Murudeshwar is a small pilgrimage town on the coast of Karnataka, 160 km north of the Mangalore International Airport. “Murudeshwar” is another name of Lord Shiva. The Murudeshwar beach has two beautiful temples with majestic statues. This small and beautiful town is famous for the world’s second-tallest Lord Shiva statue and Murudeshwar Temple that has a 20-storey high Gopura guarded by two life-size concrete elephants at the steps leading inside the temple.
The Murudeshwar Temple is built on the Kanduka Hill, which is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and like all other major South Indian temples, a 20-storied Gopura is being constructed on the temple. It is 249 feet tall is considered the tallest Gopura in the world. It was constructed in its present form by the businessman and philanthropist R.N. Shetty. The Murudeshwar Temple is entirely modernised, with the exception of the sanctum sanctorum, which is still dark and retains its composure.
Also in the temple complex is the huge towering statue of Lord Shiva, which is visible from afar. The statue is 123 feet in height and it took about 2 years to build. The idol is designed such that it gets the sunlight directly and thus appears sparkling. Originally, the statue had four arms and was adorned in gold. However, strong gusts from the Arabian Sea blew one of the arms off and the rain dissolved the paint.
This majestic Lord Shiva statue should certainly be visited, along with the world’s tallest Gopura of the Murudeshwar Temple.