The first sight that catches your eye as you enter this peaceful and scenic seaside town is the majestic statue of Lord Shiva blessing you perched atop a small hillock overlooking the Arabian Sea. Though there are a plethora of things to do in Murudeshwar, the spiritual town’s biggest draws are the revered Murudeshwar temple and the heart-shaped Netrani island offering excellent scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities.
You can also walk along the serene beach, get great photographs at the Statue Park, visit a coastal fort, indulge in hiking and water sports and spot some gorgeous waterfalls on your trip to this quaint town.
11 Best Things To Do In Murudeshwar
If you’re planning a religious vacation and thinking about what to do in Murudeshwar, make sure to indulge into these offbeat things to do in Karnataka.
1. Lord Shiva Statue: Feel The Divine Presence
Standing tall on the Kanduka Hill surrounded by water on all three sides is the 123-feet high awe-inspiring colossal Shiva statue and one of the top things to do in Murudeshwar. Even those crossing the town through the Mangalore-Gokarna highway must stop by to feel the divine energy of this majestic piece of art, which is also the second tallest statue of Shiva in the world. Viewing the towering deity from the top of the rajagopuram of the temple with panoramic views of the coast in its backdrop is nothing short of breathtaking.
Timings: 6AM-1PM; 3PM-9PM
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2. Gopuram: Gaze The Beauty
One of the most spectacular shore temples of India, this magnificent abode of Lord Shiva is said to be one of the sites of the divine atma-lingam. Also known as the Kethappa Narayana temple, its 20-storey high gopuram said to be the tallest in the world is guarded by two life-size elephants. The Dravidian style majestic granite temple is a must-visit during Murudeshwar sightseeing. The sanctum sanctorum is home to one of the original atma-lingas thrown by Ravana, placed 2 feet below the ground level. The complex also houses a small museum explaining the mythical story and significance of the temple.
Entry fee: No entry fee but Rudrabhishekam ticket costs INR 55 for 2 people
Timings: 6AM-1PM; 3PM-9PM
3. Mirjan Fort: Walk Amidst History
Located at an hour’s drive from the pilgrimage town, this historical fort stands testament to the military might of the region and is amongst the best things to do in Murudeshwar for history buffs and photography enthusiasts. One of the lesser known gems, this ASI preserved monument presents an aesthetically beautiful sight especially during the rainy season. The sprawling 4 hectare complex with double walls and secret passageways also rewards you with stunning views from above. The constructions credits of the 16th century fort with Deccan and Mughal influences, goes to Queen Chennabhaira Devi also called the ‘pepper queen’.
Entry fee: No entry or camera fee.
4. Netrani Island: Explore The Biodiversity
Tucked away in the Arabian Sea, at a distance of 20Kms is Karnataka’s best-kept secret: the heart-shaped Netrani Island also christened as the Pigeon Island. One of the best snorkeling sites in Karnataka and the top things to do in Murudeshwar, Netrani island is home to an amazing marine biodiversity. You can spot a wide variety of corals, parrot fish, butterfly fish, eels and trigger fish on your snorkelling and diving tour. The crystal clear waters allow visibility up to 25-30 metres and ensure you have an amazing Murudeshwar scuba diving experience exploring the underwater world
Things To Carry: Waterproof backpack, swimming costume, sunscreen sunglasses and floaters/slippers.
Scuba Diving Costs: packages begin from INR 5500 inclusive of underwater photographs
5. Statue Park: Capture The Gigantic Beauty
Around the majestic Shiva statue, amidst lush green lawns is the statue park that beautifully depicts the history behind the temple and is adorned with many more sculptures. One of the top things to do in Murudeshwar right inside the temple complex, the statue park portrays legends from the Ramayana including the story of the Atma-linga with images of Ganesh and Ravana. Also eye-catching is the Surya statue as well as those of Krishna and Arjuna from the Mahabharata. Do not miss the glorious sunset views from the area right behind the park. A small Shani temple close by is also worth visiting.
Tip: Visit around 4pm for the best light for photographs and to witness the sunset once you’ve done the park tour.
Suggested Read: 8 Adventure Places In South India That’ll Get Your Heart Racing
6. Yana Hike: Taste The Adventure
An hour and a half away from Murudeshwar are the unique and unusual limestone rock monoliths known as the Bhairaveshwara Shikhara and the Mohini Shikhara. Surrounded by lush evergreen forests, hiking through the dense forests to reach these surreal rock outcrops is amongst the most thrilling things to do at Murudeshwar. At the base of the Bhairaveshwara Shikhara is a revered shiva-lingam frequented by devotees. Going inside the caves is an exciting experience too and adds to the adventure quotient of your trip to Yana.
1. At the vehicle parking spot (parking fee:INR 30), remember to pick some aerated drinks and water from the food stalls before embarking on the adventurous hike.
2. Wear sports shoes/sneakers for a comfortable experience.
7. Murudeshwar Beach: Soak In The Tranquility
Like most Konkan beaches, the Murudeshwar beach is a beautiful and clean sandy beach extending to 2-3 kilometres with shallow waters to enjoy the sea. One of the most fun things to do in Murudeshwar is to indulge in exciting water activities like banana ride, water scooters, water-skiing, speed-boat ride, etc. The beach is also a great spot for marvelling at the grand Shiva statue especially with the lights turned on at night. Evenings are abuzz with the small flea market, street vendors and food stalls.
8. Bhatkal: Seek The Spirituality
Just about 20 minutes from Murudeshwar is the ancient port town of Bhatkal with a picturesque beach and interesting monuments. Home to temples from Vijayanagar period and some ancient Jain shrines, the place also holds historical and spiritual significance. Though you cannot enter the Bhatkal lighthouse, the spot offers some breathtaking views of the port and the beach.
9. Idagunji Ganapathi Temple: Experience The Spiritual Bliss
On the banks of the Sharavathi river stands one of the most revered temples of Southern India, visited by more than a million devotees every year. With a mention in the Skanda Purana, the temple holds great mythological significance as it is believed to be the place where Lord Ganpati stayed. Simple and elegant, the shrine houses a unique standing posture of Ganpati in dvibhuja style holding a modak and a lotus. A haven of tranquillity and peace, this spiritual place must feature on your Murudeshwar things to do list.
Timings: 6AM-1:30PM; 3PM-8:30PM. Abhisheka at 11:00Am and Maha Pooja at 12:30PM
10. Apsarakonda Falls: Feel Refreshed
Located just 20 Kilometres from Murudeshwar are the small yet mystical Apsarakonda Falls believed to be the bathing place for angels (hence the name). Right behind the Apsarakonda beach, the waterfalls are a great place for a cool dip in the shallow pond. Visiting the falls for a few hours is one of the fun things to do in Murudeshwara with kids and family. The beautiful garden above the falls offers spectacular views and approach steps to the beach below.
Entry fee: The entry to the garden is INR 10/person.
11. Water Jet In Murudeshwar: Feel The Thrill
Get into the thrill of experiencing water jet on the calm waters of Murudeshwar beach which is situated at Uttar Kannada coastline in Karnataka. Apart from the spiritual tour of the famous Murudeshwar temple, devotees can also enjoy some adventure around the coastline This 10 minutes activity can be availed anytime during the day where you will be geared up with all the safety gears. Along with this one can also witness the calm beauty of the sea as you indulge into this one of the best things to do near Murudeshwar.
Location: Uttara Kannada District
Duration: 10 Minutes
Murudeshwar is a surely a treat for those who want a calming vacation for the mind and soul and looking at all the amazing things one can do there, it is surely a must visit destination. So when are you visiting this coastal abode of Shiva? If you’re planning anytime soon then take a look at the customize your Karnataka holiday with TravelTriangle and enjoy a surreal holiday in South India.
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