Murudeshwar and Gokarna – A nice 4 day trip – Karnataka – West Coast

India’s west coast has lots to offer. From Mumbai to down south towards Kerala, beautiful ghats and many popular destinations awaits you. Today I am going to talk about my 4 day trip from Bangalore to Murudeshwar and Gokarna which lies at the western coast of Karnataka.

Quick Facts about 4 day trip from Bangalore to Murudeshwar and Gokarna

Base location: Bangalore ( we took this trip from Bangalore)
Distance: 520 Kms one way (total trip was around 1200 KMs which includes 80 kms between Murudeshwar and Gokarna)
Road Conditions: Very good
Travel Time taken: Approx 8 hours to reach Murudeshwar , and 2 hours between Murudeshwar and Gokarna
Total time needed: 4 days if travelling from Bangalore ( 2 days in travel) , 1 day for Murudeshwar and 1 day for Gokarna
Food options: Many on the way and in Murudeshwar and Gokarna
Lodging Options: Many (but please plan in advance, difficult to get accommodation at last minute specifically during tourist seasons)
Vacation type: religious, beaches, sea sports
Any other point: Yes, if you have one more day in hand, you can either cover Badami (in north) and Goa (in south) which are not very far from this place.

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How to reach Murudeshwar:

  • Murudeshwar has a railway station which has trains from Mangalore and Mumbai.
    If you are based out of Bangalore you can reach Murudeshwar by
    1) Shimoga ( Bangalore – Tumkuru – Shimogha) NH4 till Tumkuru and NH 206 towards Shimogha and then to Murudeshwar
    2) or via Chittradurga ( Bangalore – Tumkuru – Chitradurga – Murudeshwar) NH4 till Chittradurga and NH13 after that.
  • The road conditions are good throughout. However NH206 and NH13 are 2 lane at this moment and hence you get a bit less speed.

Coming back to the trip, our plan was for 4 days. We wanted to drive safe and during the day and it is better to do that, specially if you are with kids. The trip should be safe and enjoyable 🙂

Since the drive was going to be more than 8 hours both ways, we kept one day for driving both sides. There are 2 ways to reach Murudeshwar, first one is via Shimogha and second one is via Chittradurga. The road via Chittradurga is better as its a 4 lane national highway. But the reason why we came back from Shomogha was that we also covered Jog Falls on the way!! Below was itenary-

Bangalore -> Chitradurga -> Murudeshwar -> Gokarna -> Murudeshwar -> Shimogha -> Jog falls -> Bangalore

There is a nice fort in Chitradurga, but needs time to visit and hence we skipped that. There are many spots in Chitradurga and you need a day to complete that and hence we skipped it for next time. But if you start by 8.00 AM you can have your lunch in Chitradurga and then continue to Murudeshwar. We reached Murudeshwar by 6.00 PM and checked into the hotel. We stayed at RNS Guesthouse which is just next to the temple facing the sea. Nice dinner options and a good night sleep, we were ready for some early morning fresh air and Murudeshwar sight seeing.

What Murudeshwar has to offer:

Murudehswar is a temple town. It has a huge Shiva statue on the seashore. The below is the famous statue which you would have seen any times. Main temple has been built on Kanduka Hill and is surrounded on three sides by Arabian Sea. There is a 20 storied go-puram at the entrance. You can take a lift to go till top floor and enjoy the view from the top. The statue park with one of the largest Shiva statute is also a big attraction.

Largest shiva statue - Gokarna

It is said that, Ravana once did a severe penance at Mount Kailash to please Lord Shiva. Shiva pleased with his worship agreed to bestow boons on him and asked Ravana what he wants. In return Ravana asked for Atma-Lingam. It is said that worshiping Atma-Lingam brings immortality. Shiva was so happy with Ravana that he granted him Atma-Lingam , but with a condition that he will not keep Atma-Linga on the ground till it reaches its final destination.

Ravan was happy and agreed to this condition. Taking the Atma-Linga along with him, he started back when on the way he found that it is getting dark and he needs to be perform his evening prayers. He saw a small boy playing and requested him to hold the Atma-Linga while is finishes his evening prayers.

The boy agreed but with a condition that if he finds it to be heavy and cannot hold further, he will call for him three times and if Ravana dosen’t come by that time, he will keep the Linga on the ground.

Ravana agreed to this condition and handed over the linga to the little boy. While he was busy with the prayers, the little boy started calling out Ravana, but Ravana did not want to leave the prayers in between. The boy called for his name three time and then kept the linga on the ground.

Ravan was very angry. He tried to lift the linga, but it did not come out. Ravana was so angry that he tried hitting the little boy and then the little boy came to his actual form and it was Lord Ganesha. Since Ravana has got Atma-Linga, this caused lot of worry to Devas and they have requested Lord Ganesha to help. Ravana understood that he has been tricked. He got angry and started throwing lingam accessories around. The place where the cloth covering the Atma-Lingam fell is know as Murudeshwara and the temple is called as Murudeshwara temple.

View of Arabian see from top of the gopuram

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Another major fun item for the kids are playing on the beach. Water is generally warm and you can allow kids to jump in water. Not so clean here due to lot of shops on the beach , but we found it ok. After a nice day we were back in hotel. Next day planned for Gokarna. We got up early next day and started for Gokarna so that we can reach the temple before the usual rush. Gokarna  temple has a special significance, but apart from temple, Gokanra has few nice beaches which are clean and we knew that once we take kids there, time is going to fly and hence cover the temple first early in the morning.

What to see in Gokarna

Gokarna is famous for Mahabaleshwar temple. This is only temple where you can go inside, offer milk and water on the shiva lingam and offer your prayers by actually touching the shiva linga which is beneath the earth surface.

This shiva lingam is also called as “Atma Lingam” which Ravan got as a boon from Shiva himself and hence it is said that this shiva lingam connects directly to “Kialash”.

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But then Gokarna, all small town on the western coast of the country in the state of Karnatka, has much more to offer. With its famous “Om Beach” and “Kudle Beach” and a religiously very important temple, it’s popular among foriegn tourists as well as domestic tourist.

And not many of us know. “Gokarna” is the birth place of one of our most loved god … Lord Anjaneya (Lord Hanuman).

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Inside Mahbaleshwara temple, all the male members need to go bare chest and hence you have to remove your shirt before entering the temple. There are some special poojas which you perform. Take the ticket before hand at the counters in the front of the main gate.
Remember, photography is not allowed with in the temple premises.

Story behind Atma Linga:It is said that, Ravana once did a severe penance at Mount Kailash to please Lord Shiva. Shiva pleased with his worship agreed to bestow boons on him and asked Ravana what he wants. In return Ravana asked for Atma-Lingam. It is said that worshiping Atma-Lingam brings immortality. Shiva was so happy with Ravana that he granted him Atma-Lingam , but with a condition that he will not keep Atma-Linga on the ground till it reaches its final destination.

Ravan was happy and agreed to this condition. Taking the Atma-Linga along with him, he started back when on the way he found that it is getting dark and he needs to be perform his evening prayers. He saw a small boy playing and requested him to hold the Atma-Linga while is finishes his evening prayers.

The boy agreed but with a condition that if he finds it to be heavy and cannot hold further, he will call for him three times and if Ravana dosen’t come by that time, he will keep the Linga on the ground.

Ravana agreed to this condition and handed over the linga to the little boy. While he was busy with the prayers, the little boy started calling out Ravana, but Ravana did not want to leave the prayers in between. The boy called for his name three time and then kept the linga on the ground.

Ravan was very angry. He tried to lift the linga, but it did not come out. Ravana was so angry that he tried hitting the little boy and then the little boy came to his actual form and it was Lord Ganesha. Since Ravana has got Atma-Linga, this caused lot of worry to Devas and they have requested Lord Ganesha to help.

Hence it is said that you should visit Sri Ganesha temple which is situated, just before Sri Mahabaleshwara temple.

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Apart from Mahabaleshwara temple and Ganpathi temple, there are 2 famous beaches in Gokarna which is a must visit. These are “Om Beach” and “Kudle Beach”. Both beaches are popular with foreign tourists and you will find lot of foreigners here, specifically during September to March time frame. Apart from Gokarna, you can also drive down to Murudeshwara and Dhareshwara temples which are other 2 Atma Lingas.

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We covered both Om Beach and Kudle beach. Both the beaches are quite popular with foreigners visiting here. Please note that there are lot of foreign tourist in Gokarna. They come here, specially in the winter seasons and spend quite some time here. Because of this there are many Ayurveda healing and Yoga centers in Gokarna.

We closed our day after visit to Kudle beach. Returned back and had a nice sleep. Next day was going to go in travel. So it was important to get a good night sleep.

We started back by around 6.00 AM. This time we came back via Shimogha. Route from Murudeshwar to Shimoga is through ghats and hence, you get slow speed and it is better to  be safe. On the way we stopped at Jog falls. Not much water when we visited.

Jogs falls:

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We were back in Bangalore by around 10.00 PM.  Ghat section took lot of time and then we had spent around 1 to 1 and half hours at Jog Falls.

So, it was a nice trip. We thoroughly enjoyed. If you have some more time in hand you can also plan for Goa, Badami or even Chitradurga which are near by or on the way. Even Shimoga has some very old temple which are worth seeing.  But may be nex time!!

Hope you enjoyed reading. Do send us your comments!

Have a look => top 10 beaches in Karnataka

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About Sanjeev Kumar

Hello Friends, This blog is based on the fact that the basic human natures loves to travel and explore. And I am also one of them who feels that travel can be real cool and stress buster. With this blog, I intend to share my experiences . There are many places around us which are unknown because of sheer reason that we have never tried to know about them. So what are you waiting for. Never let you weekend slip away. Go out and have fun!

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