Gokarna is a small temple town on the western coast of India in the state of Karnatica. This is located in the Kumta taluk region of Uttara Kannada. The main temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Mahabhaleshwara Temple, the temple houses what is believed to be the original image of Lord Shiva's lingam (Atmalinga).
Gokarna is known as one of the seven important Hindu pilgrimage centres. It is on what was once an unspoiled beach near the estuary of the river Aghanashini. Recently, due to the number of tourists, the character of the town has changed; it is no longer just a pilgrimage as it hosts tourists nowadays. However, a large number of devotees visit Gokarna to offer prayers to Lord Shiva.
Due to Gokarnas relaxed, unspoiled and rustic nature, many western tourists began visiting the place approximately a decade ago. Therefore enterprising locals opened stores and restaurants.
The drive up on the winding path that leads to Gokarna is scenic, with the rocky mountains and the Western Ghats on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other side. Gokarna is known for its beaches. Gokarna's main beach and Kudle beach are facing west. Om beach, Half Moon Beach, and Paradise Beach (also known as Full Moon beach) are facing south. Heaven Beach and Nirvana Beach (3 kilometres long with fine white sand) lie across the Aghanashini River.