The temple is popularly known as “Mahabali” is located in Gokarna town of Uttara Kannad district in Karnataka. The Maratha architecture of this shrine celebrates Lord Shiva and the rule of Marathas during the 16th century.
Chandrarao Morey Dynasty had built this during the 16th century. The temple’s inner sanctum has Lord Shiva, the main deity. Belongings like his Trishul, Damru, bed, and carvings of his bodyguard (Kalabhairava) and holy bull confirms his connection with the place.
Lord Shiva’s stone incarnation of the 6 feet Shiva Lingam’s tip is only seeable. The temple is visited for its peaceful atmosphere and the genuine Hemadant architecture.
History of Mahabaleshwar Temple :
Mahabaleshwar is derived from Mamleshwar which means the God of Mavalas, Lord Shiva. A Britisher Colonel, Lodwick had discovered this serene place. First, in 1215, Deogiri’s King Singhan had come to the old Mahabaleshwar. He had contributed a small temple and water tank. Around 1350, under the Brahmin Dynasty, the region witnessed many beautiful developments. Brahmin Dynasty’s reign came to an end after the Maratha family of Chandrarao Dynasty took over the place. Javli and Mahabaleshwar were captured and that time the temple got refurbished a little. After the 16th century, the exquisite Hemadant Architecture blanketed the previous style. A 500-year-old “Svayambhuva” (Self-originated Lingam), a 300-year-old Trishul (Trident), Damru (Pellet Drum), a bed of Lord Shiva showcase the presence of the powerful God of all time.
Specialty of Mahabaleshwar Temple :
- The God of Great Power is the meaning of the Sanskrit word - Mahabaleshwar.
- The temple is the second home to the authentic Atma Linga (The Soul of Shiva).
- Every 40 years, Ashta Bandana Kumbhahishekam reveals the whole of the Lingam in this temple.
- The archaic stone sculpture of Shiva is more than 1500 years old.
- Devotees enter the Maha Ganapathi Temple before stepping into the Mahabaleshwar temple.
- The temple is known as the Dakshin Kasi (Kasi of the South).
- Mahabaleshwar Temple is one among the seven “Mukthi Sthala” (pilgrim center) in Karnataka.
- The Temple has structures and carvings of the 4th century.
- Gokarna is the place where Ravana couldn’t lift the Mahabala, the strongest Linga and that becomes the reason for the name - Mahabaleshwar.
- The temple has a powerful connection to the famous Murudeshwar Temple.
Temple and Pooja Timings :
General Time : 5 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM.
Mahashivaratri is celebrated with a lot of pomp and rituals here. For prosperity and success in life, devotees gather in huge number in this temple every year. Celebration in Uttara Kannad reaches its peak during the festival of Shivaratri marking the union of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva in February. Rath Yatra during the festival is a major procession which is done in a humungous wooden chariot. Deities like Ganapathi, Sita, and Bhadrakali are installed in the chariot along with Lord Shiva. The ostentatious divine chariot using the devotees is pulled throughout the town. Drum bands add character to the festival with their rhythmic loud strikes. The whole parade begins from Shri Maha Ganapati temple in the main market street also known as the Car Street.
Dress Code :
Any decent clothing is fine to enter this temple.
Nearby Temples :
- Maha Ganapathi Temple (100 m away from Mahabaleshwar Temple)
- Tamra Gowri Temple (Inside the compound of Mahabaleshwar Temple)
- Venkatramana Temple (500 m away from Mahabaleshwar Temple)
- Bhadrakali Temple (1.3 km away from Mahabaleshwar Temple)
Best Time to Visit Betta Byraveshwara Temple:
The temple is close to the Western Ghats and so experiences relatively pleasant weather all year. The coniferous forests are responsible for this weather condition. Other than July to September (heavy rainfall), all months of the year pose perfect weather and temperature to visit the temple. Once, this place was receiving rainfall next to Cherappunji. Luscious landscapes and opulent surroundings are due to frequent rain. Visiting this temple during Mahashivaratri celebrations makes for an ideal travel experience.
How to Reach Betta Byraveshwara Temple :
By Air : Dabolim Airport in Goa is the nearest Airport to reach Gokarna. (157 km away). Travel in the NH 66 Highway to reach Gokarna and then Mahabaleshwar Temple.
By Rail : The small station here is not connected to other major cities. However, Ankola Railway Station, 20 km away from Gokarna connects most of the cities.
By Road : Hiring a cab is the best option for a pleasant ride. Direct buses running from Goa, Bangalore, Mangalore, and Delhi are available too.
Address : Koti Teertha Road, Kotiteertha, Gokarna, Karnataka 581326.(The temple is 2.5 km away from Gokarna Town)