In this segment, we’re going to take a look at the Shree Krishna Matha temple situated at Udupi.

Sri Krishna Temple Udupi:

The Sri Krishna Matha temple in Udupi, Karnataka, is devoted to the Hindu god Krishna. Udupi is the first of the seven pilgrimage sites. Thousands of devout worshippers flock to the Krishna temple throughout the year to see Lord Krishna. The Lord is only worshipped via a window with nine holes called the Navagraha Kitiki, which is a unique feature of Shree Krishna temple Udupi.

The window is silver-plated and exquisitely sculpted. One temple has a practice of solely worshipping the Lord through this window. Several temples surround Sri Krishna Matha, including the Udupi Anantheshwara Temple, which is over 1,000 years old. The matha region is reminiscent of a living ashram, a holy location where everyday devotion and living are practiced. Several temples surround Sri Krishna Matha, the oldest of which is 1,500 years old and composed of simple wood and stone.

The seat of Lord Krishna is 60 kilometers north of Mangalore and is considered one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in southern India. Sri Madhwacharya, the founder of Dvaita Philosophy and one of the three great Acharyas, is said to have unearthed the idol of Shri Krishna from a ship, which he miraculously saved from the jaws of a catastrophic storm brewing on the sea at Malpe, and this is his birthplace. When Sri Madhwacharya was practicing his morning prayers on the Malpe shore, he noticed a ship sailing in the sea that was in danger due to strong weather. With his divine power, Sri Madhwacharya was able to calm the rough weather.

History of the deity:

udupi krishna temple

There are several fascinating anecdotes surrounding the placement of Sri Krishna`s monument in Udupi. This is how one of the most common stories goes: Gopichandanam totally covered Sri Krishna’s main statue at Dwaraka ( holy sandalwood).  Sri Madhvacharya afterward brought it to the lake, cleansed it, and set it in the mutt, according to legend. The tale of the installation of Sri Krishna’s statue goes like this, according to famous mathadeesha Sri Raghuvarya tirtha. 

 He took the statue out of the sea, brought it to Udupi, and placed it in the pond near the mutt as if he had discovered a new light.  On Sankranthi, he retrieved the statue from the pond, placed it in the mutt’s main sanctuary, and set up daily adoration for it.  Sri Madhvacharya is said to have erected the statue in the late 13th century, according to reports. The tale of the installation of Sri Krishna’s statue goes like this, according to famous mathadeesha Sri Raghuvarya tirtha. 

Sri Madhvacharya arrived in Udupi for a few days to spread his philosophy to the populace, but one day he awoke from his meditation and moved to Malpe with his disciples.  He removed the statue from the ocean, brought it to Udupi, and placed it in the pond near the mats as if he had discovered a new light.  On Sankranthi, he retrieved it from the pond and placed it in the mutt’s main sanctuary.  The sanctum where the statue was installed became known as the Krishna temple, and the pond where the statue was bathed became known as the famed Madhva Sarovar.  Sri Madhvacharya is said to have installed the monument in the late 13th century, according to reports.

About the temple:

After bathing in the tank, the Swamijis used to enter the sanctum sanctorum through this. It is said that when the crowd of the pilgrims increased the door was closed and a statue of Chenna Keshava was installed in the second half of the last century. 

 The Swamiji enters the shrine through this entrance on that day. For the fresh harvest feast, the 9 holy corns are also taken into the temple through this door that day. On all other days, this entrance is closed and the statue of Chenna Keshava stands there.  We come upon a small room designated as anuyaaga sale, the hall of oblation to fire-god, as we continue on the circumambulating road to the left.

 The priest makes an oblation to fire when the puja is performed inside the sanctum sanctorum.  The 33rd pontiff of Sri Krishna Mutt, Sri Vidya Purna Tirtha Swamiji, donated the golden palanquin.  Turn to the west and look at the Surya sale hall, where scholars recite Veda, Purana, Itihaasa, and Sri Madhvacharya’s works. All jewels offered to Sri Krishna by the emperors of Vijayanagara to the Kings of Mysore are kept here.

There is a small passage and a window between this mantapa and the sanctum sanctorum through which visitors can see the idol inside. It should be noted that there is no front entrance to the sanctum sanctorum. The idol must be viewed through this window, which is covered with intricately carved silver plates. The tiny idol of Krishna as a small boy can be seen inside the window.

The lamps lit by Sri Madhvacharya are still burning and well protected to this day. Thus the lamp lighted by Sri Madhvacharya sanctifies not only Udupi but also Vrindavan, which was once upon a time the field of Krishna`s sports. Another Sri Venugopal Krishna idol stands to the right of this one. It is known from the Shankara Vijaya of Ananthan-Chandragiri that Hastamalaka, one of the intimate disciples of Sri Shankaracharya had established an idol of Krishna in Rajatapiithapura The above came under the regulatory authority of the Balegar Mutt of a Madhva pontiff Sri Akshobhya Tirtha adjacent to Tirthahalli in the 14th century.

As a result, they gave the idol to the Sri Krishna Mutt. In front of the sanctum sanctorum, there is a small mantap. To the west in front of the mantapa, there is a hall known as the canard sale. Mukhyaprana is located in the north, and a small Garuda shrine is located in the south.

According to Sri Vadiraja’s biography, these two idols were brought from Ayodhya and installed here. When Sri Vadiraja went again to Ayodhya he brought the idols of Hanuman and Garuda and installed them in front of Sri Krishna’s idol.

Festival Celebrated

 During Paryaya Utsava, the city of Udupi is dressed to the nines. As part of the Paryaya celebrations, guests will have access to a variety of shopping, food festivals, and entertainment opportunities. The Paryaya Utsava celebrations and ceremonies begin early in the morning.

The Swamiji of the next Matha to take over temple management takes a holy plunge before being carried in a palanquin to Sri Krishna temple. This pilgrimage to the shrine is marked by a parade and cultural performances. At Sri Krishna Temple, the present Swamiji, who must take over the authority of the temple, performs a series of rituals and turns over essential control elements such as the shrine keys, Akshaya Patra, and other pooja items. Later in the day, a public function and durbar are held for the benefit of devotees attending the festival.

Best time to visit:

The best time to visit is in the month of August to March,

How to get there:

  • By Rail: The nearest station is the Udupi railway station.
  • By Air: The nearest airport is Mangalore. international airport.
  • You can also opt for a cab or take the buses.

Image Source: Google

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