Gokarna is a town in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka state, India with a permanent population exceeding 25,000 (2001). It is a Hindu pilgrimage centre as well as a popular tourist destination. Gokarna is a temple town and is referred to in a number of Hindu historical literature pieces. The main deity is Lord Mahabhaleshwara, a form of the Hindu god Shiva. Around the town lie a number of beaches which serve as a major attraction for travellers.