ghatroads - South India Travel and Tourism Guide

Gokarna - Lord Shiva (Mahabaleshwar) Temple

Gokarna town is the seat of highly sacred Mahabaleshwar Temple whose presiding deity is the Atmalinga of Lord Shiva. The region of Gokarna is located in western ghats, between a cow ear-shaped confluence of the Rivers of Gangavali and Agnashini (Go - cow; Karna - ear). The sacredness of the Gokarna Temple is considered on par with the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. Hence, Gokarna is also known as Dakshina Kasi (Southern Kasi) and as the Bhookailasa.

Gokarna Temple Images

Pilgrim Attractions

  • Gokarna town is the seat of highly sacred Mahabaleshwar Temple
  • The Atmalinga of Lord Shiva is worshiped here
  • Temple history associated to Ramayana in Tretayuga
  • Sri Adi Shankaracharya established the Shree Ramachandrapura Mutt in Gokarna
  • Gokarna is located between an ear-shaped confluence of the Rivers Gangavali and Agnashini.
  • Gokarna and its religious importance is mentioned in the epic Ramayana
  • Around 86 temples present in Gokarna
  • Gokarna Beaches, Visit: Gokarna beaches page

Where is Gokarna

Gokarna is located in Kumta Taluk, Uttara Kannada District of Karnataka state, India - 581326.

How to Reach

Gokarna city is well connected by Highways and Railways.

  • Distance From: Mangaluru - 231 km, Panjim - 163 km, Hubali-Dharwad - 145 km
  • Nearest Airport: Goa, Mangalore
  • Nearest Bus Station: Gokarna
  • Nearest Railway Station: Gokarna road - 10km, Kumta - 25km

Where to Stay

A large number of Hotels and Lodges provide a comfortable stay at nominal rates. Since the town also boasts of a number of scenic beaches, a few beach resorts have also come up in the vicinity.

Where to Eat

The devotees to the Gokarna Temple are served Prasada Bhojana every day free of cost in the afternoon and the evening at 12.30pm and 07.30pm respectively.

A large number of small restaurants have come up with the Temple and nearby areas. They mainly serve delicious South Indian cuisine, mainly vegetarian.

Festivals / Events

  • Maha Shivaratri – the grand festival in Feb / March
  • Ratha Saptami - the Ratha festival is celebrated on the 7th day of the Suklapaksham in Feb.
  • Kadiru Haranotsava - The first harvest of Paddy (Rice) is celebrated as the Kadiru Haranotsava.
  • Karthik Purnima – Celebrated whole month of Karthika - Nov / Dec

Worship & Darshan Timings

  • 06.00am to 08.30pm
  • 12.30pm to 02.00pm - Sparsha Darshan not allowed
  • 02.00pm to 05.00pm Break

Pooja Timings

  • Sankalpa Pooja Mangal Aarti
  • Bilvarchana
  • Ashttotara Bilvarchana
  • Kumbhabhishek and Kshirabhishek Pooja
  • Panchamrutabhishek Pooja
  • Maha Panchamrutabhisheka Pooja including Rudrabhishekam
  • Navadhanya Abhishek Pooja
  • Silver Nagabharana Special Pooja
  • Golden Nagabharana Special Pooja

Things to Take Care

Advanced booking is preferable as the town is usually packed with devotees during the festive and the holiday season.

Visiting Places near Gokarna