Situated atop Kanduka Hill, surrounded from three sides by Arabian Sea, is the statue of Lord Shiva at Murudeshwara temple. Recorded as World’s second highest statue, it’s situated in Murudeshwar town of Bhatkal, Karnataka.
The statue of Lord Shiva is 123 ft high. It took about two years to build this statue by a huge team of sculptors, headed by Shivamogga’s Kashinath. Due to its unqiue design and the sheer size, it appears sparkling in direct sunlight. The cost to build this statue and the temple complex is estimated to be around Rs.50 million, which was financed by businessman and philanthropist Dr. R.N. Shetty.
A 20-storied Gopura (tower), close to the statue of Lord Shiva, is constructed in the temple complex, called Raja Gopura. People can reach on top of the tower by a lift to witness breath-taking view of the huge Shiva idol. At the bottom of the hill, is the Rameshwara linga. Just next to the Shiva idol is the Shaneswara temple. Two life-size concrete elephants stand right in front of the steps leading to the temple.
Legend behind Murudeshwara temple
Murudeshwara temple is related to the times of Ramayana. Ravana acquired Atma-Linga from Lord Shiva, who put a condition that Ravana will not keep it on the ground before reaching Lanka. As Devatas didn’t want Ravana to attain immortality and become more powerful, they devised a plan with the help of Lord Ganesha, who disguised in the form of a boy. He tricked Ravana to hand him over the Atma Linga when Ravana was going for his prayers. Soon as Ganesha got hold of the Atma Linga, he put it on the ground. Ravana understood that he had been tricked, but even after trying hard couldn’t move it from the ground, in the process scattering pieces of Linga around Gokarna.
When to visit Murudeshwara Temple
The best time to visit Murudeshwar is during October to March. Though you can also visit rest of the year, but the weather is generally hot and humid. Visit of devotees and tourists increase multi-fold during Mahashivratri.
How to reach Murudeshwara temple
Nearest Airport : Mangalore International Airport, around 155 km away.
Nearest Railway Station : Murudeshwar railway station
It’s connected to Mangalore and Mumbai. Mangalore is the major rail-head. Murudeshwar railway station is approx. 2 km from the town and can be reached by bus and auto-rickshaw.
Private and State run buses connect Murudeshwar to Mangalore, Bangalore, Mumbai and Kochi. Buses ply on regular intervals to and from all these destinations.
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