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Places to visit in Murudeshwar, Karnataka - A Travel guide

Murudeshwar, a coastal town located in Karnataka state, India, is a fantasy land for staunch devotees of Lord Shiva. This temple town is famous for the gigantic statue of Lord Shiva situated atop a small hill overlooking the Arabian Sea. Another famous landmark in Murudeshwar is a 22-storey tall Rajagopuram. Besides the temples and mythological chronicles ascribed to Murudeshwar, this town is also ideal for tourists seeking adventures like trekking and water sports, including snorkelling and scuba-diving.


We realized that even if you are non-religious, Murudeshwar is a fantastic place to visit. Murudeshwar is a must-visit place near Gokarna and is often clubbed with other places to visit near Gokarna. This blog will serve as a complete travel guide to Murudeshwar and will highlight all the things to do and places to visit in Murudeshwar.

Places to visit in Murudeshwar, Karnataka - India
Murudeshwar Island is a must visit place near Gokarna on coastal Karnataka

How to reach Murudeshwar, Karnataka

Murudeshwar is a coastal town in Karnataka in the Uttara Kannada district. It is located about 200 km south of Goa and 140 km above Mangalore city. A protrusion called Murudeshwar Island (though technically not an island) is a major attraction of this town as it houses some lovely monuments.

Places to visit in Murudeshwar, Karnataka - India
Murudeshwar is located somewhere between Goa and Mangalore on coast

By air:

Mangalore Airport, located about 140 kilometres away, is the nearest airport to Murudeshwar. From Mangalore, you can easily hire a taxi, take a state-run bus or take a train to Murudeshwar.


By rail:

Murudeshwar railway station is connected to all trains running on the Western Rail lines or the Konkan Rail line. Hence, it is well connected to Bengaluru, Mangalore, Pune, Mumbai, and Goa.


Places to visit in Murudeshwar, Karnataka - India
You can easily club visiting Murudeshwar with a Gokarna trip

By road:

Several government and private buses operate from major cities to Murudeshwar. Private taxis can also be hired from the surrounding major towns to reach Murudeshwar.


We drove to Murudeshwar on a rented scooter from Gokarna. The road from Gokarna to Murudeshwar is a national highway and hence, excellent in condition. The distance of 78 kilometres can be easily covered in a couple of hours. We also stopped on the way to visit the beautiful Apsarakonda waterfalls, garden, and beach.

Best time to visit Murudeshwar, Karnataka

For temple visits, trekking to nearby hills, and sight-seeing the places to visit in Murudeshwar, October to March is the best time to visit Murudeshwar. April and May are hot and humid summer months, and June to Mid-September is the rainy season.

For water adventure activities or sports like snorkelling and scuba diving, March to May and October are the best months to visit Murudeshwar. Even November to February is a good time for water sports, but the water will be cold, so depending on your body sensitivity, you can choose when to visit Murudeshwar. Water sports are closed during the monsoon months (June to September). Water sports and underwater activities can be clubbed with other places to visit in Murudeshwar.


For the Shiva devotees, the festival of Maha Shivaratri in March is the best time to visit Murudeshwar. It is celebrated with great pomp and cheer in this temple town.

 

Checkout other articles which will help you plan a trip around Murudeshwar -

 

Places to visit in Murudeshwar, Karnataka

Here is list of 7 places to visit in Murudeshwar -


1. Lord Shiva statue of Murudeshwar

A gigantic statue of Lord Shiva stands tall on a hill named Kanduka, which is surrounded by sea on three sides. This statue is the second tallest statue of Lord Shiva in the world (the first being in Nepal). This majestic piece of art is 123 feet tall and can be seen from a long distance. Shivamoga Kashinath and several notable sculptors took 20 years to build this statue. It was financed by a renowned businessman named R.N. Shetty, at a cost of INR 5 crore.


This Shiva statue, located in the centre of a temple complex, has become an esteemed landmark in Murudeshwar and is a must-visit place to visit in Murudeshwar. Taking a parikrama (circumambulation) of the statue is highly recommended. The statue can also be viewed from the top of Rajagopuram situated just beside it.


Note: The statue can be viewed from a distance at any point in time. However, for a close-up view, you will have to follow the temple complex timings from 6 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 9 PM.

Places to visit in Murudeshwar, Karnataka - India
The second tallest statue of Lord Shiva is a major attraction in Murudeshwar

Checkout these cool Shiva T - Shirts


2. Raja Gopuram

The 22-storeyed Gopuram in Murudeshwar is the second tallest Gopuram in the world (the first being in Tamil Nadu, India). It is the only Gopuram in the world that has an elevator. It was inaugurated in May 2008. The Gopuram is 249 feet tall and is guarded by two big elephants at the entrance. In case you are new to this term, Gopuram refers to a huge structure at the entrance of the temple built in Dravidian style architecture. Gopurams are commonly found in temples of Southern India.

Places to visit in Murudeshwar, Karnataka - India
The second tallest Gopuram in the world is another splendid monument you would love in Murudeshwar
Places to visit in Murudeshwar, Karnataka - India
One can visit 18th floor of the Gopuram which gives amazing views of Murudeshwar

Tourists have access to the 18th floor, from where they can view the life-size statue of Lord Shiva with the Arabian Sea in the backdrop. The four windows located in four different directions on the 18th floor provide breathtaking panoramic views of Murudeshwar town, the Shiva statue, and the sea from various angles. The entire Gopuram is intricately carved with figures of heavenly beings, Gods and Goddesses. It is lit up with beautiful yellow lights during the evening time. We highly recommend you to experience the view from the 18th floor of the Gopuram. We regard the Gopuram to be the best place to visit in Murudeshwar.


Note: The entrance to Gopuram is free of cost. You will have to remove your footwear on a stand outside the Gopuram. If you wish to enjoy the views from the 18th floor of Gopuram, the charge for the elevator is INR 10 per person. The elevator operates from 6 AM to 1 PM and 3 PM to 9 PM.

Views from 18th floor of Gopuram (Click to enlarge)

3. Murudeshwar Temple

Murudeshwar Temple is located between the Shiva statue and the Gopuram. The temple and the Gopuram have the same entry points. The granite temple is built in age-old Dravidian style architecture and is also known as the Kethappa Narayan Temple. While the temple is modernized, the sanctum sanctorum is still dark and ancient. The main deity in the Murudeshwar temple is Sri Mridesa Linga, also called as Murudeshwar. A piece of Atma-linga believed to be thrown here by Ravana is buried 2 feet below the ground level in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. Thousands of pilgrims and Lord Shiva devotees flock to this place to visit in Murudeshwar daily.


Note: Entrance to the temple is free of cost. However, if you want to perform any Abhishek (religious ritual), you will be charged for that. You will have to remove your footwear before entering the temple. Do not forget to buy the tasty laddus (sweet) as prasad (food offering) sold outside the temple (INR 20 for 1 big laddu).