Shri Murdeshwara Deva Temple is an ancient temple which traces its roots to the Mahabaleshwara Temple in Gokarna. Right on the side of the Murdeshwar Beach, the temple is made into a landmark with a Shiv statue – the tallest in all of India!
Lord Shiva idol in the temple is 123 feet tall with four hands in a sitting form. This is the second tallest Shiva idol in the world.
Ravana undertook a penance in Kailash to get a Prana Linga from Lord Shiva. If Ravana succeeded in getting the Linga, Devas would lose their authority, said Sage Naradha to Indira. Before Indira reached Lord Shiva, Ravana received the Linga from Lord Shiva on the condition that It should not be placed on ground till he reached Lanka. If so placed on the ground, it could not be taken back again.
Lord Vishnu decided to seize the Linga from Ravana. Lord Vishnu knows that Ravana would never miss the evening worship – Sandhyavandhana. He placed His discus between earth and heaven causing darkness. Ravana had to perform the Sandhyavandhana then. Lord Vinayaka incidentally came to the place in the guise of Brahmmachari-celebate. Ravana requested Him to keep the Linga in His hands till he returned from his evening worship. Vinayaka accepted to oblige Ravana on condition that He would call him thrice if the weight was heavy for Him to bear and would drop it down if Ravana did not respond. Ravana accepted the condition. The Devas applied weight of the three worlds on the Prana Linga. Lord Ganapathi called Ravana thrice. As he was deep in his worship, Ganapathi placed the Linga on the ground as it was too heavy for Him to keep on hand. Angry Ravana lost the Linga but could only hit the head of Vinayaka. When he tried to shake and take the Prana Linga with all the might of his 20 hands, the Linga broke into four pieces. One fell at Patkal. Lord Murdeswarar Temple came into being in this place.