Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gokarna Trip

Most Beautiful Beach in India
Gokarna is repute for its sanctity and meritorious of a spiritual center but of course, that’s not how most young knows it and also famous for its beautiful beaches and landscapes, here are the five main beaches in Gokarna – Gokarna beach, Kudle, Om, Half Moon and Paradise (Full moon) in that order and with hills between each the beaches. As such, it offers extremely good opportunity for beach treks.
Most Beautiful Beach in India
Few weeks back I visited Gokara Mahabaleshwar Temple and nearest few beaches with my friends. After a good breakfast, we prepared for our exploration to Gokarna. After a comfortable journey by late morning we reached Gokarna town. The structures of the town have a distinct boundary, beyond which is an open space.
 The first thing we encountered in the town was a Ganapathi temple. Gokarna Ganapati Temple is one of the famous and very old Siddha Ganapati shrines in the State. The temple has a 5 ft tall idol of Lord Ganapati in the form of a young Brahmin. Maha Ganapathi Temple built in honor of the boy Ganapathi, who deceived the demon Ravana.
Here Ganapathi idol is in standing position and I observed a small hole on his head. The first sights of the town included a few priests walking around and Hallakki tribeswomen selling flowers and other things of worship. We walked past them and headed towards a lane that laid us to the famous Shiva Temple which houses the ‘Atmalinga’ named so after Ravana referred to the Linga’s great strength.
The temple is very old very beautiful but very crowded and not proper system inside the shrine hall. Here lord Shiva in the name of Mahabaleshwara enshrines the Aatma Lingam of Lord Shiva. The temple, built in a classical Dravidian style of architecture, was first constructed by Mayurasharma of the Kadamba dynasty who ruled between 345 –365. Visvesvaraya of Halasunadu-Kundapura built the Chandrasala and Nandi pavilions when Queen Chennammaji and her son SomaSekharanayaka were ruling Keladi (1653-1671). The temple is a large complex of shrines and much of it belongs to the later Vijayanagara period. In 1665, Shivaji came here to worship the deity.
Beautiful Beachs in India
The village is mentioned in the subcontinent’s two most important epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, and is considered one of India’s holiest places, an equal of the god Shiva’s two other abodes, Varanasi on the Ganges and Mount Kailash, in the Himalayas. This is considered as one of the seven Mukti Kshetras of India.
Mythological reference to Gokarna describes how Ravana, the demon-king of Lanka, received the Atmalinga from Shiva after he had performed a penance at Mount Kailash reciting self-written Shivatandava Stotram. Legend has it that the holy Lingam was given by Shiva to King Ravana to make his kingdom an invincible fortress Shiva instructed Ravana that the sacred Atmalinga should not be placed on the ground as it would establish itself where placed on earth.
On his way back to Lanka, Ravana stops for his evening prayers at Gokarna. To prevent Ravana from getting a weapon as powerful as the Atmalinga, Ganesha, in the disguise of a Brahmin boy, tells Ravana that he will hold the Atmalinga until Ravana finishes his prayers. As soon as he receives the Atmalinga, Ganesh promptly puts it down. As Ravana tried to pull the Atmaling it came out in the form of Cow’s Ear hence named the place Gokarna (Go- Cow + Karna – Ear).
Later we finished delicious lunch in temple premise and headed to Gokarna beach which lies close to the Mahabaleshwar Temple and is frequented by locals and tourists alike. In the vicinity, you will find plenty of hotels, food joints and garments and Puja shops. Since the ancient temple is nearby this part of Gokarna is more of a pilgrim town than a beach town. We had some quick photo session on the sea-shore and back to parking area to occupy taxi.
 After a 10kms pleasant drive from town we parked our vehicle on hill top and we made our way down the steps and finally on to Om beach. This beach certainly the best of the five Gokarna beaches, the beach derives its name from the Hindu religious symbol – OM, since its shape resembles that of the symbol.
 The ‘OM’ shape is pretty evident when you see the beach from the hillocks on the either side. However, the right side gives a better view than the left. Consequently, the picture you take would be mirror image of the OM symbol. The beach is the longest among the five beaches and is frequented by Indian and foreign tourists alike.
After few minutes’ walk on sea shore we faced heavy rain so we took rest under one of the trees lined around the sea shore. There are three equidistant rocky patches at the beach. We hiked the thick shrubbery part of the steep rocky hill situated at center of the beach; we grabbed a safe place to sit on top and had a fantastic view. This part you shouldn’t miss at OM sitting atop on rock and relax to the rhythm of cascading waves.
Half Moon Beach is a tiny beach and can be reached by beach trekking from Om. The beach has huge rocks as well. Once here lose yourself and merge with the tranquil surroundings. Paradise Beach is the fifth and the last beach in the series and it befits its name. You have to beach trek for about 20 min from Half Moon beach to reach Paradise beach.
Fascinating glimpses of the upper green hills, brightly lit woods in vast shore line, loneliness, the chill air and occasional bikini girls altogether wasn't a soothing experience to visit Om beach at Monsoon time. It’s a really pleasing to heart Rendezvous with Nature in rainy.
Photos by- Ashok S B,Sunil Kamath & Myself.

4 comments:

Ashok said...

Nice beach... Temple is good but system is not good there.... Hope for the better system there..

R Niranjan Das said...

Om beach looks ferocious. Nice shots.

http://www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

Santosh bs said...

sooper dooper... never had come across a compiled list of beaches from Gokarna.
The touts around the temple need to be controlled, its become a business... :(

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