Mahabaleswar Swamy temple is a Shiva temple at Gokarna of Karnataka, India. The temple featured the Dravidian architecture in the 4th century. The image of lord shiva is original as per the belief.
A slight glimpse is good enough for the blessings of God as per the local tales. This temple is one of the muktistalas in Karnataka. Mahabaleshwar is regarded as one of the mukthishetras.
The demon king Ravana placed atmalinga at Gokarna. He brought it from mount Kailash of Himalayas. King Mayura Sharma of the Kadamba dynasty built the temple. Dakshin Kashi is its other name, for it is as a holy place as Kashi in north India.
The Gokarna Mahabaleshwar temple lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea. Green plants between Gangavali and Aganashini rivers enrich the surroundings of this ancient temple.
Ravana’s mother used to worship Shiva Linga for the prosperity of her kingdom. The lord Indra was envious about her devotion toward Shiva. So, Indra stole the statue and threw it in the sea. The Ravan’s mother sensed that her worship was hindered.
On this, Ravana promised her mother to bring the Atma Linga. He worshipped Lord Shiva on the Himalayas and chopped his heads. Shiva was so impressed that he gave aathmalinga to him. But, the aathamalinga was not supposed to be placed down from hands. If Ravan does that, the linga will be rooted in that place.
Ravana accepted Shiva’s condition. In the evening, Ravana went for a bath and handed over aathamalinga to the cowboy and asked him not to keep it on the ground until he returned. Cowboy agreed that he would keep it down if Ravana did not return by calling Ravana thrice. Lord Ganesh tricked Ravana in the form of the cowboy. He kept the aathalinga down after calling Ravana three times, and Ravana had not returned.
Later, when Ravana tried to lift, it stuck and became gigantic. Ravana named it "Mahabaleshwar." Ravana chased the boy and his cows; unfortunately, all of them disappeared except one cow. So, Ravana chased the cow and caught hold of its ear. Thus, the name "Gokarna" was derived from this incident.
Granite architecture flaunts the classical Dravidian style of design and construction. The temple was built during King Mayura Sharma of the Kadamba dynasty in the 4th century CE.
The stone sculpture of Lord Shiva and the Atma Lingam enclosed within the Shaligrama Peetha are the era's architectural marvels. Maha Ganapati, Thamira Gowri(Goddess Parvati), Chandikeswara, Dattatreya, Gokarnanayagi, and Aadi Gokarneswara are the shrines that surround the Mahabaleshwar Temple.
The demon king Ravana performed a relentless penance to please Lord Shiva after his mother had expressed the desire for the original Atma Linga of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva granted Ravana two wishes after his sincere efforts.
Mahabaleshwar Temple is the misplaced adobe to the original Atma Linga of Shiva from its first home at Mount Kailash in the Himalayas in the backdrop of this legend.
Maha Shivaratri and Rath Yatra are the main festivities that take place with full enthusiasm at the temple.
Timings are subject to change. You will be automatically booked into a time slot as part of the check out process. Please visit the official website to confirm the time slot before your visit.
Some famous temples lie in Gokarna.
Sri Maha Ganapathi temple: The maha Ganapathi temple was built in reverence of Siddha Ganapathi in the Gokarna temple. Ganesha saved athamalinga from the demon king Ravana.
Gogarbha: Athmalinga was deified on the earth and later vanished in the cow's form to the nearby hill station. This hill station now serves as the rest house for saints.
As per folklore, Sadhus enter Gogarbha to reach Kashi's holy city as the final destination for pilgrims.
The Temple of Bharat: An idol of Rama with Ramatheertha was consecrated in this temple around the Mahabaleshwar temple.
Kotitheertha: The Kotitheertha is a human-made pond for devotees to take a bath before entering the Mahabaleshwar temple. Immersion of idols and ritual bathing are also performed at Kotitheertha.