Gokarna means Cow’s Ear
It is believed that Lord Shiva emerged from the ear of a cow (Prithvi, the Mother Earth) here. It is at the ear-shaped confluence of two rivers Gangavali and Aghanashini.
Gokarna is a small temple town on the western coast of India in the Kumta taluk of Uttara Kannada district of the state of Karnataka, an hour south of the Goa border. The main temple and deity is Lord Shiva, who is also known as Mahabaleshwara. This temple houses what is believed to be original image of Lord Shiva’s linga (Atmalinga). But there are many other temples to explore all over town. Gokarna is 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 perform the last rites here.
Gokarna is known as one of the seven important Hindu pilgrimage centers as well as a holiday destination. The town is full of coconut, banana and other trees, blue seas and clean sands. It is a laid-back town with two main streets lined with shops and traditional tile-roofed brick houses. Kannada is the main language spoken here; as well as Konkani and English. Due to its unspoiled and rustic nature younger western tourists started visiting Gokarna about a decade ago, but today, there are many beautiful resorts catering for the upper market and wellness tourists.