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Murudeshwara is a town in Bhatkal Taluk of Uttara Kannada district in the state of Karnataka, India. Murudeshwara“‘ is another name of the Hindu god Shiva. Famous for the world’s second-tallest Shiva statue, the town lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea and is also famous for the Murdeshwar Temple.
The origin of the name “Murdeshwar” dates to the time of Ramayana. The Hindu gods attained immortality and invincibility by worshiping a divine Lingam called the Atma-Linga. The Lanka KingRavana 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. Ravana asked for the Atma-Linga. Lord Shiva agreed to give him the boon on the condition that it should never be placed on the ground before he reaches Lanka. If the Atma-Linga was ever placed on the ground, it would be impossible to move it. Having obtained his boon, Ravana started back on his journey to Lanka.
Narada, who came to know of this incident, realised that with the Atma-Linga, Ravana may obtain immortality and wreak havoc on earth. He approached Lord Ganesh and requested him to prevent the Atma-Linga from reaching Lanka. LordGanesh knew that Ravana was a very devoted person who performed prayer rituals every evening without fail. He decided to make use of this fact and came up with a plan to confiscate the Atma-Linga from Ravana.
As Ravana was nearing Gokarna, 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 Atma-Linga in his hands, he would not be able to do his rituals. At this time, Lord Ganesh in the disguise of a Brahmin boy accosted him. Ravana requested him to hold the Atma-Linga 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 Atma-Linga on the ground.
Ravana returned to find that Ganesh had already placed the Atma-Linga 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 the linga. 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. The famous Sadashiva temple is said to be built around that piece of linga. Then he decided to destroy the covering of the Atma-Linga, and threw the case covering it to a place called Sajjeshwar, 23 miles away. Then he threw the lid of the case to a place called Guneshwar (now Gunavanthe) and Dhareshwar, 10–12 miles away. Finally, he threw the cloth covering the Atma-Linga to a place called Mrideshwar in Kanduka-Giri (Kanduka Hill). Mrideshwar has been renamed to Murdeshwar.
Murdeshwar 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. It is dedicated to Shiva, and a 20-storied gopura is constructed at the temple. The temple authorities have installed a lift that provides a breath-taking view of the 123-feet Shiva idol from the top of the Raja gopura. There is also a Rameshwar linga at the bottom of the hill, where devotees can do seva themselves. A Shaneswara temple has been built next to the idol of Shiva. Two elephants in concrete stand guard at the steps leading to it. The entire temple and temple complex, including the 237.5-feet-tall Raja Gopura, is one among the tallest.The temple is entirely modernized 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 two feet 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 great Lord Shiva: A huge towering statue of Lord Shiva, visible from loang distances, is present near the temple. It is the second highest statue of Lord Shiva in the world. The tallest Shiva statue is in Nepal known as the (Kailashnath Mahadev Statue). This statue is 123 feet (37 m) in height and took about two years to build. The statue was built by Shivamogga’s Kashinath and several other sculptors, financed by businessman and philanthropist Dr. R.N. Shetty, at a cost of approximately Rs 50 million. The idol is designed such that it gets the sunlight directly and thus appears sparkling.
Then by taking the glimpse of temple surroundings, some of beautiful statues of gods & goddess, we had breakfast at near by hotel. Then we saw the fisher men working on Murudeshwar Beach, had some snaps of it & we headed towards Jog Falls by two private buses. From murudeshwar it was 90KM away.
Jog Falls/ Gerosoppa Falls or Joga Falls is the 2nd highest waterfall in India located in Karnataka. It is a segmented waterfall which, depending on rain and season, becomes a plunge waterfall. Jog Falls is created by the Sharavathi River dropping 253 m (830 ft), making it the second-highest waterfall in India after the Nohkalikai Falls with a drop of 335 m (1100 ft) in Meghalaya. Sharavathi a river which rises at Ambutirtha & discharging into the arabian sea at Honnavar in North Kanara.
The Sharavati, flowing over a very rocky bed about 250 yards (230 m) wide, here reaches a tremendous chasm, 290 m (960 ft) deep, and the water comes down in four distinct falls. The Raja Fall pours in one unbroken column sheer to the depth of 830 ft (250 m). Halfway down it is encountered by the Roarer Fall, which precipitates itself into a vast cup and then rushes violently downwards at an angle of forty-five degrees to meet the Raja. The third Rocket Fall, shoots downwards in a series of jets; while the fourth is Rani Fall, moves quietly over the mountain side in a sheet of foam. The Tourism Department has built steps from the viewpoint to the bottom of the hill where the waterfall can be seen at the opposite side. There are approximately 1400 steps built to reach the bottom of the hill. We all had all site scenes there had amazing snaps also & at around 1 we started our back journey. On the way back to station we saw the hanging bridge on Sharavathi river & had lunch at hunnavar & reached the railway station at around 4 PM. Finally our trip finished at 6 PM when we catched the train back to Pune.
- Photo Credit to Rahul Chandure & Ashwin Bagade.