The name Gokarna invokes our senses to the smell of the salty sea, the feel of humid airbrushing over our face, the touch of soft sand and the sight of coconut trees lined up along the shore under the dome of the clear sky.
Gokarna is usually known for its famous temple, beaches, and parties. It is also called as Goa owing to the similarities but it is yet non-commercial in its nature.
My love for mountains has always made me choose places in the Western Ghats. However, when I got to know about the Gokarna beach trek organized by Nature Walkers, I booked my tickets without any second thoughts. This time around, I was accompanied by my sister.
We were a group of twelve members and left Bangalore around 10 pm. Gokarna is located in the northern coastal region of Karnataka which is about 518km from Bangalore and reached there around 9:30 am.
We had to walk for about 10min from where the bus had dropped us till the homestay. The sound of the waves crashing the shore signaled that we were approaching the beach. And the moment I caught sight of the endless sea her eternal silence got locked deep within my soul!
After reaching the homestay we freshened up and had our breakfast watching the vast expanse of shimmering blue as far as our eyes could see. At 10:30 am we started our trek from God’s own beach to the Paradise beach. Coconut Grove, clear white sand and beautiful graffiti on the wall describes this beach.
This place is isolated and situated far away from civilization and makes a perfect spot to find peace and embrace solitude.
We then continued our hike to Half moon beach which took about twenty-five minutes to reach. We had to jump over rocks, climb small hills while enjoying the breath-taking scenery of the coastal region.
All of us ate our packed lunch to recharge ourselves as the blazing sun had drained our energy completely. After filling my belly with delicious lunch, I laid on the soft cushion which was the smooth sand and basked in the warm sunshine. Later we all played in the brine water like kids and of course, took a dip! Those few seconds when I immersed myself in the vast ocean, I got a taste a freedom and a sense of liberation from all the complexities of life.
We hiked to the Om beach by walking amid trees and bushes, and in between, we caught glimpses of the deep sea reflecting the sky like a mirror.
It was a moment of self-reflection within myself which made me reconnect with my inner self as I was gazing all around. On our way, we saw gigantic trees and started swaying down from hugging creepers like monkeys.
Before reaching Om beach, there is a cliff which is a perfect spot to witness the sunset. We sat there for some time and saw dolphins dancing in the sea. The illusion of life became pellucid as I stood there watching the sea and the sky kiss each other in an eternal embrace. During such moments we discover that Nature is truly priceless.
We then walked on the rocks as the waves lashed against them to reach our next destination, Om beach. The aerial view of this beach is in Om shape and hence its name. We can see a lot of foreigners and find a lot of cafes with breathtaking views of the sea.
A thirty-minute hike from here led us to Kudle beach. We settled in a café here. And as we munched on our evening snack, the saffron sun say goodbye to the day in a soul-soothing manner. After eating, we played in the sand and splashed water on each other and hiked back to our homestay. Faraway, we could see troll fishing boats sprinkled on the sea with their lights flickering like the ray of hope under the dusking sky.
Once we reached our homestay, we freshened up and ate our dinner. My soul danced to the rhythm of life as the waves played enchanting music to her audience, the stars.
The next day, we got up early morning to watch the sunrise but was disappointed as it was cloudy. We then decided to take a walk on the Gokarna beach where we had our tea as the first rays of the sun glazed the sea.
We then headed back to our homestay to have our breakfast. Finally, it was time for us to leave Gokarna and go back to Bangalore. But the organizers surprised us by taking us to Jog falls which were on the way.
Jog falls is the second highest waterfall in India located in Sagara, Shimoga. To watch the four cascades, called as the Raja, Rani, Rover and Rocket plunge from a height of 830 feet is a feast for the eyes. There are many restaurants near Jog falls, therefore, we decided to have our lunch and left to Bangalore. During the journey, we played games and shared many stories and then it was time to say goodbye to my trek mates.
I returned back with a trove of beautiful memories.
Thanks to Nature Walkers and team!