• Shiva

Mahabaleswarar Temple


The Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna is a Hindu temple situated in Gokarna , a Hindu religious journey focus in Uttara Kannada locale in the Indian state of Karnataka. A (Pranalinga is characterized as "the truth of God which can be caught by the brain." Otherwise called Atmalinga or Shiva Linga is revered in the temple, which is confronting the city shoreline of the Arabian Sea in Gokarna. The Shiva Linga has an aged legend. It is said to offer huge endowments to enthusiasts who even impression it. The temple is considered as devout as the Shiva temple at Varanasi or Kashi in North India on the banks of the Ganges River and thus is known as the Dakshin Kasi (South Kasi). As indicated by the legend, the Atmalinga was perforce put at Gokarna, in the temple regions where it is currently idolized, by Ravana, the devil King of Lanka of epic Ramayana distinction when he conveyed it from Mount Kailash in the Himalayas.

The temple is located on the shores of the Karwar coast of the Arabian Sea in a green environment in the holy town of Gokarna, also spelt Gokarn, on the West Coast of India in Uttara Kannada or North Kannada district. Gokarna lies between the Gangavali and Aganashini rivers. Vijayanagara Emperor visited the temple and weighed himself in gold here. In 1665, Shivaji, after disbanding his army here, worshipped at the temple. In 1676, Fryer, the English traveller visited the place during Shivaratri festival and has written in detail about the festival at the temple. The religious practices observed by most devotees, who are accompanied by their priests, consists of first tonsuring ceremony, fasting and taking a bath in the Arabian Sea, opposite to the temple. Then, they pay obeisance to lord Ganesha (the elephant headed god) defied in the Shri Maha Ganapathi Temple, which is a few yards away from the Mahabaleshwar Temple. After observing all these religious procedures, devotees visit the main shrine of Mahabaleshwar for a darshan, with the fervent prayer that such a formal viewing of god would wash all their sins and usher prosperity in their lives. Shivaratri festival, observance of the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is celebrated in the temple town in February, when a very large number of pilgrims visit the shrine. During this festival, Rathyatra (Rath is a large wooden chariot) is also held when images of Shiva and other deities are installed in the chariot and it is then ceremonially pulled through the town by devotees, accompanied by the drum bands. The Rathayatra starts from the Shri Maha Ganapati Temple at the terminus of the main market street, also known as the 'Car Street'. Other places to visit at Gokarna,Tamra Gowri shrine, Ganapathi Temple, Chandikeswara, Aadi Gokarneshwara, Dattatreya and Koti theertha.

About the Temple

The temple, manufactured in an established Dravidian style of building design, was initially built by Mayurasharma of the Kadamba tradition, who ruled between 345 – 365. This ruler needed to pick up information of the Vedic customs and the Ashwamedha Yagna (a stallion conciliatory custom), so he set out to Kanchipuram, a noteworthy learning focus, however on coming to there, was offended by a horseman protect and furious, he vowed to overcome the Pallava tradition (the then controlling line). Taking after their thrashing, the ruler requested that a couple of ministers perform an every day yagna to keep up his suzerainty over the locale. His child, King Kangavarman brought more Brahmin families from distinctive ancestries to keep up organization at the temple. Kalidasa notice the "Master of Gokarna" in his Raghuvamsha of the fourth century.

The Gokarnam holy place is one of the Paadal Petra Sthalams of the seventh century Tevaram ordinance. Visvesvaraya of Halasunadu-Kundapura constructed the Chandrasala and Nandi structures when Queen Chennammaji and her child Soma sekharanayaka were administering Keladi (1653-1671). The temple is a substantial complex of places of worship and a lot of it has a place with the later Vijayanagara period. In 1665, Shivaji came here to revere the deity. The temple built in Dravidian architectural style, with granite stones, has the Atmalinga enshrined in it on a "square Saligrama Peetha" (pedestal). It has a small hole at its centre from where devotees can see the top of the Atmalinga. The deity, a carved stone image of Lord Shiva, is also deified here in a standing position and has two arms, and is said to be 1500 years old.

Legend and Stories

Ancient legend of the temple as described connections Ravana of Ramayana popularity, the evil spirit ruler of Lanka, not just to the Shiva Linga idolized in the Mahabaleshwar Temple additionally to the Bhadra Kali temple here. The legend likewise gives the thinking to the naming of the Gokarna town. Ravana's mom, a staunch enthusiast of Lord Shiva, was venerating a Shiva Linga to convey thriving to her child. Indra , the Lord of Heaven, who was envious of this worship, stole the Shiva Linga and discarded it into the Sea. The troubled mother of Ravana went on an appetite strike as her reverential worship of Shiva was upset. Ravana then guaranteed his mom that he would go to Mount Kailash, the habitation Lord Shiva, and bring the fundamental Atmalinga itself for her worship. Ravana then performed serious atonement at Mount Kailash to please Lord Shiva furthermore sang, in his sweet voice, commendations of Shiva ( Shiva Tandava Stotram ). He even slashed his own head, and made a harp with strings drawn from his skin and digestive tract. Shiva satisfied with this reverential worship consented to present aids to Ravana. Ravana, satisfied with the guarantee of Shiva, requested the Atmalinga furthermore a wife for himself, as beautiful as Uma (mother of creation), Shiva's wife. Shiva then took out the Atma Linga , brilliantly sparkling like the Sun, from his own heart and offered it to Ravana with strict guidelines that it ought not be set on ground till it was revered at a last destination. As respects the second demand for a delightful wife, Shiva offered his own wife to Ravana, as in his perspective there was no other lady lovelier than Uma, his wife.

Ravana, blinded by his fixation for Uma, acknowledged her and stole her away on his shoulder alongside the Atmalinga. He went south towards his kingdom. This made a caution and apprehension among the different divine beings in paradise. Ganesha , Skanda (warrior god) and Virabhadra , children of Shiva and Parvati were irritated. Nandi , the bull was just as shocked by this improvement. Every one of them spoke to Shiva for change from this outlandish circumstance. Shiva let them know not stress and guaranteed that Lord Vishnu would recover the circumstance. Uma, who was requested by Shiva to go with Ravana, then spoke to Lord Vishnu for help. Vishnu concurred and he met Ravana at Gokarna, masked as a matured, fragile looking Brahmin. The Brahmin asked Ravana with reference to how he was conveying such an exquisite lady on his shoulders. Ravana, in his eagerness, clarified that Shiva of Kailash himself had offered her to him. Satisfied with the Brahmin's expressions of recognition, Ravana brought her down to observe her enchanting face. This was his demise as right then and there, Vishnu played a trap and made Uma look run down, matured and unpleasant. The Brahmin then gave a mocking chuckle and made an embarrassing comment of Ravana's decision of the woman. In this manner embarrassed, Ravana betrayed Uma and retreated to Kailash to gripe and beg Shiva. Vishnu then requested that Uma settle down at Gokarna. Presently, she is adored in Gokarna, as Mother Bhadrakali.

At that point Vishnu made a fantasy of an enchanting young lady before Ravana and guaranteed him that this young lady would be conceived as Mandodari , little girl of Mayasura and wed him. Placated by this guarantee, Ravana returned conveying the Atmalinga. In transit, he met Ganesha in the attire of a cowherd (by the solicitation of ruler indra) at the same area where he had forsaken Uma. Right then and there Ravana needed critically to go to the call of nature and he, in this manner, asked for Ganesha to grasp the Atmalinga till he returned after ablutions. There is another rendition to the legend as of right now. It is said that Ravana, being a Brahmin needed to offer his night religious supplications to God, Sandhyavandanam , and he, in this manner, asked for Ganesha, who showed up before him as a Brahmin kid, to clutch the Atmalinga till he returned; with strict guidelines to Ganesha not to place it on the ground under any condition. On the other hand, Ravana couldn't draw near the predefined time. Ganesha got out thrice quickly for Ravana. Indeed, even before Ravana could return, Ganesha set the Atmalinga on the ground, deceived Ravana and vanished from the scene with his cows. Ravana then pursued the main dairy animals, which was going underground. In any case, he figured out how to get hold of the cow's ear just, as whatever is left of cow's body had vanished subterranean. It is this ear now found in a petrified structure, which has given the name "Gokarna" to the spot, signifying "Dairy animals' ear." (in Sanskrit "Gow" signifies "bovine" and "karna" signifies "ear"). Then, Ravana made a decent attempt to lift the Shiv Linga however fizzled as it was solidly settled. Ravana had even blacked out; from there on he gave the name Mahabaleshwar (importance all-intense) to the Atmalinga . Thus, as indicated by the legend portrayed, the spot now gloats of three heavenly substances to be specific: Gokarna, the dairy animals' ear; the Atmalinga or Shiva Linga that is revered in the Mahabaleshwar Temple; and the Goddess Bhadrakali, which are all now celestial spots of worship indispensable to Gokarna.


Nine day Mahasivarathri, and Tripuradhahana festival in Karthikai (November-December) on the Poornima-full moon day are the festivals celebrated in the temple.

Prasad and Offering

As the Lord is in the form of mount as in Kailash and the Goddess in the form of River, it is believed that She flows here as a river. The mount and the river are adjacent to each other here. Girivalam is very famous in places where Lord Shiva is in hill form. Here, Girivalam is not possible due to the river flowing. This is a salvation sthala. Devotees offer Sari (Vastra) and perform abishek to the mother on realizing their prayers.


The Lord in this temple is in the form of a Mountain. The Goddess is in the form of a River. Legend has it that the Goddess flows here as a river. The Mountain and the River are adjacent to each other. Girivalam is a famous place, especially because Lord Shiva is in the form of a Hill. This temple is known as a salvation sthalam. Lord Shiva is a swayambu, and the Goddess is known as Tambra Gouri. People approach this temple with prayers seeking to be married, and the devotees offer Saris and do abishekas to the mother on realizing their prayers.


Gokarna is located in Karnataka just a few hours from Goa and Bangalore. Although it does not have an airport, it is well-connected by road to all major cities.


Dabolim airport in Goa is the nearest airport about 140 km away. The airport is well connected by flights to Indian and international cities. From the airport, taxi services are available.


The nearest railway station is at Ankola, about 20 km from Gokarna. Trains from several cities including Mangalore, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, Veraval halt at the station. From the station, taxi services are available for Gokarna.


Gokarna is well connected by road. KSRTC buses do ply regularly from Bengaluru, Mangalore, Hubli, other cities of Karnataka. One can also board a bus from Madgaon and other cities of Goa for Gokarna. Gokarna is just 10 km off the NH 17 connecting Mumbai to Kochi. Buses, including AC luxury, ply regularly between both the cities.

Temple Address

Sri Mahabaleswarar Temple,


Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-

  • Salvation
  • Marriage

Aum Trayambakam Yajaamahey Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaath Mrutyor Muksheeya Maamritaat

Meaning -We worship the fragrant Lord Shiva, who has 3 eyes and who cultivates all beings. May He free me from death, for immortality, as even a cucumber is separated from its bond with the vine.

Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli Phaneendra Maathaa Mukutee Zalaalee Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree

Meaning -Oh Lord Shiva who is seated on Mount Kailash, where the moon decorates his forehead and the king of serpents crown his head, who is merciful and removes delusion, You alone can protect me. I surrender to thee.


6.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

Weather in Gokarnam
Scattered Clouds
13° 15°