The Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna is a 4th-century CE Hindu temple located in Gokarna, Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka state, India which is built in the classical Dravidian architectural style. It is a site of religious pilgrimage. The temple faces the Karwar city beach on the Arabian Sea in which Hindu pilgrims cleanse before visiting the temple for worship. The temple is considered as holy as the Shiva temple at Varanasi or Kāśi in North India on the banks of the Ganges River. Hence, the Mahabaleshwar temple, Gokarna is known as the Dakshin Kasi. The temple deifies the Pranalinga also called Atmalinga or Shiva Linga In legend, it is said that the deity of the temple will bestow immense blessings to devotees, even to those who only glimpse it. Currently the administrative charge of the temple is with Sri Ramachandrapura Mutt, as per the guidance of Adiguru Shankaracharya during the establishment of the Matha.
Mahabaleshwar Temple is one of the most popular attractions of Uttara Kannada District. It is popular among devotees due to a Shiva Linga present here, otherwise known as Pranalinga or Atmalinga. This religious site is deemed to be as holy as the Shiva Temples of Kashi or Varanasi and is counted among the seven sacred Muktikshetras. Devotees who plan a visit to Mahabaleshwar Temple take a dip in the Arabian Sea before visiting the site. This structure represents the Dravidian architectural style and has been constructed using white granite stones.
Upon reaching the temple, tourists will notice that the Shiva Linga is placed in a square Saligrama Peetha with a hole in the middle. This central hole enables devotees to easily view the top of the Shiva Linga. Apart from this Shiva Linga, the temple also has a 1500 year old carved stone figure of Lord Shiva. People belonging to Hindu religion pay a visit to this temple in order to carry out the final rituals of their deceased relatives. It is said that devotees who catch a glimpse of the linga are showered with blessings. Mahabaleshwar Temple is thronged by hundreds of devotees during the occasion of Shivarathri.