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Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Temple Beach Town of Murudeshwar in Karnataka, India

As I entered another coastal town in Karnataka, I was greeted with the sight of a massive idol of Shiva that overlooks the Arabian Sea. This town is Murudeshwar and is famous for its Shiva temple and its long drawn beach.


Murudeshwar is a quiet town situated close to the halfway mark of the Karavali Coast between Honavar and Bhatkal. It is about 438 km NW of Bangalore.


After checking into a budget hotel close to the beach, I went to the seaside restaurant to grab a quick bite. This hotel, situated on concrete stilts at the edge of the Arabian Sea offers great views of the beach side and of the sea.


Since my grub at the sea-side restaurant was a tad too heavy, I decided to put it to good use by taking a walk on the beach. The Murudeshwar beach is a golden beach with vast stretches of empty sand and surrounded by palm trees and arecanut groves.


As the evening set in, crowd started to gather and so did the ice cream and other vendors who added spice and colour to this beach. Lots of boats are anchored on the beach front. They offer short boat rides into the Arabian sea every morning and evening.


A 3 hour boat ride from Murudeshwar takes one to Netrani Island (Netragudda), which is a great deep diving site. One can spot schools of barracuda, angelfish, eels, sea turtles and other colourful fish while diving here.


After my fairly long beach walk, I visited the temple theme park built and maintained by Murudeshwar Ceramics. This temple park visually depicts the history behind the formation of this place and is very well laid out.


One can spot mythological characters Arjuna and Krishna here. The most famous component here is the 123 foot high Shiva statue that can be spotted from almost anywhere in this town. From the top of the theme park, one can also spot the in-progress temple gopuram that again oozes scale and size.


After a wonderful walk through this theme park, I freshened up and paid a visit to the main Murudeshwar temple, where Lord Shiva is worshipped as “Aghora’, that is, in his ascetic form. The temple is located on a hillock that juts out into the sea and offers great views of the town and the Arabian Sea.


Murudeshwar – a very impressive spiritual coastal hamlet!!



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