Murudeshwar Temple Now Tallest Gopuram in Asia
Pics: Sahil Online
Murudeshwar, Apr 14: The Murudeshwar temple has another feather to its cap now. It can now boast of having the tallest temple gopuram in Asia with the magnificent Arabian Sea in the backdrop. D Veerendra Heggade, dharmadhikari of Dharmasthala, inaugurated the gopuram on Saturday.
The rajagopuram is 249-feet tall and is taller than the 243-feet gopuram of Sriranganath Swami temple, Srirangam, Trichi and 239-feet long gopuram of Brihadeshwara temple at Tanjore.
Heggade lauding the dedication and efforts of R N Shetty, builder of the Murudeshwar temple, said the new rajagoupram is an excellent blend of incredible beauty, magnificence and devotion.
Raghaveshwara Bharthi blessing the occasion said the Murudeshwar temple is not a mere rajagopuram, but is the raja of gopurams. He advised the state government and muzrai department to take a lesson or two from Shetty on managing temples.
The brain behind the tallest gopuram, Shetty, managing trustee and founder of Murudeshwar temple town, said the rajagopuram has 21 floors, including the ground floor. This is the only gopuram which has a lift and devotees can go right to the top. The base measures 105 feet in length and 51 feet breadth.
The construction began in 1990. In 1998, the second phase began and has been completed now. Shetty plans to have museums on all the 21 floors so that the gopuram will cater to the needs of not just devotees but also others who are interested in art, culture and history. The magnificent 123-feet long statue of Lord Shiva in the backdrop lends the gopuram a majestic look. Shetty said the Rajagopuram was built under the guidance of Tamil sculptor S K Achar who built “Vivekanada Rock” in Kanyakumari along with his sons Dakshinamurthy and Swaminathan and a big team of 500 Tanjore-based sculptors. Also present on the occasion were Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swami, seer of Ramachandrapura Mutt of Hosanagara and Sadhyojatha Shanakarasharma Swami of Chitrapura Mutt, Shirali.
Karnataka Lok Ayukta Justice Santosh Hegde, Nitte Education Trust chairman Vinay Hegde, NRI buisness tycoon B R Shetty were present.