Its name is derived from the fact that the rivers Agnashini and Gangavati confluence weirdly and get the shape of Govina Kivi (Cow's ear). Hence the name Gokarna. The famous Mahabaleshwara Temple is situated here.
It is a conservative Hindu pilgrimage town, home to several temples and festivals. The town itself is full of locals and pilgrims, and doesn't have much in the way of facilities for tourists, other than a handful of guesthouses and local restaurants. The town is mostly centred around the KSRTC bus stand. About a kilometer from the bus-stand , the Gokarna beach starts , forming the coast of the town. As you trudge along the narrow lanes of the town towards the beach(the lane is named 'Samudra Marg'), you will come across houses of priests where some religious talk will be going on or people invoking the Holy Lord with chants. Most foreign tourists come to stay on one of the 4 beaches just south of town. Kudlee Beach is the first, about a 20 minute walk, and they get more remote and less populated as you head south. The most popular time to visit Gokarna is during the 4 day Shiva Ratri festival, where 2 giant chariots are pulled down the main street and up to 20,000 pilgrims descend on the town.
Karwar - 60 kms, Hubli - 160 kms
Saswara Resort : 08386 - 257052
Om Lodge : 08386 - 256445
Gokarna International : 08386 - 258622
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Hotel Shivprasad : 08386 - 257032
Hotel New Prasad : 08386 - 256250