At a distance of 162 km from Mangalore lies Murudeshwara, bounded by the Arabian Sea and Western Ghats. It is in the Bhatkal Taluk of Uttar Kannada district in the state of Karnataka. This is a famous pilgrimage site in South India, being considered as the abode of Lord Shiva. Murudeshwara is famous for its Shiva statue, which is 123 feet high and considered as the second tallest statue of Shiva in the world after the Kailashnath Mahadev Statue in Nepal. Equally famous is the 249 feet temple tower of Murudeshwara temple which is visible from great distances.
According to the legend Ravana brought the Atma Lingam from Mount Kailash. Lord Ganesha using his trick fooled Ravana on his way to Lanka and put down the Linga on the ground at Gokarna. Angered by this Ravana tried to uproot and destroy the Linga. The broken pieces of the linga were cast away. The covering cloth of the lingam fell at Kanduka Giri and the Murudeshwara temple was built at the site.
The temple, tower and the statue are built on the Kanduka Hill which is surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Arabian Sea. A lift is installed for the convenience of pilgrims and tourists to reach the top of the 249 feet high tower, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding sea, the fishing village and the huge Shiva statue. One can see the shore line for many kilometers from the top of the tower.
Two life-sized elephants in concrete stand guard at the entrance of the tower. There are also few scenes from the Bhagavat Gita and Puranas that are enacted in tableaus in the complex.