Between the swaying waves of the Arabian sea on one side and the rustle of wind from the Ghats on the other, is the Mahabaleshwar temple of Gokarna dedicated to the divinity of Lord Shiva. The temple is considered as pious as the Shiva temple at Varanasi or Kashi, bestowing immense blessings on devotees. It is one of the sacred Muktishalas, where Hindus perform rituals for the departed. It was first constructed by Mayurasharma of the Kadamba dynasty, who ruled between 345 - 365. Visvesvaraya of Halasunadu-Kundapura built the Chandrasala and Nandi pavilions. The temple is a large complex of shrines, many built during the Vijayanagara period. In 1665, Shivaji is believed to have came here to worship the deity.
Ravana performed severe penance at Kailasa and got the Athmalinga from Lord Shiva for his mother with the condition that he should not keep it down till he reached the destination. The Gods frightened that Ravan would be powerful with the Linga approached Ganesha. Dressed as a Brahmin boy, Ganesha persuaded the demon king to give him the Linga when Ravana had to do his evening prayers. He put the Atmalingam down at Gokarna, and Ravana could...View more
not move the sacred idol from here.This temple is part of Mukti Kshetra Darshan.
The Mahabaleshwar temple of Gokarna is built in a classical Dravidian style of architecture with sculptured Gopura or dome towering above. The sanctum has a small hole from where devotees can see the top of the Atmalinga. A carved stone image of Lord Shiva is placed here. A stone idol of Nandi stands facing the Lord. The temple also has a shrine with a granite idol of Lord Ganesha.Picture courtesy: www.srigokarna.org
Men need to remove shirts/vests while entering the Garbhagriha of Gokarna Mahabaleshwara Temple.
Gokarna is a small temple town and one of the sacred pilgrimage sites of the Hindus. The beaches Gokarna attracts a lot of tourists from India as well as abroad and has turned the place into a popular tourist destination.
The devotees can reach the Gokarna temple :
By road : Buses ply between Gokarna and other cities like Mangalore, Bengaluru, Madgaon
By train: The Gokarna road station is on Konkan rail and is accessible from Mangalore, Karwar, Madgaon
By air: Madgaon airport in Goa is the nearest airport. Buses and trains ply from Madgaon to Gokarna.
Every day thrice, pooja is performed with Pancha Vadya. Amrutanna Prasad Bhojana is served twice daily to all the devotees at the Gokarna Temple.
Coconuts, flowers, Abhisheka to the Mahabaleshwara lingam.
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