Mahaganapati Temple is a humble and unassuming temple but its size belies its importance for its devotees. Lord Ganesha is the presiding deity and his idol faces westwards towards the ocean. There is always a long queue of devotees outside which means that one can finish the pradakshina (circumambulation) in about ten minutes and head over to the Mahabaleshwar Temple, located towards the east. Remember to remove your socks as the temple authorities consider them to be footwear and it can hurt the sentiments of the local worshippers and pundits.

Legend has it that Ravana was successful in removing the atma-lingam (a divine lingam) from Mount Kailash and was taking it with him to Lanka. The gods did not want this journey to be successful and hence pleaded with Lord Ganesha to intervene and save the day. Lord Ganesha knew that wherever the atma-lingam would be lowered to the ground, that spot would become its final resting place on earth. He approached Ravana in the guise of a shepherd when he was crossing Gokarna and tricked him into placing the lingam there. This is why Lord Ganesha is worshipped before the lingam.

Other Attractions In Gokarna