At a distance of 2 km from Murudeshwar Railway Station, the statue of Lord Shiva is the second biggest statue of Lord Shiva in the world after the statue in Nepal. The 123 feet (37m) huge towering statue of Lord Shiva is surrounded by the Arabian Sea is the major attraction of Murudeshwar town along with famous Murudeshwar Temple. It is one of the top places to visit in Murudeshwar.
The statue was built by Shivamogga's Kashinath and several other sculptors, financed by businessman Mr R.N. Shetty, at a cost of approximately 50 million rupees. It took about 2 years to build the statue. The statue was carved with so much attention to detail. There are many life-size statues of Gods and Demons around the Shiva statue. The Geetopadesha, Sun chariot, the sculpture of Lord Ganesh receiving the Atma Linga from Ravana and others dot the landscape of the Kanduka hill. On the very top is the Shiva statue.
The idol is designed such that it gets the sunlight directly and thus appears sparkling. Originally, the statue had four arms and was adorned in gold paint. However, large wind gusts blew one arm.
The statue is situated beside Shiva temple complex.
Description of Lord Shiva Statue, Murudeshwara
The statue of belief, Lord Shiva Statue at the 2 kilometer distance from the railway station of Murudeshwar is one of the second biggest statues of Lord Shiva. One of the top places to visit in Murudeshwar, Shiva Statue is around 123 feet high and has a majestic appeal to it.
The towering statue is surrounded by the deep blue hues of the Arabian Sea. It is an add-on beauty to this location. There are other large-sized statues of God and demons along with the statue of Shiva.
This place has sculptures depicting the historical importance of Lord Ganesha receiving the Atma Linga from the popular Ravana. The sculpture of Geetopadesha and Sun Chariot is observed. There are other dots of landscape at the Kanduka hill and on the top of all lies the statue of Shiva.
The Statue is designed in such a way that when the sunlight falls on it the entire statute appears to be sparkling. It has four arms painted in gold colour. The statue is beside the Shiva temple complex. The temple timings are 3 AM - 1 PM and 3 PM - 8 PM.
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Statue of Lord Shiva, Murudeshwara – History
The Statue of Lord Shiva at Murudeshwara is a very recent construction, but the town and the shrine in the temple are very ancient. There is an interesting legend associated with the history of the temple.
The Rakshasa king Ravana of Lanka was a great Shiva Bhaktha. He wanted to gain even more power and immortality by gaining possession of the Atma Linga, a Linga with mystical powers. He performed penance to Lord Shiva. The Divine sage Narada, realizing the havoc Ravana could wreak on Earth if he gained immortality, appeals to Lord Vishnu, who tricks Ravana into asking for Devi Parvati instead of the Atma Linga. Ravana soon realizes his mistake. Once more doing penance, he appeases Lord Shiva again and this time, he does get the Atma Linga. But Maheshwara gives it to him with a condition that he should never place the Linga on the ground. Ravana agrees.
Again, to save the world, Sage Narada intervenes. Mahavishnu suddenly creates an illusion of evening during the middle of the day. Ravana, seeing that the sun is about to set, wants to offer Sandhya prayers. But he is in a dilemma as he cannot put the Atma Linga down. Suddenly, a young Brahmachari appears before him. Ravana asks him to hold the Linga while he offers prayers. The young man says he will call out three times before putting it down. Ravana agrees. The boy, who is none other than Lord Ganesha, tricks Ravana and puts down the Linga.
The enraged Ravana decides to destroy the Atma Linga. He breaks pieces off it and throws them away. One such piece is believed to have landed in Murudeshwara or Murudeshwar. A shrine was built with a Shiva Linga on top of the piece that fell down here. This is the Murudeshwara temple.
Murudeshwara – Architecture
The Statue of Lord Shiva is near the Murudeshwara Temple, which is on top of a small hill called Kanduka Giri. The temple complex is of very recent construction, with a tall 20 storied Gopuram. This temple complex encloses the Murudeshwara shrine which houses the ancient Murudeshwar or Mridesa Linga. Two large, life-size concrete elephants flank the steps leading up to the temple. Near this temple is the Huge Statue of Lord Shiva, 130 ft high. The statue at Murudeshwara was commissioned by businessman and philanthropist Mr. R.N.Shetty. The statue was sculpted by a team of sculptors led by Shivamogga’s Kashinath. The statue has been placed such that it gets direct sunlight.