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Celebrate Krishna Janmashtami at Krishna Temple in Udupi

Written By: Akshatha Vinayak

The tales of Lord Krishna's childhood is adorable to hear; his naughtiness and intelligence have always taken as life skill lessons even in the contemporary world. Far away from Mathura and Brindavan, this religious town of Udupi bustles in the name of Krishna. The famous Krishna Temple and the Udupi cuisine allures us to towards the town.

Krishna Temple in Udupi

Madhva Sarovara
Photo Courtesy: Magiceye

Udupi was a holy town even before the establishment of Sri Krishna Mutt. According to the tradition, pilgrims have to visit Anantheshwara and Chandramouleshwara Temples before going to Udupi Krishna Temple.

Legends of Krishna Temple in Udupi

Legends takes us back to the time of Madhvacharya's visit to Udupi. The philosopher of Dvaita (Dualism) school of Vedanta, Madhvacharya used to travel to preach Krishna consciousness.

Krishna's Journey From Dwaraka

According to myth, the Bala Krishna idol installed in Krishna Temple came from Dwarka.

The story goes like this, some sailors in Dwarka found a log covered in Sandalwood paste. Thinking that it is a mysterious thing, they loaded this log into their ship. While they were sailing near Malpe, a huge storm disrupts the journey.

Meanwhile, Madhvacharya gets a premonition about Krishna's journey on this ship. He goes to the seashore and learns about the storms drowning the ship. Madhvacharya saves the sailors and the ship with his divine powers.

 Krishna Temple at Udupi

Krishna Temple
Photo Courtesy: Brunda Nagaraj

In return for his help, Madhavacharya asks for this log as a gift. He carries the log to the shrine and baths it in the Madhva Sarovara (temple tank in Udupi temple). Sandalwood paste gets washed away, and the beautiful idol of Bala Krishna emerges in all its glory.

This idol of Bala Krishna was installed in the Sri Krishna Matha at Udupi. It is said that Madhavacharya himself used to perform the rituals and worship Lord Krishna.

Architecture of Udupi Krishna Temple

The Krishna Temple complex is the centre of attraction in this religious town. It houses the main shrine where Bala Krishna is manifested and a window called Kanakana Kindi. Another side is the dining hall which is called Bhojana Shale along with Bhojana Shale Hanuman, a Goshala (cattle shed), Madhva Sarovara (Temple tank), Brindavans of saints who have performed pooja to Lord Krishna, public Bath complex, shops and hotels.

Krishna Temple in Udupi

Goshala in Udupi Temple
Photo Courtesy: Brunda Nagaraj

Legend of Kanakadasa

Kanaka Dasa was a poet, musician and a great devotee of Lord Krishna. His Kirtans (compositions) are an integral part of Carnatic music. As per the legend, Kanaka Dasa was not allowed inside the Krishna Temple. Upon seeing Kanaka Dasa's devotion, Lord Krishna is said to have turned around to bless his devotee and even to this day devotees aren't allowed beyond this point and this is known as Kanakana kindi.

Management of Krishna Temple

Sri Krishna Matha was established by Madhvacharya but later on he entrusted the responsibility of Krishna temple to 8 of his disciples. Each of the disciples gradually became separate mathas.

Today, each matha gets to share the management of Krishna Temple over 2-years term called Paryaya. The prime gurus of each of these Ashta Mathas (8 mathas) will take over the responsibility of performing special poojas and managing all the events of Krishna Temple.

Krishna Temple at Udupi

Kaniyoor Matha
Photo Courtesy: Brunda Nagaraj

These Ashta Mathas (8 mathas) are located around the temple street. The names of Ashta Mathas of Udupi are: Pejavara Matha, Palimaru Matha, Adamaru Matha, Puttige Matha, Sodhe Matha, Kaniyooru Matha, Shirur Matha and Krishnapura Matha.

Hotels in Udupi

Udupi is known for its vegetarian cuisine; several Udupi hotel chains can be found across India. You shouldn't miss out on the yummy Udupi dishes in this town.

Krishna Temple in Udupi

Dining Hall (Bhojana Shale)
Photo Courtesy: Brunda Nagaraj

Udupi Krishna Temple itself has a Bhojana Shale (dining hall) where food is served on a daily basis. Food is served at Bhojana Shale. All devotees can enjoy the delicious meal at the temple complex.

Mitra Hotel is an eatery just inside the temple complex. Mitra Hotel serves Sathvik food (vegetarian dishes without onions and garlic).

Geeta Mandir Guest House is located within the temple complex and was inaugurated by the King of Nepal.

Krishna Temple in Udupi

Geeta Mandir
Photo Courtesy: Brunda Nagaraj

Hotels in Udupi

Udupi is not just a pilgrimage site but also one of the popular tourist places in Karnataka. The town has several types of accommodations for travellers. You can find budget hotels as well as resorts in Udupi.

Kediyur Hotel, Shambahvi Hotel, Palm Grove Beach Resorts, Wild Wood Spa and Resorts are some of the famous hotels and resorts in Udupi.

Tourist Attractions in Udupi

Udupi Anantheshwara Temple is a 1000-year old temple. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and older than the Udupi Krishna Temple.

Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of Chandramouleshwara Temple in Udupi. It is also one of the important attractions in Udupi.


Malpe Beach
Photo Courtesy: Neinsun

Malpe Beach, Kaup Beach, Anne Gudde Vinayaka Temple, Vadabhaandeshwara Temple and Kudlu are the famous tourist attractions in Udupi.

Festivals in Udupi Temple

Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated with all the pomp and fervour in Udupi Temple. Special poojas, procession and fairs happen during the Gokulashtami celebrations.

Vittala Pindi or Vittal Pindi is one of the main events which happens in the Krishna Temple premises. The processions of Huli Vesha (a native folk art form) is performed during Vittala Pindi.

Krishna Temple Udupi

Udupi Paryaya Festival
Photo Courtesy: Brunda Nagaraj

Parayaya Festival is yet another big event which takes place every two years once. Special rituals and programmes are organised during this festival.

Sri Krishna Matha is the heart of Udupi, and it is the centre for the cultural events. Many other festivals like Deepavali (Diwali), Navarathri, Madhva Jayanthi are also celebrated here.

On the eve of Krishna Janmashtami which is on 25th August 2016, let us make an enchanting trip to Udupi.

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