Murdeshwar , Karnataka
Murdeshwar is located in a town,Bhatkal Taluk in the district of Uttara Kannada which is in the state of Karnataka in India. Lying on the western part of Karnataka in the coast of the Arabian sea this town has the Second tallest Shiva statue in the world. Lord Shiva is also called Murdeshwar and that’s how this town got its name. The Murdeshwar temple is the main attraction of this place. A fine example of the architecture of the Kings of Vijayanagar, the temple attracts tourists from all over the world. Surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides, the Murdeshwar Temple is built on the hill of Kanduka.
The temple has 20 storied gopura and on the top is the Raja Gopura. A lift installed within the temple takes the tourists and pilgrims to reach the Raja gopura to get an excellent view of the massive Shiva idol. The Soleshwar temple built in the 10th century by the Chola kings is another popular tourist destination.
A few places of interest around the temple
Netrani Island, Also known as the “Pigeon Island” is located off the coast of Murdeshwar. The aerial view of this Island is heart-shaped, and is counted as one of the best sites for scuba diving. A few local shops rent out diving gear. Boats carrying divers leave the coast on an hourly basis.Beach bikes are also available on hourly basis.
The Fort behind the temple of Murudeshwar, finds its origins in the era of the Vijayanagara Kings. It is said to have been renovated by the great ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan. Though the fort itself is not particularly famous and is not visited by many travelers. But one can spend a peaceful and quiet time in the midst of the centuries-old laterite stone wall.
Hollow Shiva Linga Murdeshwar is one of the few places in the world to have a hollow Shiva Linga. Holography of the Murdeshwar Shiva Linga is strictly not allowed.
At a height of 124 meters, this massive Shiva statue is a work of art like no other. The idol is designed in a way that it reflects sunlight directly and thus appears sparkling. A totally divine sight to catch in real life.
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