Krishna Temple

Weather :

Timings : 4:00 AM - 9:00 PM.
Nirmalya Visarjan Pooja is held at 5:30 AM.

Time Required : 2-3 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Krishna Temple, Udupi Overview

Considered to be one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in South India, the Krishna Temple or the Udupi Sri Krishna Matha is quite a huge name associated with the worship of Lord Krishna. The fascinating idol of the Lord is adorned with jewels and a golden chariot. What makes the temple unique, is its worshipping pattern. The prayers and process of the whole worship take place only through a silver-plated window with nine holes called the Navagraha Kitiki. Several temples known as Udupi Anantheshwara Temple surround the Shree Krishna Matha. These temples trace back to 1,000 years. The Krishna Temple is always seen to be crowded with Krishna Bhakts.

This place is affectionately called as the Mathura of Southern India. The temple bears a resemblance to a living ashram, fostering daily life and devotion. It is also the birthplace of Daasa Sahitya, a Udupi form of literature. Every two years, the administration and temple offerings are managed cyclically between the eight mathas. They are collectively known as Ashta Mathagalu. It is because mother Yashoda wanted to see him take the form of a child, his idol has seen the same kind.

Every year, the Krishna Temple attracts thousands of devotees, and daily prayers begin with the blowing of a conch shell at 4:00 AM. Several festivals like Ramanavami, Deepavali, Krishnashtami, Hanuman Jayanti, Saptotsava or the Seven Utsavas (celebrated in January) and the Paryaya festival (once in every two years).

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History and Legends of Krishna Temple

The Udupi Krishna temple is a storehouse of legends and stories.The Vaishnavite Jagadguru and founder of the Dvaita school of Vedanta, Shri Madhwacharya founded this religious shrine in the 13th century.

Legend has it that the blessed architect, Vishwakarma made an idol of Lord Krishna, which was later discovered by Madhwacharya. One day while the saint was performing his daily morning prayer on the shore of Malpe beach, he was made aware that a ship sailing in the sea was in danger due to inclement weather. Shree Madhwacharya, with his divine powers, saved the ship from sinking and recovered the idol of Krishna covered in clay or a ball of gopichandana. As told by him, the murti is placed facing towards the west (Paschimabhimukha) which is different from the usual placing of God's idols, i.e. facing towards the east.

Another exciting legend is the story of the Kanaka Kindi or the Window of Kanakadasa. In the 16th century, there lived an ardent devotee of the Lord who was denied his darshan. As a sign of protest, he started praying with intense devotion at the back of the temple. Overwhelmed by his devotion, Lord Krishna created a hole in the wall and made his idol facing east turn towards the west so that Kanaka could worship the Lord.

Krishna Matha

The offerings at the Sri Krishna Mutt on a daily basis are managed by the eight monasteries or the Astha Mathas. These are also responsible for Krishna Mutts's administration. The Krishna Matha has earned fame worldwide for its unique and religious traditions, customs, and learning of Dvaita. The eight Mathas that are primarily talked about are Pejavara, Puttige, Palimaru, Adamaru, Sodhe, Kaniyooru, Shirur and Krishnapura. The expenses of it are borne by both the donations from devotees and Ashta Matha.

Architecture of Krishna Temple

The 9-holed snow-plated window, also known as the Kanakadasa window, is attached to Chandrasala hall via wall. The hall devotes itself to the sublime ambience created by the bells hanging over the arched entrance. A beautiful glow is generated by the earthen lamps that are kept inside. Nobody is allowed to go near the idol of Lord Krishna. Hence for the Darshana, the above mentioned 9-holed window is used.

At one side of the hall sits Lord Hanumana in his meditation pose. A platform raised with the help of four pillar overlooks the Chandrasala Hall. It has a traditional deepastambam that holds the sacred oil lamp or 'jyot.' To the right of the main sanctum stands the statue of the temple's founder, Shree Madhvacharya and in the north is Lord Panduranga's shrine. The Panchadhatu (5 metals) figure of Lord Vishnu mounted on his Garuda holding conch and discus is located in the eastern part of the temple. It forms the way to the sanctum sanctorum of Shri Balkrishna. The eastern gate usually remains closed and opens only on Vijaya Dashmi. The holy tank Madhwapushkarani finds itself at the southern entrance.

Festivals Celebrated at the Udupi Krishna Temple

The list of festivals that are celebrated at the temple is quite long. Some of the main festivals are listed below-

1. Yugaadi (Ugadi)
According to the lunar calendar, the first day of Chaitra maas is considered to be the New Year's Day. Similarly, the first day of the month of meesa calls for a beginning of the next year as stated by the solar calendar. This festival is celebrated with high pompous and joy. A tray full of coconuts, jewels, fruits, and a mirror is placed in front of the murti of Lord Krishna on the last night before the first day of meesa. As soon as the sun rises, these auspicious objects are firstly looked at. It is the ritual of Kani Darshana. The swami then takes an oil bath while the priest reads the almanack. Special dishes are prepared and offered to the deities. A grand feast takes place at cauki.

2. Ramanavami
On this special occasion, the idol of Lord Krishna is decorated with bow and arrow instead of the regular rope and churning rod. The noon welcomes devotees for prasadam and the nights call for car festival. Special services are arranged. Moreover, as the idol in Sri Palimar Mutt is of Lord Rama, the festival is celebrated with great joyousness and enthusiasm at this mutt.

3. Akshaya Tritiya
The third day in the bright fortnight of Vaisakha is the day when Lord Vishnu incarnates into Parashurama. The idol during this festival is seen holding an axe in hand resorting to its heroic pose. It coincides with the death anniversary of Sri Vijayadhvajacharya who was the sixth pontiff in the lineage of Sri Pejawar Mutt. Special festivities are observed in the Krishna Mutt.

4. Vasantootsava
The festival of spring takes place between the Akshaya Tritiya and the full moon day in Vaisakha. The mandapa pooja which usually takes place in the sanctum sanctorum now happens to be in the vasanta mahal.

5. Ganesh Chaturthi
The fourth day in the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada is celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi. Special pujas are performed in the name of the elephant-faced Lord. Professional artists make Lord Ganesha's mud idol which is bought at the auspicious hour. The area near it is artistically decorated. The next four days of celebrations are indeed a treat to one's eyes. An idol of Lord Ganesha is also placed at the entrance of the shrine. The priests perform ganahooma sacrifices. The Lord is worshipped in the form of Vivambhara, and later prasad is distributed among the devotees. At the end of these four days, the idol is taken out in a procession and then immersed in Sarovar.

Udupi Krishna Temple Dress Code

The temple follows a strict dress code. Men are required to be dressed in traditional mundu or typical pant and shirt. Lungi is not allowed inside the sanctum sanctorum. Shorts and other modern outfits are not allowed. Women are required to be dressed in saree, half-saree, salwar-kameez, set-mundu or skirt and blouse. Their body below knee should be covered or else entry to them would be denied. 

Tips For Visiting Krishna Temple

1. Prasadam or lunch is offered at noon.
2. Chariot rounds held every morning and evening should not be missed.
3. Try going on weekdays for a smaller crowd.
4. Photography is prohibited inside the temple premises.
5. There is no provision for special darshan at this temple. There is a single queue for everyone.

How To Reach Krishna Temple

Udupi Railway Station is at a distance of 3 km from the temple. From here you can take an auto or a cab to reach the Krishna Temple. Moreover, the KSRTC, as well as the private buses, ply frequently between Udupi and Mangalore. 

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