Gokarna is a destination as much for the ardent pilgrim as the beach-lover. This ancient temple town and centre of Sanskrit studies has attracted Shaivites for centuries. This is where Shiva is said to have emerged from the ear of a cow;
Car Street, which runs through the town, is flanked by hawkers of puja paraphernalia and souvenirs. The main draw is the anvient Mahabaleshwara Temple with its 6-foot-tall linga, of which only the tip can be seen.