Shree Krishna Temple of Udupi is first among the seven places of pilgrimages. Thousands of pious devotees throng here at the Udupi Krishna temple all round the year to catch a glimpse of Lord Krishna. Udupi Krishna Temple is located 60 km far from the Mangalore city. The Udupi Krishna Temple is commonly known as Krishna Mutt. This old shrine is one of the sacred temples of the southern region of India which is dedicated to Lord Krishna. The idol of lord Krishna in the Udupi Krishna Temple was installed by the age old saint Madhavacharya.
Video - In and Around Udupi Krishna Matt
Significance of the temple
The unique feature of this Shree Krishna Mutt temple is that the Lord is worshipped only through a window with nine holes called the Navagraha Kitiki. This auspicious window is exquisitely carved and silver - plated. It has been a tradition in this temple to worship the Lord only through this auspicious window.The main reason for devotees to throng to Udupi Krishna Temple in Karnataka which allures a large number of devotees every year has a long history behind it.
It has been believed that the idol of lord Krishna was carried by a mariner who took it for a sandalwood lump. In the western coast of Malpe during the middle of his journey the ship was caught in a high storm. Then there, the Madhavacharya appeared and stopped the storm by his mighty power. Being rescued by him the mariner gave the saint the sandalwood lump as a gift out of gratitude. Then saint Madhvacharya installed the deity of Lord Krishna in the temple.
The devotees who come here also believe that a follower of Krishna namely, Kanakadas, once wanted to visit the Udupi Krishna Temple during 16th century. But he was not permitted to enter into the temple as he belonged to a lower class. But he was completely devoted to Lord Krishna and didn't give up. Being pleased by his prayer and dedication Lord Krishna created a hole on the back wall of the temple to give him the scope to see. The hole is still there and is known as Kanakanakindi by the name of Kanakdas. A special puja of Lord Krishna is offered on Janmashtami in the Udupi Krishna Temple of Karnataka.
Udupi which is 60 kms north of Mangalore is the seat of Lord Krishna, considered to be one of the holiest places for pilgrimage in southern India. It consists of a holy temple of Sri Krishna and this is the birthplace of Sri Madhwacharya, founder of Dwaita Philosophy and one of the three great Acharyas, he is reputed to have discovered the idol of Shri Krishna from a ship, which he saved miraculously from the clutches of a fatal storm which was breeding on the sea at Malpe. One day when he was performing his morning prayers on the Malpe shore, he found a ship sailing in the sea, which was in danger owing to rough weather. Sri Madhwacharya with his divine power was able to control the rough weather.
Miraculously and to the utter astonishment of the captain and the crew of the ship, the weather became calm, and the ship, there was a few minutes before, found to be on the verge of destruction, unknowingly reached the Malpe shore on its own accord. The captain of the ship saw Sri Madhwacharya standing and holding his loincloth in the direction towards the wind blowing direction in deep meditation. The captain, considering his greatness offered all the cargo, in return for the help rendered. Sri Madhwacharya refused to accept anything, except two big pieces of Gopichandan, which he knew, contained the images of Lord Krishna and Sri Balarama. The images of Lord Krishna is the same that can be seen in the Sri Krishna Temple at Udupi and the image of Sri Balarama can be seen at Vadabhandeshwara Malpe. Sri Madhwacharya, who is considered as an incarnation of Vayu Devata, had organized eight mutts at Udupi for the worship of Lord. Once in two years the Pariyaya festival will be held in the middle of January when the worship of Krishna passes from one mutt to another when disciples of the Madhwa seat congregate from all parts of India.
Deepavali (Balindra Pooja)
The mythological studies reveal that Lord Narayana, in his one of the incarnation as Parasurama, after making 21 assaults on the Kshathriyas and destroying them, performed a great Yajna. In this great Yajna he gave away all his land as a gift to Brahmins. Then later finding that he was not left with any land for himself and being reluctant to stay in the land already given away as gift, he reclaimed from Arabian Sea a strip of land from Gokarna to Cape Comorin. This coastal strip of land, obtained by Parasurama from Varuna the Sea-God, is known as Parasurama Kshetra or Parasurama land. Ramabhoja, a great devotee of Parasurama, was proclaimed king of this land. Intending to perform Ashwamedha Yajna, Rambhoja got the site for sacrificial fire ploughed up.
While ploughing, a serpent got killed by the ploughshare in that region. Although this serpent was nothing but a demon in disguise, Rambhoja due to this was greatly worried as it was a sin to kill a serpent. To atone this sin, he was directed by Lord Parasurama to build a big silver pedestal with the image of a serpent at each of its four corners and to worship Him who would be seated in spirit on the pedestal and also to distribute gold equal to his own weight (Tulabhara) to deserving persons on the earth. Rambhoja did likewise and performed the Ashwamedha Yajna successfully. At its conclusion, Lord Parasurama appeared and declared that he was pleased with the Yajna and that henceforth the sacrificial land 'Roopya Peetha' (silver pedestal) would become a famous centre of pilgrimage. This land is also known as 'Thoulava' land and because Rambhoja performed 'Tulabhara'. This is in brief the legend of the land.
Udupi is famous for its Sri Krishna Mutt, which though small is quite beautiful. The mutt does not have a front door. Instead there is a window through which the devotees could always get the darshan of the idol from outside the mutt. The main entrance to the Mutt is on the southern side. As one enters, on the right side there is a tank called the Madhwa Pushkarani. This tank has stone steps all round and a Mantapa in the centre. Inside the sanctum sanctorum, the idol of Sri Krishna is installed facing west. The exit from the Mutt on the northern side leads straight to the dining hall, called Chowki.
Rules and Rituals of the temples
Seven Utsavas: Saptotsava or the seven Utsavas is considered to be the annual festival in Sri Krishna Temple. It commences 5 days prior to Makara Sankramana and carries on daily. The sixth utsava takes place on the night of Makara Sankramana and on the next day, utsava takes place during daytime. These Utsavas take place about the middle of January every year.
Sri Madhwa Navami: Sri Madhwa Navam is celebrated on a grand scale in Udupi. It is on this auspicious day on the ninth day of the bright half of the month of Makara (February) that Sri Madhwacharya disappeared from mortal sight.
Holi Kamadahana: On this day in the month of March, in the evening a procession starts from Sri Krishna Mutt which proceeds upto Kadiyali and returns. At night there is another procession program consisting of the burning of an effigy of 'Kama'. Next morning there is another procession where the members smear themselves with colored water among themselves.
Festivals observed at the temple
Sri Rama Navami:This festival falls on the ninth day of the bright half of the month of Chaitra which is in April.
Mesha Sankramana:This is the New Year day where the celebrations consist of a chariot utsava, cradle pooja, etc., at daytime in the temple.
Vasanthotsava: as the name suggests it is the spring festival. Every year in Chaitra, Vasantha Pooja continues around for 2 months every night. Light refreshment, in the form of prasadam, is distributed to the public after it is offered to God during the Pooja.
Narasimha Jayanthi:The deity of Sri Krishnapur and Sri Kaniyoor Mutts is Sri Narasimha. As these deities happen to be in the Sri Krishna Mutt, special Abhishekha, feeding of Brahmins and chariot utsava take place on this day in the month of May.
Bhagirathi Janmadina:On this day in the month of June, there is a special pooja in the 'Bhagirathi gudi' in the Madhwasarovar. A car festival for Lord Sri Krishna takes place at night and Mantapa pooja is specially held before Bhagirathi gudi in Madhwa Sarovara.
Chaturmasa:The word Chaturmasa means four months which refers to a period from the bright half Ekadashi of Ashada to the same day in Kartika Masa. There is a special Abhishekha to the idol of Shri Krishna.
Jagaranaseva:On the Ekadashi nights during Chaturmasa, there is a special pooja at night and a program till the early hours of the morning are arranged with a view to keep the devotees awake during the night. The program consists of instrumental music, dancing and Sankeertana, reading of Puranas, etc.
Ganesha Chathurthi:This festival, which is celebrated to mark the birthday of Lord Ganapathi, comes off as on the fourth day of the bright half of Bhadrapada in the month of September.
Anantha Chathurdhashi: This festival comes off on the 14th day of bright half of Bhadrapada during the month of September. On this day there is Kalashapratishte, special pooja and sumptuous feast for Brahmins in the mutt.
This comes off usually during the month of October. Commencing with the first day of the bright half Ashwija, this festival lasts for 10 days. During the first nine days, the idol of Sri Krishna is decorated in the feminine form of Lakshmi.
Panchami Jagarana Pooja:
This special pooja takes place every morning for one month from Ashwija Shuddha Ekadashi till Kartika Shuddha Dwadhashi.
From the first day in the month of Kartika, till the Dwadhashi, a special pooja is offered to the Tulasi plant after the night pooja.
The Paryaya festival is the biggest of all the festivals in Udupi. This festival occurs on the 17th or 18th of January in alternative years, and it attracts huge crowd from all corners of India.
Prior to Sri Vadiraja Teertha Swami it was customary for each swamis to be in charge of the Sri Krishna Mutt and its poojas for a period of two months only. But Sri Vadiraja changed this into a period of two years each. This handing over and taking over ceremony of the charge of Sri Krishna Mutt is known as Paryaya. The entire responsibility of carrying on the customary poojas and festivals of Sri Krishna Mutt during these two years rests with the Paryaya Swami.
This festival comes off during the month of Shravana Krishna Ashtami, in the month of August or September every year. Complete fast is observed on that day and when the moon rises at about midnight, the swamijis take their bath and offer special pooja and 'Argya' to Sri Krishna. A golden chariot is taken around the car street on this occasion.
Everyday throughout the month of Dhanu there is a special pooja which takes place at dawn. Pongal and many other sweets are prepared as an offering for this pooja which is later on served to the few invited people.
How to reach the Temple
As Karnataka is the well- versed state in southern India it is well connected to all the cities in the country and even around the world.
There are many busses plying between Mangalore-Udupi-Kundapur/Manipal, etc.
From Mangalore to Udupi it will take an one-hour journey. The Temple is situated at the heart of Udupi town and walkable distance from the bus stand.