Bike trip is fun, you get to explore new places at your own pace and it is light on pocket too. We love navigating in lanes of new place, a sense of adventure ! the thrill of hitting the road is unmatched!
We were in Gokarna during Christmas holidays 2018 on a backpacking trip. Gokarna has beautiful serene beaches and laid-back hippy vibes, a backpackers delight! For first two days we explored beaches of Gokarna. We mostly covered the beaches on foot and did the one of a kind Gokarna beach trek. Read about detailed backpacking travel guide to Gokarna here:
But that’s not it guys! On third day we were looking for what to do next and in next moment we rented a bike and hit the road. We went on a bike trip to cover Yana Caves and Vibhuthi falls and on next morning we also did a bike trip to Murudeshwara before leaving for Mumbai. So if you are planning for Gokarna, you can keep one extra day to cover nearby places, we will be giving all the details! Read on!
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The route and rental details
We had exactly 24 hours in hand to cover places near Gokarna and the places we zeroed down were Yana Caves, Vibhuthi falls, Mirjan fort and Murudeshwara temple. The route we intended to follow was Gokarna-Yana-Vibhuthi-Mirjan-Murudeshwara-Gokarna.
However later we changed the plan as we spent too much time in first two points i.e Yana caves and Vibhuthi so we ditched Mirjan fort and did Murudeshwara temple on next morning before boarding train to Mumbai.
Coming to the rental part, There are plenty of rental options in Gokarna, you can ask your hotel staff for recommendation, like we did! Or just rely on Google! As it was peak time the rentals were on higher side but anyway renting has always been better way to explore new area as its cheap and hassle free, The scooty charges were around 600-700 Rs for 24 hours and 1000 Rs for bullet. In off season the charges are half for scooty however for bullet the price remains the same.
Here’s a tip, If you are going to explore in town only you can rent a scooty like Activa. But as we had plan to cover distant places and we had read that the road condition near to Yana are not that good we choose to rent a bullet from Aryadurga bike rentals(details below).
The guy runs a general store shop right in the middle of town and give bikes on rental, quite good service and helpful person. We wanted two helmets and he had only one so he bought brand new one for us and gave complimentary without any extra charge. We took the bike and first thing is to refill petrol for a hassle free journey.
So on third day we started around at 11 a.m. and the first destination was Yana Caves!
Yana Caves, in Kumta, Karnataka is famous for the unusual rock formations. The two massive rock outcrops known as the Bhairaveshwara Shikhara and the Mohini Shikhara (hills). The huge rocks are composed of solid black limestone. Bhairaveshwara Shikhara is 120 metres in height, while the Mohini Shikhara is 90 metres in height.
There is a legend associated with this place as well, it goes like this:
“Demon Bhasmasura obtained a boon from Lord Shiva after penance that if he places his hand over someone’s head he will turn into ashes then and there. In order to test his powers , Bhasmasura wanted to place his hands on lord Shiva (audacity level 100%)! He chased Shiva which irked Mahadev, who then sought help of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu transformed himself into Mohini( a beautiful lady) and challenged Bhasmasura for a dance-off. During the dance, Mohini cleverly made Bhasmasura place his hand over himself causing him to perish by the fire and turn into ashes. It is believed that the fire was so intense that the limestones in Yana were blackened, the two hillocks are named after them.”
The journey from Gokarna to Yana caves is around 46 k.m. which takes around one hour. The road and scenery throughout journey is quite good except the last 10 k.m stretch. As we approached the place the roads were uphill through dense forests however, roads are in a bad shape to put it mildly. Our decision to hire bike instead of scooty proved to be right.
There is no entry fee but there is a minimal 10 Rs charge for bike parking . After parking our bike in parking area we bought some snacks from small shops near entry and started walking towards Yana caves.
It takes a 5-10 min walk downhill to reach Yana caves, there is a temple beside which there are some 250-300 steps upwards to reach the narrow passage between two massive rocks. The area between the rocks is in shade and hence its cooler, however infested with rats and bats make it smell really bad.
We spent around one hour here and left for Vibhuthi falls which is just 10 k.m. from here.
TBH this fall took us by surprise! We were not expecting much from it and hence did not carry extra clothes for taking a dip. We thought it will hardly take us an hour to visit this fall but we ended up spending around three hours here and cancelled our plans to visit Mirjan fort later.
Vibhuthi waterfalls is a cascading falls nested deep inside forest, the sound of water stream can be heard from far, the whole backdrop makes it so dreamy!
The entry fee is minimal 5 Rs per person and 5 Rs for parking bike. From parking area there is half an hour small trek till the fall, we visited the fall in December and still there was plenty of water. The water pool looked so inviting that we cancelled all the plan and jumped straight into it and we are not regretting. We later hiked to upper tiers of fall to capture beauty of this fall in camera!
This fall is a must visit place near Gokarna, we spent around three hours here and when we left this place it was already 3:30 p.m, we were so engrossed in nature’s beauty that we missed lunch and were very hungry. So our next plan was to take a lunch and we stopped at a dhaba just outside fall premises and hogged on local food, fresh and cheap. Watch our vlog for full details:
We dropped the plan to cover Murudeshwara and Mirjan fort on the same day as it was already 4p.m and we were little tired. So we planned to head back to Gokarna instead and spend rest of the evening at Kudle beach. The journey way back was beautiful as sun rays through canopy was making the serpentine roads shimmer in golden light.
Although We were quite satisfied with how the day turned out, there was little dissappointment of not being able to cover highly recommended Murudeshwara temple. The good news is we did cover Murudeshwara next morning before leaving for Mumbai (detailed blog is coming soon)
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Happy Tripping 🙂