121 Kms from Goa and 500 Kms from Bangalore lies a small coastal town named Murdeshwar.
Murdeshwar is home to the Shiva temple that is world-renowned for its beautiful carvings and statues. Two life-sized elephants greet visitors at the entrance. While the greenery simply adds to the beauty. It’s no surprise that one could almost mistake Murdeshwar for a fairy tale.
Bound by the Arabian Sea and the hills of the Western Ghats, the Shiva temple is surrounded by sea on three sides and the surreal sunrise and sunset here are not to be missed. There’s just so much about this enchanted place that people don’t know.
Here are 7 mind-boggling facts about the one of Hinduism’s most gorgeous of places, Murdeshwar.
7. Netrani Island is a great destination for a little detour
Also known as the ‘Pigeon Island’, Netrani Island is located off the coast of Murdeshwar. Views from above give this island the appearance of being heart-shaped. Rising above the tranquil and azure waters of the Arabian Sea, this heart-shaped island is counted as one of the best sites for scuba diving. This island is a famous tourist spot and a popular pilgrimage town with silvery sand and the western ghats as a backdrop.
Set off to Netrani Island with a boat ride of an hour. Enjoy the view of the vast expanse of the sea. As you approach the island, it will appear like a large cake topped with green foliage. Simply relax or indulge in swimming. Corals, butterfly fish, parrot fish, and eels can be spotted in the clear blue waters.
6. Murdeshwar Beach is one of the most underrated beaches ever
That’s right. Murdeshwar is not all about worship after all. Murdeshwar beach is known for its overwhelming experience of underwater world and watersports. You will get a chance to come face to face with a diverse variety of fish life common to the Arabian Sea as well as other varieties such as Napolean Wrasse, Cobia, Stonefish, Black Tip Sharks, Great Barracuda, Turtles, and Stingrays etc. You can also chill out under the sun as its pretty sunny for most of the year. There’s also a tonne of water sports to indulge in. Including parasailing, speed boating, and snorkeling.
5. You can get a bird’s eye view atop the massive 18 storeyed Raja Gopura
Unlike typical temple towers, this giant provides visitors with a never before seen epic view of the entire coastal town. Not in a mood for climbing? Don’t sweat it. They also provide a swift elevator ride for getting atop at a nominal entry fee of Rs 10.
We’d highly recommend you walk all the way up though. Climbing Everest would be pretty weak if you could just teleport your way there.
4. The fort at Murdeshwar was built by none other than Ruler Tipu Sultan
Behind the temple complex of Murudeshwar, is a fort that finds its origins in the era of the Vijayanagara Kings. It is said to have been renovated after that by the great ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan.
The fort itself is not particularly famous and as expected, is not visited by many travelers. On the bright side. You can spend a peaceful and quiet time here accompanied by the centuries-old laterite stone walls.
3. Murdeshwar is one of the few places in the world to have a hollow Shiva Linga
For those of you who do not know. A Shiva Linga represents masculinity and the masculine force in creation. Usually, the structure is made entirely of rock.
But interestingly, the one at Murdeshwar, in particular, is hollow, which is the unique feature of the temple denoting it is an atma (soul) linga. Who’s soul has said to have departed the realms of men.
Unfortunately, photography of the Murdeshwar Shiva Linga is not allowed. So here’s a glimpse what a normal linga looks like on the outside.
2. Murdeshwar is one of the best Scuba Diving destinations in India
Bet you didn’t see this one coming. Murudeshwar is famous for scuba diving. The surrounding waters are sparsely populated by any boats. So you can expect some very clean waters. A few local shops rent out diving gear. Boats carrying divers leave the coast on an hourly basis.
1. The Second largest Shiva statue in the world is in Murdeshwar
Standing tall at a height of 124 meters, this massive Shiva statue is a work of art like no other. Over 200 skilled artists have worked their magic day and night to breath life into this masterpiece. The statue was financed by businessman and philanthropist Dr. R.N. Shetty, at a cost of approximately Rs. 5 Crores.
The idol is designed in a way that it reflects sunlight directly and thus appears sparkling. A totally divine sight to catch in real life.
Have you been to Murdeshwar yet? Or are you planning to soon? Let us know in the comments down below. Be sure to check out the Lokaso app and never miss out on another update.