Monday, July 6, 2009

Tallest Shiva idol in the world at Murudeshwar Temple

Murudeshwar Lord Shiva idol is the tallest Shiva idol in the world. It is a recent attraction of Murudeshwar and is erected beside the temple. The idol rises 123 (37 m) feet into the sky and it is visible from a very long distance from the Arabian Sea.

It took about 2 years to build. The statue was sculpted by Shivamogga's Kashinath and several other sculptors, financed by businessman and philanthropist Mr. R.N. Shetty, at a cost of approximately Rs. 50 million. The idol is designed in such a way that it gets sun light directly and hence appears sparkling.

"Murudeshwara" is another name of Lord Shiva. Murudeshwar temple is in Bhatkal Taluk in Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka, India. It is at a distance of 165 km from Mangalore. A lot of devotees of Lord Shiva and tourists visit this place. It is bounded by the Arabian Sea and rolling hills of Western Ghats. Murudeshwar is the finest beach with the temple, restaurants, guest houses, resorts and beautiful gardens in the coastal Karnataka.

The Arabian Sea is an intrinsic part of the landscape of Murudeshwar. The sea surrounds the temple on three sides. Two life-size elephants sculpted in concrete stand guard at the steps leading to the temple. There is a huge fort behind the temple, said to have been renovated by Tippu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore.

Murudeshwar’s history dates back to many thousands of years (Threthayuga), according to legends and mythology. The temple which embodies a Shiva Linga is believed to have erupted when Ravana, the demon King of Lanka, flung the cloth covering the Atmalinga at Gokarna while lifting it. Lord Shiva, following a complicated sequence of events, declared that Murudeshwar should be one of his five holy places.

You can visit Murudeshwar throughout the year, as the climate and other conditions remain more or less the same any day of the year. Places near Murudeshwar are Bhatkal (16 km), Idagunji (20 km), Gokarna (65 km), Karwar (120 km), Kollur (63 km), Jog Falls (90 km), Manjuguni (90 km), and Udupi (100 km). It is easily accessible by road from any of these places, or Mangalore. The Konkan Railways and other express trains plying on the Mangalore - Goa - Mumbai route make a stop at Murudeshwar. The nearest airports are at Mangalore and Goa.

No comments: