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Aatma Linga, Gokarna

Gokarna is a temple village in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka state, India. This place is known as the Kashi of South (Dakshina Kashi) because of the enshrining Aatma linga of Mahabaleshwar.

The Gokarna Mahabaleshwara temple houses the "Aatma Linga" of lord Shiva and it is the only Aatma Linga in the country. The term ‘Atma’ signifies the original soul or spirit of Lord Shiva himself. Mythology says that Ravana, the demon king of Lanka received the Aatma Linga from Lord Shiva after he had performed a penance at Mount Kailash. On the way back to Lanka, Ravana got struck at Gokarna. Lord Ganapathi disguised as a Brahmin boy reached there and tricked Ravana and placed the Aatma linga firmly in the earth.

It is also said that even a single glimpse of the Aatma Linga is capable to free one from all one’s sins and lead him to salvation.