The Government is spending crores of rupees every year to develop tourism in Karwar. But the Shejeshwara Temple, an important place which could attract a large number of tourists, is being neglected.
The temple is situated at Shejwad village on the outskirts of Karwar.
According to Narayan Shet, a localite, the temple is sacred and has been mentioned in the Ramayana . The story is thus; Ravan brings Atmalinga from Lord Shiva after performing the great penance. On his way back to the kingdom, he had to perform the “Sandhya vandana” in Gokarna. Lord Ganapati then comes there as a nomadic and takes the linga on the condition that Ravan should take it back once he calls him. Ravan, who was worshiping Lord Shiva, fails to keep his promise and hence Lord Ganapati puts down the Linga which Ravan could not lift. Frustrated, Ravan tries to pull out the Atmalinga from earth but in vein. He then breaks the linga into four pieces and throws them in four directions. They are Murudeshwar, Dhareshwara, Gunavanteshwara, and Shejeshwara. The original part of the Linga remains in Gokarna and is famous as the Gokarna Mahabaleshwara. But now, except Shejeshwara, all other temples attract thousands of devotees every year, Mr. Shet said. The temple was a small structure and was nothing compared to the other four temples related to the Atmalinga. Instead of spending money on other tourist centres in Karwar, the Government should develop this temple, said Mahalakshmi Naik, a housewife.
Even people in and around Karwar have no knowledge of this temple. People from Karwar go in large numbers to Gokarna and Murudeshwar on Shivaratri, said a retired teacher. The Shejeshwara could be converted into a spot for religious tourism, he said.
At present, there is a small concrete structure in Shejwad. Like Murudeshwar, the temple and infrastructure should be developed in Shejwad to attract tourists and devotees. U. Jitendranath, Assistant Director of the Tourism Department, agreed that the Shejeshwara Temple has good tourism potential and said that he would draw the attention of the Government to develop the temple.