Gokarna is a village growing awkwardly and uncomfortably into a town. It is in this sense an adolescent, unsure of itself in the modern world, but in every other sense Gokarna is old, with a history that stretches into the remotest parts of human memory. For most of this time, it has been a village of fishermen and farmers with a single distinction: a temple that is believed to contain the soul of Shiva. But India has entered a period of rapid change, and Gokarna is being pulled along with it.
From The Curse of Gokarna, by Iain