|237.5 feet tall Raja Gopura(temple entrance tower) adjoining the picturesque Murudeshwara beach|
Jog to Honnavar:
The route from Jog falls to Honnavara was amazing with lots of waterfalls on the road side and Sharavati River gracefully flowing alongside highway. There are many attractions on this highway, first being the Bangara kusuma waterfalls, visible from the highway itself. There is a trek route if anyone wants to reach the falls. We didn't have enough time to trek but I’m sure it will be an amazing experience to trek through the evergreen forest canopies. Further down the highway there is a Sharavati valley view point, from here the Sharavati River can be seen flowing in the midst of the dense tropical forest covered hills.
Further on the highway after crossing the gerusoppa cross and before Upponi, there is a hanging bridge built over the Sharavati River. It was raining here and walking through the hanging bridge with umbrella in hand, it was a like a typical karavali (coastal) Karnataka experience.
|Sharavati river near Upponi|
|Sharavathi hanging bridge near Upponi|
We decided to take a left turn at Honnavara towards Murudeshwara, passing through the long bridge over Sharavati River.
|Islands formed by Sharavathi river, Honnavar|
It was about ten years back I visited Murudeshwara temple, at present day it has lost much of its old charm with fish market near the temple entrance and lot of petty shops on the main road.
The massive Raja Gopura along with the colossal statue of Lord Shiva makes it a photo perfect spot.
|The massive Raja Gopura along with the colossal statue of Lord Shiva|
The 237.5 feet tall Raja Gopura is the tallest temple tower in all of Asia and the 123 feet Shiva statue is the second tallest Shiva statue in the world.
|Second tallest Shiva statue(123 ft) in the world|
After visiting the temple we started to climb the small hillock to visit the artificial cave temple and museum upon which the Lord Shiva statue resides.
|Ravana and Shiva, Murudeshwara museum|
The hillock is surrounded by the sea with 360 degree picturesque views.
If you're looking for a decent restaurant near the temple then check out for Indra Prasta or hotel Naveen to get a view of the sea.
Kasarkod Eco Beach:
Roughly 25km drive en route for Honnavara took us to Eco beach of Kasarkod, the beach was beautiful and clean like most of the beaches in Karnataka and was deserted too. Though the tides were a little high we could enjoy sitting by the shoreline enjoying the views and playing in the sand.
|Deserted Kasarkod Eco beach|