Locals believe that Gokarna derives its name from the legend in whish Lord Shiva emerged from the ear of a cow. Literally meaning the 'cow's ear', this village is formed by the ear-shaped confluence of two rivers. Adventurous travelers must be prepared for a bit of cliff scrambling. Om beach, one of Gokarna's five famed beaches, takes the shape of an 'Om', a spiritual symbol. The other beaches, wedged between gigantic cliffs that protrude like delicate fingers into the sea, are Gokarna, Kudle, Half-moon and Paradise. The drive up the winding path that leads to Gokarna is a scenic delight with the rocky mountains and Western Ghats on one side and the Arabian Sea on the other. Accomodation is available at guesthouses run by local families.