This was an unplanned one night trip to Gokarna during our stay in Udupi exploring the unexplored!
Gokarna is a beautiful temple town situated along the Arabian sea coast and is one of the seven important pilgrimage centers in India. Gokarna literally means cow's ear. It is believed that Lord Shiva came out of cow's ears to redeem Lord Brahma of his curse. Also, as per the legend, Ravana while carrying Lord Shiva's Atmalinga wanted to perform dusk time rituals while passing over Gokarna enroute Lanka. Lord Ganesha appeared in form of a boy, took the Atmalinga from Ravana and planted it in Gokarna, wherein it got planted permanently as Lord Shiva had said. Ravana could not move it; he removed some pieces and threw it in all directions. Check out the full post at https://www.spicyroutes.com/post/murudeshwar-the-story-of-immortality
Gokarna is also called the Dakshin Kasi. Mahabaleshwar temple which is a 4th century typical Dravidian style temple is situated on the shores of the Arabian sea where the pilgrims cleanse themselves before visiting the temple. Presiding deity of the temple is Lord Shiva in form of his Atmalinga and it is believed that the lord showers immense blessings of the devotees who get even one glimpse of the Atmalinga. A few yards away from the Mahabaleshwar temple is Sri Maha Ganapathi temple, where Lord Ganesha's idol is placed in the pit on the floor. After paying obeisance to the God, one goes to visit to Lord Mahabaleshwar. An annual Rath Yatra is organised where the devotees pull the wooden chariot through the market area. It begins from Sri Maha Ganapathi temple and chariot has images of Lord Shiva and other deities placed on it.
Post the mandatory temple visit, we headed to spend some wonderful time at Red Earth Home Stay, https://redearth.in a resort which is around 45 min drive from the temple complex. Beauty of this place is that the property is situated amidst thick green vegetation on a hillock overlooking the Arabian sea. One can enjoy their time on the private beach of the property and click some beautiful pics of themselves with splashing waves as a background. At the resort, you can enjoy quiet time with your loved ones, book your time at the SPA, have sumptuous meals and simply soak in the nature's beauty to the fullest. So, when you are in Gokarna, check this resort out and pamper yourself. There are around 20 cottages which are quite comfortable and would definitely recommend a stay here. One gets to this resort by taking a slight left turn from NH66 and after passing the town of Ankola.
One can combine a visit to nearby places like Om Beach, Kudle Beach, Paradise Beach, Half Moon Beach, Dandeli and Jog Falls along with the visit to this lovely property. One word of caution is that during monsoon from July to September, the sea gets rough and the waves splash violently against the rocks, making them extremely slippery. So, exercise caution while you get down the rocks during your stay here in monsoon season. Gokarna is definitely a place to unwind and rejuvenate yourself in the lap of nature.