Sunday 30 April 2017


Among the temples of Lord Shiva, the only temple with ATHMA LINGA is present at GOKARNA on the Arabian Sea Coast in Karnataka State of India. The temple is famously known as MAHABALESHWAR TEMPLE. The Shiva Linga is facing towards the Sea and is pious Hence it is known as Dakshin Kashi.

Architecture of Temple: Dravidian Style.

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Demon king RAVANA’s Mother is a great devotee of Lord Shiva. She was worshipping a Shiva Linga to bring prosperity to her son. 

The Lord of heaven, Indra who loses his war to RAVANA feels jealous of this worship. Steals the worshipped Shiva Linga and throws away in the sea. Mother of RAVANA says the happened thing to her son and asks to get the ATHMA LINGA of Lord Shiva. 

RAVANA performs a deep penance for the sake of ATHMA LINGA at MOUNT KAILASH to please Lord Shiva. Indra, the heaven king who knows that if RAVANA attains ATHMA LINGA, Lanka (His Kingdom) will never be conquered approaches to Lord Vishnu with the help of NARADA and pleads him for help. Lord Vishnu promises his help to them.

RAVANA completes his penance and Lord Shiva appears before him along with Goddess Parvathi his consort. When Lord Shiva asks RAVANA about his wish, he asks Goddess Parvathi as wife instead of ATHMA LINGA. This is because of his mind changed by Lord Vishnu. Lord Shiva gives away his wife and RAVANA takes her to LANKA. On the way to LANKA who ever sees RAVANA with Goddess Parvathi gets afraid as goddess doesn’t look like a beautiful lady but looks like KALIKA DEVI to everyone.
RAVANA’s mother who came to know that her son has brought Goddess Parvathi as wife scolds her son and asks to send her back to KAILASH. RAVANA on the saying of NARADA thinks SHIVA has not given the real PARAVATHI ignores his mother. He goes to PATHALA and marries MANDODARI thinking as Parvathi. Later RAVANA realizing the plot done against him through his mother, goes back to KAILASH to perform penance again. LORD SHIVA who was angry with RAVANA for his earlier boon didn’t accept his Penance this time. RAVANA in anger tries to lift MOUNT KAILASH, when Lord Shiva makes him fail in it. He regrets for his doing and decides to give away his life.
Demon King RAVANA, Chops his one of the ten heads. He made a harp with threads drawn from his skin and Intestine. Lord Shiva pleased with the devotional worship appears before RAVANA and firstly gives his life back. RAVANA as a boon asks for the ATHMA LINGA of Lord SHIVA which was given by the mighty lord. Lord instructs RAVANA not to place ATHMA LINGA on ground till it was defied at the final destination. If it was placed, all the powers would return to Lord Shiva again.
RAVANA starts his journey to LANKA and was nearing Gokarna. Lord Vishnu blots the sun and give the appearance of dusk. RAVANA to perform rituals of evening worries about the ATHMA LINGA in his hands. Lord Ganesh, comes in the form of a Brahmin boy. RAVANA asks the Brahmin boys help. When Lord Ganesh makes a deal with him saying, “ I would call thrice, if you have not returned in time. I would place the LINGA on ground.”
Lord Ganesh, in the form of Brahmin boy places the ATHMA LINGA on ground at Gokarna before Ravana could complete his evening rituals. Lord Vishnu removes the appearance of dusk and the daylight comes back. RAVANA realizing that he is tricked beats the Brahmin boy when NARADA stops him to look at the LINGA first. RAVANA tries to pluck the ATHMA LINGA from earth with all the strength he got and fails. While exerting such great pressure some pieces broke from the LINGA and has fallen in different places.

a.       A piece from head is said to be fallen at the Surathkal.
b.      The covering of ATHMA Linga has fallen at Sajjeshwara.
c.       The lid of the case is thrown to a place called Guneshwara ( called Gunavanthe) and Dhareshwara.
d.      The cloth covering the ATHMA LINGA to MURUDESHWARA in Kanduka Hill which is earlier known as Mrideshwara.

The ATHMA LINGA was exerted with more pressure from RAVANA and finally he fails. As he fails for this strength, it is known as MAHABALESHWAR. The LINGA takes the form of an cow ear finally and hence the name came as Gokarna which means COW-EAR.

Other temples:

A Granite image of Lord Vignesha who deceived RAVANA a temple is built in this area. The statue is 5 foot and on top of head there is a hole which is stated to be a mark of a violent blow conjectured to have been inflicted by RAVANA. The temple is well known as SIDDHA GANAPATHI.


This is a secret cave which shows the way to KASHI for the sages who did penance. It is still visited by SAGES and used as a resting place.


It’s a man-made place for having ritual bath. The Pond is well constructed with temples around and a small platform in center.


Like GOA, GOKARNA also is visited by most of the foreigners and have many hidden places to live. There are famous and safe beaches all around this place.

My experience is rare and just like as in KASHI VISHWESWARA TEMPLE, I have touched the MAHA LINGA. I performed RUDRABHISHEKHA inside the temple and has done the ABHISHEKHA directly to the SHIVA LINGA with NAVADHANYA. This is not as a shortcut we usually see at the temples, this is permitted to all pilgrims with a fee structure.  


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