Murdeshwar By The Sea

Murdeshwar is a lovely place to visit in any weather. Luxury buses ply overnight to Kundapur. And from there, it is a 70 km drive on the NH17, which runs alongside the Arabian sea . The relentless roaring breakers create a strange restlessness within. The waves are rough and angry as they pound the boulders lined up on the shore to prevent sea erosion. Sometimes they reach up to the road. Boards warn people to stay away from the water. But we must stop and feel the fury of the mighty sea against our feet. The waves wickedly beckon.

We pass through Marvanthe, where the river and sea flow on either side of the road, and then through Bhatkal “the little Dubai ” of South Kanara .

Murdeshwar is just a few kilometers ahead. It is a beautiful holiday spot by the sea. The imposing statue of Shiva on a dark foreboding hill, presides over the village, drawing worshippers and tourists to his feet. The monolith is so large, that it can be seen from the trains traveling on the Konkan Railway. One must climb a number of steps to reach the top. We saw a crippled middle-aged devotee painfully negotiating the steps, for Shiva’s blessings. There are other statues also built on the rock. There is a beautiful sculpture depicting the Geethopadesha incident. There is a temple at the base of the hill.

Murdeshwar has many guest rooms overlooking the sea. Here one can listen to the rhythm of the waves in all their glory, or observe the stormy windswept skies during the monsoon, or revel in beauty of a colorful sun-kissed horizon on a summer evening.

The restaurant juts into the sea, and is built on stone pillars. When the weather is good, boat rides on the sea make for adventure. The man who put Murdeshwar on the map, one R.N. Shetty, has also built a college and a hospital for the locals.

As we leave Murdeshwar with the sound of the sea in our ears, I am reminded of an old song which asks, “What are the wild waves saying…… all day long?”

As we travel back, there is one more stop we must make. Othinane is 35 kms, from Kundapur, and we stop at the Forest Beach Resort to watch the sunset. This is peacock country, and a bird obliges with a full-fledged dance of love. There are steps leading down to the sea, and we watch in awe as the red gold orb on the horizon, gradually sinks into the sea. The entire expanse of water is luminous with the colours of the setting sun. What an exhilarating week end!

Hindu Metroplus 19-10-2004


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