Murudeshwar Temple of Karnataka is one of the most beautiful pilgrim destinations in India. As it boasts the second tallest statue of Lord Shiva in the world with a staggering height of 123 feet and the second-highest gopuram in India with a height of 237 feet. Situated between the picturesque western ghats and the Arabian sea, the Murudeshwar temple is built on the Kanduka Hill that is covered by the Arabian sea from three sides. The beauty of the Arabian sea and the beautiful architecture of the temple especially the statue of Lord Shiva make it a perfect place for both pilgrims and nature lovers.
The main deity of the temple is Lord Murudeshwara who is one of the forms of Lord Shiva. And the main highlight of the temple is the statue of Lord Shiva. Devotees from all over the world come here to pray to Lord Shiva to fulfill their wishes.
Every wall of the temple is covered by beautiful sculptures and carvings in the Dravidian style of architecture that makes it more beautiful. The main complex of the temple is modernized except the sanctum sanctorum that remains in its original form. Due to the coastal region, there is a beach near temple named Murudeshwar beach where you can enjoy with family & friends. Therefore apart from the pilgrimage activities there, you can try some adventurous activity likes Jet Skiing, boating, rafting and trekking.
Where is Murudeshwar is Temple?
Murudeshwar temple is located in the quint town of Murudeshwar that is situated in Bhatkal Taluk of the north Kannada district, Karnataka.
History of Murudeshwar Temple:
According to legends, the mother of Ravana, Kaikesi was a big devotee of Lord Shiva. She used to make Linga daily out of the beach sand. But every night the Linga washed by the waves of Sea. Seeing this, Ravana promised his mother that he’ll bring Lord Shiva Atma Linga from Mount Kailash to her. Therefore, he proceed to Mount Kailash and performed very hard mortification to impressed Lord Shiva.
Eventually, Shiva got impressed and granted him a wish. Then Lord Shiva took Atma Linga from his heart and gave it to Ravana but on one condition that if he keep the Linga down before reaching his destination then Linga will become affixed and nothing can separate it. However, Lord Vishnu and Lord Ganesha tricked him into putting the Linga down. By seeing this Ravana got furious and tried to destroy the Linga. But he only managed to scatter the Linga to different places that gave rise to 5 different sacred places and Murudeshwar is one of them. And rest of the places are known as Sajjeshwara, Gunavanthe, Dhareshwara and Gokarna.
These five places are known as Pancha Kshetras of Lord Shiva. Anyone who visits these places with a pure heart and worships Lord Shiva will be free from their all sins.
- Morning 6 AM to 1 PM
- Evening 3 PM to 8 PM
Things to do and Places to Visit Near Murudeswar temple:
1. Murudeshwar Beach:
Situated along with the Murudeshwar temple, Murudeshwar beach is a beautiful beach surrounded by the hills and greenery of coconut trees. It is one of the best places to visit in the coastal region of Karnataka. The sand of the beach has a silky texture that makes it great to explore barefoot. There you can enjoy lots of water activities like jet skiing, boat ride, kayaking, Scuba diving and parasailing.
2. Netrani Island/Pigeon Island:
Netrani Island is located 10 nautical miles or approx 20 KM away from the Murudeshwar in Bhatkal Taluka. By seeing from above the island seems of being heart-shaped. The island is famous for its amazing underwater world. Therefore it is quite popular among adventure lovers who loves to explore marine life. There you can see amazing collections of Arabian sea fishes including trigger fish, butterfly fish, shrimps, parrot fish, stonefish, blacktip sharks, turtles, great barracuda, and vibrant corals. Whenever you visit Murudeshwar don’t forget to do scuba diving and Snorkeling at Netrani Island. You can book a scuba tour from Netrani Adventure that charges you around 5K.
How to reach: The island is located around 20 KM from Murudeshwar. The boat takes around 1 and half hours to reach there. You can book a full scuba diving tour from Netrani Adventure.
Best time to visit: December and January are the best months to go to Netrani Island when the weather becomes perfect from snorkeling and scuba diving.
3. Bhatkal beach:
Bhatkal beach is located 15 KM away from the Murudeshwar temple. The beach is surrounded by many historic temples and buildings. The religious significance of the beach attracts tourists from all over India. Apart from it the white sand, rocky terrain, serene water and greenery of coconut trees makes it worthy to visit. The hilly and rugged coastline of the beach makes its trekker a favorite spot. Therefore you can trek along the coastline to admire the beauty of the Arabian sea.
There are some amazing historic monuments near the beach including two Jain temples 16th century, the Sholeshwar temple believed to be built by the Chola king in 10th century and a church that represents the Portuguese architecture.
How to reach: It is well connected by train and road to nearest cities like Mangalore and Murudeshwar. So it is very easy to reach there. You can take KSRTC buses from Murudeshwar that takes around 15 to 20 minutes to reach the beach. You can also hire a cab or taxi as well.
4. Murudeshwar Fort:
Situated behind the complex of the temple, Murudeshwar fort is one of the best historical places to visit near the Murudeshwar temple. It is believed that the fort is built from the Vijayanagara period in the 15th century later renovated by the ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan. The fort is famous for its historical significance and amazing architecture. You can see the elegant paintings and sculptures of old times on the wall of the fort.
Timings: 8 AM morning to 6 PM evening
5. Apsarakonda Waterfall:
Located 28 KM away from Murudeshwar, Apsarakonda fall is the most scenic place to visit near Murudeshwar temple. The water flows down through the roots of the peepal tree at the height of 10 meters into the pond below. The pond appears like a lagoon as it is facing the sea. You can enjoy swimming inside the pond.
According to the legends, angels used to come here from heaven to take bath inside the pond hence the fall is known as Apsarakonda Fall. Just a few minutes walk away there is a spectacular viewpoint on the hill. The hill allows you to have an amazing view of the beach and sea. Also, there are small and big caves known as Pandava Caves where the Pandavas stayed during the time of exile.
6. Bhukailasa Cave Museum Murdeshwar:
Located right next to Shiva Statue in Murudeshwar temple, Bhukailasa cave is a kind of sculpture museum where you can see various religious characters with background commentary. There you’ll see various big size sculptures of many mythological characters from Ramayana and Mahabharata. There is also a story of Ravana handling the Atma Linga to child Ganesha with background commentary. You can easily spend hours inside the cave without being bored. It is a very interesting place for both art and mytho lovers.
Entry Fees: 10 INR for Adults and 5 INR for Kids
Timing: 7 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 8 PM
Best Time To Visit Murudeshwar Temple:
The best time to visit Murudeshwar temple is from October to February when the weather becomes pleasant with a cool temperature. Since this is the peak time so you can expect the little crowd on street and inside the temple. Apart from sightseeing, you can indulge yourself in various water activities as well. The month of March, April, May, June gets hot temperature with lots of humidity and heavy rainfall. So if you want to skip the crowd then choose this time to travel.
Timings of the Temple:
|Morning Pooja||6: 30 AM to 7:30 AM|
|Evening Pooja||7:15 PM to 8:15 PM|
|Afternoon Pooja||12:15 PM to 1:00 PM|
|Darshan Timings||6:00 AM to 1 AM and 3:00 PM to 8:15 PM|
|Temple Remains Closed||1:00 PM to 3:00 PM|
How to Reach Murudeshwar Temple:
Murudeshwar is located on NH17 connecting Mumbai to Kochi via Mangalore.
Distance from Nearby Cities:
- 54 KM from Gokarna
- 494 KM from Bengaluru
- 157 KM from Mangalore
- 189 KM from Goa
By Train: Train is the most affordable and easiest way to reach Murudeshwar as the railway station of Murudeshwar is well connected to Mumbai and Mangalore. And the Mangalore railway is well connected to most of the cities of Karnataka and other major cities of India.
By Road: Road is one of the easiest ways to reach Murudeshwar as the private and government buses ply regularly from Kochi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. Mumbai & Bengaluru is well connected to other major cities of India.
By Flight: Flight is the fastest way to reach Murudeshwar. The Mangalore International Airport is located just 153 KM from Murudeshwar and from there you can easily get a taxi, cab and car rentals to reach Murudeshwar. The Mangalore Airport has a direct flight from all major cities of India.
Places to Eat Near Murudeshwar Temple:
There are lots of stalls and restaurants in Murudeshwar that mainly serve delicious South Indian Food. You can visit the canteen in front of Murudeshwar Temple Complex near the parking area where you can have dosa, coffee, tea and snacks. For delicious seafood, you can visit the stall and restaurants near Murudeshwar Beach. And for the North Indian dishes, you can visit the restaurants near the Railway station.
Interesting Facts About Murudeshwar Temple:
- The statue of Lord Shiva in the Murudeshwar temple is 123 feet tall. It is the second-largest statue of Lord Shiva in the world. It was built in over 2 years and the cost of around five crore rupees were spent.
- The statue of Lord Shiva is made in such a way that it reflects the first ray of the sun near the beach and the sunlight keeps falling throughout the day.
- The 20 storied Raj Gopura of the Murudeshwar Temple is the second-highest Gopura in India with a height of 237 feet. This gigantic gopuram allowed you to have an amazing birds-eye view of the temple and nearby beaches. You can take the elevator ride to reach the top of Gopuram that charges you around 10 rupees of the ticket.
- Interestingly, the Murudeshwar Temple has the hollow Linga of Lord Shiva that indicates that it is an Atma Linga. According to the legends, the soul of the Linga has departed the realms of humans.
- Apart from the statue of Lord Shiva, there is an island name Netrani island or Pegion Island that is known as one of the best scuba diving destinations in India.