Gokarna is an historic Tirtha Kshetra or a pilgrimage place. Positioned uniquely on the gorgeous west coast of India, it’s surrounded by hills on the remainder of the edges. In actual fact, Indian scriptures outline it as Shatashringi or a spot with 100s of horn-like hillocks. As I walked across the city, tracing historic temples and tirthas, I may see the small hillocks in every single place. The sacred geography is certain by the waters of Gangavalli and Aghnashini rivers on two sides and sea on the opposite. Even then the city is stuffed with water tanks or Tirthas, the largest being Koti Tirtha that’s the coronary heart of this sacred city. Get to know an inventory of the locations to go to in Gokarna for devotees and leisure vacationers.
Legends of Gokarna
Gokarna is talked about as a sacred area in lots of scriptures together with Mahabharata, Gurucharita, and Gokarna Khand.
Origin of Title
The primary story tells us how the place received its title. It’s believed that when upon a time the place there was simply water and Narayana was sleeping in his Ksheersagar and Brahma emerged on the lotus rising out of his navel to create the universe. The primary creation was Rudra from his anger, whom he directed to create the universe. Rudra selected to go to netherworld or Patala and meditate. Brahma then realized that he wanted the world with all three Gunas – Satva, Rahas, and Tamas, so he created Pitras, People, and Prakriti. This infuriated Rudra and he marched from Patala to Brahmaloka.
Within the course of, the earth was frightened. She headed to maneuver slowly by way of her. He agreed and took a small type of the dimensions of a thumb and got here out by way of the ear of the earth. Go is among the names of the earth and since Rudra got here out from her ear, the place got here to be often called Gokarna. The Shivalinga donating this story known as Adi Gokarna and may be seen in the principle Mahabaleshwar temple.
The second story comes from Ravana, who after a extreme penance was taking dwelling the Atmalinga from Kailash Parvat to his Lanka. He was informed to not maintain it wherever until he reaches the place the place he desires to put in it. Nonetheless, as he reached Gokarna, it was time for his Sandhya Vandan or night prayers. Ganesha appeared as a Batuk or a Brahmin boy in entrance of him. Ravana handed him the Atmalinga to carry until he does his Puja. Batuk although couldn’t maintain it as a consequence of weight and saved it down.
So, that is the place it continues to be. That is the principle temple at Gokarna referred to as Gokarna Mahabaleshwar. Ravana was offended and he hit the Ganesha on his head. You may nonetheless see the Murti of Ganesha at Mahaganpati temple with a dent on the pinnacle.
The third story talks about king Sagar of Ayodhya, whose 60,000 sons have been burnt by Sage Kapila. This is identical Sagar whose descendant Bhagirath is credited with bringing Ganga to earth. It’s believed that when upon a time lot of Asuras used to dwell within the sea. They used to remain inside water throughout the day however they got here out at night time and troubled the folks there. Folks prayed to Rishi Agastya and requested him to drink all of the water in order that asuras go away. Rishi did simply that and the seabed dried.
Now the lord of the ocean was nervous and he prayed to Agastya rishi to revive his water. He mentioned he has already digested all of it and cannot deliver it again. Sea then got here to Gokarna, constructed a Shivalinga, and prayed to Shankar. Happy, when Shankar requested him his want, he requested for his water. Shankar then informed him that when the descendant of Sagar will deliver Ganga right down to earth, the ocean will even get its water again. So, it occurred. This story hyperlinks the waters of Gokarna to Ganga making them much more sacred. The Sagareshwar Shivalinga may be seen simply exterior the Mahableshwar temple right this moment.
The fourth story tells us about Parashuram, the son of Jamadagni and Renuka, who made the waters of the ocean retreat and created the Konkan coast. It’s believed that he stood at Gokarna and threw his axe or Parashu on the sea. Effectively, you hear this story at many locations on the Konkan coast, however the story binds the land of Konkan collectively like nothing else. A Shivalinga referred to as Jamadagnishwara may be seen contained in the Mahabaleshwar temple.
The fifth story says that the divine cow Surabhi mediated right here. Shivalinga that she consecrated is called Surbheshwara.
Holy Locations to go to in Gokarna
There are a number of temples on this small holy city. It’s best to go to a few of them at the very least and search blessings.
Mahabaleshwar Temple Advanced and round
Mahabaleshwar Temple is the principle temple at Gokarna. It’s the one which homes the Atmalinga. You may truly contact the Atmalinga by way of a gap within the silver cowl that covers it. At particular instances throughout the day, you may see the linga too.
The temple is the preferred and essential place in Gokarna. It’s important to stroll by way of many doorways to succeed in the Garbhagriha.
There are vigrahas of Devi and Ganesha too contained in the temple. I discovered an exquisite Veergal subsequent to the temple. There are some even exterior facet entrance, with Naga sculptures on them.
Males must put on a dhoti and no higher garments whereas visiting the temple. Ladies may be wearing any Indian apparel.
Adi Gokarna Temple
As you stroll clockwise round the principle temple, the primary temple you meet is the Adi Gokarna temple. It’s important to go down a number of steps to see the traditional linga. This temple in stone has lovely wood panels throughout it. This temple is being renovated.
That is an outdated Shivalinga in a small temple. The three partitions have home windows with a swastika on them.
Shifting on you see this small temple in vivid yellow coloration devoted to Veerabhadra. That is the Swaroop of Shiva that destroyed the Daksha Yagna.
Tamra Gauri Temple
Tamra Gauri is the presiding Shakti of Gokarna. Her temple is behind the Mahabaleshwar temple. It’s believed that Gauri got here right here from Tamranchal Parvat following Shankar, and therefore referred to as Tamra Gauri. Tamra means copper. They are saying that she holds a steadiness in her hand. Some interpret that she is weighing the virtues of Varanasi and Gokarna and naturally being in Gokarna, it weighs extra.
Subsequent to Tamra Gauri temple is Tamra Kund is that used just for Asthi Visarjan or leaving the mortal stays of the useless after cremation. Even part of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes have been introduced right here.
This can be a Shivalinga that’s believed to be put in and worshipped by Gautam Rishi. It’s merely positioned on a platform.
A small Dattatreya temple can is positioned nearly within the wall of the temple. It has a Paduka Peetha or a platform with footprints and a Dattatreya Murti.
Mahaganapathi Temple or Dwibhuj Ganapathi temple is positioned 40 steps from Atmalinga of Gokarna. It’s proper exterior the principle temple in pretty orange coloration and typical Konkan type.
Inside you may see a two-armed Murti of Ganapati.
On the partitions, I noticed few historic sculptures depicting the scenes from Ramayana.
A lane subsequent to the temple connects to the Koti Tirtha and right here you see one other Tirtha referred to as Gayatri Tirtha.
This lies nearly on the road positioned between the Mahaganapathi temple and the principle temple’s facet entrance.
That is one other small temple proper exterior the principle temple that you simply can’t miss if you enter the principle temple. Don’t miss the gorgeous Brahmin homes.
The world round Mahabaleshwar temple has pretty colourful homes with work on their partitions. Do cease by to look and admire them.
Temples on Automotive Road
Presently, Automotive Road is the principle street within the city.
Ahilya Bai Holkar Temple
As you stroll behind the principle temple in Automotive road, you may see huge and small temples throughout. Amongst these, I discovered this easiest temple the place there’s linga put in. Subsequent to it’s the statue of Ahilya Bai Holder of Malwa holding a Linga in her hand.
Surya Narayana Temple
A small temple devoted to Solar.
This is a pretty big temple with a singular Shikhara within the type of a Lotus flower. Its pillars of its mandapa have tales of Vishnu carved on it.
There are two lanes that join the principle temple space to Koti Tirtha. The primary one has Naga Tirtha and the opposite lad pretty giant homes with temples in them. For those who stroll right here within the mornings, you’ll hear the chants and bells because the clergymen do the morning Puja.
That is positioned on Naga Veethi, the principle street connecting the Mahabaleshwar Temple with Koti Tirtha. It’s a slender lane stuffed with Brahmin homes. A temple right here is stuffed with Naga photos – lakhs of them. You may see them below an outdated tree, contained in the temple, on the inside in addition to outer partitions of the temple. The linga inside can be adorned with Naga sculptures. Wherever you see, you see a Naga.
It’s believed that 1000’s of snakes that have been burnt within the Yagna of Janamajeyan, the descendant of Pandavas, got here right here looking for salvation.
Near Naga Tirtha is one other small however historic Tirtha or water tank referred to as Durga Tirtha. There’s a small temple subsequent to it. It is part of non-public property, so you want to take permission to go to it.
Koti Tirtha – Holy Locations to go to in Gokarna
It’s mentioned that the Shatshrugi mountains have 200,000 Tirthas or water our bodies the place the sages used to meditate. 100,000 of them merged with the ocean and the remaining merged to kind the Koti Tirtha. Koti means 100 thousand. It’s a giant lake surrounded by homes and temples. That is the place the final rights and Pind Dana are carried out.
One other interpretation says that prayers right here offer you Koti-fold or enormous returns.
In the course of this tank is a Shivalinga often called Koteshwar. As you stroll round it you may see Patta Vinayak temple, Vishveshwar Vithala Temple, Veer Maruti Temple, Gopal Krishna Temple, Shankar Narayana, or Harihar temple, Kali Temple, and Bhairava Temple.
Patta Vinayak temple denotes the coronation of Ganesha after he helped the devatas reclaim Atmalinga from Ravana.
Kali Temple or Kalihruda
That is an historic Devi temple positioned proper on the entrance of Gokarna. You cannot miss it as you enter the city.
It’s believed that the Devi after Killing the asuras Shumbha, Nishumbha, Raktabeeja, Chand, and Munda got here to Gokarna and washed her weapons right here within the water. She then mediated right here as Bhadrakali.
The temple has an entrance from the principle street, which is definitely the again of the temple. You go round and enter the south-facing temple. There’s a highly effective Murti of Bhadrakali. Fridays are particular at this temple.
There are smaller Devi temples near this temple.
Kalkaleshwar temple is positioned on high of one other small rocky hill. It’s important to climb a flight of stairs to succeed in this small little temple with vivid painted partitions. It homes a Shivalinga inside it.
It’s believed that when Ravana couldn’t extract the Atmalinga from Gokarna, all of the gods above laughed and this linga commemorates this. Kalkal means laughter.
This can be a pretty temple atop the hill that overlooks the ocean on all three sides. A pure supply of water right here will get the water to the temple tank referred to as Ram Kund. There’s a beautiful Ram Darbar contained in the temple. As you’re taking the parikrama, you see the meditative impact that place will need to have had earlier than all of the concrete constructions got here up.
It’s believed that Sri Ram did penance right here after getting back from Lanka, to eliminate the dosha of Brahmin Hatya or killing a Brahmin. Solely then he returned to Ayodhya.
Go Garbha and Kamandalu Tirtha
Not too removed from the principle temple, you will discover a pure cave that has a small temple inside it. Temple is often shut, however you may see the locations inside these laterite ridges the place the traditional sages most likely meditated. Except you stand in entrance of the mouth of the cave, you can’t think about that you simply may be strolling over an enormous cave.
There’s a gap on this cave that brings daylight proper on the temple as I noticed at Borra Caves in Araku Valley.
It’s mentioned that the cave is within the form of the womb of a cow, therefore referred to as Go Garbha. That is the place the mom earth meditated after all of the Kshatriyas have been vanquished from the earth by Parashuram. In absence of a ruler, all the pieces on earth grew to become disorderly.
Kamandalu Tirtha is a small round opening the place it’s believed that Brahma Ji, had saved his Kamandalu or waterpot. It’s superb to see a small water physique that I used to be informed at all times has water in it from an underground supply, amidst completely barren rocky laterite floor.
This can be a small cave near the ocean that’s reached by trekking down the steep face of a cliff. There are steps in stone, however you continue to want agility to go to. The view from the cliff is solely lovely.
Near Jatayu Tirtha cliff is a labyrinth which nobody is aware of when it got here up.
This can be a bit away from the principle city, near the Gangavalli river. It’s important to undergo the fields to succeed in it however any native auto driver would take you right here. It’s mentioned that in Gaya, the ft of Vishnu is worshipped as Vishnupad. In Gokarna, Shiva’s ft are worshipped as Rudra Pada. It’s a small temple with a Shivalinga that has a pair of ft engraved on it.
Pind Dana or the post-life rituals for the departed are carried out right here.
Ashrams of Gokarna
Gokarna, with its remoted location, hills, and scenic divine magnificence was the chosen land of ascetics and saints. Many nice rishis made their ashrams right here and meditated. Some that you may nonetheless see are:
- Markandeya Ashram on Automotive Road
- Vishwamitra Ashram
- Kapil Tirtha and Ashram
- Brahma Ashram
- Jahnu Rishi hermitage at Gangavalli – On Diwali night the palki of Mahabaleshwar involves Gangavalli for his or her wedding ceremony
- Gokarna Matt – positioned near the city’s bus stand, there’s a small temple in entrance of it in-built an uncommon manner
Locations to go to in Gokarna for Leisure Vacationers
Gokarna is equally well-liked with vacationers, backpackers, and even the hippie crowd, for its pristine seashores. The seashores of Gokarna are rocky. There are rocks on the seashores, within the water standing nonetheless. To observe a sundown sitting on considered one of these rocks is an ideal option to finish the day on this seaside city. The principle seashores of Gokarna are:
That is positioned near the Mahabaleshwar temple. You may stroll to this seaside straight from the principle door of the temple. As you stand on the seaside, on high of the hill on left you see the Ram Tirtha. Throughout you see glad pilgrims and vacationers taking camel rides.
You may see a statue of Adi Shankracharya on this seaside.
This can be a seaside South of Gokarna seaside and is clearly demarcated by hills on both facet. While you journey in direction of Om seaside, from one other hilltop, you may see this U-shaped seaside. That is additionally well-liked with vacationers for sunsets in addition to delicate trekking.
Formed within the type of Om, essentially the most sacred letter in India, this seaside is well-liked for water sports activities, sunsets, and for its well-known Namaste Café.
Om seaside and Kudle seaside are joined by a ridge, which is a straightforward delicate trek, excellent for an early morning trek. We took this route to go to the Uma Maheshwar temple.
Cruise – You may take a cruise 3 times a day and revel in being on the water. Since we dwell in Panjim, the place we see cruises day by day, we skipped this. There are a number of different actions like Kayaking, Jet sky, Banana experience, and many others to expertise at this seaside. Weekends and holidays have higher footfalls right here and lots of distributors may be seen right here. There are additionally seaside shacks. For leisure vacationers and journey/trekking fans, these seashores are the locations to go to in Gokarna.
Bohemian vibes may be seen throughout Gokarna with pretty road artwork in every single place. A few of them inform the tales of Gokarna and typically they only make you smile with their quirkiness.
Locations to go to close to Gokarna
Atop the western ghats on a day journey by street, you may go to the Vibhuti Falls, Yana Rocks, and Mirjan Fort. A monsoon marvel waterfalls, a pure large rock formation, and a fort atop the cliffs within the area.
Gokarna Mahatmya video
Watch this video posted on our YouTube channel IndiTales. A chat by Dr. Shankuntala Gawde. Gokarṇa Purāṇa or Gokarṇakhaṇḍa tells the glory of Gokarṇa in 118 adhyāyas. It belongs to Skanda Purāna Sanatkumārasamhitā Gokarṇa khaṇḍa and is a compendium of varied Akhyānas and Upākhyānas or you may name it a Sthala Purāṇa glorifying the place Gokarṇa.
Journey tricks to discover the Locations to go to in Gokarna
- There are numerous small and mid-range resorts in Gokarna
- Auto rickshaws are the popular mode of native transport within the slender lanes of the city
- The principle city and its temples can simply be coated on foot. In actual fact, it’s simpler to stroll round than be in a automobile
- Easy South Indian meals is well out there
- It’s a sizzling and humid place by advantage of being a coastal city and river estuaries round
- Carry consuming water in case you are heading for lengthy walks or treks
- Rocky patches on the seashores may be dangerous, keep away from or do take precautions
- Shield from daylight by utilizing caps and sun shades
- Discover round early within the morning or by the evenings, keep away from midday instances
- Yow will discover a wide range of birds when you head out early within the morning, walkable distances by the roadsides on the hills round. We sighted Peafowl, Malabar Pied-Hornbill, Golden Oriole, Asian Koels, Kites, and lots of extra. This place is usually a fantastic birding vacation spot as properly
We stayed at Swaswara at Om seaside, which is a wellness resort. It’s a bit away from the city however nearer to the preferred seaside.
For extra data examine this excellent web site.