Sanctity and natural beauty - this is what Gokarna abounds in. Where the sound of temple bells clears your doubts, and makes you leave all your tensions at the feet of the deity, the waves from Arabian Sea at another end tempt you to take a dip in the cool waters. Once Gokarna was known just for being a pilgrimage site, but scenario has changed over the past few years. Its tranquil beaches dotted with coconut palms attract as many leisure tourists as the pilgrims. Though Mahabaleshwara Temple captures the prime attention of pilgrims, the five stunning beaches along the coast are loved by the young age groups and foreign tourists. Scroll down the article to know more about the places to see, tourist attractions in Gokarna - the temple town in Karnataka.
With a simple architecture of boast of, this ancient temple is much sought-after by the natives and pilgrims in Gokarna. On entering, you can behold the grand gopuram and aesthetic halls and pillars. The sanctorum comprises the linga which appears twisted and pulled up; it is visible just three inches above the ground and stands in a hollow under a pani-vatta (frame) crafted of saligrama. The pilgrims come here to pay their homage, accompanied by chanting of mantras. The aarti here is witnessed by hordes of pilgrims. Mahabaleshwar Temple is just 1km away from the bus stand.
Tamra Gauri Temple
Sited in the north of Mahabalesvara Temple, Tamra Gauri Temple is dedicated to the Goddess Parvati. The temple has an ornate entrance. Here the goddess is always decked up in beautifully pleated silk sari. According to the legend, the goddess got emerged from Brahma’s hand like a river-woman and alighted on Goshringa Hills. Then after years of meditation, she got married to Lord Shiva. Here, the two-armed idol of Gauri holds a balance, about which it is said that she is weighing the greatness of Gokarna against Varanasi.
Mahaganapati Temple is another famous temple backed by various legends, in Gokarna. Located in the east of Mahabalesvara Temple, the temple is open from 6 am -1.30 pm and 4.30 pm - 8.15 pm. In the sanctum, the black stone idol stands about 1.3m in height. As per the legend, Lord Shiva was pleased with Ganesha's help and thus, blessed him with the honor of first worship. Thus, accordingly, pilgrims first come at this temple to pray to Lord Ganesha and then head towards Mahabalesvara.
Kotitirtha is a sacred tank which is supposed to contain waters of ‘one crore (koti) sacred springs (tirtha)’. On the southern edge of the tank is the Varadeshvara linga, which was installed by Sage Agasthya. People consider it auspicious to bathe in the tank and perform rituals for departed souls. This tank is open for 24 hours; it is located in the south-east of Mahabalesvara Temple.
Five Beautiful Beaches
Om Beach, Gokarna Beach, Paradise Beach, Kudle Beach, and Half-Moon Beach, are the five beaches which set the perfect atmosphere for a vacation. Obviously, you can't expect something hip-hop from these beaches as Gokarna is primarily a temple town. Yet these beaches are loved by people for the tranquility, they offer.