Introducing Gokarna Forest
The 188-hectare forest at Gokarna was formerly set aside as a hunting reserve for the Nepali royal family, which saved it from the woodcutters. Today, the sound of gunshots has been replaced by the thwack of flying golf balls.
The forest forms part of the Gokarna Forest Resort, which was designed by the team behind the famous Gleneagles course in Scotland. A change of ownership from Le Meridien to a local group has not affected the high standards at the resort. Green fees for 18 holes are Rs 4000 on weekdays and Rs 5000 at weekends, and you can rent clubs, shoes and caddies for an extra Rs 2200.
If you stay here, you can pamper yourself with all sorts of luxury spa treatments, and the resort can arrange guided forest walks to the Bandevi (Forest Goddess) Temple and the Gokarna Mahadev Temple (one hour).
At the entrance to the resort spa is a 200-year-old pipal tree, where the Buddha (played by Keanu Reeves, of all people) in Bertolucci’s film Little Buddha was tempted by the demon Mara and called the earth to witness his victory. Not a lot of people know that…