VILLAGE GOKARNA, KARNATAKA
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. 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).
Kotitheertha temple tank in the centre of the town, Gokarna, India
There are many other temples all over this small town. Ankola and Kumta on National Highway 17 are the main towns near Gokarna and Bhatkal and Karwarare the main cities near Gokarna where almost all trains stops.
Gokarna is known as one of the seven important Hindu pilgrimage centers. It is on what was once an unspoiled beach near the estuary of the river Aghanashini. Recently, due to the influx of tourists, the character of the town has changed; it is no longer just a centre of pilgrimage, though large numbers of devotees visit to offer prayers and worship to Lord Shiva.
Due to its laid-back, unspoiled and rustic nature many younger western tourists started visiting Gokarna about a decade ago. The beaches around Gokarna were hardly used by the locals until these mainly western tourists started coming. Enterprising locals started stores, restaurants, and now the resorts also caters to wealthier tourists.
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