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Published: October 20th 2018
Travel Dates: 15-Oct-2018 to 19-Oct-2018
Places Covered: Murudeshwar and Gokarna
Myself together with my wife Sujata and Son Rudra reached Thane station at 3:20 p.m. to board Matsyagandha Express scheduled at 3:40 p.m., which was almost on time. One of my friend Saira and her sister Naseem had already boarded from LTT at 3:20. We were not able to get tickets in AC and hence had to opt for Sleeper both for to-and-fro. As we were in sleeper coach, we felt the heat for next 1 to 1.5 hours but later it was better. Spent time talking to each other till 9 and then went to sleep, unfortunately we had got 2 upper and 2 middle berths 😞.
Train was almost on time and in morning at 6:00 a.m. we reached Murudeshwar Station. From Murudeshwar Station we took a rickshaw for Murudeshwar Temple which is just 3 KM away and the ride took around 15 minutes. Rickshaw charges 50 rupees but as we were 4 he asked for 60 and we happily got ready for that.
There were hardly few people
when we reached there at 6:20. We enquired if we can keep our luggage somewhere (my big headache) and go to temple. We got to know that they have luggage room where we can keep the bags. We went there and deposited our 5 bags and the charge for it was 25 rupees, deposited all our footwear for 15 rupees.
Did darshan in temple and asked for the lift situated in Rajagopuram which takes us to 18th
floor from where we can have a spectacular view of all 4 sides (2 sides surrounded by Sea, 1 side by temple together with Lord Shiva statue, and 1 side to the road that leads to station. We got to know that the lift starts at 8:30 so we decided to see Lord Shiva’s statue and have the breakfast by that time which we did and by the time we completed our breakfast it was 8:35. We came and took the ticket to lift which costs rupees 10 for an adult and 5 for kid. We took the lift and started enjoying the mesmerizing view from all the 4 sides of Rajagopuram. While having breakfast we also checked with one
of the waiter for the cab to Kudle beach as we had booked our stay at Kudle Beach Ocean Front resort which was 2 hour drive from Murudeshwar. He checked with one of the driver who asked for 2200 which we bargained and were able to get it down to 1800. We had also checked the price with our rickshaw driver who had mentioned 2000. I thought of checking few more cabs nearby but my friends were okay with the price and hence we took the cab for 1800. There are other cheap options like bus which takes you to Kumta and then from Kumta again you get another bus for Gokarna, another option is by train to Gokarna Road and then by Rickshaw to Kudle Beach. By the time we completed our darshan, breakfast and view from Rajagopuram, it was 9:00 a.m. and we decided to leave for Kudle beach now. There is also Murudeshwar beach touching the temple but as the next 3 days we were going to stay by the beach we thought of not going to this beach. There are water sports activities as well available at this beach.
We took the cab
for Kudle Beach at 9:10 and the ride took around 2 hours and we were there at Kudle Hilltop parking at 11:10. From Hilltop parking we had to walk for around 15 minutes down the hill to reach the Kudle beach and the resort that we had booked as it was breach front resort. Please note that some of the beaches like Kudle, Half moon, Small Hell and Paradise are not reachable by road and you have to hike or walk to get to these beaches. Gokarna and Om beaches are accessible by road. So if you are planning to travel with senior citizens, Gokarna beach would only be a good option as even Om beach you have to get down around 50 steps to go to beach. By the time we had our lunch at our resort it started raining and we were all upset about this (although we had checked beforehand and knew that it was going to rain throughout the days we had planned our stay there). We just sat outside of our wooden cottage and enjoyed the rain as the cottage is surrounded by lot of lush green trees. We then had some rest for next
3 hours and by the time we woke up it was not raining anymore and we were happy to see that 😊. We just went to the beach and enjoyed the evening time around 3 to 4 hours on the beach. My son Rudra loves beach and he enjoys the beach more than anything else. We had some snacks at one of the beachside shacks and came back to resort. We got freshened up and got rid with all the sands, took some rest and had our dinner. After dinner I started thinking about my plan for next day which I had already researched a lot and planned i.e. an adventurous trek crossing Kudle Beach, OM Beach, Half Moon Beach, Small Hell Beach, Paradise, and end it at Belekan Beach. I have done quite a few monsoon treks in Maharashtra, Bhimashankar being my favorite one. This trek however was totally different as this included a walk through 6 beaches, hike through forests, crossing a path with full of boulders (big sized rocks) and I was fully excited to do this. I was bit worried due to witness of rain and was not sure if I would be able to complete
this as the rocks get slippery by rain.
As planned I got up at 6:15, looked out of the window to see there was not rain and got excited to go ahead with the trekking. Got ready by 6:50 and started my trek all alone. Others were not interested as they have no trekking experience and I knew it would not be a good idea to include them so didn’t even ask them for it but had let them know about my plan from the beginning itself. Kudle Beach to OM Beach
: Walked from my resort at one end of Kudle Beach to the Steps to Hilltop Parking at another end of the beach, climbed the steps for next 5 to 10 minutes and reached the parking area. At 45 degree angle there was another path through jungle which led to one of the temple. I think I had read it somewhere not to take this path but i still thought of exploring and it took me to a small temple which was closed at that time. I came back again to the parking area, searched for the exact path for OM beach
and wasted around 10 to 15 minutes until I saw a person coming to the parking area and asked him for the direction. I directed me to the jungle which was just in front or parking area after crossing the road and he said it will take 5 to 10 minutes from there. This path is actually just opposite to the parking area once you finish the steps from Kudle beach. I was still not sure as there were no sign boards. After walking for a minute or two I saw there was an arrow drown on one of the stone below with OM beach painted with white paint. The paint had actually faded away due to rains. I then just kept looking down for other such signs and found few of them until I was sure that OM beach is just a few hundred meters walk now. I was able to reach OM beach from the parking area in 10 minutes and the path was not that bad. Another option, if you are not planning for a trek, is to take a rickshaw from parking area to OM beach which will cost you around 100 to 200 rupees. From
Kudle beach one can reach to OM beach in 20 to 25 minutes walking.
Once I reached the steps to OM beach I got more excited by seeing the awesome view of symbol OM from the steps itself. I felt this was one of the longest and cleanest beach. It also has good sand quality and lot of banyan trees beside the whole stretch beach beneath which you can rest for hours even in afternoon. I walked for few minutes and then was not able to stop myself getting into the sea. I had got the chance to get into the sea alone after around 4 years as every time i go to beaches I have my son with me and I have to limit myself to within 5 to 10 meters. Today I had a chance to go ahead for around 50 meters though. I spent around an hour on OM beach getting wet, talking pictures, talking to one of the traveler from Iran, etc. Om beach to Half Moon Beach
: From the other end of OM beach there is a path to Half Moon Beach with a sign board saying 1 KM
to Half Moon Beach and 2 KM to Paradise beach with a danger sign on it, probably due to the fact that the path is through jungle to Half Moon Beach and then full of boulders to Paradise beach. As this was expected I didn’t care and at 8:40 started my trek to Half Moon Beach. The path to Half Moon beach is through forest. In next 15 minutes I reached to a point where there was no way ahead and I thought I lost my way (although I had seen another path leading somewhere that was around 5-minute walk back to the same path). The view from this point was spectacular, OM symbol was clearly seen from this point. Later i understood I had not lost the way but this was actually a spot called “OM Beach view point” as one can clearly see the OM symbol from this point. After taking few pictures I went back and got another path breaking from same path and leading to Half Moon beach. Walked around 20 more minutes from this point through jungle and I was there at Half Moon beach all alone at 9:20. There is a very small beach
and there is only shack on this beach and not sure if they also provide stay. I think there is only one family that leaves here. Walk from OM beach to Half Moon Beach took me around 40 minutes with a visit to OM beach view point in between and some time spent taking pictures. Again I got into the water and started enjoying however I felt quite itchy in this water and was out in next 5 minutes, changed clothes, took some panoramic view pictures and got ready for next destination which was full of adventure with path full of rocks beside the sea. Half Moon beach to Small Hell & Paradise beach
: After spending around 50 minutes, started my journey from Half Moon beach to Small Hell beach & Paradise beach at 10:10. As I moved ahead from Half Moon beach I saw the rocky path and found few youngsters around 15 to 18 years age group fully excited discussing their journey from other side i.e. Paradise beach to Half Moon beach and describing how they crossed the rocks and they saw big crabs on the way. Listening to them charged me up 😊 I
was also happy to see that there is no rain yet and that the rocks would not be slippery but even though it didn’t rain, most of the rocks were slippery and I lost my balance once and got a minor scratch and got one of my sandal ripped off. It was really adventurous to cross this rocky path on which I was able to see my Quechua hiking sandals getting ripped off. In 40 minutes I was able to get the view of Small Hell beach and in next 5 minutes I reached Small Hell beach and yes even I was able to see a lot of black crabs on the rocks. This beach was very small (maybe around 100 meters long) with no shacks nothing, saw a small tent there with no one inside. Took some pictures and enjoyed the view for next 5 to 10 minutes. From this beach, Paradise beach is just 5-minute walk. Went ahead and reached Paradise beach at 11:05. It was really an awesome beach Again, it was a very small but clean beach, and again there was no one here except for a person selling few coconuts, 2 pineapples, and 1 watermelon.
After some time there was another guy who came there and during chat I came to know that he was from Delhi and the tent I had seen on Small Hell beach belonged to him. He bought one pineapple and I bought a coconut with water and malai. That guy offered me pineapple and I happily took 3 pieces one-by-one 😊. By this time I had had nothing, just few sips of water at resort before starting my trek. I had kept a pack of biscuit with me but I never felt the need of having it (this is what happens with me when I give myself a target). Maybe this is the reason I liked coconut water more than ever before (I think in my life i have had this not more than 10 times) and this is the first time I had it without straw as the seller didn’t had it :O. I liked having it without straw and asked him to take my picture while I drink coconut water :D. After enjoying the view of this beach for some time I left from this beach at 11:40 to reach my final destination of this trek i.e. Belekan
By the time I was enjoying these beaches I got quite a few calls from different people and I out of which I received 2 to 3 calls only from my wife to share my experience and to know what their plans are. Suggested them to come to OM beach by rickshaw and I will join them but they planned for Gokarna beach and Mahabaleshwar temple there near the Gokarna main beach. I told her that i will join them at Gokarna after completing my trek. Paradise beach to Belekan beach
: This path was a trek through forest. The path was clearly visible but in between there were 2 to 3 diversions and I was not sure if I am on correct path. There was one small house (maybe a shop) in the forest which was closed and the path had 2 diversions there. I didn’t know where to go and I knew I won’t get any visitor here maybe for next 2 to 3 hours so I always kept myself on the path leading towards right side (the side of sea). After walking in the forest 20 minutes from the start at
Paradise beach, I was able to see a village and a beach beside it at 12:00 p.m. and I was not sure whether this is Belekan or some other beach. I did ask one of the lady and she confirmed yes this is Belekan and then I asked for a bus to Gokarna and she pointed me to the bus stop which was 5 to 10 minute walk from there. At Paradise beach, the seller had told me that there is bus at 11:30 from Belekan but I had to wait there at Paradise some more time so I didn’t care of bus and thought I will a rickshaw which would cost 200 rupees. I reached the bus stop and asked people standing there about the next bus timing and came to know that in the next 10 minutes, at 12:20, there is a bus to Gokarna. I waited for next 10 to 15 minutes until the bus arrived and took the bus which had Gokarna as last stop. Bus ticket cost just 10 rupees. By the time I was in forest on my way to Belekan, I got a call from my wife that they had reached Gokarna and
will finish there beach activities and darshan in some time and that there is no shacks to rest and have food there so they wanted me to be there soon. I told them it would take time for me to reach Gokarna and that they should leave for the resort as it was very sunny outside and they had no place to wait. Belekan beach to Gokarna beach
: By bus I reached Gokarna in 25 minutes and then I called my wife to check the status. I came to know that they are still around busy shopping. I quickly visited Mahabaleswar temple and joined them at Gokarna beach which if just 5 minute walk from Gokarna bus stop, and the temple is one the way. My son was very happy to see me as he was searching for me since he woke up in the morning. I took them to the beach again and enjoyed some time with my son getting wet and playing in water which he loves a lot. After enjoying for some time we again had coconut water, this time with straw though. Gokarna Beach to resort
: Took a rickshaw for
Kudle parking area for 150 (charged 50 rupee more as we were 4), had charged 100 to my wife and friends from Kudle parking to Gokarna beach. We reached Kudle parking area in next 10 minutes and then walked down the hill for 15 minutes to reach to our resort at 2:00 p.m. We got fresh and had our lunch. At 5:00 again my wife and friends went to Kudle beach but I stayed at resort as I was bit tired and also because my son was not well due to cough. I wanted to see me in good mood for next day as we had planned for remaining 6 hours after checkout to enjoy OM beach as there were lot of trees there to rest if we do not get any accommodation for half day. Got up at 6, played with son in resort. Later had dinner and went for a sleep.
This was the last day of our trip. Initially I had planned to visit Yana caves, Vibhooti falls, and Mirjan fort on this day as our train was scheduled at 8:00 p.m. and we had lot of time but as my
friends were tired and we didn’t get chance to visit OM beach in the first 2 days, we decided to spend whole day on OM beach. As I had seen this beach during my trek I knew that we would be able to spend whole day on beach as it has lot of trees as well to sit beneath. There were also some benches beneath these trees. We had breakfast, did our packings and by 10: 40 we left the resort for OM beach. We also booked a cab from OM beach to Kumta as Kumta was around an hour journey from OM beach. We didn’t get ticket for any other train which stops at Gokarna Road station which is nearby. Again this time also we got ticket in sleeper only but we thanked God we got 2 lower 1 middle and 1 upper berths. We took a rickshaw at 11 a.m. and reached OM beach at 11:10, enquired for stay at Namaste cafe but didn’t get it. We went few steps down to OM beach and found a place with bench beneath the banyan tree. We rested there for 2 hours there and then went to Namaste cafe for
lunch and spent around 1.5 hours over there. Namaste cafe is the only decent restaurant on the beach but we didn’t like any of the food we ordered there, had ordered veg though. There are 2 to 3 shacks and stay options at middle and other end of the beach. After lunch, we again came back and sat beneath the tree, kept luggage there. My son was not able to control by now and was very excited to get wet. Me, my wife and my son took a walk on the beach and after some time went into the sea and played for around an hour in water. My son was not in mood to get out and we had to force him as he had some cough. We came back to our place and started playing with boomerang and taking pictures and videos. Now was the turn for my friends to have a walk on beach which they did. We were able to spend our time well on OM beach until 6:00 p.m. when our driver started calling and we went to take the cab for Kumta station to get back to Mumbai. We reached Kumta station in an
hour by 7:00 p.m. and had some snacks and rest there. Train was scheduled at 8:00 p.m. but was delayed by 15 minutes. We got into the train by 8:15 and by 9:30 we went to sleep. I was not able to sleep though as it was too cold in train. There was also some ruckus whole night as there was a guy from military who was suffering from some mental disorder.
We reached Thane Station at 9:45 a.m., took the rickshaw for home and reached by 10:20.
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