Murudeshwar – A Holy Pilgrimage

I know it has been a long time since I posted my last blog. Had been busy with a lot of things lately. I know that most of the human race is on a lock-down now due to the Corona virus pandemic. I think this is nature’s way of telling human-kind to calm down and to protect our environment. Everyone, please do stay safe and protect your families during this pandemic. Also, please take a moment to pray for a quick recovery from the pandemic.

Speaking of prayer, in this blog, I will be writing about one of the fascinating religious places I visited in Karnataka. Yes, the place I am taking about is Murudeshwar. I have been to Murudeshwar twice, once when I was a child with my family, and the second time was when I was pursuing my post-graduation in Manipal. In this blog, I will be describing my 2nd journey.

There is a cool story based on the Hindu mythology on why Murudeshwar became a holy place. During ancient times, it is believed that Ravana, the king of Sri Lanka, got a boon from Lord Shiva while meditating intently. Lord Shiva granted him the boon of immortality on one condition: that he should be able to carry Lord Shiva’s Linga (statue) from India all the way to Sri Lanka without putting it on the ground. Wherever he places the Linga, the Linga would be permanently fixed in that location and could never be moved. Fearing the consequences of Ravana’s immortality, the other Gods (Indra and his team) conspired to foil Ravana’s plan. They sent Lord Ganesha, disguised as a boy, to stop Ravana. Lord Ganesha tricked Ravana to give him the Linga for some time. During this time, he placed the statue on the ground and that place is now called Gokarna. When Ravana came back and saw the statue, he was enraged, and in a fit of anger hit the Linga. Some pieces of the Linga and the cloth covering it flew in different directions. In this process, the cloth and few pieces of the Linga were found at Murudeshwar.

So basically, Murudeshwar is a town in the Northern part of Karnataka. It’s mainly known for the Murudeshwar temple, which contains the world’s 2nd tallest Shiva statue. The language mainly being spoken in this area is the Kannada language.

I should say that the view around the temple is breath-taking! The sight of the Shiva statue from afar made for a good view and the design of the temple was grandesque! The style used by the architect to create the temple is called the Gopurum and these designs are common among temples in South India. But was unforgettable for me was the height of the gopuram. It was 20 floors tall and each floor had different designs on it. It is said that each floor has an epic/story inscribed on it. Take a look in the picture below:-

Another feature of this temple was that it is commercial compared to many other temples in India. There are many restaurants near the temple and you would often find people swimming in the beach located beside the temple. So me and my friends reached the temple by 11 am. We found out that the temple would only open by 12 pm, so we waited and took a view of the temple from the outside. We saw lots of tourists also waiting to enter the temple. At 12 pm, we entered and took our Darshans. Darshan means “to meet God” or ” to be able to see God”. We also got Prasad (holy offerings) from the temple, the temple gives a special sweet called Laddoo as the Prasad.

After this, we got to know that it is possible to go till the top of the Gopuram and take in the view of the surroundings of the temple. The only way to get to the top is to take an elevator, there are no steps to get to the top of the Gopuram … and this was the view we were able to see…

When we were on top of the Gopuram, we were able to get a good 360 degree view of the locality. On one side was the famous statue of Lord Shiva. One the other side was the beach coastline and on the 3rd side we could view the everlasting ocean with few boats floating on it. It was a great moment and made for some great photos.

Lastly, we had to visit the Shiva statue. It looked majestic from a great distance and when I finally reached near it, I could see that some paint had worn off, but nevertheless, it was pretty huge. There were also other small statues which depicted important events which took place in the Ramayana.

Close-up view of the Statue

After visiting the temple and the statue, I felt blessed to visit such a great temple. One more important feature of this temple is that it is not an ancient temple. It is a newly constructed temple and hence the commercial feel it has.

Once we were done, we proceeded for lunch at a restaurant near by and then proceeded to visit the beach. We then went back to our college hostel feeling satisfied and blessed.

I would like to end by saying that this trip was a blessing in disguise for me, because soon after this trip, I was able to secure my first job after my MBA at Ford Motor Company. So I would like to end by saying Om Namah Shivay (Praise be to thee Lord Shiva)!!!

Please comment of what other details about Murudeshwar you guys would like to know about.

12 thoughts on “Murudeshwar – A Holy Pilgrimage

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