Murudeshwar Temple: The Gokarna Temple is located in the north Karnataka and is 545 K.m. away from Bangalore. The main deity of Murudeshwar Temple is Lord Shiva (Atmalinga).
According to our ancestors, it has its historical importance. This Murudeshwar Temple of Lord Shiva is also known as the Gokarna temple.
The meaning of Gokarna is “cow’s ear.” This sacred place is located between the mouth of the Gangavali and Agnashini River and owes its name to the ear-shaped meeting of two rivers. It is also believed that Gokarna takes its name from Lord Shiva emerged from the ear of a cow.
Murudeshwar Temple Information
- Main Deity: Lord Shiva (Mahabaleshwar)
- Best Time to Visit: October to March
- Temple Timings: 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Visiting Duration: 2 Hours
- Entrance Fee: NIL
- Important Festival Celebrated: Maha Shivratri & Karthik Purnima
History of Murudeshwar Temple (Gokarna)
In Tretayuga Ravanasura and his mother, Kaikesi were the great devotees of Lord Shiva. Everyday Kaikesi was forming a shape of Linga in the sand beside the seashore but soon it was washing away to the seawater, from this she was unhappy then the great Ravanasura came to know that Lord Shiva had an Atma Linga that was a reflection of the Lord himself so, he promised his mother that he will bring the Atma Linga for her prayers.
Therefore, Ravana went north to serve penance to please the Lord. He stood on one leg without food or water and prayed to Lord Shiva for a long time.
Lord Shiva, satisfied with his penance, appeared before him and told Ravana to ask for a Boon. Ravanasura said I wish to have the Atma Linga, then Lord Shiva gave him the same but with 1 condition before him. Under any circumstances you should not place it on the ground, otherwise, no one can remove it from the ground.
Ravana agreed and moved towards the Lanka, but other sages and Devas were shocked and feared by seeing this incident because Ravana was already troubling them and if he installs Atma Linga on Lanka he will become still stronger then before.
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All the Devas and Sages were worried about this and went to seek help from Lord Ganesha, then Lord Ganesh assured that he will see that Ravana does not install Atma Linga in Lanka. As usual, he never stops praying to Lord Shiva 3 times a day, he watched the sun is setting down which was the Maya of Lord Vishnu, so he starting thinking what to do.
He arrived at a beach in northern Karnataka, but there was no one to get help during this time, he saw a little boy and asked him to hold Atma Linga until he offers the prayer for Lord Shiva and says not to place Atma Linga on the ground and he handed over to him.
Ravanasura began to pray to Lord Shiva after a while, the boy said he wanted to go home and that Shiva Linga was too heavy to hold, but Ravana was deeply immersed in his prayer and had not heard the words of the boy, the boy said that his hands are paining with the weight and also said he will call 3 times if still Ravana not comes then he will place to the ground, this time Ravansura told him to wait, please do not place it on the ground.
The boy called his name 3 times, then the Ravana with the fear stopped his prayer and ran towards him, but the boy placed the Linga on the ground before he reaches him.
Ravanasura got angry with the boy and hit his head, then the boy showed his true form of Lord Ganesha in front of him and told Ravana that I know everything about this Atma Linga.
Ravana tried hard to take Atma Linga from the ground he could not take it up but some parts of Linga came to his hand but he was so angry and thrown the parts of Linga to all 4 directions which have become the important temples Murudeshwara, Dhareshwara, Shejjeshwara, and Gunavanteshwara.
Lord Ganesha told Ravana that I do not want you to take this powerful Atma Linga to Lanka because you are going to abuse it and destroy the world. Ravana understood that it was Lord Ganesha’s plan to avoid taking Atma Linga to Lanka, so all the Devas and Sages praised Lord Ganesha for saving the world.
There is a temple built for Lord Ganesha and even now you can see a dent on the idol which is believed that dent formed because Ravana hit his head hard, anyways it has become one of the oldest Lord Ganesh Idol in India.
From then on the place was called “Gokarna”. Lord Shiva’s strength was symbolized hence the Lord is known as “Mahabaleshwara”. Even Lord Sri Rama visited this place to worship Lord Shiva after he killed Ravanasura as per the historical evidence.
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How to Reach Murudeshwar Temple, Gokarna?
By Air: The nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport, 234 km from Murudeshwar Temple. After boarding to Mangalore one can take a bus to reach Gokarna.
By Train: Ankola is the nearest railway station which is 23 km distance. Buses and taxis are available from Ankola to Gokarna.
By Road: Buses to Gokarna are available from Bangalore, Mangalore and other major cities in Karnataka.
Where to Stay Near Murudeshwar Temple?
There are many options available to stay near Murudeshwar Temple, you can stay even in Bhatkal which is 16 km away and the best hotel with sea-facing rooms is RNS Residency Hotel which is beside the temple with all amenities like swimming pool, gym, etc…
Nearby Places to Visit in Murudeshwar
- Murudeshwar Temple
- Mirjan Fort
- Netrani Island
- Statue Park
- Murudeshwar Beach
- Apsara Konda Falls
- Murudeshwar Market
- Murudeshwar Fort
- Jali Beach
- Basavaraja Durga Fort
- Kollur Mookambika Temple
- Idagunji Ganapathi Temple
- Gokarna Beach
- Maravanthe Beach
- Kudumari / Chaktikal Waterfalls
Murudeshwar Temple (Gokarna) Address
Samsthana Shree Mahabaleshwara Deva,
Sri Kshetra Gokarna, Gokarna, Kumta Taluk,
Uttara Kannada District – 581 326
08386 – 257956, 257955 / +91 9449595254
email – info@srigokarna.
Website – http://www.srigokarna.org/
Gokarna is a short drive from Murudeshwar (Distance of 78 km and it takes 1.50 hours)