Gokarna temple, Karnataka

Important information

  • Location: Koti Teertha Rd, Kotiteertha, Dandebagh, Gokarna, Karnataka 581326
  • Festivals: Maha Shivratri For Other Festival Detail Click here
  • Main Deity: Lord Shiva For Other Deity Detail Click here
  • Languages: English & Hindi
  • Darshan Timings: 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Best Season To Visit: All
  • Contact Number: +918386257956
  • How To Reach

Mahabaleshwara Temple is located in Gokarna, Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. It is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and The Mahabaleshwar Temple has Atma Linga of Lord Shiva is about 6 feet under the ground and devotees can touch only the top of Linga which is like the shape of a cow’s ear. Mahabaleshwara Temple is considered to be among five important Shiva temples in India and devotees need to be shirtless to enter the Garbha to perform Puja and Abhishek.


Legend has it that Ravana’s mother desired to worship the Atma Linga and after a long penance, Ravana was successful in getting the Atmalinga from Lord Shiva. He had warned Ravana that it had to be taken house by walk, and in failing to do so, it will be lodged forever at the place where it is kept. When Lord Vishnu discovered this, he together with all the goddesses and gods, encouraged Lord Ganesha to avoid Ravana from becoming all-powerful. Ganesha took the form of a young boy and reached Gokarna. As evening fell, Ravana went to do Sandhyavandhana offering the Shiva linga to the boy.

If Ravana did not react after calling him thrice Ganesha would place the linga on the ground, they had made an agreement that. Accordingly, when Ravana did not respond to the 3rd time (while doing the rites), Ganesha kept the Shiva linga on the ground. On returning, Ravana attempted raising the statue, however, it was of no avail. He then called the linga Mahabala or supreme strength. Therefore Lord Shiva is also referred to as Mahabaleshwar. The temple which houses this Shiva linga is considered as Mahabaleshwara Temple.


The Mahabaleshwar Temple has Atma Linga of Lord Shiva is about 6 feet under the ground and devotees can touch only the top of Linga which is like the shape of a cow’s ear. devotees need to be shirtless to enter the Garbha to perform Puja and Abhishek.


The temple is constructed of granite in the Dravidian architectural style. The Atmalinga is enshrined in the temple on a square Saligrama Peetha (pedestal). The pedestal has a small hole at its center from where devotees can see the top of the Atmalinga. Foreigners, consisting of practicing Hindus of non-Indian (Western) origin are not permitted to enter the sanctum-sanctorum and see the Shivalinga.


Ravana gave the name “Mahabaleshwar” (meaning all-powerful) to the Atmalinga. the place now boasts of three divine entities namely: Gokarna, the cow’s ear; the Atmalinga or Shiva Linga that is deified in the Mahabaleshwar Temple; and the Goddess Bhadrakali, which are all now divine places of worship integral to Gokarna


The Shivaratri festival, the observance of the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is commemorated in Gokarna in February when an incredibly large amount of pilgrims visit the shrine. During the celebration, a Rath Yatra (a procession in a big wood chariot) is held. Pictures of Shiva and other deities are installed in a chariot which is ceremoniously pulled through the town by the devotees, accompanied by drum bands. The Ratha Yatra begins with the Shri Maha Ganapati temple at the terminus of the main market street, also considered as “Car Street”.

Nearby Attractions

  • Maha Ganapati Temple,
  • Uma Maheshwara Temple
  • Bharakali Temple,
  • Venkataramana Temple
  • Tamra Gauri Temple.

How to Reach

  • By Air: 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.
  • By Train: 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.
  • By Road: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 Timings

Darshan Timing

Morning TimingAfternoon TimingEvening Timing
06:00 AM to 12:00 PM12:50 to 02:00 PM05:00 PM to 08.30 PM

Aarti, Bhog and Pooja Timing

Aarti, Bhog, and PoojaTiming
Mangala Aarti, Udyana Bali, Pooja Start 06:00 AM
Pooja, Sparsha Darshan ends12:30 PM
MahaPojoa,Maha Naivedya, Bali Pooja12:30 PM – 12:50 PM
Nandi Mantap 12:50 PM – 2:00 PM
Temple remains closed2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Temple reopens5:00 PM
Nityotsava, Maha Pooja, Bali08:30 PM

Temple Video and Images

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