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 piece of the Original Atma Linga is believed to have been buried two feet underground; devotees can visit this Linga and can do self pooja to the Lord.
All festivals of Lord Shiva are commemorated here in a grand manner. Especially, Shivaratri, Pradosham, and Diwali are quite famous.
Lord Shiva Statue, Venkatapur Temple, Lakshmi Temple, and Shree Shaba Somesh Temple are the most famous temples near Murudeshwar Temple
How To Reach
Bus : You can take the NH-206 to Honnavar and then NH-17 to Murudeshwar. You have to take the National Highway NH-17, if you travel from Mumbai to Mangalore.
Train : Konkan Railway gives access to Murudeshwar station. Some trains from Mumbai and Mangalore stop here.
Airport : Mangalore International Airport is 165 km from Murudeshwar. Hubli and Panaji are also some of the nearby airports.