The magnificent Shiva of Murudeshwara statue stands as a testament to devotion and grandeur in the coastal town of Murudeshwara, Karnataka. This iconic statue holds great significance in Hindu mythology and attracts numerous devotees and tourists from all over the world. In this article, we will delve into the origin of the name “Murdeshwar,” the fascinating story behind the statue, its major attractions, and the spiritual experience it offers to visitors.
The Shiva of Murudeshwara statue is an awe-inspiring symbol of devotion and grandeur. Here are the specifications of this magnificent statue:
|Height||123 feet (37 meters)|
|Construction||Meticulously crafted by skilled sculptors|
|Financed by||Philanthropist R. N. Shetty|
|Significance||Represents the fragment of the original Atma Linga|
|Surroundings||Situated on the Kanduka Hill, surrounded by the Arabian Sea|
|Architectural Marvel||20-storied Raja Gopura within the temple complex|
|Main Deity||Sri Mridesa Linga, the presiding deity of Murudeshwara Temple|
|Visitor Experience||Spiritual ambiance, serene atmosphere, and opportunity for rituals|
|Cultural Significance||Depicts various episodes from Hindu mythology in the temple complex|
Origin of the Name “Murdeshwar”
The name “Murdeshwar” finds its roots in ancient Hindu mythology, specifically the time of the Ramayana. According to the legends, the Lanka King Ravana desired immortality and sought to obtain the Atma-Linga (Soul of Shiva). Lord Vishnu, aware of the havoc Ravana could cause with such power, devised a plan to prevent him from succeeding. As a result, pieces of the Atma-Linga were scattered across different locations, and one such piece fell in present-day Surathkal, which later came to be known as Murdeshwar.
The Fascinating Story of the Shiva of Murudeshwara Statue
The story behind the Shiva of Murudeshwara statue is rooted in the pursuit of immortality by Ravana and the intervention of Lord Vishnu and Lord Ganesha. Ravana, a devout worshiper of Lord Shiva, performed his evening rituals without fail. Vishnu created an illusion of dusk, compelling Ravana to seek assistance from a Brahmin boy (Ganesha in disguise). Ravana entrusted the boy with holding the Atma-Linga until he completed his rituals, with the condition that it should not be placed on the ground.
While Ravana performed his rituals, Ganesha placed the Atma-Linga on the ground, causing Ravana’s plans to be foiled. Realizing his mistake, Ravana tried to uproot and destroy the linga, resulting in scattered fragments. One piece from the head of the linga fell in Murudeshwara, and the revered Sadashiva temple was built around it.
Major Attractions at the Murudeshwara Temple Complex
The Murudeshwara Temple Complex offers a captivating experience to visitors. The 20-storied Raja Gopura, built in 2008, stands as a remarkable architectural marvel. It provides a panoramic view of the 123-feet tall Shiva statue from the top. As visitors ascend the steps leading to the Gopura, they are greeted by two life-size concrete elephants, adding a touch of grandeur to the surroundings.
Within the temple complex, you will find statues depicting various episodes from Hindu mythology, such as the Sun Chariot, Arjuna receiving Geetopadesham from Lord Krishna, and the divine manifestation of Shiva as Bhagirath, descending the Ganga. These intricately carved sculptures add a sense of artistic splendor and cultural richness to the site.
The Murudeshwara Temple itself houses the main deity, Sri Mridesa Linga, which is believed to be a fragment of the original Atma Linga. Devotees can witness special rituals and sevas performed by standing before the threshold of the sanctum. The Linga is illuminated by the priests using oil lamps, creating a serene and spiritual ambiance.
One of the standout attractions at the temple complex is the colossal Shiva statue, towering above at a height of 123 feet. It is the third tallest statue of Lord Shiva in the world and has become an iconic symbol of Murudeshwara. The statue was meticulously crafted by skilled sculptors and financed by philanthropist R. N. Shetty, representing a harmonious blend of artistic brilliance and devotion.
Spiritual Significance and Visitor Experience
The Shiva of Murudeshwara statue offers a spiritually enriching experience to all who visit. The serene atmosphere, the awe-inspiring architecture, and the divine presence of Lord Shiva create a sense of peace and tranquility. Devotees can offer prayers, witness the rituals, and seek blessings from the divine, fostering a deep connection with their faith.
Moreover, the temple complex serves as a cultural and educational hub, promoting the values of Hindu mythology and heritage. It attracts devotees, tourists, and scholars alike, who come to marvel at the grandeur of the statue and immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Indian spirituality.
In conclusion, the Shiva of Murudeshwara statue is not just a magnificent structure but a profound symbol of devotion and spirituality. It stands as a testament to the timeless tales of Hindu mythology and captivates visitors with its awe-inspiring presence. A visit to Murudeshwara is an invitation to embark on a spiritual journey, embracing the grace and divinity of Lord Shiva.
How to Reach at Murudeshwara
You can get to Murudeshwara by bus. Murudeshwara also has a small Railway Station. Some trains that go between Mumbai and Mangalore stop there. There is no special time to visit this temple. You can visit the temple anytime during the year.