Our time spent in Gokarna is without doubt a highlight of our trip. We initially planned a two week stay by the sea, but ended up staying over a month.
Gokarna itself is a beautiful pilgrimage town that we fell in love with. Although the presence of foreign tourists must have changed the town, it still feels relatively untouched and undeveloped. Cows, artistic graffiti and temple houses are found everywhere in the town.
We particularly loved the town's treasured holy lake that acted as an amazing sun trap for the setting sun.
One day we were lucky enough to stumble upon the town's 'Shiva Cave.' Home to hundreds of bats and a Shiva shrine, we were also surprised to find a Baba in the cave who had been living there for nine months. It was a fantastic experience to learn about his life, and he even attempted to teach us some meditation!
About a twenty minute walk from the town is Kudle Beach; a picture perfect beach completely surrounded by hills and sea. Again, initially planning to stay on Kudle for a couple of days before moving to the nearby ‘Om Beach’, we ended up spending our entire time here as it was just perfect. Renting a private hut for 400 rupees (£4) a night at a place called Uma Garden, perched at the edge of the beach on the rocks, we really were living the traveller’s dream.
On Kudle Beach we got into a really relaxing, rewarding routine. Yoga every morning at 7.00am, followed by a swim in the sea, jumping straight in from the rocks, followed by breakfast. In the day we would often read, edit photos, sunbathe, or explore Gokarna town and other nearby beaches, before making sure that we were in a good place to watch the inevitably brilliant sunset. The evenings were often spent eating at our favourite restaurant, aptly named Little Paradise Inn.
A combination of our environment, the regular early morning yoga, and the good food, meant, admittedly for the first time in India, we were both really very happy and very relaxed in Gokarna.