The 365 day Hippie Home: Om beach, Karnataka
The second of the beaches on the coast of Gokarna town is Om beach. This beach gets its name from its shape which is very similar to the Hindu religious symbol Om. The beach is about a kilometer away from the town of Gokarna and fully approachable by road, unlike Kudle which can only be reached by hiking.
Since Om beach is connected by road it is possible to get to the beach by taxi or auto rickshaw, the road winds around the hills and is much longer than the hike along the coastline. It is also possible to hike to Om beach from Kudle beach. To hike towards Om beach one will have to walk towards the southern end of Kudle beach and walk up the narrow muddy path beyond the few shacks that are on the hill slope.
The walk up takes about five to seven minutes. After walking up one will reach a flat, hilly terrain which is also the parking lot used for vehicles to approach Kudle beach. There one is a ruined tar road that is all but covered in mud which can be noticed there. This road is between the tall bushy trees and is to the left of a solar panel street light. The villager’s claim that the heavy rains during the monsoon washes away the tar cover from the road, resulting in the road having plenty of pot holes.
It takes about 10 minutes from the parking lot to reach the main road. At the junction, walk downhill to head towards Om beach. One will notice plenty of vehicles and people walking this road all heading towards the beach. The walk downhill along the main road is about a five minute walk. For the last bit, there are stairs that have been made to aid people in reaching to the shore of the beach.
Om beach is the most crowded of the four beaches on the coast of Gokarna due to its easy accessibility and owing to this fact getting accommodation in any of the beach run shacks is difficult and the accommodation in these shacks range from backpacker budget huts to mid range rooms.
The food served in these shacks is tasty and affordable. Beer is sold in nearly all the shacks but no hard alcohol. There is an option of carrying your own if you wish to drink.
At the center of Om beach there are motor boats that ferry people regularly to Half Moon and Paradise beach. It is advisable to bargain and not pay more than 60% of the price asked by the boat owners. Since this beach attracts a lot of hippy backpackers both foreign and domestic, weed sold at this beach is supposed to be of the very best quality.
It is advisable to avoid hiking or even walking back to Gokarna town after sundown since the locals claim that there have been cases of people being attacked by wild animals. Such cases have been reported after 8 pm. A proof of this fact is that the local auto-rickshaw drivers don’t ferry people after that time. It is better to leave the beach before sundown to avoid being stranded or falling prey to any casualty.
Om beach is a lovely place for both holiday makers and travelers since this beach has enough to keep everyone happy.
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