December 6, 2012

Feeling Beachy in Karnataka (Gokarna, Karnataka, India)

Sneak Peek of McLeodGanj
Writing to you today from McLeod Ganj (near Dharamsala) in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. This is where the Tibetan government-in-exile resides, including the Dalai Lama. It's a very special place. We are LOVING it. Hampi (which we'll tell you about soon) and McLeod Ganj have been our two favorite places in India, so look forward to those posts. We are seriously behind on blogging because, in stark contrast from the beginning of our time in India, we've been quite busy - 2 weeks of yoga in Goa, followed by flying to Delhi to meet up with Tom's mom, attending a friend's wedding there and then heading up to the mountains, we haven't had a lot of free time on the internet to post. we are now, with lots to tell you - some bad (India really is a fickle b!+@#), but mostly good. Stay tuned.

After risking our lives on busses to and from Mysore and ending in Udupi (read about Mysore here, here, and here and read about bus travel and Udupi here), we took a quick train to Gokarna in northern Karnataka for a little beach time. (Gokarna means "cow's ear". Hindus believe that Lord Shiva emerged from the ear of a cow, hence the holy treatment of the bovines and the free-roaming heifers throughout streets.) Gokarna is right on the border of Karnataka and Goa and has the same beautiful beaches without the hippy masses, but is sure to be built up over time. The main beach (Gokarna Beach) is kind of disgusting and dirty, but Kudle and Om are amazing, clean (for India) and secluded. Hopefully, over time, Gokarna Beach will be cleaned up, as its a long and wide beach and potentially very beautiful. The best part about Gokarna is that, while it has great beaches, it also has a good local community and is a temple town, full of Hindus making pilgrimage to the temples there. It's a great little town and a place we would have loved to stay longer if we hadn't needed to head to Goa for our yoga course. The other reason our 2-night stay was so great was because of the Haripriya Residence Guest House, operated by Anand and his wife Ani, who were overwhelmingly hospitable and kind. (Ani did a huge bag of laundry for us for only 50 rupees (less than $1 USD.) While there are beach huts down on Kudle and Om Beaches, we preferred staying in town and making the 20-minute walk on the path to the beach, which gave us the best of both worlds in Gokarna (village life and beach bumming).
Women hauling construction materials across Kudle Beach - Gokarna
Main street in Gokarna village
You might remember the story of the killer bull from a few weeks ago, which happened when we were in Gokarna. You've forgotten? Maybe this image will refresh your memory...
This seemingly innocent gaze is actually
bull-speak for, "Hasta la vista, Baby!"
You can also read all about our dinnertime run-in with the world's most dangerous beast here. Other highlights of Gokarna included meeting Brad and Charlie from North Carolina and eating my weight in banana buns. Before we knew it, we were off to Goa with visions of hippies twirling and drums beating.

Check out all our pics from Gokarna here. A few favorites are below.

View from the train on the way to Gokarna
Another day, another ride on the train

Quiet(ish) streets of Gokarna
Hello Banana Buns!

Leaving Gokarna
Goa-bound and ready to get our hippy twirl on

No comments:

Post a Comment