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Sri Krishna temple, Udupi, is an important site for pilgrimage in South India. This is a well-known Hindu temple that is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Dvaita Matha. This area of the Matha is very similar to an ashram, which is a holy place for living and worshipping. All around the Sri Krishna temple are many other temples, one of which is Udupi Anantheshwara Temple. This temple is more than a thousand years old.
Jagadguru Shri Madhavacharya, a Vaishnavite saint founded this temple in 13th century. He was a founder of the school of Vedanta, Dwaita. Madhavacharya is said to have founded the Shri Krishna’s vigraha in a ball of gopichandana. Madhavacharya has stated in his book that the Vigraha is placed facing west (Paschimabhimukha). The other Vigrahas in the Ashta Muthas also face west.
Devotees can have a darshan of the Lord Krishna through a window on the inner side. This window is known as the Navagruha Kindi. They can also have a darshan from a window on the outer side known as Kanakana kindi. This has an arch named after him. The immediate front of the Vigraha is covered by a window called the Navagraha Kindi. This is often mistaken to be the Kanakana kindi.
Highlights of Udupi Sri Krishna temple
- Kanakana Kindi: This is a window from which Lord Krishna seems to have given a darshan to his devotee, Saint Kanakadasa.
Saint Kanakadasa, according to a legend, was of low caste and was not allowed to enter the temple. With all these restrictions, he went behind this temple to pray. He did this from a small rack in the wall. Lord Krisha, pleased with his dedication, turned and gave him a darshan
Adjacent to this is Kanakadasa Mantapa, depicting the saint’s statue.
- Udupi Paryaya Utsava: This is a popular festival which is celebrated once in two years. This Paryaya utsava marks the handing over the management of the temple from one to another Matha. This is among the eight mathas of Udupi.
- Golden Chariot: This can be seen by the visitors.
- Anna Dana: Every devotee is offered free meals by Krishna temple.
- Goshale: is the cow shed.
- Temple Ratha : is the Brahma chariot.
The Kanakadasa window is a 9 holed window that is attached to one of the walls in the Chandrasala hall. You feel a sublime ambience in this hall due to the holy sound made by the multiple bells hanging at the entrance that is arched, along with the burning glow of the earthen lamps.
The devotees can sit there and meditate with silent prayers or peep through the window to get darshan of Lord Krishna. Lord Hanuman in a meditative pose is on one corner of the temple.
There s a platform that is raised by four pillars overlooking the Chandrasala hall. The traditional deepastambam is housed here. This hold an oil lamp considered ‘sacred’.
In the circumambulation’s path that is on the right side is the founder, Sri Madhavaacharya, statue. Lord Panduranga’s shrine is on the northern side of this statue.
Next to the southern entrance of this temple you have the Madhwapushkarni, the holy tank. The entrance that is on the eastern side to the Balakrishna sanctorum is beautifully flanked by the five figures of Lord Vishnu in metal. He is mounted on his Garuda holding the discus and the conch. This entrance on the east opens only once in the whole year. That is on Vijaya Dashami.
Things to Do
- You can plan a visit to the temples nearby. These are the Anantheshwara Temple and the Chandreshwara temple.
According to old beliefs it is said that a follower of Lord Parusharama, King Rama Bhoja, had installed the statue of Lord Shiva (Lord Ananteshwara). There is another belief that states that the temple Chandreshwara ws built in the same spot where Chandra performed a penance for getting rid of the Daksha Prajapati’s curse.
- You can also plan a visit to the Mahathobara Shri Vishwantha Temple. This is another temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Thousands of devotees crowd this temple for a darshan.
- Another worthwhile visit is the Maple beach. This gets all the more a ‘must’ visit if you have learnt about the legend that is associated with the storm and the rescue by Saint Madhavacharya. He had rescued a ship to this Maple shore. Maple beach is at a 4km distance from the temple.
This temple of Shri Krishna is opened from 430 am to 930 pm on all the days.
How to Reach
Udupi is at a distance of 400 kilometers from the city of Bangalore. The nearest airport is Mangaluru, which is around 60 kms. Udupi is also well connected via road and rail. You can take a private bus or even a government bus.
There are many affordable places you can stay in Udupi.