Murudeshwara, a place which is largely popular for its Beach and a gigantic Shiva statue is a small town in Bhatkal taluk of Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. It lies on the coast of the Arabian sea giving an enigmatic experience and indeed, is a popular tourist spot in the state. You might have visited this place but how well you know it from the historic and architectural point of view is a question. Here we are with a few amazing facts and things to know about Murudeshwara temple on today’s read.
The Gigantic Shiva Statue
Murudeshwara houses a Shiva statue which is simply a breathtaking effigy. It is said to be the tallest Shiva statue in the world followed by Nepal’s Kailashnath Mahadev statue and Coimbatore’s Adi Yogi. It stands at a height of 123 feet, said to have constructed by over 200 skilled artists. The statue is designed in a way that it reflects sunlight directly giving out a sparkling look and a divine sight to catch.
Murudeshwara temple is one of the rarest abodes of Shiva on earth to have a hollow linga. In Yogic culture, it is said that the infinite energy source has taken the shape of Linga, and so it is worshipped and adored. Also, it represents the masculine force in creation. Here in Murudeshwara, it is denoted as Athma Linga whose history dates back to the times of Ramayana.
Story Behind the Temple
We all know the story of Athma linga. It has so happened that the King Ravana’s mother wished for Athma linga (the ultimate form of Shiva) and Ravana went to Kailash to get that for his mother. With his penance, Ravana gets Athma linga from Shiva on a condition that it should not be placed on the ground before he reaches Lanka. Knowing this, Narada realized that Ravana will attain immortality with this Athma linga and continue to destroy life on earth. So, Devas requested Ganesha to prevent the Atma Linga from reaching Lanka.
Ravana was a Brahmin and a great devotee who kept his ritual practices and had never missed them, even on a single day. So, Ganesha with a plan of using this fact took the form of a Brahmin Boy and came to Ravana. It was an evening time and Ravana had to perform his evening rituals. With Atma Linga in his hands, he was worried as he cannot keep the linga down. So, Ganesha came in and accosted Ravana. Ravana gave the Linga to him and asked not to put it on the ground. Ganesha made a deal saying that he would call his name thrice, and if Ravana did not return then he would place Atma Linga on the ground.
It was a trick played and Ganesha placed Linga on the ground and disappeared. After knowing that it was a trick played by Devas, Ravana tries to destroy the Linga. In that effort, linga gets scattered into pieces. Different pieces fell in different places but the cloth covering Atma Linga came and fell in Mrideshwara (Kanduka Giri). Mrideshwara has been renamed to Murudeshwara.
Arabian Sea on Three Sides
The Murudeshwara temple is located in Kanduka hill which is surrounded by the Arabian sea on three sides. So, the temple looks gorgeous and thus the reason, it attracts a lot of visitors.
18 Storeyed Raja Gopura
One of the major attractions of Murudeshwara is its massive 18 storeyed Raja Gopura. It is also called as ‘King of Towers’ which has 20 floors. One can actually go to the top of it to get an amazing view of Murudeshwara. There are steps to climb. If you can’t then there is a swift elevator at a nominal fee of Rs.10.
Another primary attraction of Murudeshwara is its beach. Spending time on sea shore is indeed an amazing experience. The gorgeous Arabian sea with clear blue water and a wide open space is a feeling that goes beyond words. It will be quite sunny all the time where one can chill out and move around. There are tonnes of water sports to indulge in; parasailing, speed boating, snorkeling, and etc.
The Sensuous Netrani Island
Netrani Island, located off the coast of Murudeshwara is a place worth exploring. It is also known as the ‘Pigeon Island’ which is considered as the best sites for Scuba Diving. Netrani is a heart-shaped island which has the humongous Western Ghats in its backdrop and is all filled with silvery sand.
It takes a boat ride for about an hour to reach the island. You, the Arabian sea all around and this island; what an experience! One can relax here watching various kinds of fish; butterfly fish, parrot fish, eels and the never-ending clear blue water.
Behind the temple’s complex, one can spot a fort whose history dates back to the times of Vijayanagara empire. It is not a popular attraction but from a historical point of view, it stands out. Built by Vijayanagara kings, over a period of time, the fort is said to have renovated by Tipu Sultan and other Mysuru kings.
Of late, Murudeshwara has opened Scuba diving activity and we didn’t see this one coming. Today, Murudeshwara is famous for Scuba diving and people come here from places just for it. It happens on Netrani island where the water looks crystal clear, making it apt for Scuba diving. On this adventurous expedition underwater, one can have an experience of the lifetime. Witness exotic under-water species like corals, fishes of various kinds, whale, dolphins, and sharks too.
Recommended: 5 Scuba Diving Spots in India
The nearby attractions are Gokarna, OM Beach, Idagunji, Kollur, Kundpaura, and Marvanthe Beach.
So, this was about Murudeshwara temple in brief. Make time for this beautiful place. It is not just a temple; there is a whole new world out there.
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