Gokarna, the beach trek
Beach and Trek seemed like an unusual combination to me at first and this was the question that shot up in the mind — What to trek along the beaches? And having seen much of the beaches and hailing from the coastal city of Mangalore this was an obvious question. The perception of the beaches being a flat piece of land covered with sand was to change forever.
The beaches of Gokarna seemed different, it's rocky terrain culminating as a cliff into the sea. Wherever you have the terrains with some amount of inclination and descent forms the perfect spot for trekking. This makes Gokarna a place to trek around the beaches and first of its kind of trek for me.
The total trek distance of around 20 Kms. starting from Kumta to Gokarna. The trek starts with slight hilly terrain near Kumta as we proceed ahead the trail goes closer to the rocky seashore and later long flat sand beach for kilometres together. This stretch was really fooling the mind by appearing as a short distance but as you walk you feel like it is a never-ending stretch. Finally coming to an end at a distance of 8 Kms. almost line of sight trail into the Nirvana beach cliff.
Then we enter a village and into the woods to reach the Ferry point of the Aghanashini river. This trail is misleading and it is easy to get lost here. We were lucky enough to catch the last ferry at around 7 pm and missing it we would have to take the longer route by road to reach the other side. River Aghanashini originates from the Western Ghats joins the sea near this place.
After the cross over to the other side, we reached Belekan Beach. There is a small fishing port here and a fish market beside it. Fresh King Fishes were out on the sale and probably this place caters to the local markets.
We reached the place for the night stay besides the river. There were a couple of stay options along with camping and tent stay.
Apparently, it happened that night on December 13th, 2020 was a special celestial event. It was a night of Geminid Meteor Showers with the moon into the Waxing Crescent. It was a perfect night sky for star gazing. The meteors were just shooting in all direction of the sky and that to so frequently that one would find it hard to keep the count of the falling meteors.
The sky was crystal clear as we were far away from the cities and probably we were on the right spot at the right time to gaze the skies. Though it was a coincidence we saw a lot of shooting stars and upon little Googling found that it was a day when the meteor showers would peak.
The next day morning, we set out on a trek to reach the OM Beach. The terrain starts off entering into the fields to reach the Paradise beach. This beach has options to set up tents and is also a Private Beach. Surprising to see one, as I saw private beaches for the first time.
As you proceed you would go across a series of beaches including Hell’s Cliff Beach, Half Moon Beach and then comes the site of the OM Beach.
Walking in the hills we could see the view of the OM Beach. Descending to reach OM Beach in the afternoon. This marked the end of the trek.
Just recollecting the number of beaches, all of them had rocky terrains. At some places, one had to descent down to get the view of the beach and return back along the same path of the trek trail that was running at some elevation.
OM Beach was a special one and famous among the beaches in Gokarna. The crowds at this place were more in number compared to all other spots that were covered earlier.
Then we took a boat ride to the sea and just had a glimpse of a Dolphin as if it was there to show its presence. As we moved away from the land into the sea we could literally see the whole stretch of around 20 Kms that we trekked from Kumta to reach the OM beach.
The OM beach has options for water sports and restaurants along the seashore. If one wants to get into the waters, this place is safe enough under the vigilant watch of the lifeguards. We concluded the trek by dipping into the waters which definitely gave some relaxation and removed the tiredness of the long trek.
Some of the highlights of the trek includes the terrains with a mix of Villages, Hills, Rocky Beaches, Woods, Fields, Cliffs and Rivers. The trek was a moderate one and a night stay would ease out the overall trek experience. There was a Ferry ride part of the trek and we just managed to get the last ferry which runs till the dusk sets in. Overall, a refreshing experience with the Beaches.