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“Timeless wonder! ”

Mahabaleswara Temple
Ranked #4 of 12 things to do in Gokarna
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Pune, India
Level Contributor
62 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Timeless wonder! ”
Reviewed 15 June 2014 via mobile

The Mahabaleswara Temple is a centuries old magnificent ancient structure. It is a revered holy place of Lord Shiva. The entry into the temple has some dress codes and restrictions which have to be strictly complied. The temple is closed for 'darshan' from 2 pm to 5 pm which is a big put off. It id felt that with the changing times and for the convenience of pilgrims and tourists, the temple administration should keep the temple open for more time in the afternoon. The road leading to the temple is narrow and parking of vehicles near the temple may be a problem. But a must visit, either for pilgrimage to get the blessings of Lord Shiva or tourism to get a peep into the rich and glorious past of our great country! A Timeless wonder indeed!

1 Thank Dhairyashil V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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168 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
89 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2014

One of the famous piligrimage centres of Karnataka, here lies a piece of Shiva's Athma Linga.One cannot see the Linga ( in fact it is a piece of the linga ) as the same is submerged , But one truly feels blessed as we can touch the tip of the same.The model of the submerged linga is kept for public viewing.Story goes that Ravana -the mighty king of Lanka , prayed and pleased Lord Shiva, who gave him his Atma Linga .Ravana brings the Atma Linga to earth from Kailasa ,while Naradamuni prays Lord Ganesh to get back the Atma Linga back.Ravana on his way back asks Ganesh to hold the Athma Linga till he finishes his evening Prayers ,as the Linga cannot be removed once it is placed .Lord Ganesh agrees to help Ravana on condition that he has to finish his prayer and take back the Athma Linga before his third Call.However Lord Ganesh keeps the Athma Linga on the ground before Ravana can finish his prayers.Ravana in fit of rage tries to pull the Atma Linga from the ground, but it gets twisted & break into pieces.And this is the place where Lord Ganesh kept the Athma Linga on the ground.This place is also known as BHU KAILASA meaning kailasa ( abode of Shiva ) on Earth.
For those who are interested to visit this place , the nearest place one can stay is Kumuta .
And the Gokarna Beach is just few minutes walk from the temple.Only cars are allowed till the temple as the road leading to the temple is very narrow.One can also make use of Autos to reach the temple from the Bus stand.Girls and ladies - need to keep their body covered with decent clothing.Men need to remove their shirts ( to be bare chested ) to enter inside the temple premises.However Foreigners not allowed.

Visited May 2014
5 Thank raghu67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
75 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“First real bull! Women cover up, men remove shirts”
Reviewed 5 May 2014

Exciting to see my first real bull! Handsome and powerful fellow tied within the temple, alongside were a cow & calf too. Women are requested to be in ethnic wear though my ankle length skirt did not raise any eyebrows. Men have to remove shirts and visit bare chested.
The shivalingam itself is unlike anything you have seen before- because you can't see it! There is a hole in place of the shivaling and devotees are allowed to put their hand in and feel the sunken shivaling.
Legend has it that this is where the gods conspired to cheat Ravana from carrying this powerful shivaling out of our country to his own. He was supposed to not place it down all the way from Mt Kailash to Lanka. But he was tricked into thinking it is time for his evening puja. He handed the shivaling to a boy who was really Ganesha sent by the gods. He put it down and the shivaling went under the earth so Ravana won't be able to carry it away. Very interesting stuff!

Visited April 2014
4 Thank GarGupta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
547 reviews
543 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,818 helpful votes
“Mahabaleshwara is Bhu Kailasa”
Reviewed 28 April 2014

Ravana son of Poulasya Brahmin was a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva. He had a strong physique, stronger skill and had strongest will power in implementing his shame or ideas. His mother used to make Shivalinga out of sand on the seashore and worship it every day. One day the Sea god purposely washed off that Shivalinga with his lengthy waves. She returned home with very depressing face. Ravana inquired her as to why she looked unhappy that day. She narrated that on account of sea waves the sand Linga was washed away and she could not complete her prayer. Ravana just laughed at her and said
“Mother why you should worship a mud made Linga. I will go to Kailas and get you ‘ATHMA LINGA’ of Lord Shiva Himself”. So saying immediately he left to Himalayas, performed yagna, japa and aaradhana of Lord Shiva. But Lord Shiva did not come down to see him. Out raged with anger he attempted to lift the Kailas Mountain. As result the mountain began to shake. Lord Shiva having known the reason just pressed the floor thereby the mountain sat steadily and Ravana’s hands were crushed under the mountain. Then Lord Shiva appeared before Ravana and released his hands from being crushed. The story goes on to say that there were certain obstructions and again Ravana had to pray Lord to get the Atma Linga. Lord Shiva was took out the Linga from Hus heart and gave it to Ravana with a condition that it shall not be placed on the ground until Ravana reached his town Lanka. Ravana had to carry and was carrying the AthmaLinga with his hands from Himalaya to Lanka.
Ravana was an orthodox Brahmin. He was strictly following the rituals of performing ‘Sandaya vandanam’ three times a day. While he was so carrying the Athmalinga in his hands the Sun began to set on the Western Ghats near the (present Arabian) sea. He had to performing ‘Sandaya vandanam’ , but he could not keep the Athmalinga on the ground/earth. Here the story goes to say that Lord Ganesha appeared in the form of a cow herd boy and promised Ravana to hold the Athmalinga for a limited period and by that Ravana must return to take back the Athmalinga otherwise it would be kept on ground. Ravana greed and fell a prey to the foul game of Devas. Ganesha kept the Athmalinga on the ground. Ravana though came hurriedly could not get Athmalinga as it was deeply fasten to the land. Ravana with outrageous anger hit a blow on the head of Lord Ganesha who was in disguise. It resulted in making a hallow mark on the head of Lord Ganesha which we can see even today at Ganesha temple outside the main shrine in Gokarna. There is a separate huge size Ganesha with hallow head at Idagunji near Gokarna.
Then Ravana tried to take off the Athmalinga that was attached to the earth. It was a soft material. It twisted but he could not pull it out. Certain pieces of that soft portion of Athmalinga came into the hands of Ravana which he threw away. Those pieces of Athmalinga fell at different distant places. One such piece fell at Murudeswar which is also worshipped as Lord Shiva’s Athmalinga. Any amount of strength of Ravana was of no use. It was more powerful than that mighty Ravana. Hence it came to be called as MAHA BALESWARA. The place is also called Bhu Kailas meaning that it is the Kailas on the earth.

Visited February 2014
3 Thank Profvns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“lovely temple, lovely architecture.”
Reviewed 2 April 2014

lovely temple, was very informative. wish they had tour guides there, or perhaps some information written in its importance. thanks to google I got my info on the temple and how its relevant to Indians.

Visited March 2014
2 Thank AJCO0L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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