March 16, 2011

Tallest Gopuram (Tower) in Murudeswar temple Karnataka

The famous Murudeshwar Temple in Uttara Kannada District of Karnataka now possesses at 249-feet Raja Gopura. The Murudeswar temple complex is renowned for the tallest idol of Lord Shiva in the world, which is 123 feet. The latest addition to the temple is the Rajagopuram, which was opened on April 12, 2008. And is it the tallest the tallest Hindu Temple Gopuram in the World?
Newspaper reports indicate that the Rajagopura of Murudeshwar Temple is the tallest in Asia. Earlier it was the 236-feet Rajagopuram of the Sri Ranganatha temple at Srirangam.

But strangely several websites and newspapers are claiming it only to be the tallest in Asia. For more comparison, Qutub Minar another tallest structure in the world is 237.8 ft.

If Gopuram can be considered as a unique ornate structure associated with Hindu Temples, then the Gopura of Murudeshwar Temple in Karnataka should be the tallest in the world. This is when considering that some of the largest Hindu temples in the world are in Asia, especially Angor Wat in Cambodia.

The Rajagopuram of Murudeswar Temple has 21 floors, including the ground floor. The base measures 105 feet in length and 51 feet breadth. The gopura also possess a lift and visitors can go to the top and have an aerial view of the Arabian Sea and the statue of Lord Shiva. Another highlight is the life-size statues of two elephants at the base of the gopura.
Interestingly, the Murudeshwar Temple is maintained by the R.N. Shetty Group of Companies.

Murudeshwar is located along the Arabian Sea Coast and is around 70 km south of Gokarna and around 180 km north of Mangalore. Murudeshwar is 1 km off NH17 and Murudeshwar Railway Station is on the Konkan Rail.