Along with a few of my friends, I decided to visit Gokarna over this weekend. Other than the fact it is a tourist place, I didn’t know what to expect there. As usual I turned to Google to find some awesome blogs on what to expect from Gokarna.
We started our road trip from Bangalore, heading towards Pune in the Bangalore Pune National highway. The roads were good but highways are so monotonous, you get to see almost the same scenery everywhere. The narrow smaller roads almost always have some good views.
We were welcomed by heavy rains on the way making it really difficult to drive. But once the rain was done, we were on the edge of the night and the sun was about to rise. We deviated from the highway to a narrow village road with some awesome scenery. Dogs waking up and people starting to leave from home for their daily work. The place was all filled with fog and the road was free. I couldn’t resist myself from taking a pic of my car.
We found Sannavalli Dam on the way and stopped there for a break. We witnessed the sunrise from the forests and the lake behind the scenes. After a small stop, we started on our way to Gokarna. We witnessed school kids waiting for buses and some African ethnicity people. Weirdly out of nowhere how did this people get into Karnataka? Looks like they were brought here as slaves by Portuguese merchants. They are known as Siddis and are from south-east Africa. There was also a Tibetan Buddhist settlement on the way. Mother India has welcomed everyone into her beautiful home.
We reached Gokarna and wanted to book a room as soon as possible to get some rest. We were a bit worried about not getting a room since its a long weekend and we hadn’t booked a room yet. We found a cheap room and got some rest and we were ready to hit the beaches.
We hit the Om beach next and chilled out there in Om Shree Ganesh with an awesome lassi. Then settled down in the sunset point to witness one of the best sunsets of my life.
After some rest in the room, woke up early in the morning and took a walk in the Gokarna beach. The scene was like any small town scenes in the western coast of India. The small concrete roads leading to the beaches had bamboo bending over the roads. The roads were mostly made into one-way roads as it was narrow and can allow only one car.
The old people I was able to witness had worn their saree in a different style without a blouse. There was a small fish market too on the way to the beach. The houses here were in a bit different style. Even huge houses had to slant roofs probably to keep the rain away as this area receives more rainfall. Almost every house had a Tulasi plant and the walls were made with Laterite stones and are filled with green moss.
Most of these houses had been turned into guest houses and had coconut trees and banana plantations around them with a lot of space between the house and the compound wall.
The beach had started to wake up. The sun had risen a long back and the cleaning ladies were picking rags left in the beach. Since the town had a famous temple the beach was used as a pilgrimage spot too. The beach was a mixture of both the pilgrimages and the young youth. The scenes with lifeguards in one end and people performing religious dips in another end.
Felt the beach was a bit sexist. Most of the males were in one piece or even less taking a dip and all the females were fully dressed in there sixteen feet sarees. There was this one guy who went bit deep into the sea and changed his dress by showing his private parts to the sea god. Probably this is why the Sea God causes tsunami once in a while.
After the dip is made, people pose for their family pics with the sea as the background and couple of people without any hair on their head. White dhoti so transparent that all their colorful innerwear is visible when they take a dip. Its also so weird how they offer eatables to the sea and the sea throws it out in few minutes even before they pose for their pics.
And there is another parallel world happening on the same beach. People who visit the beach for recreation. Couples taking selfies. You can see rented cars which are driven by people from Bangalore or Pune. These people wanted to escape from their busy schedule in these forest jungles. This crowds had a couple of girls only gangs too.
There is one crowd with sixteen feet sarees covering from head to toe and another gang with shorts. Noticed few men will be men scenes too.
Almost all beach scenes in India has a couple of stray cows mooing around aimlessly. When I noticed these cows it hit me if even I was a cow in last birth. I was also walking in the beach aimlessly noticing all things happening around me.
If you walk a bit further from all the crowd you could witness seashells and some small patterns in the beach sand. There was a small stream of water joining the sea here. I wanted to taste the water to see if it is fresh water but didn’t dare to do it since I noticed a dark gutter close by and was not sure if the water is good. Might be because of this freshwater joining in I noticed few schools of fishes in the sea. The fish were in grey color with black strips.
Another scene I witnessed here was a couple of guys and girls pulling a fishing boat out. For the first time, I am witnessing girls helping in fishing.
A bit away from the beach are the row of shops selling everything from tender coconuts to t-shirts and shorts.