Yet another temple and beach destination in Karnataka is Murudeshwar. Situated around 100 kms north of Udupi, Murudeshwar is also easily accessible by various means of transport and has grown in popularity over the years.
Murudeshwar Temple and beach
Murudeshwar lies on a projection of land into the Arabian Sea on the Karnataka coast. Due to this unique geography, it has sea on three sides and hence offers great views to visitors.
The place is surrounded by hilly terrain and the hills in the distance add to the beauty.
Mangalore is the nearest airport.
Murudeshwar has a train station on the Konkan railway.
By road it lies just off the Mangalore Mumbai highway.
As one leaves the highway and takes the road to the temple, there is an arch across the road. Driving further on the road, it gets crowded as one nears the temple. Shops selling trinkets, curios, religious pictures, pooja articles and food dot the road.
The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is built on the Kanduka hill surrounded by water on three sides. The temple has a twenty storey Gopuram . A lift takes one to the top of the Gopuram .The main deity is Mridesa Linga or Murdeshwar.
A 123 ft high statue of Shiva is also part of the temple complex. This is the third tallest Shiva statue in the world and is visible from far away.
The temple complex is huge with smaller shrines dedicated to various Hindu Gods. Several shops selling puja articles and other necessities skirt the temple complex.
The Raja gopuram looks particularly attractive at night with lights at all the floors.
The arch at the entrance
The Raja Gopuram
Two decorated elephant statues at the entrance
The Shiva Statue
Some of the other statues at the complex
The illuminated Gopuram and lights along the seafront
The beach is located next to the temple and the activities spill over both ways making it difficult to separate the two.
The beach is serene during the early morning hours but gets crowded by noon and in the evening it becomes almost impossible to even walk on the beach without bumping on to others especially during the holiday season. The unrestricted entry of vehicles to the beach front creates lot of confusion and difficulty for the visitors. So if you are averse to crowds, it is better to enjoy this beach early in the morning or from the peace of the hotel balcony in the evenings.
We were put up at RNS residency, a multi-storeyed hotel right next to the temple and the room offered great views of the beach.
Murudeshwar beach in the early morning
See the beach crowds in the evening with vehicles parked next to the water.
Murudeshwar beach also offers some water sports activities. Some pictures..
Preparing for a boat ride…
A boat ride….
The more adventurous can venture to Netrani Island nearby. Another name for this island is Bajrangi Island .There are snorkelling and scuba diving facilities here. There are coral reefs around this island and they provide a nice spot for these activities. The boatmen on the beach organise the visit to Netrani island. Netrani Adventures is a company that offers scuba diving and snorkelling .
As we are not particularly fond of crowds, we spent the evening at the balcony of the hotel enjoying the sea breeze and the views. Soon we were rewarded with a beautiful sun set view…
Sun sets on another beautiful day…
Next morning we visited the beach and it was calm and peaceful. Enjoyed a leisurely walk soaking in the views.
After returning to the hotel, standing in the balcony, I got a glimpse of a typical fisherman’s life as he went along doing his daily business.
A fisherman’s daily life….
After breakfast, we left Murudeshwar for Goa . A nice drive about which I have mentioned in my blog on the road trip. We reached Goa by late noon. More on Goa in a separate episode.
For now, let me take leave hoping that you enjoyed the trip to Murudeshwar. Do keep your comments and feedback flowing in…
See you next week…