Gokarna is the mini-Goa according to any regular beach traveler. And I wouldn't differ a wee bit from it. The main town being a very religious and holy place for Hindus, has maintained its sacredness by keeping the chilled out tourists across the cliff, at Kudle and Om beaches.
Om beach got its name from the Om shaped rock formation. Om beach is also the first settlement of the hippie crowd in Gokarna in the 1980s. The beach has many guest houses and shacks.
Accommodation is mostly in mud huts with thatched roof or dried weaved palm leaves as the roof. This might feel a bit weird for first-timers but it is just as safe as any budget accommodation can get.
Some guest houses provide hammocks to relax on. These are heavenly to laze during the day with the sun on your face and book in your hand.
After the hike from Gokarna town, Kudle beach is the first beach you can see from atop the cliff. The beach is surrounded by cliffs on both ends which gives it a very secluded feeling
Kudle beach is a kilometer long flat stretch with guest houses lining the entire stretch. Some guest houses like The Spanish Palace are very mean and biased against Indians. They only entertain foreign guests, which I found very rude and unethical. Some others are run by foreign tourists who intend to stay in India for a couple of years. These places were very friendly and accommodative. Irony!
The younger laid-back crowd come from various European countries and stay in Gokarna through the months of winter. The guest house I stayed at had employed a Polish couple as the care takers. For them, it was an escape from the harsh winter and extra earnings to support their extended stay in the lovely beach front guest house.
|Om beach, Gokarna|
|Beach side shacks in Gokarna, use dried and weaved palm leaves as roof|
|Shacks also have a cafe serving Continental food|
|Mud hut in the backyard of a banana plantation.|
|View of Kudle beach from the hill top road|
|Sunset at Kudle beach, Gokarna|
|Chilling with some music|