A pilgrim hot spot and a land of celestial beauty – Udupi
Dotted in the coastal region of Karnataka, tucked between the abundant mountains of the Western Ghats on the east and the immense Arabian Sea on the other side, Udupi happens to be a major tourist destination with numerous temples, white sandy beaches, and beautifully architected buildings.
The name Udupi is believed to have originated from the Tullu word Odipu. But for some, it’s a confluence of two Sanskrit words Udu which means “god” and Pa which means, “follower”.
There are three temples in Udupi – Chandreshwara, Anantheshwara, and Sri Krishna temple. Chandreshwara and Anatheshwara are among the ancient temples of Udupi.
Sri Krishna Temple is one of the most famous temples of Sothern India where tourists and local devotees throng to offer prayers and to catch a glimpse of Lord Krishna.
Udupi is the birthplace of Sri Madhavacharya who set up the Ashta Mathas / temples (Pejavara, Puttige, Palimaru, Adamaru, Sodhe, Kanivooru, Shirur, and Krishnapura) in the 13th century. These mathas are together called as the Krishna Mathas. He was the founder of the Dvaita School of Vedanta.
Another attraction of this temple is the ‘Kanakana Kindi’ – a small window through which Lord Krishna is believed to have given darshan to his ardent devotee, Kanakadasa. During Sri Vaadiraja ‘s rule, Kanakadas who belonged to a lower caste came to Udupi to offer prayers to Lord Sri Krishna. However, he was not allowed to enter the temple premises. He stood outside the temple premises and lept singing praises in the name of Lord Sri Krishna. Lord Sri Krishna was so pleased by the devotion shown by Kanakadasa that he turned towards the West to give a glimpse to his devotee and a hole was automatically created in the walls of the temple. This hole is known as Kanakana Kindi. The window is exquisitely carved and is plated with silver depicting the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The unique feature of Shri Krishna Matha temple is that the Lord is worshipped only through a window with nine holes called the Navagraha Kitiki.
We were lucky to be there during the evening rituals of the Temple. A serene atmosphere was created by the drums, chimes, bells and oil lamps which was truly divine. The statue was placed inside a huge chariot and was pulled around by people. The whole procession was led by the priests and accompanied by holy elephant. We got a glimpse of Lord Shri Krishna through the small window. You can feel the spirituality inside the temple. Though a bit crowded which is usual in any famous temple of India, his captivating appearance is worth a visit. The temple throbs with religious fervor. The temple also offers delicious free meals to all devotees in a huge hall.
A sailor was carrying Lord Sri Krishna’s Statue completely covered by sandle wood in a ship. During one of his trips, the ship was caught in a terrible storm and Sri Madhvacharya sensed this by his divine knowledge and got the ship safely to the shore. The sailor pleased by this, offered Madhavacharya anything from the ship and Sri Madhvacharya choose Lord Shri Krishna’s statue and later he took it to the lake, purified it and installed it in the matha.
How To Reach :
Rail: Udupi has a railway station that is on the Konkan Railway line and all major trains halt here.
Bus: All major bus services are available from Mangalore, Bangalore, Mysore. Both regular and volvo services are available.
Air : Nearest airport is Mangalore
Accommodations: There are plenty of hotels in Udupi as well as Mangalore ranging from budget to luxurious resorts. You can also stay at the accommodation provided by mathas.
Note : Photography is prohibited inside the temple.
If you do find our article useful in planning your trip, don’t forget to send a note/picture of your trip to us ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subscribe to travel stories, ideas, and contests: