Located in the Bhatkal taluk of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka, Murudeshwar is known to have the second tallest statue of Lord Shiva in the world. The Murudeshwar Temple lies on a hill known as Kanduka Giri and the western most point of the town is a landmass which juts out of the mainland to form a small peninsula.
PC: ramesh Iyanswamy
A popular pilgrimage town, legend has it that Ganesha tricked Ravana into giving up the Atma lingam which he received from Lord Shiva after his penance and installed it at Gokarna. Angered by this, Ravana tried to uproot the lingam and in the process broke it into pieces. One of the pieces fell at Kanduka Giri, where the temple was eventually built.
Besides being a pilgrimage site, the Murudeshwar beach which stretches for a few kilometres north of the temple is a very popular picnic spot with its silvery sands and the beautiful Sahyadris as a backdrop; it is a sight to look at.
Start Point: Bengaluru
Best Time To Visit: October To May
How To Reach
By Air: Mangalore international airport is the nearest airport which is about 153 km away from here. It is connected to all the major cities in the country and to a few abroad.
By Train: Murudeshwar railway station is connected to Mangalore, Bengaluru and major towns and cities of the country. The railway station is around 3 km east of the town.
By Road: One of the best ways to reach Murudeshwar is by road. The town is well connected by roads and there are regular buses which operate from major cities to Murudeshwar.
The total driving distance from Bengaluru to Murudeshwar is around 514 km. There are three routes that can be taken, which are as follows:
Route 1: Bengaluru-Tumakuru-Davengere-Haveri-Sirsi-Murudeshwar, via NH 48.
Route 2: Bengaluru-Kunigal-Hassan-Chickmagaluru-Agumbe-Murudeshwar, via NH 75.
Route 3: Bengaluru-Lepakshi Challakere-Davengere-Haveri-Sirsi-Murudeshwar, via NH 48 and NH 44.
For those who are opting to travel by Route 1, it would take you approximately around 9 h to reach Murudeshwar, via NH 48. The route takes you through the well-known towns of Davengere, Haveri, etc.
The roads are well maintained, which helps one to cover the distance at a good pace and the destination is about 514 km through this route.
If you opt for Route 2, it would take you approximately 9.45 h to cover a total distance of 481 km from Bengaluru to Murudeshwar, via NH 75. On Route 3, it would take you around 10.45 h to cover the distance of 601 km, via NH 48 and NH 44, to reach Murudeshwar.
The journey can be planned as a weekend drive. So, one can opt to leave on a Saturday morning and after spending about a day and half, one can start travelling to Bengaluru either on a Sunday morning or afternoon and reach the city by evening or night.
Short Stops At Davengere And Sirsi
To beat the traffic in Bengaluru, it is best to start off early, which helps you drive past the expressway in no time and cross over the border without getting stuck in the traffic snarls. Once on the highway, there are plenty of options for one to have breakfast. Davengere is well known for its benne dosa or butter dosas.
Making a stopover at Davengere for a quick and yet filling breakfast of benne dosa, would give you all the energy you need until you decide to make the next stop at Sirsi for lunch. The roads from Davengere take you through the rural side of Karnataka, which is something very different and yet refreshing for those coming from a metropolitan city like Bengaluru.
Sirsi is a historically important town and is well known for the Marikamba Temple. The town has plenty of options for one to eat as it is another popular tourist destination. After which one can proceed further down to Murudeshwar which is around 108 km from here and takes about 2 h or 3 h to reach.
As Murudeshwar is well known for the Murudeshwara Temple, head straight to the temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva and you can get to see a part of the Atma Lingam which Ravana shattered into pieces.
PC: ramesh Iyanswamy
The temple is built on the Kanduka hill which is surrounded by the Arabian sea on three sides. The main temple's entrance stands tall at 123 feet and one can witness a breathtaking view of the Shiva statue from the top of the gopura, by getting into the lift arranged for this purpose.
The entire surface of the temple is covered in the most detailed and delicate carvings which one would come across. The entire temple is fully modernized, except the sanctum sanctorum which still retains its original form.