Mahabaleshwar Temple (Mahabaleshwara Temple) is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and located in Gokarna, Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka.
The Atmalinga of Lord Shiva at Gokarna Temple is as sacred as the Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva at Kashi Vishwanath Temple, which is why the Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple is so important. The Gokarna Temple is one of Karnataka’s seven Mukti Sthalas. Udupi, Subramanya, Kumbhashi, Kodeshwara, Sankaranarayanan, and Kollur are the other six.
The Parashurama Kshetras are a collection of these locations. These Temples, according to devotees, stand on Parashurama’s land from the sea.
The Gokarna Temple is one of the five temples in Karnataka known as Lord Shiva’s Pancha Kshetras. Nanjanagud, Dharmasthala, Dhareshwara, and Murudeshwar are the other four temples.
History of Mahabaleshwar Temple
Legend has it that Ravana’s mother wanted to worship the Atma Linga and after a long penance, Ravana was successful in getting the Atmalinga from Lord Shiva. But he had warned Ravana that it had to be taken home by walk, and in failing to do so, it will be lodged forever at the place where it is kept.
When Lord Vishnu learned this, he along with all the gods and goddesses, persuaded Lord Ganesha to prevent Ravana from becoming all powerful.
Then Ganesha took the form of a young boy and reached Gokarna. As evening fell, Ravana went to perform Sandhyavandhana giving the Shiva linga to the boy. They had made an agreement that if Ravana did not respond after calling him thrice Ganesha would place the linga on the ground.
Accordingly, when Ravana did not answer the third time (while performing the rites), Ganesha kept the Shiva linga on the ground. On returning, Ravana tried lifting the statue, but it was of no avail.
He then called the linga Mahabala or supreme strength. Thus Lord Shiva is also referred to as Mahabaleshwar. The temple which houses this Shiva linga is known as Mahabaleshwara Temple.
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Architecture of Mahabaleshwar Temple
With the granite architecture flaunting the classical Dravidian style of construction and design, be warned that the Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple can lead a history and archaeology enthusiast into a time-travelling experience back to the 4th century CE during the reign of King Mayurasharma of the Kadamba Dynasty when the temple was built.
Apart from the stone sculpture of Lord Shiva and the whopping Atma Lingam enclosed within the Shaligrama Peetha, the Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna is surrounded by shrines of Maha Ganapati, Thamira Gowri (Goddess Parvati), Chandikeswara, Aadi Gokarneswara, Gokarnanayagi and Dattatreya.
- Address: Koti Teertha Rd, Kotiteertha, Dandebagh, Gokarna, Karnataka 581326
- Architectural style: Dravidian architecture
- Festivals: Shivaratri Ratha Yatra
- District: Uttara Kannada District
- Deity: Lord Shiva
- Entry Fee: Nil
- Temple Timings : 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
- Time Required : 1 hour
- Best Time to Visit: October to March
Dress Code: For men only dhoti is allowed. They can’t enter temple wearing shirts, t-shirts and vest. Women are allowed only in salwar suit and saree. They can’t come in wearing jeans pant.
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|Morning Darshan||6:00 AM||12:30 PM|
|Evening Darshan||5:00 PM||8:00 PM|
|Mangal Aarti, Udyana Bali||6:00 AM||12:30 PM|
|Sparsha Darshan||5:00 PM||8:00 PM|
|Amrutanna Prasada Bhojana (Annadanam)||12:00 PM||2:00 PM|
|Amrutanna Prasada Bhojana||7:30 PM||8:30 PM|
|2nd Kalam Pooja||7:30 PM||8:00 PM|
How To Reach Mahabaleshwar Temple?
Mangalore is the nearest airport which is located at about 192km from the temple. From Mangalore, one can board a bus or hire a taxi to Gokarna.
Ankola is the nearest railway station located at about 20 km. Buses and cabs are available from Ankola to Gokarna.
Buses are available to Gokarna from Bangalore, Mangalore and other major towns and cities in Karnataka.
Where To Stay?
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