Temple Hopping - Day out in Udupi

Situated in the state of Karnataka, Udupi is a city renowned for its fabulous temples and pristine beaches. Visiting Udupi is full of joy that is ever fresh and full of fragrance. Millions of people from all around the world come here to experience the divine serenity of these beautiful temples.

Sri Krishna Mutt is the most prominent temple in Udupi. This holy temple is the seat of Lord Krishna and is considered to be one of the holiest places in southern India.  

The unique feature of Shree Krishna Mutt temple is that the Lord Krishna (in child form) is worshipped only through a nine-hole window, Navagraha Kitiki. It is the tradition in this temple to worship the Lord only through this exquisitely carved, silver – plated window. 

It is believed that the present statue is the same which was created by Lord Vishwakarma and handed over to Goddess Rukmini (Wife of Lord Krishna). This Idol of Lord Krishna was worshipped at Dwarka by applying sandal paste. With due course of time, the statue got totally covered by sandal paste. But how this Idol reached Udupi, thousands of miles away from Dwarka (near to Gujarat). Story goes like this:

"---- After Lord Krishna, the city of Dwarka had submerged into the Sea. The Idol too was washed away with the sea waters. Time passed, and sometime after centuries one Sailor found a sandal block and he started using this sandal block as a weight to balance the ship. When this sailor came near to Udupi shore, suddenly his ship was caught in huge storms. That time saint Madhavacharya was near the shore and prayed to the Lord Vishnu to save the ship. Miracle happened, the storm stopped and the grateful sailor thanked saint Madhavacharya and offered him the sandal block as a token of gratitude.

When Saint Madhavacharya started to remove the sandal cover, the statue appeared and through his vision, he realised that this was the same statue of Lord Krishna which was created by Lord Vishwakarma and was worshipped by Devi Rukmini. Overjoyed by this, the saint bought this statue to Udupi, and since then this statue has been kept at the present place. ----". 

No doubt the place has immense religious significance and people from far off places come here to seek blessings of Lord Krishna.

It’s not always that only devotees come to worship the God. Lord Krishna had turned the face and created a hole in window to let one of his devotees see him. Story goes like this; in the 16th century, an ardent devotee Kanakadasa, was not allowed inside the temple as he was from a lower caste. So, he started worshipping the God from the other side of the wall, outside the temple premises. Pleased by the prayers of Kanakadasa, Lord Krishna created a small hole in the back wall of the temple and turned his face to that hole so that Kanakadasa could see him.

This hole came to be known as Kanakana Kindi. This hole/ small window is religiously worshipped by all the devotees and signifies the true devotion to the God, by heart.
Temple also houses a rare Panchmukhi statue of Lord Hanuman, which signifies faces of five Gods in Lord Hanuman.

When Lord Hanuman went in search of Lord Ram and Laxman, he came to know that the demon Ahiravna can be killed only if the 5 lamps which are placed in five different directions are extinguished all together at the same time. Then Lord Hanuman turned into 5 faceted God: Hanuman, Hayagreeva, Narsimha, Garuda and Varah to extinguish all the five lamps simultaneously and then eventually killing Ahiravan. This was something very few people are aware about.

Legends and stories associated with the temple are also decorated on the temple’s walls.

There is also a holy pond, Madhavapushkarni (sort of step well), at the entrance of the temple. Temple in middle of the pond is opened only once in a year, on occasion of Vijaya Dashami.

Lot of devotees live here in the temple premises and many people gather daily for worshipping Lord Krishna. There is single queue for everyone and no special privilege is granted to anyone for priority in offering prayers. The temple daily serves free lunch in the premises, and this is how the wood used for cooking is stored. I mistook this for another temple!

This temple follows a strict dress code, "Male visitors" have to remove the Upper Clothing, Shirts and vests. All the time spent here, we enjoyed visiting other temples without upper clothing and it was an experience when we didn't feel conscious or felt if anyone is watching.


Surrounding the Sri Krishna Matha are several temples, the most ancient being made of basic wood and stone of 1,500 years’ origin. Check this Lord Shiva temple, with a wall painting of Lord Shiva.

Another one with beautiful architecture:

With all the divine ambience and vibes in the air, The Krishna temple at Udupi is also known as the Mathura of the South.
12 km. from Shree Krishna Mutt is another fascination place, The Kunjaragiri Durga temple.

The temple is located on top of a hill and the hill offers some breath taking sceneries of Udupi.

There is also a Parashurama temple nearby. The area of hill is known as Durgabetta, and it is believed that Lord Parashurama is still in deep penance in the cave in eastern side below the Durgabetta even today. That area is out of bounds for visitors.
Do not miss out a huge statue of Madhavacharya at the foothills of Kunjarugiri, while on the way to Kunjarugiri temple.

2 km. from Kunjarugiri temple (13 km. from Udupi temple) is another holy place, Pajaka Kshetra. It is the birthplace of Sri Madhavacharya, founder of Dwaita Philosophy.

In the premises there is a small stepwell type pond named Vasudeva teertha. In the childhood days of Madhavacharya, once his mother wanted to have holy dip in four teerthas around Durgabetta. But she was unable to visit due to bad health, so at that time child Vasudeva (Lord Krishna) created this pond and assured his mother that, a dip in this pond is equivalent to dip in all four theerthas.

Exquisitely carved in the Wood, the roofs of this temple are notable.

There is also a university in the premises where students learn divine knowledge of Vedas and Sanskrit. How much time you want to spend in Udupi temples depends on you only. Continue the feel the divine ambience of Udupi temples in the peaceful atmosphere. 

Udupi is not only temples, there are a number of pristine beaches to make anyone fall in love with one beach after another beach. Take a break for lunch and keep exploring Guys.

Gaurav Verma

A passionate Traveler who wants to see the whole world before hanging his boots. Always ready to explore offbeat and hidden spots. MBA + Engineer from Ivy league colleges, Gaurav is much sought after for his choice of lifestyle activities and Brand promotional campaigns.

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