Gokarna, truly a land of beauty and serenity… It was quite a ride for me to get here and I’m sure as hell that it was worth it. At certain points I felt that it couldn’t get worse and might as well think of better alternatives or simpler solutions… But no, it wasn’t meant to be… I had to be here… Well, it had to be it!!! I had to make this one a road trip… What better than having my own set of wheels! I had made up my mind that I’d go biking it across about 150 Kms from Goa to Gokarna! Eventually that’s what I did and boy, am I glad that I did it that way… But before I reached Gokarna, Om Beach to be precise, I wanted to take a short detour to Cotiago WildLife Sanctuary and check the beautiful place out. Beautiful that it was I couldn’t find many animals as I ended up going there in the afternoon… Yet, after spending a few hours looking for animals, I enjoyed the nature trail and certainly made my Journey to Gokarna in the evening, much more pleasant. Riding on the fast lane with the sun setting by my side, I couldn’t have asked for anything more…
Besides that there were a couple of interesting things and an interesting bunch of people I met down here… But I’ll save that story for the next blog post. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures of my journey from Goa to Gokarna.. Truly a roadtrip of eccentric proportion, catching up with my solitude yet again..
So this is how it shaped up, I began my journey after a heavy lunch from Margaon, Goa. Eating the traditional Thali as I always do before I head out for long journeys, it was certainly going to last me for quite a while. Seeking out a new destination on my own set of wheels meant a lot more adventure and fun, besides of course having the independence to just stop anywhere I wanted to… So I had made up my mind that it was going to be a motorbike journey to Gokarna across the border of Goa into Karnataka. An eccentric ride filled with some panoramic views of the sun setting across the mountains. It was not just the ride but the adrenaline that pushed me into going on the biking trip. Suggested by a friend of mine on twitter, it was a really good recommendation.
This was it… This was my roadster.. One that was going to take me all the way to Gokarna.. Was quite a new bike and certainly riding smooth. Was fun riding with this baby!
Since I had my own set of wheels, on my way to Gokarna… I decided to take a little detour. Between, Goa and Karwar happens to be this amazing Wildlife Sanctuary, which claims to have Panthers, Cobras, Babboons and other wild animals… I did go there in the afternoon…Didn’t know what to expect, but I took my bike deep into the forest till there was a road to ride it on. After that I did a bit of hiking and went on a nature trail inside the dense forest. Maybe not so scary, but it was quite thrilling entering their territory.
Since I went there in the afternoon, all I saw there was a few deer, a couple of snakes and a few birds… Maybe next time I’d go early in the morning…
There was something about this Deer… I was trying to get photographs of most of the Deer inside the enclosure… But they all kept running away, probably scared… But this one stood it’s ground… It stood next to the cage as I clicked it a multiple times. It was as if this one had something special to tell me. In fact, it shared a kind of connection with me that I can’t really express or explain in words. It was truly amazing and at the same time a bit depressing to see them so out of tune from their own self…
As soon as you enter Karwar town, you’ll see this Majestic ship standing across the ocean out there telling it’s tale of glory. Karwar is a coastal city and a majority of their occupation is to do with fishing, especially since Karwar beach is quite a catch for most of the fishermen. Also Indian Navy has a huge base in Karwar… So that’s something that this place boasts of. It was quite something to catch hold of these pictures on my way to Gokarna.
Since I took such a huge detour, by the time I was about to reach Gokarna, the sun was about to set… So just as usual, without wasting much time, I stopped by and took a few shots of the sunset and a few great views that followed me across the journey on this beautiful stretch of NH17….
If I had come by the bridge, say about 10 minutes earlier, I could have most certainly caught the Sun actually set in those mountains and the view from this bridge would’ve been even more ecstatic… Well, nonetheless, it was a glimpse that caught my eye instantaneously and I had to stop by for a great capture…
That was also a sign for me to just speed up and make sure I reach Gokarna before it’s way too dark… So I decided to up the anti and turbo boost my wheels into Gokarna… On my way, this is a sneak preview I got… What I did in Gokarna and how interesting the stay was would have to wait for another blog.. Yes, folks, it certainly was interesting so I’m going to have to continue it in the next post… But I’ll tell you, you guys won’t be dissapointed… So stay tuned, and until then do tell me how you like this journey so far. What say guys?
Har Har Mahadev! Shiva has been certainly one of the God’s that enchant my sense of imagination and a purpose that fulfils me in it’s own entirety. Some believe that this Warrior of Death is the ultimate Lord amongst the trinity of Hindu mythology. Guru Bhrama, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo, Maheshwara… Yes, Gokarana is believed to be the land of this Destroyer of Evil, the ultimately triumphant Lord of Lords!!! Lord Shiva…
Shiva has a tryst, a tryst with destiny and he knows how crucial he is to the whole eternity and this land of the abyss… To begin with, the most amazing thing about ‘Shiva’ is the meaning to his name… Yes, it means ‘the ‘auspicious one’. Surprised?? Don’t be… Yes, Lord Shiva is the auspicious one and no matter how much importance every other God gets, Lord Shiva’s tales are innumerable.. Some enchant you, some inspire you, some make you feel that you truly believe in the sense of this whole abyss we know as Earth!
Moving on…Gokarna means Cow’s Ear. It is believed that Lord Shiva emerged from the ear of a cow (Prithvi, the Mother Earth) here. It is also located at the ear-shaped confluence of two rivers Gangavali and Aghanashini. ..
This is where I’m headed to next… Yes next stop is going to be Gokarana, where the ultimate power of Mahabaleshwara lies… Friday the 22nd April, being a Good Friday seems to be the ultimate time to go there, on a long weekend…
So I’m going to head off, with my backpack to discover the beaches, the temples and the mysterious land of Gokarna… One that I’ve heard has achieved a lot of buzz amongst a lot of people.
So what’s so great about Gokarna you ask?
Well, here’s a short little review/research I’m doing before I actually get there…
Some History about the Place
Legends in the Sahyadri Khand of the Puranas indicate that the State of Kerala was reclaimed from the sea by the Warrior-Sage Parashurama who came from the North (of the Vindhya ranges) after his wanderings, in which he killed the Kshatriyas 21 times and threw his axe, the weapon by which he annihilated the Kshatriyas, into the sea, to prevent the erosion of the land stretching from Gokarna to the Southernmost tip of India.
Gokarna is also mentioned in the Shrimad Bhagavata Purana as being the home of the two brothers Gokarna and Dhundhakari and the Bhagawat also gives details of the differences in their temperament, nature and exploits. [Source: Wikipedia]
Beaches of Gokarna
Gokarna town has it’s own beach that’s popular with pilgrims. However, the beaches that are of most interest to tourists are located one after another a short distance away. There are four of them called Kudle Beach, Om Beach, Halfmoon Beach, and Paradise Beach. Each has its own appeal. Om Beach is the most happening beach, and is the only one that’s reachable by car or rickshaw. The others are around a 20 minute hike away from each other through the hills and over rocks, or a short boat ride away. The last beach, Paradise Beach, is not much more than a tiny protected cove that’s a patch of hippie paradise.
This is one of the major temples here. It houses the famous Atmalinga here. It is a very major attraction here. Before worshipping at the Mahabaleshwara temple, there is a custom that one has to bathe in the sea and pay respect to a Shivalingam, made out of sand.
There is six feet tall Atmalinga here enshrined in a square called Saligrama Peetha. It is opened for viewing once in forty years. Now only the tip of the Linga can be seen through a opening in the Peetha. Another Mythlogical reference to Gokarna describes how Ravana went to Mount Kailasa to perform penance and get “Atmalinga” from lord Shiva. Lord Shiva handed the Atmalinga and instructed him not to place it on the ground till he reached Lanka.If he placed it down then it would establish itself on the ground. On seeing this other Gods got threatened and went to seek Lord Shiva’s help, who devised a plan with Lord Ganesha.
On his way back to Lanka, Ravana stops for a prayer in Gokarana. Ganesha disguises himself as a Brahman boy and tells Ravana that he will hold the Atmalinga till he finishes his prayers on the condition that he would hold it till he can bear its weight and thereafter he would call Ravana three times. If Ravana failed to come back in time he would place the Atmalinga on the ground. Before Ravana could come he places the Atmalinga on the ground it firmly gets attached to the Earth.
Ravana furiously with all his effort tries to extricate it resulted in his throwing the coverings of the Linga to Dhareshwar, Gunavanteshwara, Murdeshwar and Shejjeshwar temples (the last places is very near Karwar).
All in all, I’m looking forward to have a great time and ensure I get the best stories and pictures out of this place…