Gokarna

Gokarna

Overview
Gokarna is a village in the Uttara Kannada
Uttara Kannada
Uttara Kannada also known as North Canara or North Kanara, is a district in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. It is bordered by the state of Goa and Belgaum District to the north, Dharwad District and Haveri District to the east, Shimoga District and Udupi District to the south and the...

 district of the Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

 state, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. It is a Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 pilgrimage centre as well as a tourist destination in India. Gokarna is a temple town and is referred to in a number of Hindu historical literature pieces. The main deity is Lord Mahabhaleshwara, a form of Hindu god Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

. Around the town lie a number of beaches and these serve as a major attraction for travellers.

Gokarna means Cow's Ear.
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Encyclopedia
Gokarna is a village in the Uttara Kannada
Uttara Kannada
Uttara Kannada also known as North Canara or North Kanara, is a district in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. It is bordered by the state of Goa and Belgaum District to the north, Dharwad District and Haveri District to the east, Shimoga District and Udupi District to the south and the...

 district of the Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

 state, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. It is a Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 pilgrimage centre as well as a tourist destination in India. Gokarna is a temple town and is referred to in a number of Hindu historical literature pieces. The main deity is Lord Mahabhaleshwara, a form of Hindu god Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

. Around the town lie a number of beaches and these serve as a major attraction for travellers.

Etymology


Gokarna means Cow's Ear. It is believed that Lord Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

 emerged from the ear of a cow (Prithvi
Prithvi
Prithvi is the sanskrit name for earth and its essence Prithivi Tattwa, in the form of a mother goddess or godmother. Prithvi is also called Dhra, Dharti, Dhrithri, meaning that which holds everything. As Prithvi Devi, she is one of two wives of Lord Vishnu. His other wife is Lakshmi. Prithvi is...

, the Mother Earth) here. It is also located at the ear-shaped confluence of two rivers Gangavali and Aghanashini
Aghanashini
Aghanashini is a village in the southern state of Karnataka, India. It is located in the Kumta taluk of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka.-External links:* http://uttarauannada.nic.in/...

.

Mythology


Legends in the Sahyadri Khand of the Puranas indicate that the State of Kerala was reclaimed from the sea by the Warrior-Sage Parashurama
Parashurama
Parashurama , is the sixth avatar of Vishnu and belongs to the treta yuga, and is the son of a Brahmin father Jamadagni and mother Renuka. He is considered one of the seven immortal human. He received an axe after undertaking a terrible penance to please Shiva, from whom he learned the methods of...

 who came from the North (of the Vindhya ranges) after his wanderings, in which he killed the Kshatriyas 21 times and threw his axe, the weapon by which he annihilated the Kshatriyas, into the sea, to prevent the erosion of the land stretching from Gokarna to the Southernmost tip of India.

Gokarna is also mentioned in the Shrimad Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata purana
The Bhāgavata Purāṇa is one of the "Maha" Puranic texts of Hindu literature, with its primary focus on bhakti to the incarnations of Vishnu, particularly Krishna...

 as being the home of the two brothers Gokarna and Dhundhakari and the Bhagawat also gives details of the differences in their temperament, nature and exploits.

Another mythological reference to Gokarna describes how Ravana
Ravana
' is the primary antagonist character of the Hindu legend, the Ramayana; who is the great king of Lanka. In the classic text, he is mainly depicted negatively, kidnapping Rama's wife Sita, to claim vengeance on Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of his sister...

, the demon-king of Lanka, received the atmalinga from Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

 after he had performed a penance at Mount Kailash reciting self-written Shivatandavastotram. Shiva instructed Ravana that the sacred atmalinga should not be placed on the ground as it would establish itself where placed on earth. On his way back to Lanka, Ravana stops for his evening prayers at Gokarna. To prevent Ravana from getting a weapon as powerful as the atmalinga, Ganesha
Ganesha
Ganesha , also spelled Ganesa or Ganesh, also known as Ganapati , Vinayaka , and Pillaiyar , is one of the deities best-known and most widely worshipped in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India and Nepal. Hindu sects worship him regardless of affiliations...

, in the disguise of a Brahmin boy, tells Ravana that he will hold the atmalinga until Ravana finishes his prayers. As soon as he receives the atmalinga, Ganesh promptly puts it down. Ravana tries to extricate it, resulting in throwing the coverings of the Linga to Surathkal
Surathkal
Surathkal is a locality under Mangalore City Corporation located in the Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka state, India...

, Dhareshwar, Gunavanteshwar, Murudeshwar and Shejjeshwar temples.

History



The earliest history of the city is not known. Tamil
Tamil people
Tamil people , also called Tamils or Tamilians, are an ethnic group native to Tamil Nadu, India and the north-eastern region of Sri Lanka. Historic and post 15th century emigrant communities are also found across the world, notably Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, South Africa, Australia, Canada,...

 saints like the Nayanmars  Appar and Sambanthar from the 6th century CE praised the deity of Tulu Nadu
Tulu Nadu
Tulu Nadu is a Tulu-speaking region spread over to parts of present Karnataka and Kerala States of India. It consists of the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts of Karnataka and the northern parts of the Kasaragod district of Kerala up to the Payaswini River...

 in their hymn canon Tevaram
Tevaram
The Tevaram denotes the first seven volumes of the Tirumurai, the twelve-volume collection of Tamil Saivite devotional poetry. All seven volumes are dedicated to the works of the three most prominent Tamil poets - Campantar , Appar and Cuntarar...

. It is an established fact that Mayurvarma of the Kadamba kings brought Brahmins from Ahicchatra. A sect of Brahmins fled from the Gomantak to escape forcible conversions by the Portuguese and British and settled in and around Gokarna in the 15th century. It was part of the Sodhe
Sodhe
Sodhe or Sodha or Sonda is a village near Sirsi in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka in India. The place is also the headquarters of the Sodhe Matha, one of the Ashta mathas established by Sri Madhvacharya, the famous Dvaita philosopher...

 and Vijayanagar
Vijayanagara Empire
The Vijayanagara Empire , referred as the Kingdom of Bisnaga by the Portuguese, was an empire based in South Indian in the Deccan Plateau region. It was established in 1336 by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I of the Yadava lineage. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts...

 kingdoms. Later, when the Konkan region - including Goa
Goa
Goa , a former Portuguese colony, is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in South West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its...

 - was occupied by the Portuguese, it became part of their rule. A few temples were destroyed by the Portuguese in 1714 and then rebuilt later in the 18th century and also under the supervision of Guru H. H. Shrimat Anandashram Swamiji in 1928.

Culture


Gokarna is a town of contrasts, as it is a temple town and also a holiday destination by the sea. Gokarna is full of coconut and palm trees, blue seas and clean sands. It is an attractive town with two main streets having shops and traditional tile-roofed brick houses. Gokarna is a hippy paradise with drums, guitars and hammocks. The beaches near Gokarna have shacks (huts) for rent. Kannada is the main spoken language in Gokarna.Konkani and Marathi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

 are also widely spoken languages in this town.

Religious attractions



Gokarna is also an important centre of Sanskrit learning and houses Bhandikeri Math and Toggu Math. It is a place where Sanskrit knowledge is passed down from generations in Brahmin families. Many Hindus also perform the last rites of a person here.
  • Mahabaleshwar Temple (Maha: great, bal: strength) is a famous Shiva Temple and it houses the 'Atmalinga'. Named so after Ravana referred to the linga's great strength. Till the government handed over the temple to a public trust, all the public of Gokarna - supposed to be the office bearers of the temple - were managing the temple.

It is situated at the western end of the main street. The main deity here is two-armed, standing and at least 1500 years old. The idol of Lord Ganesha also is ancient. In the sanctuary is a stone linga, encased in brass, placed on a coiled stone serpent. The floor of the hall in front has an intricate engraving of a giant tortoise.
  • Maha Ganapathi Temple built in honour of the boy Ganapathi, who deceived the demon Ravana.
  • Uma Maheshwari Temple
  • Bhadrakali Temple
  • Varadaraj Temple
  • Tamra-Gauri Temple
  • Shanmuka Temple
  • Venkataramana Temple
  • Kotitheertha is a man-made tank that is used for immersion of idols and ritual bathing. It is surrounded by temples.
  • Shivaratri
    Maha Shivaratri
    Maha Shivratri or Maha Sivaratri or Shivaratri or Sivarathri is a Hindu festival celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna Paksha of the month of Maagha or Phalguna...

     festival is celebrated here with great enthusiasm. Each year a team builds up two great temple chariots which are used during the Shivaratri festival. The two great temple chariots lead a procession through the town's narrow streets, while priests and pilgrims chant hymns in praise of Shiva. More than a hundred people are needed to pull the chariots with thick ropes while priests conduct religious ceremonies inside. During the four day Shivaratri festival, the small town of Gokarna is visited by up to 20,000 pilgrims.

Beaches


The drive up the winding path that leads to Gokarna is scenic, with the rocky mountains and Western Ghats
Western Ghats
The Western Ghats, Western Ghauts or the Sahyādri is a mountain range along the western side of India. It runs north to south along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, and separates the plateau from a narrow coastal plain along the Arabian Sea. The Western Ghats block rainfall to the Deccan...

 on one side and the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

 on the other.
Gokarna is also famous for its beautiful beaches and landscapes. The main beaches in Gokarna are the Gokarna beach, Kudle Beach, Om Beach, Half moon Beach and Paradise Beach (also known as Full moon). The Gokarna beach forms the coast of the town while the other four beaches lie to the south of Gokarna. Kudle and Om are around 6 km from Gokarna town along a muddy hill; they are accessible by rickshaw or foot. Half moon and Paradise are beyond Om beach and are accessible only by foot or boat. Om beach is named so because it is shaped like the auspicious ॐ [Om] symbol. Om beach is the only naturally Om shaped beach. Two other beaches - Paradise and Half Moon - are smaller and remote beaches.

Location


Gokarna is about 453 km from Bangalore
Bangalore
Bengaluru , formerly called Bengaluru is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Bangalore is nicknamed the Garden City and was once called a pensioner's paradise. Located on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka, Bangalore is India's third most populous city and...

, 238 km north of Mangalore
Mangalore
Mangalore is the chief port city of the Indian state of Karnataka. It is located about west of the state capital, Bangalore. Mangalore lies between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghat mountain ranges, and is the administrative headquarters of the Dakshina Kannada district in south western...

 and about 59 km from Karwar
Karwar
Karwar is the administrative headquarters of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka, India. It is a seaside town situated on the banks of the Kali river which is on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. The town lies about 15 kilometres south of the Karnataka–Goa border and 519 km north-west...

. It is between the Gangavali and Agnashini rivers and situated along the Karwar coast by the Arabian Sea. It is 200 km north from the college towns of Suratkal and Manipal
Manipal
Manipal is a university town situated in the state of Karnataka in India. It is a suburb within Udupi city and is administered by Udupi City Municipality. It is located in the rocky hinterland of the Malabar Coast of south west India, about 8 km from the Arabian Sea...

.
Gokarna can be reached by buses and maxicabs from Kumta (36 km), Ankola (26 km) and Karwar (59 km) on National Highway 17( NH-17 ). Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) also runs long-journey buses from many cities like Panaji, Bangalore
Bangalore
Bengaluru , formerly called Bengaluru is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. Bangalore is nicknamed the Garden City and was once called a pensioner's paradise. Located on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka, Bangalore is India's third most populous city and...

 and Mangalore
Mangalore
Mangalore is the chief port city of the Indian state of Karnataka. It is located about west of the state capital, Bangalore. Mangalore lies between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghat mountain ranges, and is the administrative headquarters of the Dakshina Kannada district in south western...

. Private buses (Vijayanand Roadlines - VRL, Sugama, Sea Bird, etc.) operate night journeys from the capital city of Bangalore to Gokarna daily. It can be reached by train Konkan Railway
Konkan Railway
The Konkan Railway is a railway line which runs along the Konkan coast of India. It was constructed and is operated by the Konkan Railway Corporation...

 on the Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

 to Mangalore
Mangalore
Mangalore is the chief port city of the Indian state of Karnataka. It is located about west of the state capital, Bangalore. Mangalore lies between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghat mountain ranges, and is the administrative headquarters of the Dakshina Kannada district in south western...

 route. The railway station ( called Gokarna Road ) is 6 km away from the town. The nearest airports are Dabolim at Goa and Mangalore International Airport
Mangalore International Airport
Mangalore Airport, formerly known as Bajpe Airport, is a domestic and customs airport serving the coastal city of Mangalore, India...

 at Bajpe
Bajpe
Bajpe is a census town in located close to Mangalore city in Dakshina Kannada district in the state of Karnataka, India. It is around 18 km from the heart of the city of Mangalore. The Mangalore International Airport is located at Bajpe and is popularly known as the Bajpe...

.

Neighboring villages:
  • Bankikodla-Hanehalli
    Bankikodla-Hanehalli
    Bankikodla-Hanehalli , twin villages of Uttar Kannada district are neighbouring villages in a valley in the south western section of Karnataka, India. Together they form a community of people from different castes and religions....

  • Sanikatta
    Sanikatta
    Sanikatta is a twin village in Kumta taluk of Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka, India. This place is about a few square kilometres in extent. It is in the neighborhood of Gokarna, Devarbhavi, Torke and Tadadi port. The place Sanikatta is the oldest salt-manufacturing village in the Karnataka...

  • Tadadi
    Tadadi
    Tadadi is one of the ports in Uttar Kannada. It is near Gokarna in Kumta taluk.-References:* http://www.hinduonnet.com/2006/03/16/stories/2006031606890300.htm* http://www.dc-epaper.com/dc/dcb/2008/08/25/ArticleHtmls/25_08_2008_002_006.shtml...

  • Torke
    Torke
    "Torke" , is a small village in Kumta taluk of Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka, India. This place is about a few square kilometres in extent. Torke traditionally is the amalgmation of Hoskatt , Naranapur, Toregazani , Torke , Devarabhavi, Hallergudi , Devana and Gonehalli...

  • Madangere
  • Maskeri
  • Adigone
  • Nelaguni
  • Bijjur
    Bijjur
    Bijjur is small village of gokarna in Uttar Kannada district are neighbouring villages in a valley in the south western section of Karnataka, India. Together they form a community of people from different castes and religions....



Notable natives:
  • Ramachandra S. Hosmane
    Ramachandra S. Hosmane
    Ramachandra "" S. Hosmane is a retired Senior Professor of Organic Chemistry at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dr. Hosmane has over 150 peer-reviewed research publications in reputed international journals. He holds four U.S. patents, three of which have been licensed to industries...

  • Narayan Hosmane
    Narayan Hosmane
    Narayan S. Hosmane is an Indian-born cancer research scientist who made the featured article in NRI Achievers magazine and is currently distinguished research professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the inaugural board of trustees professor at Northern Illinois University, Dekalb. He received...

  • Gourish Kaikini
    Gourish Kaikini
    Gourish Kaikini was a litterateur, teacher and columnist in Kannada language. He was conferred with many prestigious awards including Sahitya Academy award and Rajyotsava Award given by Government of Karnataka. He also wrote in Konkani language.-Early life:Gourish Kaikini was born on October 12,...

  • Jayant Kaikini
    Jayant Kaikini
    Jayant Kaikini is a poet, short stories author and movie songs scriptwriter in Kannada.-Early life:Jayant Kaikini was born in Gokarna. His father, Gourish Kaikini, a schoolteacher, was a Kannada littérateur and mother Shanta, a social worker...



Educational Institutions:
  • Bhadrakali High School
    Bhadrakali High School, Gokarna
    Bhadrakali High School, Gokarna is one of the oldest high schools in Kumta taluk, Uttar Kannada district. Bhadrkali is the name of the Hindu Goddess Kali. The school is named after the Goddess Kali....

  • Gokarna Arts College
  • Shrimad R. Modern Education School, Nelaguni


Financial Institutions:
  • Syndicate Bank
    Syndicate Bank
    Syndicate Bank Ltd. is one of the oldest and major commercial banks of India. At the time of its establishment, the bank was known as Canara Industrial and Banking Syndicate Limited. The bank, along with 13 major commercial banks of India, was nationalized on 19 July 1969, by the Government of...

  • Mahabaleswar Co-operative Bank
  • Karnataka Bank
    Karnataka Bank
    Karnataka Bank Limited is a private sector banking institution based in the town of Mangalore in Karnataka, India. The Reserve Bank of India has designated Karnataka Bank as an A1+-class scheduled commercial bank....

  • State Bank of India
  • KDCC BANK LTD.
  • Karnataka Vikasa Grameena Bank
  • Godavari Finance
  • Shantika Souharda Bank

See also

  • Murudeshwara
    Murudeshwara
    Murudeshwara is a town in the Bhatkal Taluk of Uttara Kannada district in the state of Karnataka, India. "Murudeshwara" is another name of the Hindu god Shiva...

      85 km from Gokarna
  • Idagunji
    Idagunji
    Idagunji is a famous place of Hindu worship in Uttara Kannada district and Honnavar taluk. The Lord Ganesha temple is the main attraction, receiving more than 1 million devotees per year...

      65 km from Gokanra
  • Yana
    Yana, India
    Yana is a village in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, India that is known for the unusual rock formations in its vicinity. It is located in the Sahyadri mountain range of the Western Ghats, about from Karwar port, from Sirsi, and from Kumta...

     57 km away from Gokarna and 32 km from Kumta.
  • Bhookailas (1940 film)
    Bhookailas (1940 film)
    Bhookailas is a 1940 Telugu film produced by A. V. Meiyappan and directed by Sundar Rao Nadkarni. The film is starring M. V. Subbaiah Naidu, R. Nagendra Rao. It was the first hit film for the establishment of AVM Productions....

  • Bhookailas (1958 film)
    Bhookailas (1958 film)
    Bhookailas is a mythological Telugu film directed by K. Shankar and written by Samudrala Raghavacharya. It is an AVM Productions. The story is based on the Sthala Purana of Gokarna Kshetram in Karnataka.-Plot:...


External links