WE TRAVEL NOT TO ESCAPE LIFE, BUT FOR LIFE NOT TO ESCAPE US
Along the western coast lies a beachy little settlement called Gokarna. Being a Manipal University student, I was blessed with scores of beautiful places all within a few hours of reach. Gokarna was one such place.
The earliest history of Gokarna is not known. Though some Tamil texts dating back to 550 AD refer to this place. By the 16th century, the Portuguese had taken over this place (along with Goa). In 1714, the Portuguese destroyed many temples which were later rebuilt in the late 18th century.
Gokarna falls on the way from Manipal to Goa. It is about 180 km from Manipal and 143 km from Goa (by road). It is historically known as one of the seven important Hindu pilgrimage centres and is located on what was once unspoiled beach near the estuary of river Aghanashini with its palm trees, other colourful tropical fruit and flower trees. Of late, due to the numbers of tourists, the character of this town has changed. This town is no longer just a centre of pilgrimage, though massive numbers of devotees still visit the town for the purposes of offering prayers and worship to Lord Shiva.
Om beach is the most famous beach in Gokarna. It is the only beach in the world which is naturally shaped like the Hindu religious symbol (OM) and hence the name.
Due to Gokarna’s proximity to the western ghats, trekking is common and offers a mesmerizing view of cliffs, jungles and coasts.
Western travellers though, mainly know Gokarna for the beautiful beaches. For people who prefer calm and peaceful beaches, Gokarna is an ideal place.
Gokarna is indeed a piece of heaven. It is definitely worth your time. Have a great time exploring!
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