What To Keep In Mind When Traveling To Gokarna During Covid
Going offbeat is currently one of the trendiest things to do, and for several reasons. The most basic one is that offbeat locations are undiscovered gems, offering everything they have without the need to jostle with other tourists who want the biggest slice of the pie. They tend to be on the simpler side when it comes to accommodation, but are also comparatively a lot more affordable.
Plus, in light of the global pandemic, they make for the safest places to take a vacation. After all, when social distancing is the norm, you want to avoid the crowds more than ever before. Gokarna is one such gem, steadily attracting an increasing number of people each year. Read up on traveling to Gokarna during Covid so you’re thoroughly prepared for your journey.
How To Get To Gokarna
Gokarna is located in the South Indian state of Karnataka, which means having to abide by the Karnataka state Covid regulations when going there. Karnataka does not necessitate a valid Covid negative test for entrance, but all passengers will be screened on arrival. If you happen to display symptoms, you will be required to self-isolate and seek medical aid. Make note of the Apthamitra helpline @ 14410, which you can use in case you need assistance upon feeling sick or showing symptoms.
Getting To Gokarna By Air
Gokarna is off the beaten path, which means it doesn’t enjoy the effortless connectivity that major tourist attractions usually do. But keep in mind, anything worth experiencing takes a little toil to get to. To reach Gokarna by air, you need to fly to the Dabolim Airport in Goa. It is 148 km and about a 4-hour drive away. You can also fly to Mangaluru International Airport and take a train to Gokarna from there. If you wish to get there by road, it is a 5-hour journey.
Domestic travelers arriving in Karnataka will be thermally screened and not be quarantined. To add to it, you won’t be obliged to carry a negative RT-PCR test, but only if you’re asymptomatic.
All international passengers landing in Karnataka who test negative will have to undergo mandatory 14-day home quarantine. All passengers (international or domestic) who test positive will be isolated in single-room facilities and treated for Covid by the government.
Getting To Gokarna By Train
Gokarna does have its own station but not all trains stop here; it shares rail connectivity with the trains from Goa and a few surrounding regions. The nearest station in most cases will be Ankola, 20 km away. You can easily take a cab from Ankola to Gokarna.
Owing to the pandemic, train services are yet to come back to normal but you can avail of the Covid special trains.
Getting To Gokarna By Road
No major highways run through Gokarna, but it is well connected to its surrounding regions by road. It shares good road connections with major cities located nearby like Goa, Mangalore, and Bangalore.
As of 24 June 2021, interstate bus services haven’t been resumed but interdistrict services have been resumed with 50% seating capacity.
Places To Visit In Gokarna
Gokarna is a coastal town, and its shoreline has beaches that can compete with the likes of Goa. Gokarna Main Beach, Om Beach, Kudle Beach, Half Moon Beach, and Paradise Beach are the beaches here to drop by. You can start off at one beach, walking down the entire stretch of the shoreline, and reach another. The beaches are separated by small mounds of green hills, and there are hiking trails that take you from one beach to the next. Easy and well-marked, these make for a great way to explore Gokarna.
Om Beach is thus named because the shoreline resembles an Om, and the naming of Half-Moon beach follows the same logic. Paradise Beach is a little alcove surrounded by hills, and truly feels like stepping onto paradise. You can camp on the beach, or go kayaking into the sea. You can also learn to surf at the Gokarna Main Beach, where surf shacks offer lessons for beginners and non-swimmers alike!
There’s no dearth of sunset spots in Gokarna; whether you’re on a beach or atop a hill, your sunset will be fabulous for sure. However, if you’re someone who seeks out the extraordinary in every experience, then Labyrinth is for you. Labyrinth is marked on Google Maps in case you want to find it. It is near Kudle Beach, around the hilltop parking facility. The spot is just before coming up on the beach, and gives you an absolutely breathtaking view of the sun setting in all its glory and the gilded waves crashing on the shore.
Do you feel a thrill when you see walls of water cascading over a cliff, crashing onto rocks below, fine spray being thrown into the air? If you find yourself in Gokarna, make sure you visit Lalguli Falls. The waterfall is around 250 feet in height and is fed from the River Kali that winds through the land. It is surrounded by lush green jungles and makes for an ideal day trip for a picnic. When there, make sure you look out for the many birds that keep flying around.
The best time to visit Lalguli Falls is from October to December, which is the winter season. The flora and fauna are still green and thriving, it isn’t too hot, and the waterfalls are still fed with water that poured down in the monsoon. The falls generally run dry in the summer, and are too dangerous to trek to during the monsoon.
Gokarna is home to a number of hippies, and the hippie vibe here is tangible. There are several yoga ashrams run by foreigners who have made Gokarna home for many years now, but arguably the most fun is the shopping. There are several stores that sell hippie clothes, from psychedelic T-shirts to comfy kurtas and harem pants. Look out for some all-natural, organic products at the organic and herbal stores, and definitely hop into one of the music shops to take a gander at the many fun instruments there.
A special flea market, in particular, is the one that comes to life as the sun sets on Kudle Beach. Here you find the foreigners who live in Gokarna selling spices and prayer beads, necklaces and souvenirs, and all manner of interesting things. Make sure you drop by, if not to actually buy anything, to see what it’s like. Of course, being a town with several temples, you can also buy a lot of brass items and other pooja-related things.
This 16th-century marvel isn’t exactly in Gokarna, but is a 30-minute drive outside of it. It definitely draws the attention of tourists, yet remains relatively unknown and unfrequented. The Mirjan Fort is said to have been built by Queen Chennabhairadevi of Gersoppa, though its history remains hazy. Visiting the fort after the monsoon is the best, as it is covered in a carpet of moss and is a pretty sight to behold.
The Mirjan Fort is built over 4 hectares and boasts double walls meant to withstand invasions and enemy artillery fire. It is riddled with secret passages and storage rooms, clearly displaying the heightened thought that went into its construction. Till today, excavations at the site continue to unearth more and more secrets.
Covid Precautions When Traveling
Although it is slowly being frequented by an increasing number of people, Gokarna still remains relatively hidden. It continues to enjoy its seclusion and is rarely ever crawling with tourists. However, for a place this small, it is imperative that you travel as a responsible tourist. Don’t just be mindful about things like littering, but also make it a point to constantly follow Covid protocol irrespective of where you are. Properly dispose of all used tissues and disinfectant wipes, and keep your masks on at all times. The war with the pandemic is yet to be won, but it is these small things that make a big difference in the end.
Is There Lockdown In Karnataka?
As of 24 June 2021, Karnataka is under lockdown until 5 July but with the exception of Mysuru District, the regulations for the movement of people are being relaxed. However, there will still be a night curfew every day from 7 pm to 5 am.
Is it safe to travel to Gokarna now?
Is Gokarna Worth Visiting?
Definitely! This quiet beach paradise/temple town has evaded the tourist radar for quite a long time. If you’re the kind of person who likes a relaxed holiday, then a 3-day trip to Gokarna would be just what you’d love.
Is Gokarna Better Than Goa?
Goa and Gokarna are both great beach destinations that are worth a visit. While Gokarna is quieter and less crowded, the mood in Goa is much more vibrant and the nightlife here is unlike any other place in India. Depending on what you want out of your beach holiday, you could choose either.
Also, Goa and Gokarna are just a 3-hour drive from each other, so why not visit both?
Is Alcohol Banned In Gokarna?
Being a religious town, alcohol will be hard to come by in Gokarna. But you could still get beer from the beaches and make sure that you drink responsibly.
Which Is The Best Month To Visit Gokarna?
The months of October to February are the best months to visit Gokarna. The weather would be quite pleasant and would let you enjoy this beach destination to its fullest.
Can Covid-19 Spread Through Food?
There’s no evidence that Covid-19 can spread through food or its packaging. But all the same, continue practicing good food hygiene to avoid any food-borne illnesses.
Can The Coronavirus Disease Be Transmitted In Hot Or Humid Climates?
The Covid virus has shown itself capable to be transmitted in all areas, irrespective of climate. That’s why you shouldn’t relax on preventive measures.
Should You Meet With Other People During The Covid-19 Pandemic?
The rule of thumb when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic is that the more people you meet, the greater the risk of infection. So social distancing and self-isolation are the two things that you must live by.
What Are Some Of The Precautions Should I Take While Staying At A Hotel During The Covid-19 Pandemic?
Opt For A Covid-ready Hotel: Most hotel websites now explain the processes in which they’re keeping their premises sanitized. Only opt for such hotels and ensure that the safety norms are adhered to.
Wash Your Hands: Irrespective of where you are, the mask and sanitizer rule applies. Use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content and wash your hands thoroughly.
Avoid Contact: As far as possible, opt for cashless transactions and avoid contact with common touchpoints like elevator buttons, doorknobs, faucets, etc. If you do, wash your hands before touching your face.
Dine In: Instead of eating at the hotel’s restaurant, opt to dine in as it reduces your exposure to other guests.
A Guide To Traveling To Gokarna During CovidTraveling To Gokarna During The Coronavirus Pandemic