When you hear of huge statues in India, perhaps the first that comes to your mind is the gigantic statue of Shiva in Murdeshwar. This statue is said to be the second tallest Shiva statue in world after Kailashnath Mahadev Statue in Nepal. This place was long on my list and I recently got a chance to visit this beauty on my road trip to Murudeshwar!
We will explore this place in today’s blog:
Road trip to Murudeshwar
As you enter the village of Murdeshwar, you get to see two huge structures – The Gopura and the Statue of Lord Shiva. As you go near, you get to see the beautiful statue with the backdrop of the Arabian Sea.
There are two temple complexes. One is where the Gopura is located and other is of the Shiva statue.
The temple and the Raja Gopura:
The temple complex has the temple of Lord Murdeshwar and is also a house to the 20 stories tall Raja Gopura. There is a lift which takes you up to the 18th floor. If you wonder where do people get the photos of the Shiva statue with the Arabian Sea at the three sides then it is from here! The temple timings are from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
You can also get the view of the vast sea from one side of the Gopura, the beautiful Murdeshwar city with coconut trees on the other.
The temple structure is really beautiful and what caught my attention was this beautiful gold ratha. Lovely, isn’t it?
At the back of the temple complex is another temple complex which is of Lord Shiva and has the atma-linga of Lord Shiva and on the top of this, is the huge Shiva structure built.
The story goes like this. Ravana had acquired Atma-Linga from Lord Shiva after following an ascetic life and worshipping Lord Shiva. While handing over the atma-linga, Lord Shiva had handed it over on a condition that the atma-linga should not touch the ground before reaching Lanka. This would make Ravana powerful and immortal. The Gods did not want Ravana to gain immortality as they knew he would misuse the power. They sought help from Lord Ganesh. He came disguised in the form of a boy and tricked Ravana to give him the Atma-Linga. While Ravana was busy doing his prayers, Ganesha placed the Linga down in Murdeshwar. The Linga got fixed on the ground. This is the same linga at the bottom of the Lord Shiva statue. The story is depicted in the temple in the form of sculpture.
Some Details of the statue:
The statue of Lord Shiva was built by R.N. Shetty and it took nearly 2 years to construct it. It is 123 feet tall, and is built in such a way that the sunrays fall directly on it and makes it look shiny all the time. The eyes of Lord Shiva look very calm and soothing. There are couple of snakes around Lord Shiva and also has a damru, trishul in his hands. It looks so beautiful that you feel like looking at it forever! The statue looks like it’s touching the sky and Shiva truly appears as a rakshak (saviour) of the world!
Other things to do:
Enjoy in the water of the sea or if you want some serious fun, head to Netrani island. This island is well-known for scuba diving and snorkeling! You can see this island from the temple complex. There are stay packages also available. The water is supposed to be one of the cleanest water in India and hence you can spot a lot of sea creatures while diving. The island is closed from June to August as the sea gets rough due to rains.
Where to stay:
While there are couple of options to stay in Murdeshwar, the most popular is RNS residency which is located in such a way that you have the huge Arabian Sea on one side and the gigantic statue on the other!
What to eat:
When we are near the sea, one should not miss the sea food. But one thing that should absolutely not be missed in this place is the famous Gadbad icecream. Loaded with roasted cashews, raisins and fruits, this ice-cream is a real treat!
So if you are planning a road trip to Murudeshwar, you can take your parents to the beautiful temple, make your kids enjoy the sea and you can enjoy the adventure activities at Netrani Island. Perfect plan, isn’t it?
Start planning girls… And if you have already visited this place, then do share your pictures and experiences with us! We would love to hear back from you!
Also read: Road trip to Gokarna