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Murudeshwar Temple | History, Architecture, Facts of Murudeshwar

Experience the Astoundingly Beautiful Murudeshwar Temple and Surroundings


Situated in Bhatkal Taluk in Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka, Murdeshwar is a famous town, where you can find one of the tallest Shiva statues in the world. The Murdeshwar temple is just 13 kilometers away from Bhatkal and is ideally positioned on the Arabian Sea coast. The stunning statue of Lord Shiva in a sitting position stands next to the Kailashnath Mahadev Statue in Nepal.


The Murdeshwar temple has the captivating RajaGopuram (King of towers), which is about 238-foot tall to have 20 floors. Built on the Kanduka Hill, the temple, which is dedicated to Sri Lokankara, offers scintillating views of the Arabian Sea on all the three sides. Visiting Murdeshwar asks for climbing the RajaGopuram using the elevator to have a thrilling view of Shiva idol. The temple also has a Rameshwara linga below the hill for devotees to offer prayers to Lord Shiva.


Murudeshwar Temple



Murudeshwar Temple | Image Resource : i.pinimg.com

Fascinating History of Murudeshwar Temple


The history of Murdeshwar temple Karnataka has a great significance on its origin. The name ‘Murdeshwar’ is believed to have its origin at the time of Ramayana. The gods achieved immortality and indomitability worshipping ‘Atma-linga’, which is a divine linga. Ravana, who was the demon king of Lanka, wished to attain immortality and for this, he performed intense austerity to please Lord Shiva.


Being the master of Vedas and Shastras, Ravana’s devotion and strong prayers for years pleased Maheshwara. He appeared before Ravana and asked him what he wished to have. Ravana politely asked for Atma-Linga, which Lord Shiva agreed to give it to him; nevertheless, he said that he can carry it without placing it on the ground. In case, he does it, it will get stuck to the ground.


Delighted Ravana walked back to Lanka carrying the Atma-Linga. Lord Vishnu, who knew that Ravana would use the Atma-Linga for obtaining immortality and invincibility and destroying the world, met Sri Ganesha and asked him to stop Ravana carrying Atma-Linga to Lanka. Ganesha, who realized that Ravana never failed to perform rituals in the mornings and evenings, decided to trick him so that he cannot carry the Atma-Linga to his kingdom.


When Ravana reached Gokarna, he saw the sun setting and it was going to be dusk. He was actually misled by Lord Vishnu, who hid the sun. Ravana who could no longer stand being not able to perform the prayer rituals looked around for help. At this time, Sri Ganesha approached him as a Brahmin boy in disguise. Ravana sought his help in holding the Atma-Linga until he had performed his rituals.


He however warned Ganesha to not to place it on the ground. Sri Ganesha agreed to his request but with one condition that he would call Ravana thrice before placing the Atma-linga on the ground. When Ravana finished performing the rituals and returned he saw the linga kept on the ground and there was no sign of the Brahmin boy. By then, he was the sun coming out and it looked bright as a day.


Ravana realized that he was tricked and in rage tried to destroy the Atma-Linga. The force with which he tried to destroy made some pieces of the linga get scattered. In those, one piece of the head of the linga fell in Surathkal, which today has the popular Sadashiv temple. Ravana also threw away the covering of the linga, which fell in Sajjeshwar, while the lid of the covering fell in Guneshwar and Dhareshwar. The cloth of the Atma-Linga was thrown away to Mrideshwar located in Kanduka Giri. This Mrideshwar later became Murdeshwar.



Splendid Architecture of Murudeshwar Temple


The Murdeshwar temple and the RajaGopuram, as well as the Shiva statue were recently constructed. The temple complex has the shrine and 20-storied Raja Gopuram. The temple is like a square-shaped sanctuary, with tall and short spires, which are of ‘kutina’ type. They have a pyramidal shape with the stories arranged to recede gradually. You can find a parapet of mini shrines and dome-shaped cupola on the top of the tower, as well as a finial.


You can find several statues that depict the scenes from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. There are the Sun Chariot, Arjuna and Lord Krishna. Arjuna is receiving ‘Geetopadesh’ from Lord Krishna. The other statues are that of Ravana and Ganesha, where the Ravana is tricked, Lord Bhagirnath, the form of Lord Shiva and the descending Ganga River from the hill.


The entrance of the temple has two giant elephant statues. The temple looks modern for it was recently constructed. The sanctum sanctorum however looks dark and the deity is Sri Mridesa Linga, which is famously called Murdeshwar.



Some Interesting Facts about Murudeshwar Temple


When it comes to the Murdeshwar temple, there are quite a few exciting facts.




  • The Shiva statue is the highlight of Murdeshwar and it is about 123 feet high to become the second tallest Shiva statue in the world. It took two years to build that Shiva statue.

  • The RajaGopuram at the entrance is 20-storied and you can enjoy the splendid views from the top.

  • The Kanduka hill on which the temple is situated is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides.

  • The temple is believed to have related to the time of Ramayana.

  • The giant Shiva statue in Murdeshwar is so positioned that the sun rays fall directly on it to look shiny all the time.

  • The Murudeshwar temple is a mixture of traditional and modern architecture.


Some Famous Festivals Celebrated at Murudeshwar Temple


Being a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple celebrates Maha Shivaratri, which falls in the month of February or Phalgun. It is said that the popular Shivaratri falls on the fourteenth day or ‘Chaturdashi Tithi’ of ‘Krishna Paksha’ every month. Devotees, on this day, visit the Murdeshwar temple and offer prayers to both Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi.


They also observe fast and chant different Shiva bhajans. The significance of Shivaratri is they stay awake all night at the temple singing devotional songs. The temple performs special poojas on this day and there are some events too.


Another festival celebrated here is Karthik Purnima and this is conducted in November or December. A legend says that Lord Shiva destroyed the three magical cities built by the demon Tripurasura and another legend says the festival signifies the birth of Sri Murugan, the son of Lord Shiva.



Get to Know Murudeshwar Temple Timings


The Murdeshwar temple opens at 6 a.m. for the morning visit and darshan and it closes at 1 p.m. The morning pooja is performed between 6.30 a.m. and 7.30 a.m. In the evening, the temple reopens at 3 p.m. and it closes at 8.30 p.m. after the night pooja.


You can find daily sevas performed at the temple. Some of the popular ones are Rudrabhishekam, Panchakajjaya, Bilvarchane, Navagraha pooja and Bhasmarchane.



How to Reach Murudeshwar Temple?


When it comes to accessibility, the Murdeshwar temple can be reached by air, train and road. For those who come for other cities in India, there are several domestic flights connecting the Mangalore International Airport. From there, you can hire a cab to travel to Murdeshwar, which is just 165 km away.


As for rail service, you have several trains connecting the Mangalore railway station with other cities. There is a railway station in Murdeshwar and the Karwar Express connects this small town with Bengaluru and other small towns.


The road service is offered by several public and private transport operators. They connect most of the major cities in Karnataka with Murdeshwar.

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