Om Beach

Top choice in Gokarna

One of Karnataka's best beaches, Gokarna has a famous stretch of sand that twists and turns over several kilometres to resemble the outline of an Om symbol. The beach comprises several gorgeous coves, with wide stretches interspersed with smaller patches of sand, perfect for sunbathing and swimming. There's fine swimming most of the season when the sea's not choppy, though signs officially ban it (local tourists have drowned here in rough seas). It's 6km from Gokarna town; autorickshaws cost ₹130.

Om's shores are backed by simple huts and restaurants, and during the season (November to April) many travellers gather here and end up staying weeks. During the low season Om is virtually deserted.