Krishnam Vande Jagatgurum

Krishnana Udupi

Courtesy -Sri Lakshmi Vittala Valakadu


Lord Vishnu, in his sixth incarnation as Parashurama, after making twenty. one assaults on kings who had deviated from the path of Dharma, performed a great yajna. Having donated all the land he won, he was left with no land for Himself. Reluctant to stay in the land already gifted, he reclaimed a strip of land from the Arabian Sea. This coastal strip of land, from Gokarna to Kanyakumari is known as Parashurama Kshetra.


Ramabhoja, a great devotee of Lord Parashurama was proclaimed the king of Parashurama Kshetra.lntending to perform a maha yajna, he got the site for the sacrificial fire ploughed up. A serpent got into the plough and got killed. Although the serpent was a demon in disguise, the king was worried, as it was a sin to kill a serpent. To atone this sin, he was directed by Lord Parashurama to build a big silver pedestal(Known as Rajathapeeta)as a seat to the Lord.


The place, where the Lord appeared in the form of Linga and occupied the silver pedestal is known as ANANTHESHWARA. It is believed that it was on the request of Lord Shiva that Lord Parashurama also enshrined in the Linga in the form Lord Anantha and hence the name Anantheshwara.The king Ramabhoja also built four Durgalayas(Durga temple) and Nagalayas (Subramanya temple) one each in each direction.

The Sri Anantheshwara Temple has been a seat of learning since time immemorial for the study of Veda, Vedanta, Upanishads. It was this place where Sri Madhwacharya obtained lessons from his Guru Sri Achyuthaprekshacharya. The details of Anantheshwara appear in the Sri Skandapurana.


It is said that Chandra (Moon God) was cursed by Daksha Prajapati. To ward off this curse, Chandra performed penance in propitiation of Lord Ishwara on the banks of a holy pond, Chandra pushkarini.Lord Ishwara being pleased, appeared and released Chandra off the curse. "This place has since been known a CHANDRAMOULEESHWARA and there is an ancient temple of this name. In Sanskrit, "Udu" means stars and "Pa" means lord. Udupa means lord of stars, which is Moon. Hence the place where Udupa(Chandra)performed penance and obtained grace is known as UDUPI.


It is at a distance of 12 kms from Udupi. It was at this place that Lord Parashurama created 4 ponds namely Gadathirtha, Parashuthirtha, Banathirtha, Dhanushthirtha and installed goddess Durga atop the hill. The house where Sri Madhwacharya was born at the foot of the hill. Even to this day one could see the spots where the Acharya spent his childhood and performed miracles.


Udupi emerged as a great centre of vedantic philosophy after the advent of Sri Madhwacharya.He was the exponent of 'Dwaita Vedanta'

Sri Madhwacharya was born in a place called Pajaka at the foot of-a hill called Kunjarugiri or Durga betta, with a Durga temple on its top. The Acharya was born in fulfillment of the prayers offered by his parents at Ananteshwara temple with rigorous austerity for 12 years. He was initiated into ascetic order in his sixteenth year. He traversed the length and breadth of the country many times with his trusted disciples. Badrinath in the Himalayas was his favourite spot, where he is reported to have visited the hermitage of his Guru, the divine sage Sri Vedavyasa and received directions for writing his commentaries on 'Brahmasutras' and the Mahabharatha epic composed by the divine sage. In all he has written 37 works, 4 on Brahmasutras, 10 on Upanishads, 2 on Sri Bhagavadgita and the rest on various topics of philosophy. The 'Dwaita' philosophy highlights that the Lord (Paramathman) and the Subject (Jeevatman) are always different. Salvation (Moksha) is possible through pure devotion (Bhakti), which is eternal bliss. In several of his works the great Acharya has disclosed his identity as the third incarnation of Lord Vayu, the earlier incarnations being Hanuman and Bhima. He disappeared from human sight in 1317 . A.D. while delivering a discourse on Aitarey Upanishad at a particular spot in Ananteshwara temple.



The idol of Sri Krishna installed at the Sri Krishna Temple is carved out of Shalagrama Shila. Legend has it that Rukmini herself was worshipping this idol at Dwaraka.When Sri Krishna disappeared from this world Arjuna deposited this idol in the spot called 'Rukmini Vana'.The idol which lay buried inside the mud of Gopichandan, was mistaken for a lump of Gopichandan and loaded as ballast into a ship carrying merchandise from Dwaraka along the West Coast When the ship was approaching the Malpe Port, it got caught in storm and was about to sink. Sri Madhwacharya who was on the shore waved his upper cloth and quietened the storm, saving the ship from disaster.The grateful captain of the ship offered' all the wealth in his ship to Sri Madhwacharya. But the great Acharya chose the lump of gopichandan which lay in a corner. He carried the gopichandan to Udupi, a distance of four miles, singing the 'Dwadashstotra'. The moment he immersed the gopichandan in the Madhwasarovara, a beautiful idol of Sri Krishna emerged. Sensing these chain of events by his aparoksha jnana or divine knowledge, the Acharya himself installed the idol. The idol represents Lord Krishna in his playful childhood posture with a curd-churning rod in the right hand and the churning rope in the left Thus Lord Krishna came to be worshipped by Sri Madhwacharya and later by the pontiffs of Ashta Mutts founded by him. The right of touching and worshipping this idol rests with the pontiffs of these eight mutts only who are the spiritual descendents of Sri Madhwacharya.

Sri BhavisameeraVadirajaru I (1480-1600 A.D.)

Sri Vadiraja Theertha was the eighteenth pontiff in the lineage of Sri Sode Mutt Born at Kumbhashi, 30 kms north of Udupi, Sri Vadiraja Swami was a great spiritualist and eminent scholar of outstanding ability. He toured throughout the country propagating the Dwaita philosophy.

 He was greatly honoured by the Kings of the Vijayanagara Empire. Apart from writing a number of commentaries and hymns to expound the Dwaita philosophy, he composed hundreds of simple devotional songs in Kannada and Tulu for the use of the common folk. The pattern of worship and
organisation of sri Krishna Mutt and the eight Mutts in their present form was conceived and worked out by him. He redesigned the tenure of Parayaya from two months to two years and got seperate monasteries constructed for the eight pontiffs around Car-street. Having lived for 120 years, Swamiji's Vrindavan is in Sode near Sirsi, which is a holy place of pilgrimage and still potent in granting the devotees desires. Sri Vadiraja Swamiji constructed a temple for Lord Sri Trivikrama and Ramadevi. He was an ardent worshipper of Lord Hayagriva. He is considered to be one of the 'Rujuganas', a heir apparent to the position of Lord Vayu.


The Swamijis of the eight Mutts conduct the worship at Sri Krishna Mutt by turns, for two years each. This tenure of worship by rotation is known as "Paryaya". The Swamiji in charge of worship at any point of time is called 'paryaya Swamiji' and his mutt called the 'Paryaya Mutt'.The biennial transfer of the privilege of worship from one mutt to another is celebrated as a grand festival called 'Paryaya Festival'. The handover of charge begins with a grand procession where all the swamijis are brought in decorated palanquins (Pallaki). The outgoing Swamiji receives the Swamijis and then handsover to the incoming Swamiji, the keys to the Sri Krishna Mutt and the Akshaya patra (a vessel given by Sri I Madhwacharya to the temple for the sake of never-ending Annadana or mass feeding)   Udupi  Paryaya


Sri Madhwacharya initiated Sanyasa to eight of his brahmachari shishyas in order that they propagate the Dwaita Philosophy and carry on the pujas to Sri Krishna. It is said that the number eight is very dear to Lord Krishna, who was the 8th child of Vasudeva and Devaki. Sri Madhwacharya also gave each of the eight Mutts, a deity of the respective mutt.The Paryaya Swamiji assisted by the other Swamijis worships Lord Krishna. There is an elaborate code of elegant rituals governing the daily worship and festivals conducted at the temple regulating the mutual relationship of the eight mutts.

Emerging from the temple of Lord Sri Krishna, the first Mutt to be seen is the Kaniyur Mutt. The main branch of the Mutt is Kaniyur, a place near Kukke Subramanya, 145 kms from Udupi. The original head of the Mutt was Sri Rama Theertha. Sri Narasimha is the presiding deity. The present pontiff of the Mutt is Sri Vidhyavallabha Theertha Swamy.

The second Mutt to be encountered on Car street is the Sri Sode Mutt.The deity is Sri Bhoovaraha. Earlier this Mutt was attached to a place called Kumbashi and called the Kumbhashi Mutt. It was ater the time of Sri Vadiraja Swamiji that the Mutt came to be known as Sri Sode Mutt. Sode or Sonda is a place near Sirsi(North Kanara) and is 224 kms from Udupi. The original head of the Mutt was Sri Vishnu Theertha, the younger brother of Sri Madhwacharya, It is believed that he is still engaged in penance in Kumaradri hills. . The present pontiff of the Mutt is Sri Vishwothama Theertha Swamiji.

After the Sode Mutt, is the Sri Puttige Mutt. Upendra Theertha was the original Swamiji of this Mutt who was given the idol of Sri Vittala by Sri Madhwacharya. The main branch of this Mutt is at Puttige. 21 Kms from Udupi. The present pontiff is Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji.

The next Mutt to be seen is Sri Admar Mutt. The main branch of this Mutt is at a place called Admar, 21 Kms from Udupi. The original head of this Mutt was Sri Narasimha Theertha who worshipped a Kalinga Mardhana Sri Krishna Idol given to him by his Guru Sri Madhwacharya. The present Senior & Junior pontiffs are Sri Vibhudesha Theertha Swamiji and Sri Vishwapriya Theertha Swamiji respectively.

Next to Admar Mutt is the Sri Pejavar Mutt. The original Swamiji of this Mutt was Sri Adhokshaja Theertha. Sri Vittala is the presiding deity of the Mutt. The main branch of this Mutt is at Pejavar 55' Kms from Udupi. The present senior & junior pontiffs are Sri Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji and Sri Vishwaprasanna Theertha Swamiji respectively.

The first Swamiji of this Mutt was Sri Hrishikesha Theertha whose handwritten scripts, are still preserved at the Mutt. For his worship, Sri Madhwacharya gave the idol of Sri Rama. The mainbranch of this mutt is at Palimar 30 Kms. from Udupi. The present pontiff IS Sri Vldhyadeesha Theertha Swamiji.

Sri Krishnapur Mutt is on the Northern side of the Car street, next to Sri Palimar Mutt. The first head of this Mutt was Sri Janardhan Theertha. He was given an idol of Kaliya Mardhana Sri Krishna. the main branch of this Mutt is at Krishnapur near Surathkal 45 kms from Udupi. The present pontiff is Sri Vidhyasagara Theertha Swamiji.

Next to Sri Krishnapur Mutt and on the right side of Sri Krishna Temple we see Shiroor Mutt. Sri Vamana Theertha was the original Swamiji of this Mutt. He received a Sri Vittala idol from Sri Madhwacharya for his worship. The main branch of this Mutt is at Shiroor, a .place 21 kms. from Udupi near Hiriyadka. The present pontiff is Sri Laxmivara Theertha Swamiji.


N.H.17 passes"through Udupi about a Kilometre west of Sri Krishna MuttThe main bus stand is about 250 metres to the west of the temple. The Railway Station is at a distance of 3 Kms. to the eastern side.

The Sri Krishna Mutt is situated in Car street or the RathabeedhiI along with the Ashta Mutts. Tenkapet from the South, Badagupetfrom the North, Padupet from the West are the main motorable approaches. Sri Chandramouleeshwara and AnantheshwaraI temples are also situated alongside Sri Krishna Mutt. In this Rathabeedhi are also situated Annayacharya Mutt, Mulubagilu Mutt, Bhandarikeri Mutt, Vysaraya Mutt,Bheemanakatte Mutt, Uttaradi Mutt and Sri Raghavendra Mutt.
On entering the Car Street through Kanakadasa Road and proceeding towards the North one turns towards the east There is the tower of the Sri Krishna Temple with what is known as Kanakana Kindi. The tower was constructed by the Krishnapura Mutt Swamiji. To the right of that is Maana Stamba. This is between the Anantheshwara & Chandreshwara Temples.
At the entrance we notice a huge Gopura, which was constructed by Sri lakshmivara Theertha Swamiji of Sri Shiroor Mutt in 1978. On entering the Sri Krishna Temple is a huge bronze bell, which is rung during pooja time. There is also a huge plate which is beaten with a wooden hammer notifying the beginning of each & every hour. The Seva Office is to the right Beyond that we descend into the Madhwa Sarovar.

Sri Kanakadasa was a great devotee of Lord Sri Krishna. He lived at around the same time as Sri Vadiraja Swamiji at Udupi and was carrying out his Bhajans in front of the temple regularly. The spot where he was able to obtain darshan of Lord Sri Krishna is now famous as Kanakana Kindi. As per custom, the Swamiji who takes over charge of the worship for 2 years (paryaya) is required to see the Lord first through this spot.


The tank is amongst the most sacred of ancient Theerthas in our country. It is believed that qince in 12 years Mother Ganga flows into this Theertha filling it with her bounty. This was stressed repeatedly by the Saint Vijayadasa in his kritis.

To experience the full realization of this theertha a comprehensive reading of the SKANDA PURANA - SAHYADRI KHANDA - Section is advised. This theertha is named Madhwa Sarovara from the original PAAPA NASHINI (washing away of sins) after the period of Acharya Madhwa.

In the South West corner of the Madhwa Sarovar is a beautiful idol of Bhagirathi seated on a crocodile. In the middle of the tank is a beautiful mantapa. The deites of the Ashta Mutts are specially worshipped (Ksheerabdi Pooja) on the evening of Utthana Dwadashi every year. During Rathosthsava Nights, floating festival or Teppothsava takes place. This mantapa was constructed by Sri Raghavendra Swamiji of Puthige Mutt in the 16th century.

Opposite the Sarovar is the entrance to the Sri Krishna Mutt, where the statue of Chennakeshava greets us on our entrance. Only on Vijadashami Day now is the door opened and the Swamijis distribute the newly harvested holy corn(Kadiru) grown in the Mutt premises. 9 sacred Corns are brought into the shrine on this day for the fresh harvest feast.

On turning left we come across a small room known as Anuyaaga shale, the hall of oblation to the fire-God. Priests make oblation to the fire as puja is performed inside the Sanctum sanctorum.
A golden palanquin is kept in the room in front of that. The golden palanquin was donated by the pontiff of Sri Krishnapur mutt Sri Vidyapurna Thirtha Swamiji. Further on we reach the Surya Shale. Here, scholars recite Veda, Purana, itihaasa and have religious discourses on the works of Sri Madhwacharya. In the evening pipers and musicians play on musical instruments.

To the right is a mantapa in front of the shrine. In between this mantapa and the sanctum sanctorum there is a small passage and a window through which pilgrims can obtain darshan of the Supreme being. This window with nine square openings is called NAVAGRAHA KINDI or window of the nine planets. It is believed that darshan through all nine openings will ensure prosperity. (Navavidha Bhakthi). The window is decorated with the carvings depicting the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
In front of the Navagraha Kindi on either side of the Chandra Saale are the shrines of Lord Mukhyaprana on the North and Lord Garuda in the South. Both these idols were obtained at Ayodhya by Sri Vadiraja Swamiji. Lord Mukhyaprana is worshipped with groundnut floor after the Ratri puja of Lord Krishna. It is called Maharangapuja. All offerings to Lord Krishna are later on brought here and offered to the Lord.

Moving further we encounter the platform for sacred Tulasi plant and a big lamp post, it is well decorated during the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Karthika. The Tulasi plant is worshipped with recitations and dancings for twelve days during this period.
At the steps of the sanctum sanctorum a small shrine can be seen at the Southern side. It is of Sri Madhwacharya. Sri Vadiraja Swamiji installed the beautiful little idol draped in a loin cloth,holding a stick in one hand and the mudras of knowledge and fearlessness in the other.

To the North, a narrow passage leads towards the left to the throne, kitchen and dining hall known as Chauki. The entrance at the right leads to the sanctum sanctorum.


The Garbhagudi consists of 2 rooms. In the bigger room the. Swamiji's perform the daily tarpana. There is also silver mantapa with the golden cradle where the shayanothsava of the Lord takes place. It is in the inner room that the idol of Lord Krishna installed facing west. There is a churning rod in the right hand and rope in the left and is the only one of its kind in India. The unique aspect of this idol is that it is etched with Chakrankitha. Only during ksheera Abhisheka is the beauty of this decoration evident.
This idol was brought from Malpe & immersed in the Papa Nashini theertha (Madhwa Sarovar) by the Acharya himself. Although his fourteen disciples tried to lift and carry the idol for installation, it was not possible for them together. But the Acharya alone was able to carry it and install the same and it stands there till this very day. This was possible for the Acharya to do so himself as he is the third incamation of Lord Vayu. ,

The lamps also have a long history behind them, Lit by the Acharya they burn to this very day, prominent among them, Bhadra Kaludeepa. There is a platform on either side of the Lord, when lamps are lit on this platform the ambience that is created is one of pearls flashing in all glory. To the right of the main idol is another of Sri Venugopalkrishna which is worshipped daily.

Coming out of the Garbagudi is a narrow passage leading to the Sarvajna Peeta (Simhasana). This being the seat of Dwaita philosphy enthrones the Paryaya Swamiji.

On the left is a small dark room reserved for cooking special offerings for Lord Krishna's Naivedya.


Moving ahead leads to the Chauki. The door at the left leads us I to the kitchen. The big hall of the Chauki, with seating capacity of : about 400 is the place where the Swamiji takes food in the form . of prasada of Sri Krishna along with scholars, guests and other pilgrims.


North of the Chauki is the Bhojana Shala. In the dining hall thousands of people are fed every day since the beginning of the . Madhwacharya era. The Bhojana Shala was constructed by the27th Poniff of Sri Shirur Mutt,Sri Lakshmi Samudra Thirtha Swamiji in 1915 AD. It is because of this that Udupi is known as Anna Brahma Kshetra with Tirupathi being known as Kanchana (Gold & Money) Brahma Kshethra and Pandarapura, Nada (music) Brahma Kshethra.

At the end of the passage we can notice the Vasanth mahal - a stage where recitations, lectures, discourses and other cultural programmes take place in the evenings. During the spring festival ! of Vaisakha month the ritual of Vasantha puje takes place here. , Formerly the paryaya congregation also used to take place here.


West of this building is the Badagu Maalige. The Administrative Offices, Treasury, Granary, etc., are found here. Since the days of Shri Vadiraja Swamiji upto the Second half of the 19th century the Paryaya congregation also used to take place in a hall inside the building. Continuing the ancient tradition even now the Swamiji sits on a decorated platform alongwith other Swamijis, exchanging Sandal Paste and other objects on Paryaya eve.

The Ganesha festival is celebrated for 4 days here in the month of Bhadrapada with the Paryaya Swamiji himself performing puja to the specially decorated idol of Sri Ganesha.


East of the Vasanth Mahal is the shrine of Lord Subramanya constructed by Shri Vadiraja Swamiji. It is believed that Lord Subramanya is guarding a great treasure underneath donated to Sri Vadiraja Swamiji by a Moghul Sultan.
To the right side of Sri Subramanya Gudi is the Navagraha gudi.. installed by Sri Laxmivaratheertha Swamiji of Sri Shiroor Mutt in 1995.


Further to the East is the Cow shed (Goshala). Since cows are rendered very dear to Lord Krishna, Go puja is also is one of the sixteen pujas performed by Paryaya Swamiji. It is also a custom that the Paryaya Swamiji personally feeds the cows in the Goshala. after the Mahapuja. Beyond that is the stable for the elephant. . There are two elephants "Lakshmeesha_' and "Subadhra".


Behind Vasantha Mahal on the northern side is Vrindavana. There are 43 Vrindavanas and a very old Ashwatha tree. Aswatha Pradakshina is one of the duties of the Swamiji in charge of the Krishna mutt.

From there we can notice a vast level ground known as Rajangana. Paryaya assembly is arranged here. Mass feeding and cooking takes place here at festival time.

On one side of the Rajangana is the Shiroor Mutt Guest house. On the other side is the Guest house called Birla Choultry. To the side of Birla Chowltry is Sri Krishna Dhama, a Choultry constructed by Sri Vishwesha Thirtha Swamiji of Pejawar Mutt.Facing the Rajangana is the celebrated Gita Mandir constructed by Sri -Sugunendra Thirtha Swamiji of Sri Puthige Mutt which comprises of a meditation hall with all the eighteen chapters of the Sri Bhagavad Geetha inscribed on the walls.

|| Sri Krishnarpanamasthu||

Send your comments and suggestions to
web Design-Mohan Chippagiri