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Murudeshwara is a town in the Bhatkal
Bhatkal is also known as Batecala in some historical text especially in Portuguese history.Once ruled by Jain King Bhattakalanka and thus the name. Bhatkal is a port town in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, India 126 km from Karwar. The town lies on NH-17 running between Mumbai and Mangalore...

A Tehsil or Tahsil/Tahasil , also known as Taluk and Mandal, is an administrative division of some country/countries of South Asia....

 of Uttara Kannada
Uttara Kannada
Uttara Kannada also known as North Canara or North Kanara, is a district in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. It is bordered by the state of Goa and Belgaum District to the north, Dharwad District and Haveri District to the east, Shimoga District and Udupi District to the south and the...

 district in the state of Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

, India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. "Murudeshwara" is another name of the Hindu
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 god Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

. Famous for the world's second-tallest Shiva statue, Murudeshwara beach town lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

 and is also famous for the Murudeshwara Temple.


The origin of the name "Murudeshwara" dates to the time of Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

. The Hindu gods attained immortality and invincibility by worshipping a divine Lingam
The Lingam is a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva used for worship in temples....

 called the Atma-Linga. The Lanka
Sri Lanka is the name given in Hindu mythology to the island fortress capital of the legendary king Ravana in the great Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata...

 King Ravana
' is the primary antagonist character of the Hindu legend, the Ramayana; who is the great king of Lanka. In the classic text, he is mainly depicted negatively, kidnapping Rama's wife Sita, to claim vengeance on Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of his sister...

 wanted to attain immortality by obtaining the Atma-Linga (Soul of Shiva). Since the Atma-Linga belonged to Lord Shiva, Ravana worshipped Shiva with devotion. Pleased by his prayers, Lord Shiva appeared before him and asked him what he wanted. By this time Narada had asked Lord Vishnu
Vishnu is the Supreme god in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism. Smarta followers of Adi Shankara, among others, venerate Vishnu as one of the five primary forms of God....

 to change Ravana's mind. As a result of this plot, Ravana asks for Goddess Parvati
Parvati is a Hindu goddess. Parvati is Shakti, the wife of Shiva and the gentle aspect of Mahadevi, the Great Goddess...

, and Lord Shiva offers her to him. On his way back to Lanka Narada tells Ravana that Lord had not given him the real Parvathi and that the real Parvathi was in Pathala. So Ravana frees his companion,goes to Pathala and marries a king's daughter ,assuming her to be the real Parvathi. He then returns to Lanka, where his mother asks him for the Linga. Ravana then comes to know of the tricks played on him by Lord Vishnu. He therefore prays to Lord Shiva again, begging for his forgiveness. Lord Shiva appears and this time, Ravana requests the AtmaLinga as his boon. Lord Shiva agrees to give him the boon with the condition that it should never be placed on the ground. If the AtmaLinga was ever placed on the ground, all the powers would return to Lord Shiva again. Having obtained his boon, Ravana started back on his journey to Lanka.

Sage Narada
Narada or Narada Muni is a divine sage from the Vaisnava tradition, who plays a prominent role in a number of the Puranic texts, especially in the Bhagavata Purana, and in the Ramayana...

, who came to know of this incident, realised that with the AtmaLinga, Ravana may obtain immortality and create havoc on earth. He approached the Lord Ganesh and requested him to prevent the AtmaLinga from reaching Lanka. Lord Ganesh knew that Ravana was a very devoted person who used to perform prayer ritual in the evening every day without fail. He decided to make use of this fact and came up with a plan to confiscate the AtmaLinga from Ravana.

As Ravana was nearing Gokarna
Gokarna, India
Gokarna is a village in the Uttara Kannada district of the Karnataka state, India. It is a Hindu pilgrimage centre as well as a tourist destination in India. Gokarna is a temple town and is referred to in a number of Hindu historical literature pieces. The main deity is Lord Mahabhaleshwara, a...

, Lord Vishnu blotted out the sun to give the appearance of dusk. Ravana now had to perform his evening rituals but was worried because with the AtmaLinga in his hands, he would not be able to do his rituals. At this time, Lord Ganesh in the disguise of a Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

 boy accosted him.Ravana requested him to hold the AtmaLinga until he performed his rituals, and asked him not to place it on the ground. Ganesh struck a deal with him saying that he would call Ravana thrice, and if Ravana did not return within that time, he would place the AtmaLinga on the ground.

As predicted, before Ravana could return after completing his rituals, Ganesh had already placed the AtmaLinga on the ground. Vishnu then removed his illusion and it was daylight again. Ravana, realising that he had been tricked,tried to uproot and destroy it; Due to the force exerted by Ravana, some pieces were scattered. One such piece from the head of the linga is said to have fallen in present day Surathkal
Surathkal is a locality under Mangalore City Corporation located in the Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka state, India...

 .The famous Sadashiva temple is said to be built around that piece of linga. Then he decided to destroy the covering of the AtmaLinga, and threw the case covering it to a place called Sajjeshwara, 23 miles away. Then he threw the lid of the case to a placed called Guneshwara (now Gunavanthe)and Dhareshwara, 10–12 miles away. Finally, he threw the cloth covering the AtmaLinga to a placed called Mrideshwara in Kanduka-Giri (Kanduka Hill). Mrideshwara has been renamed to Murudeshwara.

Major attractions

  • Murudeshwara Temple and Raja Gopura: This temple is built on the Kanduka Hill which is surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Arabian Sea
    Arabian Sea
    The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

    . It is a temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva, and a 20-storied Gopura is constructed at the temple. Two life-size elephants in concrete stand guard at the steps leading to the temple. The entire temple and temple complex, including the 237.5 feet tall Raja Gopura, is one among the tallest, was constructed to its present form by businessman and philanthropist Mr R. N. Shetty.

The temple is entirely modernised with exception of the Sanctum Sanctorum which is still dark and retains its composure. The Main deity is Sri Mridesa Linga, also called Murudeswara. The linga is believed to be a piece of the original Atma Linga and is about 2feet below ground level. The devotees performing special sevas like Abhisheka, Rudrabhisheka, Rathotsava etc. can view the deity by standing before the threshold of the Sanctum and the Lingam is illuminated by oil lamps held close by the priests. The Lingam is essentially a rough rock inside a hollowed spot in the ground. Entry into the Sanctum is banned for all devotees.

  • Statue of Lord Shiva: A huge towering statue of Lord Shiva, visible from great distances, is present in the temple complex. It is the SECOND tallest statue of Lord Shiva in the world as the first tallest is located in (Nepal)and is made by Mr.Kamal Jain,this is 143 ft.high and the statue is called ( Kailashnath Mahadev ). The statue is 123 feet (37 m) in height, and took about 2 years to build. The statue was built by Shivamogga's Kashinath and several other sculptors, financed by businessman and philanthropist Mr R.N. Shetty, at a cost of approximately 50 million Rs
    The rupee is the common name for the monetary unit of account in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Mauritius, Seychelles, Maldives, and formerly in Burma, and Afghanistan. Historically, the first currency called "rupee" was introduced in the 16th century...

    . The idol is designed such that it gets the sun light directly and thus appears sparkling. Originally, the statue had four arms, and was adorned in gold paint. However, large wind gusts blew the arm off (the one that held a small drum), and rains dissolved the paint.

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