Bangalore To Gokarna Road Trip

The drive to Gokarna is filled with fun and frolic. Travelling over the weekend to let your hair down to relax is the best way to unwind and release the tension. Plus, small getaways are genuinely helpful to get out of the city and its hustle bustle. Sequestered spots with scenic beauty rejuvenate the soul.

The town of Gokarna located by the Arabian Sea is situated on the southwestern side of Karnataka. This is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus. People come here to gain the blessing of the mighty Shiva.   The renowned Mahabaleshwar Temple is home to a shrine dedicated to the deity Lord Shiva. Another temple the Koti Teertha is known as a temple tank for devotees to step down in the holy waters and bathe to cleanse their sins and seek a new beginning in life. 

Gokarna is a destination with gorgeous virgin beaches. Its mesmerising palm lined Gokarna beach, Om and Kudle beaches are located not too far away from each other. There is also the Half Moon Beach, the Small Hell Beach and a few more exciting places to visit in this small town. The beaches here are known for their idyllic white sand and pristine blue waters.

Best Time To Visit

Gokarna is an excellent destination for a weekend getaway and is at its best during the monsoon season. It usually starts from June right through to August post which the weather becomes hot, dry and sunny. An alternative time to visit Gokarna is between October and March when the weather turns warm and pleasant, and temperatures touch 32 degrees Celsius during the day.

There are a number of water sports in Gokarna that will satisfy the soul of adventure seekers. It is a favourite vacation spot for travellers who travel here looking for a peaceful weekend. It is also a laid back and less commercialised version of Goa.


There are three ways to reach Gokarna from Bangalore. And all three are amazingly scenic roads to drive through.

Route 2 co-joins with Route 1. Route 1 takes approximately 8 hours and 50 minutes to reach Gokarna. The journey is about 479 kilometres from Bangalore and the drive is spectacular. Route 2 takes roughly 9 hours and  26 minutes to Gokarna and the journey is approximately 513 kilometres in distance. Route 3 is also about 9 hours and 35 minutes from Bangalore to Gokarna, and it is 513 kilometres long.

Via NH48 – Bangalore Chitradurga Route

Bangalore – Tumakuru – Hiriyur – Chitradurga – Tilyalli – Sirsi – Gokarna


Via NH48 and NH69 – Bangalore Devpura Route

Bangalore – Tumakuru – Hiriyur – Ajjampur – Shivamogga – Kumta – Gokarna


Via NH69 – Bangalore Shivamogga Route

Bangalore – Kunigal – Arsikere – Kadur – Shivamogga – Hinnavar – Kumta – Gokarna


What To Eat And Stopovers

On the way to Gokarna, some of the eateries and restaurants serve some delicious south Indian food. The spices and flavours are incredible when one begins the meals and lingers on the taste buds until you return again to try them out. That's the secret to the cuisine served in these small but amazingly cool highway restaurants and eateries.

  1. Lakshmi Bhavan Tiffin Room: This is a must visit eatery in Chitradurga. The restaurant serves Indian, Asian styles cuisine. They have a vegetarian and vegan friendly menu too. This may be a relatively small place but is quite popular among the local residents.  The dosas served during breakfast are simply delicious. It is known to be one of the best hotels to try out the masala dosa as well.
  2. Reddy Military Hotel:  Their loyal customers simply rave about this small but well-kept restaurant. Their food is simply superb. In reality, when you reach, the restaurant does not have a military feel to it in any way and gives out more family oriented vibe instead. Their mutton chops, mutton fry, kheema,  natti chicken, rice and chapathy are some of their most in-demand and frequently ordered dishes.
  3. Swathi Delicacy: This restaurant serves Indian, Asian, and are also vegetarian dishes across breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch. This restaurant is located just off the highway. The food here is delicious. Must try dishes on the list are the south Indian idli vada, poori, pulao.
  4. Vilasi Delight: They serve Indian and Asian food and is so popular with travellers that there is always a queue or you need to reserve a table in advance. One of the best vegetarian eateries on the highway in Tumkur, the food prices are affordable, with superb ambience making it the ideal choice for groups and families.
  5. Kamat Upachar: This restaurant is popular among travellers.  Their menu is Indian heavy but they also offer vegan options along with a special vegetarian menu. They are open for three meals - breakfast, brunch, lunch. Their plantain leaf lunch with jowari roti is a favourite among customers, which comes with delicious side dishes with a variety of South Indian flavours. ­


Reaching There And Places To Visit

Gokarna is filled with temples, beaches, fun in the sun and water sports. If you fancy a lonely walk on these virgin beaches, then this is definitely the place to be. The temples are some of the best destinations that you can choose within the country to pray, meditate, connect with your inner soul or just simply relax. Here are some of the places that you must visit in Gokarna:

  1. Om Beach: This is a trendy beach for its shape which is like the OM famous sign among Hindus. People also visit here because it is a serene and gorgeous place to relax. Walking in the sand and enjoying the tranquil beaches calm people and refresh the energy.
  2. Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna: This is in Gokarna, and it is a Hindu temple located in Gokarna, many people travel to this religious pilgrimage centre in Karnataka.
  3. Half Moon Beach: This beach earns its name for its shape as well. It is difficult to access the Half Moon Beach via the roads, so to reach the beach, one has to hike or use a motorboat from Om beach. Alternatively, take a walk towards Dolphin Cafe at the southern end of Om beach. Later, you can follow the signboard pointing in the direction of the Half-moon beach.
  4. Kudle Beach Road: Visiting this beach is going to make you fall in love with it instantly. The waves here are softer than most Indian beaches where the waves are aggressive. It is ideal for children to play in the sea. The sand is soft and perfect to build some sandcastles. Kudle beach isn't as exposed as Om beach. Therefore, less crowd ensures a cleaner beach. The beach also has a couple of quaint beachside restaurants where you can grab a bite before jumping into the sea.
  5. Paradise Beach: This beach is genuinely a paradise being almost entirely cut off from the mainstream. Paradise beach is a treat to one's senses. If in Gokarna, this is not to be missed at any cost. Paradise beach can be accessed by trekkers through the Kudle beach, which is the most used route. You can also hire a bike to ride till Belekan beach through the picturesque Belekan village and catch a glimpse of the local life here. Belekan beach takes one through a short 20 minutes hike to this secluded paradise beach. Stay back and watch the sunset or the sunrise and experience pure joy.
  6. Maha Ganapathi Temple:  Visit the Mahaganpati temple before the Mahabaleshwar temple as the legend goes that one needs to visit here before they go to the revered Shiv temple. The history of this temple is unique, and people are always intrigued to see the idol which is in a standing position and it is black in colour. One can also see the high bump in the idol’s head.

Points To Note While Planning A Road Trip (Car /Bike)

Gokarna is a perfect monsoon and winter destination. Hence, pack for the beaches and carry sunscreen lotions so that the skin is well protected. The journey to Gokarna is not too far but far enough for anyone to plan a service before driving to the destination.

Other than packing for the beach, carry essential items such as torchlights as some of these beaches do not have any lighting. Above all make sure you carry your vehicle documents including car insurance or two wheeler insurance documents with you.


Diesel / Petrol Pumps

The road to Gokarna is always packed with traffic as it is a destination for people of all ages. Refuelling is not going to be an issue at all.

Overnight Halts If Any

A good night’s rest is good for the body, especially for those who make frequent road trips to nearby places. It refreshes the mind and makes you fit to take on the road the next morning. Some of the hotels that you can book for an overnight stay are:

  1. Royal Orchid Central:  Located in Shivamogga, it is set two blocks away from the intercity bus terminal. This elegant hotel is a 10 minute walk from the Shimoga Institute of Medical Science and 2 kilometres from the famous Shivappa Nayaka Palace.  This is a well-known 4 star brand and offers all possible amenities as well as excellent hospitality to guests.
  2. Green View Clarks Inn: This is an excellent hotel to choose for an overnight halt. The Shimoga Town railway station is six minutes from the hotel and 1.5 kilometres from the Tunga River. This is a business hotel with an elegant brick façade but is welcoming to their guests nonetheless.

Stay And Eat With Other Eating Places

Weekend vacations are the best choice when you decided to go on a road trip. Travelling always adds immense value to human lives. When you travel to any new place, you get to learn about new cuisines, culture and history of the destination.

  1. Hotel Ashoka Grand:  Located on the National Highway 206, this quiet budget hotel is 4 km from Shimoga Town train station, and 8 km from Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari.
  2. Jewel Rock Hotel:  Primarily a business hotel located in an area with clinics and local businesses, the property is an 11-minute walk from Gandhi Park and 2 kilometres from the Shimoga Town railway station.


Mobile Connectivity

Keep the mobile phone on the auto network connection, which you can get done from the settings tab and your holiday will be smooth and no disconnections will be experienced.


Most major and commercial banks have ATMs along the way to Gokarna.  Hence, there is really no need to be fussed about this. However, do have some cash on you if you choose to grab a bite at local eateries on the way where they may not accept credit or debit cards.


Mechanics can be found along the highway as this is a frequented route with heavy traffic. But carry your tool kit just in case if there are minor issues with your vehicle, which you may be able to fix yourself. Also, make sure if yo

Medical Facilities

There are government facilities along the highway. However, it would be prudent to carry a sheet containing names and contact details of some of these facilities.


There are no electricity problems in Gokarna even though it is a small town. Rarely do they face power cuts here.

Tool Kits

When going on a road trip you will like to ensure that the journey is going to be trouble free. To ensure that you need to carry your tool kit with essential items such as screwdrivers, a swiss knife, a crescent wrench, a first aid kit, pliers – two sets, duct tape, scissors, air pressure gauge for tyres (these are small and handy). Check the spare tyre just in case you encounter a puncture en route.


Author: Meenakshi Sircar

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