Explore Gokarna in 24 hours!


Gokarna is a small town situated in the western coast of India in the state of Karnataka. Well known as a spiritual hub, Gokarna also boasts of beautiful serene beaches. I was lucky to have been able to make a short trip to this beautiful town. Before we start with the itinerary, let me brief you on how to get there.

Travel – How to get there:

Gokarna is accessible by Bus and train. The travel time is same for both the bus and train from Pune/Mumbai. Nearest airport is Dabolim, Goa. I had traveled by bus to Gokarna and returned by train.

You could book private busses from popular bus booking sites which have a halt at either ‘Gokarna Cross’ or ‘Madangeri’. We were traveling from Pune and the bus fare for Air conditioned sleeper bus till Gokarna Cross came upto INR 3000.

Another way of travelling would be taking the train which is much cheaper in comparison to a bus or flight. You will have to take a train to Margao, Goa and from there take another train ride to Gokarna which takes about an hour from Goa. Together the train travel would cost around INR 450 for Non AC.

Travel Plan:

Gokarna Main Beach:

Gokarna beach

At the break of Dawn from Gokarna Main Beach.

We started our bus journey at 7 pm from Pune and reached Gokarna Cross next day at 5:15 am. We took a local auto rickshaw that costs INR 350 for entire vehicle to the main Gokarna beach. It sits three people at a time. It was a 20 minutes ride. The public bath and washrooms had opened at the beach around 5:45 am. We freshened up and waited at the shore to experience the break of dawn at the beach. What a beautiful site ‘twas to watch the sky lit the entire shoreline. The beach isn’t lonely at this hour and there are plenty of locals and tourists who are already relaxing on the beach.

Mahabaleshwar Temple:

After spending an hour at the beach we visited the famous century’s old Mahabaleshwar temple which is situated right in front of the beach and is at walk-able distance. Most temples here don’t allow you entry if you’re not a Hindu. We admired its beauty from the outside and watched the priests and locals worshiping in good faith.

Kudle Beach:

Kudle Beach

Kudle beach front view

You could take a local ride to Kudle beach. We wanted to explore the streets so we decided to cover it on foot. The walk to Kudle beach from Gokarna beach is about 25 minutes and can be easily navigated using Google Maps. Kudle beach had multiple shacks and though we were keen to reach there for breakfast at the famous Shiva café we had breakfast at Om shanti Shack right next to it as Shiva Café was shut for the season. The food was good and there are both local cuisines and continental food available here at affordable prices.

Om Beach:

Om Beach

Om Beach view point

If you check the maps, it will navigate you to a route that takes about an hour to reach Om beach by foot. However there is a pathway that has been built from Kudle that connects to Om beach directly in around 25 minutes by foot. You could ask the locals and they will direct you to a route that starts at the end of the Kudle beach shoreline that leads to the Gokarna cliff. From there downhill is a path to Om beach. If you’re not up for the walk then you could easily avail a local transport directly to Om beach.

We reached Om beach by foot and dropped our luggage at Namaste Café as we were to stay there the night. There was still some time left for our check-in at the hotel, so we decided to check the ferry time for Nirvana beach from the ferry point. We missed Nirvana as no boats were available that day to Nirvana. You could try your luck to get there by boat ride costing INR 350 per head. We relaxed for a few hours at Om beach until our rooms were ready.

Namaste Café:

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Namaste Cafe Room

Namaste Café is a popular lunch place and might have a little waiting. The food is amazing and the stay is really cheap and comfortable too! The café opens right at the front of Om beach. Must try the sea food delicacies here.

Om beach-Half moon beach-Small Hell Beach-Paradise Beach trek

  • Om Beach View Point:

    Post lunch time we decided to relax and start our trek to the famous Paradise beach. We started the trek around 4:30 pm. The trek from Om beach to the Om beach view point is easy and can be trekked with slippers on. The view of the entire Om beach from the view point is breath taking.

  • Half-Moon Beach:

    It is a 15 minute trek to Half Moon beach if you get the trail right else it might take about 20-30 minutes depending on how good you are at navigating. To finish the trek faster it would be best to have a word with the locals so you avoid reaching dead ends. The half-moon beach is not very big and has very few tourists. There are ferry service available here to take you to paradise beach directly or even to take you back to Om beach by boat.

  • Small Hell Beach:

    Small hell beach is a little difficult to reach by slippers and I would suggest to carry shoes as you have to do a little bit of rock climbing to reach this beach. It is the tiniest of the beaches in Gokarna and is quite secluded.

  • Paradise Beach:

    One has to cross the Hell’s cliff from Small hell beach to reach here. It is a bit of a task if you’re not wearing the right shoes. Once you cross over the cliff, paradise beach is just 2 mins walk from there. You will see tourists camping at Paradise beach. We took a ride back by boat to Om beach after reaching Paradise beach. The trek was tiring as we had already covered half of Gokarna on foot. The last ferry is at 6 pm so we didn’t want to miss it out!

The boat ride was serene and peaceful as we watched the sunset. If you do not wish to trek you could instead take boat rides that are available at Om beach ferry point that take you to all the nearby beaches priced at INR 250-350 per head. Depending on the rush they may or may not stop at the beaches for pictures. There are also boats that start from Gokarna main beach as well.

view from boat ride

view from boat ride

In all we covered all the main beaches in the entire Gokarna coast in 24 Hours! There is a famous cave, ‘Yana caves’ that can be visited in Gokarna as well. It is a 45 minute drive from Om beach and takes about a day to cover. This could be covered the next day.

Gokarna Road Station

Gokarna Road Station

I would say you could plan a stay of 3 nights if you want to take it slow and relax. You could cover a few more temples and Yana caves. Alcohol is not served here, however you can carry your own liquor. My favorite beach was Kudle beach.

Gokarna is a very peaceful place with very few commercial areas and indeed gives a break from the hustle and bustle of city life!

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Movie Review: Logan (2017) *spoiler alert*


The world’s been buzzing about the movie Logan ever since it was speculated that this would be the last movie Hugh Jackman would be playing the X-Men favorite clawed mutant – Wolverine. The movie released in India on the 3rd of March 2017 and a mutant fanatic like me couldn’t wait to watch it.

The movie is a must watch for every Mutant lover and watching Hugh Jackman play Wolverine can never stop amusing you. He’ll take you back to your teenage years where you’ll be clasping your hands together, biting your nails and murmuring to yourself as he destroys every ‘bad guy’ on his way. It breaks your heart knowing that you will not be seeing him on the big screen playing the iconic mutant again. Also you will be taken aback by an outstanding performance by the kiddo – child artist Dafne Keen and of course Sir Patrick Stewart, the professor and headmaster we wish we had in real life –Charles Xavier aka Professor X. For parental advice the movie has a lot of violence and gore. If you were here just for the review, I’d say stop scrolling further to avoid any spoilers!

The movie starts with a bunch of goons trying to rob what looks like some machine parts (tire maybe) of a luxury limousine. We see a drunk/sleepy head Logan getting off the car and warning the gentlemen to go back and no harm would be caused. But as predicted the buttheads shoot him and continue what they were doing anyway. Struggling to stand up Logan manages to get up and walk towards them and requests them to stop. Things take a different turn and we see wolverine alive killing everyone leaving their corpses lying limbless and headless.

It is here we realize that Logan is a taxi driver in New Mexico and looks rather old, grumpy and is struggling to heal back.

The corpses attract a cyborg – Donald Pierce to track Logan who warns him that someone may come looking for him and it would be kind if he would report to him whenever that happens.

We get introduced to Caliban – a mutant tracker and a mutant himself talking about another mutant going out of control, trying to make contact. We see Logan carry medicines and injection to a deserted hiding wherein an old man supposedly suffering from Alzheimer’s disease was talking to himself. This is none other than our Professor Charles Xavier. With a brain that dangerous and a disease of the mind making him rather volatile and more dangerous than ever. He would get seizures often that would affect everyone around him, making it difficult to move. Charles keeps talking about communicating to some mutants and Logan only shuts him up saying that the world has changed and our kind are very few.

Charles

A Mexican nurse Gabriella with a kid tracks Logan and requests him for help. Realizing that he’s a taxi driver, she even manages to book his cab. Logan agrees after she offers him $ 50k which he needs to take care of Charles and himself. The next day he finds the woman dead in her apartment and the child missing. He takes her phone and goes back to their hiding. Caliban insists that there is someone or something that Logan has got back in his car. They find a bag pack and a ball in the trunk leading their eyes to the kid from that night – Laura. Laura X23Pierce tracks Logan to the hideout and they put up a fight to find Laura and Professor X. The professor insists Logan that he should save the kid and she is special. During the fight we see that Laura had been genetically created using Logan’s gene and is the ‘daughter’ of wolverine. Pierce manages to take Caliban as prisoner while the trio escape him. In Gabriella’s phone they learn more about Laura and other kids like her. She had wanted him to take Laura to a place called Eden from where all the children that escaped from the company run by Dr. Rice where they were genetically created using X-Men and other mutants’ genes, will be crossing the border.

Along their journey to a safe house, they encounter a family whose horses run off the highway. Professor X helps them with his mind control and the family offers them to stay the night for dinner. Post dinner the water supply was shut, so Logan and the man go to the fields to fix the water supply. Meanwhile Pierce sends out his men to capture the girl. They track them by torturing Caliban and send a genetically engineered mutant to kill them. This mutant does not have a conscious of his own and is controlled by the Doctor. He attacks Charles and destroys the entire family. This mutant is an exact replica of Logan himself! While Laura is been carried by him, Logan and the man manage to reach the house. It’s an awe to watch two wolverines fight each other. Though he manages to save the kid, Charles lost his life and Caliban sets himself on fire by bursting the entire truck in flames in an attempt to save Laura.

Wolverine is dying and he is not healing. The kid manages to take him to a doctor after they bury Charles in the woods near a lake. Adamant Logan only keeps yelling at Laura till he sleeps off due to tiredness. Laura drives the vehicle to Eden where she meets all the escaped children. They treat Logan and tell him about their plan of crossing the border. During the night Logan and Laura have a conversation where he explains to her about adamantium in their bodies that is killing him and which eventually after years would kill her too. He shows her a bullet made of adamantium that he holds to remind himself of his weakness. At Dawn when the kids make an escape, Logan wakes up to the sound of militant vehicles. Knowing the kids are in danger he makes his way out to the woods to help the children. He takes an injection that temporarily cures him and makes his way to the woods. After putting a tough fight, he instructs Laura to free the kids and escape while he distracts the enemy.

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Logan kills Dr. Rice, this angers the wolverine lookalike mutant against him and they have a tough fight. Meanwhile Laura frees the kids, killing most of the militants and the children manage to kill Pierce. Logan gets defeated by his lookalike, yells at Laura to take the children and escape. Angered by the lookalike Wolverine, Laura uses the adamantium bullet and shoots his head off, killing him. Teary eyed Laura holds Logan as he says his last words and calls him daddy. The children bury him, as a tearful Laura gives a eulogy and make an escape.

Logan: Nature made me a freak. Man made me a weapon. And God made it last too long.

The movie was heart wrenching and the only thing I did not like in the movie was the death of my two favorite X-Men.  It would have been easier to see Logan dying had they shown him dying gradually though last few movies than suddenly killing him off. Hope you enjoy the movie like I did!

Movie Review: Pacific Rim (2013) *no spoilers*


There are things you can’t fight – acts of God. You see a hurricane coming, you get out of the way. But when you’re in a Jaeger, you can finally fight the hurricane. You can win. – Raleigh Becket

I watched Pacific Rim today all alone at home. I’m glad I watched it alone and didn’t force my dad to watch it with me (like I always do) because if I’d done that, I would have got to hear him snore while I struggle to stay up and watch it. Didn’t get me yet? Well, the movie was boring. -_- It put me to sleep.

The only reason I watched the whole movie is because of the visuals and the sound. The graphics of the movie are amazing! Though I didn’t like the fact that the Jaegars resembled so much of a transformer (from the movie Transformers) only that they were robots being controlled by two military pilots.

The movie is set in future where giant alien dinosaurs called the Kaijus attack the Earth. They enter onto Earth through a bridge created from a different dimension in the pacific ocean. (Hence the name– ‘Pacific’ rim!) These sea monsters want to take over the Earth and begin their existence here. With the help of a panel of the most efficient scientists and military forces, the army develops Jaegars to fight with these horrid looking creatures. Of all the encounters with the kaijus, most of them fail resulting in loss of pilots or injure them badly.

The movie is very superficial and keeps juggling from one end to the other making it messy. The script sucked badly. I wish they had a better story line. All you enjoy is watching a jaegar fight a monster.

As for the acting, most famous TV series actors have been cast such as Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Charlie Hunman and Diego Klattenhoff. I enjoyed watching Charlie Day and Burn Gorman playing the comic scientists and they both have played their characters really well. As per the rest of the actors I’m just assuming they didn’t do that great because of the script.

If you are a fan of fantasy comics and watch action movies only to watch the armed fights, then this movie is worth one time watch. Without the high tech graphics this movie wouldn’t have got the rating it has. (7.8/10 IMDB charts)

I guess I’ll have a short nap now. Zzz.