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U see a image of Lord Shiva at Murdeshwar in the backdrop of the Arabian Sea. Murdeshwar is about 165kms from Mangalore and has an ancient Murdeshwar Temple. This temple embodies a Shiva Linga is believed to have erupted when Ravana (Demon King of Lanka) flung the cloth covering the Atmalinga at Gokarna while lifting it. Lord Shiva, following a complicated sequence of events, declared that Murudeshwara should be one of his five holy places.

This picture covers Murdeshwar. Left side is Gopuram, to its left not in picture is Murdeshar temple, on the hill is image of Lord Shiva, extreme right is RNS Residency hotel.

Took this picture from one angle. Right in front is gold colored Murdeshwar temple, behind is Lord Shiva and right is Gopuram.

This pic is from my hotel room (Kamat Yatri Niwas). Left is temple, centre is Gopuram, then is the hill, concrete structure on stilts in the water is Naveen Restaurent (great place to sit and enjoy breeze) and end is RNS Residency. In front is the beach and vehicles parked on it. The hill has sea on three sides.

This picture is from the hill top. U get an overview of Murdeshwar beach. Murdeshwar combines worship of the Lord, attraction of 123 feet image of Lord Shiva and beach seamlessly. It is a combination of these three that makes visiting Murdeshwar fun and pleasure.

A lift in the gopuram takes u to the top ie about 240 feet high. From here u get a spectacular view of Murdeshwar. What you see is a view of Murdeshwar taken from east facing window. The road in the centre takes u to the highway/railway station. On left hand side is beach. On right are shipping boats. The hill projects out in the sea, has water on 3 sides.

The earlier pics gave u an overview of Murdeshwar. A front view of the Raja Gopura taken around 8am. It is about 250 feet high and probably the highest gopuram in the world. Traditional gopurams in Karnataka had a base of stone followed by brick. This one is made of concrete, steel and has staircases inside.

A stone on the Raja Gopura ie self explainatory. Murdeshwar is about 3.5 hours bus drive from Mangalore. Alternatively u can take a local train from Mangalore that leaves at 6.30am to reach Murdeshwar around 10am. The same train reaches Goa by 1.30pm. From Mumbai can take Netrawathi Express or Matsegandha. Please reconfirm train timings.

Entrance to the Raja Gopura. U walk thru the gopura to enter Murdeshwar temple. Elephants are worshipped in every temple that I visited in Karnataka. However, in the state of Uttar Pradesh the BSP party has made its election symbol and made it appear as if the party had copyright over the elephant.

Early morning sun rays on Murdeshwar mandir and Lord Shiva. To left of temple is blue sign board. Just below that is the entrance to the dining hall. The golden color pole in front of temple entrance is called ''dwajasthambha'' - the flag post of the deity. During special festivities the flag of the deity is invariably hoisted on this post after performing presecribed rituals.

U see devotees waiting to enter the dining hall. There is a beach on either side of the gopuram. What u see is the beach on the left side, it is used by fisherfolk not frequented by tourists looks beautiful though.

This is the vimana of the main Murdeshwar temple in the background is Lord Shiva. The presence of Lord Shiva is felt throughout Murdeshwar. The huge image/gopura have made this small town a major/must visit tourist destination.

Taken pics from different angles. This one is from inside the Murdeshwar temple. Left is an image of Nataraja, centre is Raja Gopura and right is gopura ka temple entrance.

A close up of the temple vimana against the Raja Gopura.

A close up of the scultures on temple vimana. It has images of Ravana, Krishna etc. Do not know if it is gold plated or colored in golden color.

This picture shows sea on left and right sides of Gopuram with car/bus stand in the centre. Took this from the Naveen restaurent idea is to give u a complete feel of this beautiful town.

The hill on which the Shiva image stands is called Kanduka Giri. The people who beautified this area have been very imaginative. They also created images of various scenes from the Mahabharata, India''s immortal epic. Really appreciate their work.

A close up of the Shiva image taken around 11.30ish. U can see entrance to the complex and steps to walk up.

U walk up the steps to reach the base of Lord Shiva''s image. As u walk around image on left hand side is Veda Vyasa dictating the Holy Gita to Ganesha. Note the sun through the trees.

As u walk around to the right of the Shiva image you see Lord Vishnu in the form of Suryanarayan - identified by number of horses ie 7.

Top of the hill behind u see guest houses. Left u see Sun God behind whom is his chariot. Unfortunately tourist not allowed to go the other side, see the chariot. Right is Arjuna and Lord Krishna. Took this pic 7.30ish when sun''s rays were like golden in color, lucky.

Scene from the battlefield of the Indian immortal epic Mahabharat. Warrior Arjuna is dejected, does not want to fight the war with his cousins. His sarathy Lord Krishna sharing the wisdom of the Holy Gita and asking him to fight and uphold Dharma.

As you walk around the image of Lord Shiva, top of the hill saw these lovely flowers with early morning sun''s rays falling on them and sea in background.

From here on we present a series of pictures of Lord Shiva clicked at different times of the day and night. Impact of light on the image is amazing. This is a side angle from base of the hill. In front of the image is Nandi as is the case in all Shiv temples.

Took this pic around 7.15am ish. In the centre of pic u see Ravana handing over the Atma Linga to Ganesha for safe keeping without placing it on the ground.

Note the sun''s rays falling on the image. Am sure that the people behind this image must have decided the image placement after studying the point at which sun''s rays fell. To know the full story about why Ravana is shown handing over Atma Linga to Ganesha click here

We present 3 pics of Lord Shiva from the left side at 7.30ish, 11.30ish and 8pm. U see early morning pic, sky is blue.

This one clicked about 11.30ish. Sky becomes whitish.

Clicked this one around 8pm. Had to get the moon so took a vertical pic.

So also pic from right side follow clicked at 7.30ish, 11.30ish and 8pm ish. U see early morning pic.

This one clicked about 11.30ish. Sky becomes whitish.

Clicked this one around 8pm.

Being a devotee of Lord Shiva was swayed by the image. Kept on looking and looking trying to make the image part of my heart.

Base of the image is a man made mountain. Do visit the caves inside it whose entrance u see. I missed it but am told it has excellent narratives on Murdeshwar.

An overview of the beach from top of hill. It was 30/12/2011 holiday season full of people.

I took a lift to the top of the Raja Gopura and clicked pics of Lord Shiva. Like earlier we present pics clicked at 8.30ish, 12ish and 8pm ish. This one was clicked about 8am. Extreme right of pic is a private swimming pool, think belongs to the hotel RNS Residency.

This one was taken just after sun set.

A close up of Lord Shiva taken around 11.30ish.

A close up taken after sun set when the flood lit was on.

An early morning pic of Lord Shiva with Nandi in front.

Close up taken after sun set. Murdeshwar has a number of small hotels. Kamat Yatri Niwas where I stayed is a nice clean hotel. Since I went in peak Dec season paid Rs 1500/ a day. RNS Residency charges Rs 2,000/ plus taxes. It is a big hotel.

On the ground floor of the Raja Gopura met these colorful women from Rajasthan. Was happy to see that Indians from the North had come down South. May their tribe increase.

Sun set clicked from top of the hill. A large number of devotees come to watch sun set.

The enthusiam of the people was to be seen to be believed. Even at around 7pm there were tourists who went into the waters.

A number of people came in buses, cars, sports utility vehicles. They had bath in this Travelling Bath, cooked on the beach and probably slept there as well. I saw children sleeping in the school buses, clothes put for drying in the bus.

In the centre of pic u see a group of school children trying to form a ring after which another ring would be formed at level 1 n so on. During Janamashtami celebrations in Mumbai devotees form similar rings except that they go much much higher.

As I said earlier people cook on the beach. Ladies come prepared with vegetables, gas cylinder lay a mat on the ground and start cooking. Not bothered what is happening around them. Happy as they are. A number of Indians might raise issue of cleanliness, catching stomach infection but these women could not care less.

With a group of loving school children against the early mornings rays falling on Lord Shiva. For a Shiv Bhakt like me it was a dream come true. I consider myself blessed to have gone there and sharing these pics with u.

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