I was bored at home due to lockdown and was thinking of a trip. That's when Murudeshwar and Gokarna hit on my mind. I had seen the beautiful Siva statue of Murudeswar in pictures and I always wanted to visit there. We had long weekend for Ganesh Puja and I took that opportunity to visit these gorgeous places. Initially the plan was for the above two places, but then we did not get any decent hotel in Gokarna as it was a long weekend. While searching for hotels, I got suggestion of a hotel in Karwar in Yatra.com. That's when I thought of adding Karwar as well in my trip plan. And I did not regret my decision. I had pre-booked the hotels in Murudeswar and Karwar. These places can be reached by overnight buses and trains from Bangalore. But we chose to go by a taxi so that we can roam around easily, which costed us around Rs.22k/- for an Innova with Rs.14/- per Kilometer.
So the trip plan as below:
Bangalore>Jog Falls>Murudeswar>Yana>Gokarna>Karwar> Bagnalore
Day1- Jog Falls, Murudeswar
Day2- Yana Caves, Gokarna
Hotels as below:
Night 1 - RNS Residency, Murudeswar - Rs.3000/night with Breakfast, Sea Facing room
Night 2 &3 - Sai International, Karwar, Rs.3000/night without Breakfast
We started from Bangalore on Friday morning by 6.30. We took the Hiriyur-Shivamoga route as we had planned to visit Jog falls. The total distance was about 500 Kilometers. Our first stop was around 9:30 for breakfast. Then we visited a dam named Vani vilas dam as suggested by locals. They say we can see India map in the aerial view of the dam. This was beautiful, but due to covid restrictions it was partially opened. Well, the next stop was Jog falls where they were asking for vaccination certificate, which I checked online before travelling. They were checking this at the entrance itself.
Jog Falls are located in the Shivamoga district of Karnataka at about a distance of 380 kilometers from Bangalore. The Western Ghats gives rise to the Sharavati river that plunges from a height of 829 feet in four magnificent cascades named Raja, Rani, Roarer and Rocket. During monsoon, one can see a breathtaking view of the falls with rainbows coming every now and then. We were lucky enough to witness this wonderful sight. It is one of nature’s splendid masterpieces located in the Western ghats with lush green surroundings, that provide a scenic backdrop. There are steps to go down where the fall touches the ground, but we did not go there as it was rainy season and assuming that the steps might be slippery. I had read about Jog falls in geography when I was in school. Finally I got the opportunity to witness the nature's wonder. And trust me , this place will not disappoint anyone.
Then we started for Murudeswar and reached by 5 PM.
There are four main attractions in Murudeswar as below -
1. The Gopuram
2. The main Temple
3. The Shiva statue and the cave below
4. The beach
The hotel was located inside the temple premises. We checked in and headed towards the temple immediately, to watch sunset view from the Gopuram. There is a lift which takes to the 18th floor, from where we can have the view of the famous Shiva Statue, the sea, the city. It was amazing. We took some gorgeous pictures and then came down.
Then we visited the cave and the Shiva statue. There is a separate entrance to this. There is cave just beneath the statue and they have depicted the story of Murudeswar temple beautifully there. The story goes like this: It was when Ravana wanted to get the Atmalinga of lord Shiva to be immortal and invincible. He started doing "Kathor Tapasya" to please Lord Shiva. Meanwhile Maharshi Narada informed Lord Vishnu about this and asked him to change the mind of Ravana and hence when Lord Shiva appeared in front of Ravana, he asked for Devi Parvati instead of Atma Linga. Then Lord agreed and went. When Ravana was returning home with Devi Parvati, she showed him her Kali Avatar and told him that he has been deceived and she is not the real Parvati. The real Parvati was in Patala lok. So he went to Patala lok and married Mandodari assuming her to be Devi Parvati. But he started praying Lord Shiva again for Atma Linga and this time he got it, but with a condition of not keeping it down till he reached Lanka. Again Narada Muni visited Lord Ganesh and asked him to stop Ravana. While nearing Gokarna, Surya Dev was asked by Lord Vishnu to disappear pretending to be evening. Ravana being a man of rules had to perform his evening rituals, but was worried on how to do it with the Atma linga in hand. Then Lord Ganesh appeared in front of him as a child and told him to handover the Linga to him. Ravana informed him about the condition, but him being clever told he would only call him thrice before he kept it on the ground. But as expected, by the time he came back the Linga was on the ground. Ravana was very angry to see this and tried to pull it, but due to his immense power the Atma linga was split in to five parts named as below.
3. Sajjeswar, Karwar
Then we called it a day.