Murdeshwara and Maravante beach
We were in our hometown for Deepavali vacation and after Deepavali, we had some more spare days to spend with family. What is the best way to spend quality time with family other than going on a good road trip? The plan was already ready as my parents haven’t visited Sirsi yet and we both were quite sure that they are gonna love the place. Having just 2 days to spend and a lot of places to cover as usual we started this memorable road trip to Uttara Kannada visiting Murdeshwara and Maravante beach on the way.
Booking the stay
We should confess here that we didn’t plan this trip well ahead and booked the stay at Sirsi. And we had to pay a price for that. Being a long weekend we tried to book few hotels at Sirsi like Hotel Madhuvana, Samrat, and Panchavati. None of them were ready to book the room in advance and some acknowledged that they are completely booked. And then we tried the nightmarish Oyo rooms service. We previously had many bad experiences with OYO but this time without having any other option we were forced to book the room through their service.
Hotel Alekha Gateway was listed under Oyo and we booked the hotel for the required date. The booking process went through seamlessly and got the acknowledgment from Oyo that rooms were booked successfully. Just on the previous evening of our trip, this Hotel staff called us to inform us that our booking is canceled and we should look out for some other stay. It was evident that the Hotel Alekha Gateway management was acting greedy as they were trying to bag the opportunity of the long weekend for the higher price than OYO offered by canceling pre-bookings and allowing only on the spot booking by exorbitant charges. On another note, we were relieved to get rid of this unethical and unprofessional hotel. Having no other hotels to book in Sirsi we finally planned for Hotel Mahalakshmi comforts at Kumta and modified our trip plan accordingly.
We started from our home at Brahmavara in the morning at around 7 Am and drove towards Kundapura. Plan for the Day 1 was to visit Maranavte Beach, Murudeshwara temple, and Mirajan fort before checking in to the hotel Mahalaxmi comforts at Kumta where we had booked our stay for the trip. Since we started early we stopped for breakfast at NR’s Nandini Pure Veg restaurant. This place is a good option for vegetarians around Kundapura. It has good parking space, good service and close to the highway. After 40 mins we were back on the road and by 8:30 am we were at the shores of Maravate beach.
Maravante beach is 16 km from Kundapura and 50 km from Udupi. This beach is one of the cleanest and beautiful beaches in Karnataka. This beach is spread along the highway NH 66 for around a km and offers a spectacular view for the travelers passing by. Yet another unique feature of this place is that while one can see the beach on one side of the highway, the river Sauparnika flows on another side. Souparnika river flows from Kollur and joins the Arabian sea at Kodi.
After enjoying the sea breeze for some time, we continued towards Murdeshwara. Murdeshwara is 50 km from Maravante and it takes around 1 hour to reach the destination. When we visited, the connecting road near the temple was in bad shape. Murudeshwara temple has sufficient parking space. and the huge Shiva statue and the tall tower in front of the temple welcomes you with a magnificent view. We decided to go to the top of the tower after having Darshana. This temple is generally not very crowded and few ascending steps will take to the main door of the temple. Open space near the temple door has a spectacular view of the Arabian seashore with hundreds of colorful fishing boats parked at the bay. Temple interior is also maintained very clean.
Rajagopura of Murdeshwara
After having Darshan we headed towards the base of the world’s tallest temple tower also called Rajagopura situated in front of the temple. This tower was completed in the year 2008. The height of the tower is 76m. Rajagopura has 18 floors and one can reach the top floor by lift. The ticket to use this lift is just 10₹ per person. Without waiting for much we boarded the lift and reached the top of the tower. The 18th-floor hall has few small windows which provide the best of the best views of Murudeshwara in all directions. How much we wished those windows to be a bit bigger so that visitors can comfortably enjoy the view without having to compete for the front spot near the small windows. After spending around 15 to 20 mins we returned to the base of the tower.
Bhukailasa cave museum
Now the last thing left out to explore here was the Bhukailasa cave museum – an artificial cave under the world’s largest Shiva statue present right behind the main temple. This place is situated on elevated ground and you need to climb a few steps to reach the place. You can also opt to take the vehicle to the upper level from the initial parking lot. there is no separate parking fee for this. You need to collect the entry ticket at the counter by paying a nominal fee of 10₹ per person to enter the cave museum.
Inside this air-conditioned cave museum, you will find very well sculpted life-sized images of mythological figures depicting the story behind the formation of this holy place. The story can be heard in the background through speakers. Workmanship constructing these statues are really appreciable. We spent around 30 mins within the cave.
A sea-view restaurant here located at the shore of the temple provides a good view of the Murudeshwara beach with moderately tasty food. Having a tightly packed schedule we didn’t stop here and proceeded north towards Kumta for our next destination.
Live The Experience!
Watching the place yourself is the best way to experience.
Udupi = 100 km
Mangalore = 160 km
Gokarna = 78 km
Kumta = 47km
Time Spent: 1.5 hr