In most ways I can be grouped into the category of a regular Homo Sapien , especially of the Indian kind. I am therefore what can be described as “fairly religious”
When I was growing up(hmmm I still am growing I guess ,albeit sideways!) I used to wake up at 4 in the morn, go to the temple( the prasad was a big draw!), fast on Mondays…chant religious texts..
Yup I was a religious geek.
But over the years my appreciation and understanding of religion has undergone many changes. I’ve swung from being a non believer to being a Yo-Yo follower..to what I am now- Confused.
My mom though(rather unhappily ) says its plain laziness…I drag myself outta bed at 7( only because my oldest leaves at 7.15!)The prayer lamp is lit only when my mom visits…Ive generously rented the puja area out to a couple of spiders who’ve made some great homes there..and as for visiting temples ..Ahem..its probably been a LONG time before I saw one of those….
But not because I don’t enjoy visiting temples(though not the over-crowded ones) . Visiting a temple or any religious place for that matter gives me a sense of humble yet soothing peace.
A few weeks back we visited Murudeshwar, a quiet touristy/ religious place situated close to the halfway mark of the Karavali Coast between Honavar and Bhatkal. It is about 438 km NW of Bangalore and 150KMs north of Mangalore .
Although I say religious, this is mostly a place developed by some business group that decided to tap India’s temple flocking folk….But that’s not to say that what we saw was in any way not ‘worthy of flocking’!
What strikes you once you get there is the only reason you need to go – A HHHHUUUUUGGGE statue of Lord Shiva. The spectacular 36 meter-high monumental statue stands next to an equally staggering 249 feet tall Raja Gopura, which is considered the tallest gopura in the world.
Two life-size elephants in concrete stand guard at the steps leading to the 500 year old temple.
The temple has several other beautiful carvings and statues that date back to a few centuries.
There is also a huge fort behind the temple said to have been renovated by Tipu sultan, the ruler of Mysore.
The story behind the origin of the temple dates back to Hindu mythology.
The temple, which embodies a linga, is believed to have erupted when Ravana flung the cloth covering the Atmalinga at Gokarna while lifting it.Read the full story here.
The place also boasts of a long virgin beach thrusting out to the sea.
We stayed at the only decent looking hotel around. RNS recidency.
For 2,500 a night the rooms were OK but offered a lovely view of the shimmering beach .
But what the kids enjoyed the most were the two pools that the hotel offered to guests.
On our way back we visited Gokarna too, though we did not stay there. Gokarna has 5 famed beaches Om,Gokarna, Kudle, Half Moon, and Paradise. Of these we visited the om beach .
Look at its shape…isn’t it shaped like the religious symbol ‘om’ Yeah that’s how it got its name.
We didn’t go to any of the other beaches as it was HOT! And the kids we getting cranky. But we did stop at the Gokarna temple.
It’s a quaint temple and very different from the other temples as it has no idol. You need to bend down and put your hand into a deep hole that houses the linga.
How to get to Murudeshwar
How To Get There
Air : Dabolim, Goa.
Train : Kumta. 32 km
Rail : Hubli
Road : Bhatkal 16 kms
STD Code: 08386
How to get to Gokarna
Air: Mangalore – 165km
Bangalore – 465km
Drive:Bhatkal – 16km
Kollur – 63km
Karwar – 120km
Train: Bhatkal – 16km
Shimoga – 195km
Mangalore – 165km
STD Code: 08385