Adventure Backpacking Countries Gokarna India Karnataka South Trekking

Trekking under the Moon In Gokarna

The invitation for the trek had come as a surprise but I did not think twice before responding to it in affirmative. Irrespective of whether I am trekking in the Himalayas or trekking on railway treks, I have always enjoyed them, so saying yes to yet another trek was the most natural thing to do. But that was not the only thing that had intrigued me about this particular one. The fact that the yes came a split second sooner than it would come otherwise was also because of the fact that this was going to be a night trek. Something which I had never experienced before.

bonfire at the Paradise Beach, Gokarna
The bonfire at the Paradise Beach, Gokarna

Leaving puffs of smoke behind, our matador crawled through the narrow roads of Gokarna for what seemed to be hours, with more than twice the number of people crammed inside the vehicle than it was designed to accommodate. But no one was complaining. Instead, I even heard few of my fellow passengers sing while some others seemed lost looking at the star-lit sky outside .Low-hanging bulbs cast a yellowish glow in-front of red-tiled houses that lined the lone meandering road on both sides, cattle resting by the houses, regurgitating, as we slowly left Gokarna behind.

night picnic in Gokarna
Fueling the fire, Gokarna

The sound of graceful waves crashing on the edge of the narrow road welcomed us as we alighted the matador. On the waters there, the moon and the countless stars seemed to have come down from the sky. The water was as twinkling as the sky.

The road gave away to a trail leading to the hump that rose almost immediately. A few steps uphill under the clear sky and then we abruptly found ourselves walking under a thick foliage. The bright moon-light could no longer reach us and all that we were left in the name of light was the light coming from a couple of almost discharged mobile phones.

For almost the entire stretch the deep vegetation would vanish as randomly as it would come over us again. One moment we would be walking under a clear moon-lit sky and the next we would again be negotiating the narrow gaps between boulders and thorny bushes on our way ahead.

The forest godown right in the middle of the trail looked eerie but that was the only sign of humans we had come across since we started our walk, almost an hour back. It was all down-hill soon after the warehouse, tricky for the most part of it, but all 20 or so of us made it to the rocks of the Paradise beach.


Under the moon-light and with the sounds of waves crashing against the rock, the tiny Paradise beach was totally worth the hour-long tiring walk. Lying on a rock by the bonfire we had lit-up, I found myself lost in the twinkling stars high above. I have always loved to sleep under the sky so it was a delight to sleep under a cloud-less sky. I think I also saw a faint Milky-way.

I don’t know when I drifted off to sleep but when I woke-up, all that was left in the name of a bonfire was a small pile of glowing ember. The fire was long gone.

Have you ever been on a night trek? Leave me a comment below.

38 thoughts on “Trekking under the Moon In Gokarna”

    1. This was not as scary but there were moments of ‘fun’ in this one too. Specially when we were crossing a section and a buffalo came out from nowhere.

      Western Ghats are big, deep and beautiful. Do share the experience sometime soon Saakshi, I would love to know about it.


  1. Haven’t been on a night trek but have visited Gokarna at night πŸ™‚ This seems like a fun thing to do. Would prefer treks in hills though πŸ™‚

    1. Well the access to the Paradise beach is actually through a hill. Actually more than one hill, I guess you would like it too.

      But Yes, nothing like wandering in the asli hills πŸ™‚


    1. Haha…!! Har chiz ka apna hi maza hai ..!! Aur utni himmat to mere me thi nahi k Gokarna ki garmi me din me trek karu. Raat ko hi taar – batar they :p

  2. WOW! Very interesting! I didn’t know that night treks are a thing. Loved reading the post and now I am thinking of finding a similar trek in the Himalayas πŸ™‚

    1. Night treks are a thing for sure Akanksha, specially down south where we don’t have the high Himalayas πŸ™

      I don’t think you have night treks in the Himalayas. Day treks are any day better waise πŸ˜‰


  3. It was just yesterday that a friend was telling me about Gokarna. But a trek at night is not for me. I just saw Conjuring 2 and am absolutely not in a position to be anywhere at night (haha)

    1. Haha..! I think if you are in a group… There’s nothing to be scared if but then again, I would agree that the place has an errie feel to it :-p

  4. Hi! Absolutely amazing blog post, I’m inspired to do a solo trip now πŸ™‚ However, I’m a little concerned about safety, because I want to camp at paradise beach overnight. I’ve heard rumours of mugging and stuff,and also the police forbidding it.
    Can you give me any details about the safety aspect there, keeping in mind a single girl traveller? Would you advise it?
    Thanks so much! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Rashmi.

      Thanks. So to be honest, I would not suggest you to camp solo at Paradise beach, be it a girl or a guy. While nothing usually happens, but if it does, there’s hardly any escape except for the jungle that separates the other side where the road is and the beach.

      Otherwise, just listen to your gut feeling and enjoy your trip.


  5. Hey! A great post for a solo traveller. Thanks bud!
    And, could you suggest for the places in gokarna where I can pitch my tent without any hassle. However, my gut feels strong for an adventure. πŸ˜‰

    1. Hey, so I know people pitch tent at the Paradise beach which is actually a quite nice secluded place. U can try to do the same there.


  6. Nice Post Rajiv… We are leaving for Gokarna Camping in a few weeks… Could you please tell me where can I get firewoods for bonfire? We will travel from Hyderabad via Train and then by bus and hence can’t carry firewoods all the way…
    Second, If we do a night trek, is there a possibility of getting lost midway or amidst the forest (Om beach to Paradise Beach road) ?

    1. Yes there is a chance of getting lost because the trail at night is not very obvious. About firewood, your homestay / Guesthouse should be able to help you.

      1. Hi Rajiv,

        Thanks for your reply. I am going to carry my own tent and are not going to stay in any hotel.. That’s why asked for firewood.. By the way, is there any restriction for camping in Paradise / Half moon beach or Can I freely pitch my tent up there? If there is any restriction, can you please tell me if we require any permission?

  7. There are several night trek spots near Bangalore. And, I once had trekked from Kumta to Gokarna. Along the coast. Wonderful that was..!

  8. Hi, your experience sounds so fancy! My fiancΓ© and i are planning to pitch a tent on paradise beach next week, and I’m (although very excited) a little scared. How safe is it for just the both of us to camp there? Also, are there usually many other individual campers as well?

    1. Hello Minu,

      I would say it’s fairly safe. In fact, the whole of Gokarna is safe. I haven’t heard of any untoward incident happening there.

      Not many but there are usually a few people camping almost always.

      Have a great trip and do let me know about your experience once you are back!

      Good luck!

  9. Hi Rajiv,

    me and my gang are planning to camp in Paradise beach for 4 days (previously we’ve been to Parvati valley, matheran etc).

    please tell if there is a situation of 1) cops coming over and harassing 2) checking bags for ‘medicinal herbs’ 3) some random person forbidding you to camp there

    we are up for adventure but don’t want a bad trip, if you know what i mean…

  10. Hey Rajiv, thanks for sharing your adventure. I am planning to drive to Gokarna and want to pitch my own tent. Is it possible to take my car to the campsite and then park ? In all possibility I will be traveling solo during the week ending Diwali. Thanks.

    1. Hi Suvro,

      No, you cannot drive up to the camping location as it’s on the other side of a jungle/hill.

      You have to hike through the hilly forest to reach the camping ground.


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