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Old 15th October 2008, 20:56   #1
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Smile Nirvana at Gokarna

This travelogue dates back to the January of 2007. It still remains one of my most memorable trips and I wanted to share that with you. Iíve since gone back to Gokarna a couple of times but then the first time is always most memorable, right.

Itís my roommates plan to spend the long weekend (last week of Jan) at Gokarna, heís heard about the place from a friend of his. Back then, I didnít have a vehicle of my own so I decide to borrow my Dadís jeep for the weekend.

So on the 25th after work, I hop on to my bike and ride those 160 km to Vellore (mine is a small town near Vellore). The plan is to leave my bike there so after bringing the jeep back, I would have something to get back to Bangalore in (I know thereís something called a bus or a train but then why think so far ahead when all that you need is an excuse)

I reach home at around half past 8 (itís a 2.5 hr ride) and after dinner I climb into the Marshall and begin the drive back. Reach around 12 and decide to get some rest, the plan is to leave by 4:40 AM. Iím dead to the world the minute I lie down.

Weíre delayed the next morning and only manage to leave at around half past 5. We break for breakfast at Shimoga. The roads are way better than what they are today, the stretch of bad roads near Shimoga still existed though. We reach Gokarna (Om Beach) at around 3:30 in the afternoon and after a long search we find a place to bed for the night.

Here are some pics from Day 1:

The River Sharavathi enroute.

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Couple of Pics of my goofy roommates. You guys rock!

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Om Beach

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A few closeup's

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A dusk beauty. One of my favorite pics.

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Om Beach in the twilight.

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Old 15th October 2008, 21:05   #2
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The evening passes by and dark brings around a lot of music and dancing. Thereís a bonfire going with a couple of girls doing the fire dance. Thereís our very own desi group of guys singing some Bollywood songs around another fire. Weíd brought a mat with us, so we decide to just sleep on the beach. Itís a wonderful experience, something Iíve fallen in love with. But more about this later.

The next morning I wake up early to shoot some pics. My roommates are still asleep. Today we plan to trek through Half Moon to Paradise Beach and stay there for the night. Itís a long trek, a little more than an hour coz we take a break at Half Moon, my roommate wants to catch up with some buddies of his. We reach Paradise beach in time for breakfast and dig into some lovely pancakes. We splash around for some time, get something more to eat, get back to our splashing, get out for a drink, get back to our splashing and before we realise, itís already evening. Paradise Beach is a lovely place to chill, itís unlike the crowded Om Beach. (This is way back in 2007 so Iím not sure if itís now a known hangout).

Helps to be a morning person. Some early morning pics.

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A look back as we begin our trek towards Paradise beach.

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Our buddy at Om beach, very friendly fella.

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Sand and more sand at Half Moon Beach.

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Looking over that horizon

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Marooned kids planning their getaway.

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Old 15th October 2008, 21:10   #3
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That night is one I donít think Iíll ever forget. We have some great chilly prawns (4 plates of it, if I remember correct) while chilling on the rocks. And we again decide to sleep on the beach. One of my roommates chooses a hammock instead. So there I am lying on the beach, just the stars above, silence except for the sound of a girl playing the flute and a guy keeping rhythm with the bongoís, nearby Ö haunting but soul touching stuff. If there was a moment Iíd want life to be paused at, this was it for me. I lay there for hours, not a worry in the world, suddenly all my problems just so far away. That nightís etched in my mind, lying there and looking over that fireplace where they played that lovely music Ö okie, let me un-trance myself here and get on with it

Here are some pics from Paradise Beach.

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We wake up early the next morning. I see a couple of back packers walking around the beach and on closer notice I see them actually picking up plastic and beer bottles thrown by people whoíd come there the previous day and then caught the boat back, in the evening. A lesson learnt, itís our responsibility to keep our world clean wherever we might be. A quick boat ride back to Om beach and weíre out of there. Itís a long drive back to Bangalore but Iíd never felt more refreshed. I know Iíll be back.
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Old 15th October 2008, 21:26   #4
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very nice pic in which the lady is sitting on the rock bed.
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Old 16th October 2008, 09:05   #5
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Hey, the pics are really fantastic.

But I wonder how could you sleep peacefully on sand whole night? Dont you have insects disturbing you in the night? How about catching cold?
I mean I have no experience like that, just wanted to know the feeling from you.

Abhi
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Old 16th October 2008, 09:18   #6
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@anup7649: That's a favorite of mine too.

@akroy: Thanks. Well, we had taken a mat with us and apart from a few mosquitoes I don't think we had a problem. But again, I remember during the first night I went back to the shack at around 4 in the morning (it was getting a bit chilly, remember it was Jan). The next night after lying on the beach till about 12, we settled for a couple of hammocks just a few feet away. Again, apart from mosquitoes we didn't really have a problem.

Here are pics from the next time (Oct í07) I went to Gokarna, with my friends. This time I had my Swift and so it was all the more enjoyable. Hope you guys enjoy the pics.

Nirvana at Gokarna-dscn2192.jpg

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Old 16th October 2008, 09:27   #7
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Where did you stay in Gokarna in your second visit? Looks like a nice resort? Can you suggest a nice place for families for a day or two in Gokarna?

Abhi
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Old 16th October 2008, 09:31   #8
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Truly amazing pictures. I really like all of them. I had been twice to Marvanthe and once we drove past Gokarna, but never really got to stay there. I am really impressed by the coastal drive from Mangalore to Karwar. Haven't really been beyond that, which I am sure would be equally good.
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Old 16th October 2008, 09:40   #9
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@akroy: The second time we visited Gokarna we stayed at these cottages on the top (this is right where the steps (public) descend into the Beach). From the cottages there is another set of steps which opens into a place called Namaste Cafe. The cottages are quite decent for family accomodation, only problem is that I don't think they do phone reservations but I might be wrong there. I think there's another resort on Kudle Beach which is a 15 min trek from Om Beach (in the opposite direction) but I don't know much about it.

Apart from this, there is some other Ayurvedic Resort right there (with a private entrance to the beach). The Jungle Lodges site used to show a resort at Om Beach but haven't seen it.
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Old 16th October 2008, 11:57   #10
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Amazing buddy. I was planning a trip to goa and now its cancelled. Yep gokarna it is
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Old 16th October 2008, 12:21   #11
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Wonderful pics and a great place!

Thanks for sharing a wonderful experience, RufRoc!

Been on my list of must see places for the last 2 years, but never got to do it yet!
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Old 16th October 2008, 12:43   #12
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Truly amazing pics!

I believe there is a famous Shiva temple, called Gokarna-Mahabaleshwar. Is it nearby Om Beach?
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Old 16th October 2008, 12:55   #13
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Thumbs up Good pics !

Great pics, RufRoc, and very well-maintained Marshall (is it a 4-speed or 5-speed version?).

dumb question : where is this place called Gokarna? From reading thru your posts, it seems to be somewhere on the west coast.

Could you please post some additional info about the route you took, and distance info from some major cities which are near to Gokarna?

Thanks.

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Old 16th October 2008, 14:14   #14
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Great pics. The resort also looks good. You are sharing this almost 2 years after your visit...
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Old 16th October 2008, 15:28   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
Great pics. The resort also looks good. You are sharing this almost 2 years after your visit...
And I'm glad he was late - I got to see the pics.

No, seriously, that's been one of my favourite parts of India. Maybe some day I'd like to retire somewhere on that coast. Earlier I dreamt of a spot further south, but they're getting too violent for my liking; :-((( we Bongs are timid, peace-loving creatures, and hate rows, as you all know.

This stretch, all the way from Mangalore to Karwar, even Goa, actually, is heaven on earth. The only thing close would be Bali or a South Sea island.

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