We spent two days in Gokarna, and whilst our guest house was very nice, the village was fairly spartan. It didn’t help that as non-hindus; we were not allowed in the temples, of which the village has many.
So for a couple of days we wondered around the area, exploring what we could.
The village itself had a wall of gravestones down one street. The wall was over six feet high and had small alcoves cut into it, each containing a small gravestone.
In the middle of the village was a ‘temple tank’ which looked fairly filthy to be honest. This large pond was to be used for various dunking ceremonies, I suppose like baptisms, yet several women were busy cleaning their pots and pans at the bottom of the ghats.
A lot of travellers we had bumped into spoke highly of some nearby beaches. Firstly Kudle beach just over the first headland, and then if you keep going Om beach just over the second headland. We chose to hike over to both beaches and take a look for ourselves. Both beaches were fantastic, with clean sands and shallow bays inviting swimmers and small boats. Om beach clearly took the lead though with its distinctive shape formed by three small coves within one larger bay.
We arrived just at sundown and all of a sudden, almost magically, the light changed to a soft magenta, reflecting off the water, ephemerally giving the entire scene a sense of being transported to an alien world.
Stunned, I took some photos and decided right there and then this was where we should stay for the next few days.
The next morning we packed out bags, hopped into a rickshaw and checked into a small cottage right on the beach.
That evening we set up at the very south end of the beach to catch the sunset again. Unfortunately the light from the previous night was absent, but the image of the sun- a blurry fireball dropping behind an outcropping of rocks adorned with a small shrine, was still a fantastic show.