this beach.

Later we explored another shack because the staff there called few of their friends on the eve of Holi. They ALL were drunk and were playing very loud music!! This shack wasn’t as fancy as Little Paradise but was little cheaper. Same varieties costed ₹30-40 less.  We had a plate of dal rice for ₹70 here. They have lot of cats and dogs too here who’ll want what you’re eating. Unless you hate animals, this will not be a problem at all!! We loved this place and unfortunately forgot the name. This shack is just 4-5 shacks after Little Paradise.

All these shacks have places to stay too. Staying on the beach would’ve been prettier and cheaper ( no inter city travel ) option. Do check it out here.

We had checked out in the morning. But by afternoon we got really drowsy and headed back to Haripriya Residency. We had planned to plead her to let us stay for an hour only. Fortunately she said a yes and charged ₹100 for that.

We bid adieu to that lady at 5:30 pm and took an auto from the same bus stop and left for Madangiri bus stop (₹200). There are buses available too but we didn’t want to take the risk of reaching wrong place or time.

Our bus arrived at 7pm, it was 15 minutes late. Our mistake was we took the last berth . We slept in the opposite direction because AC was coming directly on our face and the bolts were poking us. We got nausea and we’re trying to sleep ASAP! We stopped by at a dhaba for dinner. Next morning – Tuesday we reached at 8:30 at Chembur, Mumbai.

 Other places to see around Gokarna: Sathodi falls, Karwar beach ( where Ravindranath Tagore wrote his poems), Basra Beach Kumta.

My friend Rushikesh  Dixit went to Gokarna too. It slipped my mind to talk to him and ask for advice. He spent ₹5500 for 5 days !! His itenarary : 

There’s a hotel called Makara (Google It) its saves your 50% cost since food too is cheap. I booked the taxied through local people’s reference there. People are very helpful there. Book omni’s.

In 1000 you get to do OM & Kudle. 

Murudeshwar I combined with Yana caves and Vibhuti falls and then Murudeshwar. Start early morning , the drivers are very punctual. In booked a Tavera for this. Always bargain on number of KMs. Makara is so central located that every thing is covered in the minimum 300kms a day rate 😎😜 

Mind it the food at makara is very good though cheap. The hotel is like small villa.

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