Saturday, April 13, 2024

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Murudeshwar Temple




North Kannada District, Karnataka



Famous for the world's second tallest Shiva statue

Best Time to Visit



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The Beach Temple, Murudeshwar is located in the Bhatkal Taluk of Uttara Kannada district in the state of Karnataka. Built on a rock near the seashore, the temple is surrounded by the Arabian sea on all three sides. Around 165 km from Mangalore on the National Highway, it is situated between Honnavara and Bhatkal.

The main attraction of the temple is a huge towering statue of Lord Shiva, visible from great distances. Murudeshwara is another name of Lord Shiva. There is an interesting story of how the linga came to be established at Murudeshwar. The Lanka king Ravana wanted to attain immortality by obtaining the Atma Linga. Since the Atma Linga belonged to Lord Shiva, Ravana worshipped Shiva. Pleased by his prayers, Lord Shiva appeared and granted his wish with a condition that never let the Ling touch the ground. Fearing the destruction, Lord Ganesha using his trick, fooled Ravana on his way to Lanka and put down the Linga on the ground. Murudeshwar was the place where he kept the Linga down.

Sri R.N.Shetty a philanthropist, is the man who has developed this temple complex at a cost of approximately Rs.50 million. Mainly built of granite, the temple stands on the top of a small hill called Kanduka Giri. It's entrance is topped by a 20 tiered Rajagopuram, which stands at a height of 75.5 metres which is 249 feet. Two life sized concrete elephants flank at the entrance. Inside the sanctum sanctorum, Lord Shiva is worshipped as 'Aghora'. The Linga is about 2feet below ground level. Entry into the Sanctum is banned for all devotees.

A huge towering statue of Lord Shiva is present near the temple complex which was sculpted by Shivamogga's Kashinath and several other sculptors and artisans from Tamilnadu. The statue is the second largest statue of Shiva in the world. It is 123 feet in height, and took about 2 years to construct this. The idol has four arms and in front of the statue is a small nandi. The statue is designed in such a way that, it gets direct sunlight and thus appears sparkling. A good example of South Indian architecture, the temple complex boasts other sculptures including concrete sculptures of voluptuous maidens. It is a well maintained complex with greenery all around.

The other tourist attractions near the temple are Murudeshwar Fort and Murudeshwar Beach. The fort is said to have been renovated by King Tippu Sultan of Mysore. Dotted with coconut and areca groves, Murudeshwar beach promises to satisfy both pilgrims and tourists alike.