Gopura of Murudeshwara Temple and Statue of Lord Shiva
Murudeshwara (Kannada: ಮುರುಡೇಶ್ವರ) is a town in the 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, Murudeshwara beach town lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea and is also famous for the Murudeshwara Temple.
- Murudeshwara 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 a temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva, and a 20-storied Gopura is constructed at the temple. Two life-size elephants in concrete stand guard at the steps leading to the temple. The entire temple and temple complex, including the 237.5 feet tall Raja Gopura, is one among the tallest, was constructed to its present form by businessman and philanthropist Mr R. N. Shetty.
- The temple is entirely modernised 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 2feet 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 Lord Shiva: A huge towering statue of Lord Shiva, visible from great distances, is present in the temple complex. It is the SECOND tallest statue of Lord Shiva in the world as the first tallest is located in (Nepal)and is made by Mr.Kamal Jain,this is 143 ft.high and the statue is called ( Kailashnath Mahadev ).
- The statue is 123 feet (37 m) in height, and took about 2 years to build. The statue was built by Shivamogga's Kashinath and several other sculptors, financed by businessman and philanthropist Mr R.N. Shetty, at a cost of approximately 50 million Rs. The idol is designed such that it gets the sun light directly and thus appears sparkling. Originally, the statue had four arms, and was adorned in gold paint. However, large wind gusts blew the arm off (the one that held a small drum), and rains dissolved the paint.
Some Pictures of the Temple and the Shiva Idol: