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Gokarna Temple Guide

Gokarna Temple Guide: History, Time of Mahabaleshwar Temple

One of the best places to visit in Gokarna is the Mahabaleshwara Temple, which has beautiful Dravidian architecture. Most people know the temple in the coastal town of Gokarna, built in the 4th century, for the Shiva Linga called Atma Linga that is worshipped there. The shrine is also called Dakshin Kashi because it is often compared to the Shiva Temple in Varanasi.

The main deity, Lord Shiva’s idol is carved in stone and is 1500 years old in this important temple in Gokarna. If you’re looking for a spiritual retreat, the Gokarna Temple will refresh your soul and give you a quiet place to spend time with God.

One popular myth says that the shrine’s deity will bless devotees greatly if they can catch a glimpse of it. The Gokarna Temple is a beautiful work of art that people from all over the world can enjoy.

Temple NameGokarna Temple
Shrine is also known asSri Mahabaleshwara Swami Temple Gokarna
DeityLord Shiva
Shrine Timing6 AM to 8.30 PM
Darshan FeeFree Entry
VIP EntryNot available
Live DarshanNot available
Important FestivalsMaha Shivratri
AddressKoti Teertha Rd, Kotiteertha, Dandebagh, Gokarna, Karnataka 581326
Official WebsiteNot available
Contact NumberNot available
Official Email IDNot available

About Gokarna Temple, Karnataka (India)

At the shrine, people worship the Atmalinga, a Shiva Linga 6 feet tall. It is a classic example of the beauty of Dravidian architecture. It was built with white granite. The main God is a statue of Lord Shiva made of carved stone that is 1500 years old and standing up. The Shrine is mentioned in the Hindu myths of Mahabharata and Ramayana and is said to be just as important as Kashi. This is how it got the name Dakshin Kashi, which means South Kashi.

The only part of the Linga that people can see is the top of the Atmalinga. But the whole Atmalinga is shown to devotees during the Ashta Bandana Kumbhahishekam, a festival that only happens once every 40 years. According to tradition, devotees must first swim in the water at Karwar Beach, which is in front of the shrine. Then they must go to the Maha Ganapathi Temple, which is on the other side of the Shrine, and only then can they go to the Mahabaleshwar Temple.

Legends of Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple

In the Skanda Purana, Gautama Maharishi tells several stories and events that show how holy and lucky the Atma Linga of Gokarna is. He talks about the good things that happen just by seeing the sacred Linga. One of these stories is about a woman with leprosy who is blind and dies in Gokarna. In the Skanda Purana, Gautama Maharishi says he was there when she died and saw what happened afterwards.

People were going to Gokarna to see the Atma Linga because it was Maha Shivratri, which was a good day. A very old, dirty, ragged woman who had been blind from birth moved through the crowds asking for money. Much of her body had been eaten away by leprosy, and what was left was also going bad. People moved away from her when she came close because she smelled bad. Clearly, the woman was clinging to life with all she had left.

On Maha Shivratri, people fasted, so the woman could not eat. She went from place to place begging for food, but no one gave her any. It was getting dark, and the woman hadn’t eaten all day. She couldn’t sleep because of all the problems with her body. Then someone threw something at her, which fell onto her lap. As she felt around for the thing, her mind was hopeful because she thought it was something to eat.

But she only found some leaves, which, when she smelled them, she realised she couldn’t eat. She threw the leaves because she was angry about how bad things were for her. The sacred Bilva leaves fell nearby and landed on a Shiv Ling.

The golden chariot pulled by Shiva’s helpers, the Shiva dootas, stopped, and the old, worn-out woman was given a new, shiny body. She sat in the golden charet and flew up into the heavens, shining like a god. The woman died soon after.

In her previous life, the woman lived a life of sin and debauchery, which made her miserable in this life. But she didn’t know it; she had fasted during Maha Shivratri at the holy place of Gokarna and put flowers on a Shiv Ling. This was enough to wash away the effects of her sins, and she was saved because of it.

History of Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple

The shrine has been around since the 4th century CE. King Mayurasharma of the Kadamba dynasty in Karnataka is thought to have built the first shrine. In the 1975 film Mayura, Dr Rajkumar gave King Mayurasharma a place in popular culture by making him the main character.

The famous Sri Mahabaleshwara Swami temple in Gokarna was built during the time of King Mayurasharma, who ruled from 345 to 365 CE. The first group of Kannadigas to rule the area we now call Karnataka was the Kadamba dynasty, which King Mayurasharma started. Later, changes and improvements were made to the shrine.

The Vijaynagar dynasty, which at first had its capital in Anegundiand and then in Hampi, did most of the work on the famous Sri Mahabaleshwara Swami Temple in Gokarna. From the 1400s to the 1700s, the Vijayanagara Empire was in charge.

People think that the famous Sri Mahabaleshwar Temple was also visited by the great Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji. Kalidasa, a famous poet and playwright who wrote in the Sanskrit language, also wrote about the holy land of Gokarna. His work, Raghuvamsha, written in the 5th century, talks about Gokarna.

The architecture of Gokarna Temple

If you like history and archaeology, you might feel like you’ve travelled back to that time. The Mahabaleshwar Temple was built in the 4th century CE when King Mayurasharma of the Kadamba Dynasty was in power. The shrine is made of granite and was built in the classical Dravidian style.

The Mahabaleshwar Temple in Gokarna is surrounded by Maha Ganapati temple, Thamira Gowri (Goddess Parvati), Chandikeswara, Aadi Gokarneswara, Gokarnanayagi, and Dattatreya. There is also a stone statue of Lord Shiva and a huge Atma Lingam inside the Shaligrama Peetha.

What is the significance of the Gokarna Temple?

The Atmalinga that is in the Gokarna Temple is what makes it important. Lord Shiva’s Atmalinga at the Gokarna temple is just as holy as the Jyotirlinga at the Kasi shrine.

In Karnataka, Gokarna is one of the five holy places where Lord Shiva is said to live. The architecture of the shrine is in the Dravidian style.

Inside the sanctum, the Atmalinga is in a square Saligrama Peetha with a small hole. From the hole, you can see the top of Atmalinga.

During the Ashtabandana Kumbhabhishekam, the whole Atmalinga can only be seen once every 40 years. Lord Shiva’s image in the shrine is 1500 years old.

Lord Mahabaleshwar Temple Darshan Timing (Pooja Time)

The Gokarna Temple is free to enter. You can go to the shrine every day from 6 am to 12:30 pm and from 5 pm to 8 pm. There are small Puja stands all over the shrine grounds where you can buy flowers, incense, and anything else you might need to pray to the Gods and Goddesses and show your respect.

RitualShrine Timing
Morning Darshan, Mangala Aarti, Udyana Bali6.00 AM to 12.30 PM
Evening Darshan, Sparsha Darshan5.00 AM to 8.00 PM
MahaPojoa Preparation12:30 PM to12:50 PM
Maha Naivedya, Maha Pooja, Bali PoojaThe devotees are allowed up to Nandi Mantap for Darshan12:50 PM to 2:00 PM
Shrine Closed2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Pooja, Sparsha Darshan5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Nityotsava, Maha Pooja, Bali8:30 PM

Festivals celebrated in Gokarna Temple

  • Maha Shivaratri
  • Ratha Sapthami
  • Tripurakhya Deepostava
  • Vijayadashami
  • Kadiru Haranotsava

Dress Code for Gokarna Temple

When going to the Gokarna temple, devotees should wear traditional clothes. Men and boys should only wear traditional bottoms like Pancha. So, don’t wear skirts and beach clothes to the shrine.

How to Reach Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna

Gokarna is easy to get to from Bangalore, Mangalore, Udupi, Goa, and other places by road, rail, and air.

By Air

The closest airport is in Mangalore. To get to Gokarna Temple from Mangalore, you can take a bus or hire a taxi.

By Rail

The closest train station is in Ankola (20 km). From Ankola to Gokarna Temple, you can take a bus or a taxi.

By Road

You can get to Gokarna Temple by bus from Bangalore, Mangalore, and other big cities in Karnataka.

Best time to visit the Mahabaleshwar Temple in Gokarna

October to February is the best time to visit the Gokarna Temple. The air isn’t as humid in the winter, and it’s a little cooler, so it’s a good time to pray at a shrine and go shopping, to the beach, or to other tourist spots.

During the busy summer and rainy seasons, it’s best to stay away. During the winter, the temperature can get as high as 32 degrees Celsius.

Location Map of Sri Mahabaleshwara Swami Temple Gokarna

The Gokarna Temple. It is on the Koti Teertha Road. It is close to where Gangavali and Agnashini, two important rivers in South India, meet. You can look at how the colours of the water change and swim in the river if you want to.

Nearest Facilities: Medical Store, ATM, Restaurant, Hotel

Nearest RestaurantNearest HotelNearest Medical StoreNearest ATM
Mahalakshmi Restaurant (92 m)Padmalaxmi Guest House (41 m)Vasudev Medical Stores (1.3 km)State Bank of India ATM (1.9 km)

Quick FAQ – Gokarna Temple

What are the other places to visit near Gokarna Temple?

Om Beach, Kudle Beach, Half Moon Beach, Paradise Beach,  Gokarna Beach, Mirjan Fort, Koti Tirtha, Nirvana Beach, Bhadrakali Temple, Baada Beach, Shiva Cave, Lalguli Falls, Mahalasa Temple, and many others.

How to reach Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple?

All of Karnataka’s big cities can get to Gokarna by train or by road. The closest airport is 150 km away in Dabolim, Goa. The Gokarna train station is 10 km away from the city’s centre. From Bangalore and Goa, you can also take a bus.

What is the significance of the Gokarna Mahabaleshwar Temple?

The beach at Gokarna and the Arabian Sea is in front of the temple. The Pranalinga, which is also called Atmalinga or Shiva Linga, is worshipped at the Shirin. Legend has it that the Shirin’s god will give huge blessings to anyone who worships there, even if they only catch a glimpse of it.

महाबलेश्वर मंदिर कितना पुराना है?

ऐसी मान्यता है कि भगवान शिव का जन्म एक गाय के कान से हुआ था और गंगावली और अघनाशिनी नदियों के संगम के पास के गाँव को इसके कारण गोकर्ण भी कहा जाता है। इस स्थान पर लोगों की बहुत आस्था है और यह महत्वपूर्ण तीर्थ स्थलों में से एक है। यहां कई मंदिर देखने लायक हैं।

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