Karnataka - Murudeshwara Temple
Whats so special?
If you want to witness the world's largest idol of Lord Shiva, then veer to Murudeshwar. The stunning colossal idol of Lord Shiva awaits your visit. Other than that this temple backs the first place in having the tallest Raja Kopura in India. This splendid divine place has the best picturesque scenery and a lovely ambiance.
The folk tale of Murudheswar swings back to Ramayana era. It was the time of Ramayana war, Ravana the antagonist of the plot, was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. He in order to gain immortality underwent a diligent penance towards lord Shiva. Being pleased with his peerless devotion Lord Shiva granted him the Atma Linga- the source of immortality, with a condition that he should never place it on ground, till he reaches SriLanka. Lord Vishnu, knowing all these, wanted Ravana to lose his boon, so he played a trick on him. With his Chakra he shielded the sun and made the day appear like dusk. Ravana mistook it for Sunset and got ready for his evening Pooja, handing over the Atma Linga to a Brahmin boy and asking him to keep it with him until he returns back after his evening bath followed by the rituals. This Brahmin boy was none other than Lord Ganesha. While Ravana was taking bath, Lord Ganesh placed the Atma Linga on the ground and vanished quickly. When Ravana came back, he was speechless with rage. Only after a short while, he realized that he was fooled and hence wanted to destroy the Atma Linga, but he couldn't even shake it, at last using all his strength he tore off the outer shroud of the Atma Linga and hurled it 32 km away on the Kanduka hills, where later on a temple was erected and named as Murudeshwar.
This temple is encased on all three sides by the Arabia Sea, the 249 feet Raja Kopura is a sheer work of excellence and the statue of Lord Shiva in sitting posture makes the onlookers tongue tied, adding to it the two life size elephants on either sides gives the temple a majestic look. This temple is fully furnished with modern amenities and there are even lift facilities inside the Raja Kopura for a better view of Lord Murudeshwar.
The only place to hold the hollow Linga (represents the soul of Shiva). Since Shiva Linga represents masculinity and so a rock-hard structure is always built in all Lord Shiva temples.
More than 200 artists had taken part in building the mammoth effigy.
Murudeshwar was previously known as “Mrideshwara.”
The 18-storeyed Raja Gopuram is known as the King of Towers. The town poses for the perfect bird-eye shot when viewed from that height (Both steps and elevators are available).
Murudeshwar is the best place for Para Sailing, Speed Boating, and Snorkelling.
Netrani Island or Pigeon Island with its silvery sand a few miles away from the temple has Parrot Fish and Butterfly Wishes (Take a boat ride and take part in Scuba Diving).
There is a picturesque fort built during the Vijayanagar empire near the temple and refurbished by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.
Kashinath built this temple and was funded by philanthropist and entrepreneur, R.N.Shetty.
Temple and Pooja Timings:
General Time: 3.00 AM - 1.00 PM; 3.00 PM - 8.00 PM
- Morning Darshan (6 AM - 1 PM)
- Evening Darshan (3 PM - 8.30 PM)
- Morning Pooja (6.30 AM - 7.30 AM)
- Maha Pooja (12.15 PM - 1.00 PM)
- Night Pooja (7.15 PM - 8.15 PM)
- Entry: Free
Mahashivaratri: In the spiritual calendar of India, “The Great Night of Shiva” is an epitome of excellence. Before the beginning of Spring, in the 11th month of the Hindu calendar, this festival is celebrated. Warding off negativity through abstinence from eating and involving in meditation to spread positive human emotions is the basic purpose of this celebration. Girls pray Lord Shiva to get a beautiful, honest and devoted bridegroom like him. Shiva had also helped pacify the skirmish battle between Lord Brahma and Vishnu. Lord Shiva is a limitless being and the first Yogi according to many researchers and sages.
Karthik Purnima: During the Karthikai month (November – December), the festival is celebrated to honor Lord Shiva for destroying the triad-demon towns, called “Tripura”. According to many, the son of Lord Shiva - Lord Karthikeyan (Murugan) was born on this day.
Any decent clothing is fine to enter this Mukthi Sthala.
Sri Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna (54 km away)
Kollur Mookambika Temple (60 km away)
Idagunji Maha Ganapathi Temple (20 km away)
Best Time to Visit:
October to May is generally a good time to visit. For Mahashivaratri, there is a huge pilgrim gathering in February. For Scuba Diving, visit from November to January. Winter from October to February (14-28 degree Celcius); monsoon from July to September; summer from March to June (20-35 degree Celcius)
Murudeshwar Temple Main Road, Murdeshwar Bhatkal Taluk, Murdeshwar, Karnataka 581350.
Way to Reach:
By Air - The nearest Airport is Mangalore Airport which is 165 km away from the temple.
By Rail - Murudeshwar is the nearest Railway Station. Karwar express coming from Bangalore connects this holy spot with major cities.
By Road - Regular transport from all the major cities of Karnataka.