The Naveen Beach Resort
Most of the tourists make it a half day trip to Murusheswar. They spend some time on the beach and take a look around the temple and the big Shiva statue and move on to the next destination. After reading about Murudeshwar, I wanted to spend a day there. Since it was solar eclipse on 15th and temples will usually be closed during the eclipse time, we chartered that day for Murudeshwar for a day's stay.
The tourists occupy the beach near the temple, but few feet further, you can find uncrowded place. Sadly, tourists have littered the shore with all sorts of garbage. The local civic authorities doesn't seem to bother about cleaning the place atleast taking into account of the inflow of tourist to the place.
There is an ancient Shiva temple near the beach. The surrounding area along with the huge Shiva statue is developed by a private person Mr. R.N. Shetty. The story behind the Murudeshwar temple is connected with King Ravana securing "Atmalinga" from Lord Shiva by worship and penance. As per the story, Lord Shiva, while giving the linga was told to Ravana, that he should carry it home walking and should never place it on earth even for a while, failing of which, the Atmalinga would be eternally embedded in the place where it is kept. Ravana set out to his country through the path of west coast. All Gods who got frightened by thi, got together along with Sage Narada takes the help of Ganapathi. Ganapathi disguised in the form a of Brahmin Vatu succeeds in placing the Atmalinga at Gokarna. Ravana in anger and dejection attempts to remove the Linga in vain. In sorrow and frustration, he threw the cloth and thread to various places. The sacred cloth is believed to have fallen in the Kanduka hill assuming the form of Murudeshwara, a Linga without a pedestal. The very ancient temple which was in ruins was revived by its cheif patron Mr. R.N shetty. Other than the temple, all the other attractions around the temple is the efforts of RN Shetty. There is a 249 feet tall gopuram with 18 floors on the entrance to the temple. They have a lift facility charging Rs.20 per head, which will take you to the 18th floor. The view from the top floor is spectacular. There is one open window on all four sides.(Story courtesy :The booklet published by the temple trust)
The Shiva statue in penance is on top of a small hill. There is a small temple below. Work is in progress in the temple. There is a man made cave around the temple below the hill. The cave is dark and air conditioned. The story of Ravana and Murudeshwari s depicted in stone sculptures that comes to 20 in number. The story is played on a CD. The narration is in Kannada. Rs.10 is charged as enterance fee.
There is a huge Nandi statue in front of Shiva. Ravana holding the linga is also on the front. Varius sculptures depicting the incidents from mythological tales can been seen around.
Because of the eclipse, we could not make it to Gokarna. But we had a nice stay at Murudeshwar, which was a much needed break from the routine life.