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From Udupi - Coastal Drive to Gokarna

Walking around on secluded beaches, clicking picture from hanging bridges, praying in awesome temples and enjoying nature at its best; can describe our journey which started from Mangalore. After spending 2 days in and around Udupi, we started early morning for Gokarna and with the objective to check every spot in the way and reach Gokarna by the night. Just at outskirts of Udupi we came across a beautiful church, worth stopping and spending some time. 
Inside of the church is as colorful and wonderful as the outside:
As I always say, start early. With window panes down, cool sea breeze and coconut plantations alongside the coastal road were asking us to stop at every spot here and there.
After driving for 25 km. on the panoramic road from Udupi we reached at Anegudde Sri Vinayaka Temple at Kumbhasi, our first spot. First look of this temple is enough to fill your soul with divinity. Temple houses 12 feet tall Lord Vinayaka idol, made of single stone.
Legend says that this temple was built by Parashuram. Parashuram was praying/ performing Yagna to please Gods for rains. On seeing this, one demon Kumbhasura arrived to spoil the prayers. Then on request of Parashuram Lord Ganesh (also known as Vinayak) blessed Bheem to kill the demon. After Bheem had killed the demon, temple was erected by Parashuram to worship Lord Vinayak. Name of the place Kumbhasi actually means place where evil (demon Kumbhasur) is finished.

Also there is Nagachala Sri Ayappa Swami temple, just adjacent to Anegudde Vinayaka Temple. This is a new temple with a distinct sky high pillar in front of the temple.

9 km. from Kumbhasi is the Kundeshwara temple at kundapur. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is very sacred and holds high esteem for those seeking life partners. Temple has a quiet ambience and still maintains its natural surroundings.

Moving further ahead, around 11:30 AM we reached Mookambika Temple at Kollur. This temple dedicated to Goddess Shakti is 1200 years old and alongside Shiv-Linga all the manifestations of Goddess are present – Lakshmi, Sarasvati and Parvati. 
Legend about Mookambika temple – Goddess Parvati rendered one demon unable to speak (In hindi called as Mook, मूक), who was praying to Lord Shiva to get protection from the curse of being killed by a female. That demon has realised that Goddess Parvati has arrived to kill him. The demon was subsequently killed by Goddess Parvati at this place.
That is how the name Mook-Ambika. Temple was established by Adi Shankarcharya. This sacred temple is always full of devotees coming here from far off places.

Praying and seeking divine vibes, but small girls performing of religious tales inside the temple premises is actually the take away from here. These girls are not just dancing but presenting/ preserving the essence of our culture for coming generations. 


Across all the existing religious traditions which I have observed, it is only in Hinduism that an extensive worship of divinity is done for the female form. In fact "power" or "energy" is embodiment as Goddess Shakti. It is very essential that we make our coming generations aware about our rich culture, traditions and legacy.

The temple serves food to the devotees as well. It was lunch time and with my kid, we had the best food on this trip.

Major social works like High Schools and Pre-University Colleges & Hospitals are maintained by this Temple around Kollur.






Opposite to temple entrance, do not forget to take Lord Elephant’s blessing.

Next spot which came on our way was perfectly secluded green watered Maravanthe beach, near Kundapura. Trust me this will be one of the most beautiful beaches you will see in India. These are the spots when you realize what all we are losing in quest of calling ourselves developed.

At this moment, simple coconut water tasted much better than any other exotic drink on this earth. You may be tempted to take lot of pictures here.

Towards the late afternoon we reached the “Murudeshwar Temple”, the spot with a Giant idol of Lord Shiva on the beach. This is the second tallest idol of Lord Shiva, after Kailashnath Mahadev in Nepal, but here in Murudeshwar Lord Shiva is in sitting posture.

Sacred place and a beautiful beach, no doubt the place is always full of tourists. If you are coming here on the weekends, be prepared for making your way from the holy crowds.
Surrounded by Arabian Sea on 3 sides, Murudeshwar temple is also a pilgrimage for photographers. The temple's entrance structure has 20 floors and tourists can go till the top floor.
Elevator is there to take you all the way to 20th floor, but in evenings the waiting time goes up to 90 minutes. Beyond entrance, cladded in golden colour, residence of Lord Shiva is awaiting for you. As we arrived on a weekend, so we got company of lot of devotees standing in the que.

While standing in the long que of devotees, you should enjoy the Arabian Sea. Thank you Gods for the wonderful time.
Temple looks pretty recently build, but we were surprised to know the connection of Murudeshwar Temple along with Gokarna with pre-Ramayana times. 
Legend about Murudeshwar temple and Gokarna temple:
In order to be immortal Ravan had pleased Lord Shiva and acquired his Atma-Linga (Soul of Lord Shiva). The condition was that Atma-Linga should not touch the ground before reaching Lanka. Devil Ravan becoming immortal would have meant hell to the world. So angels sought help from Lord Ganesh, who in turn disguised as a small kid convinces Ravan to let him hold the Atma-Linga. While Ravan is doing his prayers, Ganesh places the Linga in Gokarna. Thus, the Linga got fixed on the ground. Unable to lift the Atma-Linga, Ravan breaks the Linga. In the process the pieces of Linga gets scattered around Gokarna. The main Atma-Linga is the Mahabaleshwara temple (Gokarna), Sajjeshwar, Dhareshwar, Gunavanteshwar and the cloth covering the Atma-Linga falls in Murudeshwar.
As we were busy enjoying the ambience, our driver had started reminding us of reaching Gokarna. It was around 9:15 PM when we reached Gokarna and found that hotel had no food left for us. So I had to go out with my kid in search of food, but we got food. Stay tuned for Gokarna adventures...

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