At a distance of 162 km from Mangalore, 188 km from Shimoga, 113 km from Karwar, 76 km from Gokarna, 219 km from Hubli, 214 km from Panjim & 497 km from Bangalore, Murudeshwar is a well known pilgrimage and beach destination located in the Bhatkal Taluk of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka. Murudeshwar is a picturesque place situated between Honnavar and Bhatkal. It is bounded by the Arabian Sea and Western Ghats. Murudeshwar is one of the most famous tourist places to visit in Karnataka, for it's pilgrimage importance apart from being a popular beach resort.
The Murudeswar town was earlier known as 'Mrideshwara'. It was later renamed as Murudeshwar after the construction of the temple. Murudeshwara is famous abode of Lord Shiva and a popular pilgrimage center in South India. According to the legend, Ravana brought the Atma Lingam from Mount Kailash. Lord Ganesha using his trick fooled Ravana on his way to Lanka and put down the Linga on the ground at Gokarna. Angered by this, Ravana tried to uproot and destroy the Linga. The broken pieces of the lingam were cast away. The covering cloth of the lingam fell at Kanduka Giri and the Murudeshwar temple was built at the site.
Murudeshwar is famous for the world's second tallest Shiva statue (123 ft) & tallest temple tower (249 ft) of Murudeshwar Temple. The sea on three sides surrounds the temple towering on the small hill called Kanduka Giri. This is a great place to watch the sunset. Murudeshwar is also known for the Murudeshwar Fort and wonderful beaches. Nearby Netrani Island is also a very popular spot for tourists as it offers excellent boating, snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. Sirsi, Karwar, Gokarna, Kollur, Udupi, Mangalore, Dharmasthala and Subramanya are the nearby attractions here.
Mangalore International Airport is the nearest airport which is 160 km away from Murudeshwar. Murudeshwar is situated on Mangalore - Mumbai route and well connected by buses & trains. Murudeshwar Railway Station lies on the Konkan Railway. It has trains from Mangalore, Madagoan, Bangalore, Karwar and Mumbai. Murudeshwar is well connected by bus from Bangalore, Mangalore, Karwar, Shimoga, Hubli, Pune and Mumbai.
Maha Shivaratri during February is the important festival celebrated here with much devotion and religious rituals.
The best time to visit Murudeshwar is from November to February. Usually it takes 1-2 days to explore the important places in and around Murudeshwar.