Coastal Karnataka Day 3 – Celebrating New Year at Om Beach, Gokarna.

Place: Murudeshwar and Om Beach, Gokarna

Distance: 485 km from Bangalore
Type: Temple, Beach
Ideal for: Family and Friends
Best time to visit: October to February

This is the third day of my journey to Coastal Karnataka, after having a great time at St. Mary’s island we moved on to explore Murudeshwar and Gokarna.

Best of the beast: Om Beach at Gokarna

Today’s agenda was to visit only the beaches in Gokarna, the afternoon isn’t a good time to visit the beaches so we started our day late. We got up at 10 am and got ready in an hour. Murudeshwar would be on the way and one of the group members insisted we visit it. Even though most of us had already seen it we decided to give a shortstop at Murudeshwar. We reached Murudeshwar at 12 pm. We had sumptuous south Indian thali at Indraprastha restaurant.

Lord Shiva Temple, Murudeshwara: The sun was high in the sky and the weather was not pleasant. We walked to the temple to have Darshana of Shiva Linga. It was my third visit to this place so I wasn’t much interested to explore the place. Soon after darshana, we left the place. The stays in Gokarna were really expensive due to the new year so we had our stay booked in Kumta which is 35 km from Gokarna.

The iconic view of Murudeshwara Shiva statue and the gopura.

The Rajagopura at the entrance of the Temple complex is the world’s tallest, standing at 249 feet

Murudeshwar beach view from the temple

World’s second Largest Shiva Statue

Scuba diving at Netrani Island is very popular. Here are the details if you are looking for one

We checked in to the room at 3 pm. The rooms were spacious but it was stinky. I wouldn’t recommend this place to stay even though you are on a very low budget. Without wasting much time we got freshen up and left for Gokarna. We realized it was late to visit all five major beaches in Gokarna hence we decided to visit one beach and stay there till midnight for the New Year Eve. Om beach and Kudle beach are the most happening beach in Gokarna. We chose Om beach to celebrate the New year.

Om beach Gokarna

You need to climb down using these steps. There are around 30-40 steps

Om beach is surrounded with the Volcanic rocks which look interesting

Kayaking at Om beach is a must try (Rs. 600 for two)

The volcanic rocks

The pristine beach makes you happy

Little Goa: As soon as we were nearing Om beach I got the Goa vibes. There was a drastic change in the culture as we moved from Kumta to Om beach. The beach was beautiful, people were playing in water and watersports was going on. Few of us were interested to do Kayaking and Jetski but I was interested to get some vitamin Sea. We took a stroll along the beach until we hit the last shack on the beach.

People playing in the water

We took a stroll along the beach until we hit the last shack on the beach.

There are many shacks along the beach, most of the shacks are occupied by the Isrelians and Spaniards. The beach is populated with foreigners in bikini taking a sunbath. Without wasting any time we jumped into the water. The waves were shorter and calmer but the beach was steeper than beaches in Goa. Soon after the sunset, the lifeguards started clearing people so we had to get out of the water. We had plenty of time to spend until midnight so we had a peek at all the shacks and settled at Ganesha Cafe.

The mesmerizing sunset

The sky is filled up with colors as the sun sets. 

We visited this cafe called Ganesh cafe until midnight

I was hoping people would be dancing around the atmosphere was boring

But the lightings were beautiful

Delicious food and a bottle of beer is all you need  on the beach 😀

I was expecting people would be dancing and partying but everyone was sitting on the chair with a bottle of beer in the hand. There was constant police patrolling to keep things in check. The shack was serving only beer which complemented well with the food. I sat down on the beach an hour before the midnight, star-studded skies, the music of gushing waves and a moonlit sea everything looked magical. 10 minutes to midnight everyone started gathering at one place, some were liting candles while others were dancing with Bluetooth speakers on.

As the clock struck 12, the fireworks amazed us

This lady was lost in her own world looking at the fireworks.

Looked like she was performing some rituals to the God of Fire

And some were busy in decorating the beach with the candles

Welcome 2019: Happy New Year….  At midnight the sky was lit up with fireworks, people were bursting crackers, shouting Happy New year at the top of their voices and dancing with their heart out. We spent another hour wishing everyone a Happy New Year until the police started clearing the crowd. We came back to the parking area and started driving to our room. We came back to the room at 2 am and immediately went to sleep.
That’s us lying on the beach and enjoying the fireworks

This Namaste Cafe is apparently very famous and we missed trying it out. Let me come back here again soon

Important Notes:
1. Darshana timings at Murudeshwar temple: 3:00 AM – 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

Read my next day’s post where we trekked at Yana Rocks and returned to Bangalore from there.

Read the entire 4 day’s iternary:
Coastal Karnataka Day 3 – Celebrating New Year at Om Beach, Gokarna.

Coastal Karnataka Day 4 – Trek to Yana Rock.
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