Murudeshwar is a temple town located in Bhatkal taluk of Uttara Kannada district. The temple here is dedicated to Murudeshwara, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. It is located at a distance of 165 km from Mangalore on the National Highway, attracting thousands of devotees and tourists to this place.Murudeshwar is a picturesque place, and it is situated between Honnavara and Bhatkal. Bounded by the Arabian Sea and rolling hills of Western Ghats, makes Murudeshwar as a favorite picnic spot.
The sea is an intrinsic part of the temple scape at Murudeshwar. The sea on three sides surrounds the temple towering on the small hill called Kanduka Giri on three sides. Two life-size elephants in concrete stand guard at the steps leading to the temple. As one ascends the hillock, there is a shrine of Jattiga seated on a horse.
Evening visit to see sunset at sun set point is real fulfilling experience. View of small boats and fishermen coming back to their houses from quite distances and from different sides in the sea make every body feel the interesting evening.
The prime attraction of Murudeshwar is Shiva temple. You can see some beautiful carvings and statues, which has a history that dates back to a few centuries. A 20 storied Gopuram is being constructed on the temple. The Murudeshwara temple which represents a Shiva Linga is believed to have erupted when Ravana flung the cloth covering the Atma linga at Gokarna while extracting it.
It is believed that Lord Shiva had declared that Murudeshwar along with Dhareshwar, Gunavanteshwara, Shejjeshwar and Gokarna temples as the Pancha Kshetras of Shiva.
The other main attraction or Murudeshwar is a huge towering statue of Lord Shiva, which is erected beside the temple. This 123 ft statue of Lord Shiva is visible from long distances from the Arabian Sea. This Shiva statue is considered as tallest Shiva idol in the world.
The huge fort located nearby the temple is believed to be renovated by Tipu Sultan of Mysore.