Udupi, the coastal town in south India is the centre of Dwaitha philosophy. With the installation of Idol of Lord Sri Krishna by Jagadguru Sri Madhwacharya in the 12th century A.D., It has become very famous tourist centre in India. Sri Madhwacharya instated Ashtamathas, located in the famous Car Street, surrounding the Sri Krishna Temple. Udupi and Krishna Temple have become the synonyms of each other.
Udupi is a land of ethereal beauty, sandwiched between the verdant mountains of the western ghats on the east and the vast, tranquil Arabian Sea on the west. A few years agao, this became a new district, carved out of the erstwhile Dakshina Kannada, which was more aptly called “Parashurama Srishti”, encapsulates the vast cultural heritage. Udupi is also well known world over to the millions of connoisseurs of food as the birth place of Udupi Hotels. It never ceases to enchant visitors from length and breadth of the country and the world over.
The temple town Udupi is not only a popular pilgrimage place but also the birth place of many banks of national repute. Even the modern, world famous educational campus of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE, a deemed university) is situated within a distance of 5 km from Udupi.
Lord Krishna is worshipped scrupulously 14 times a day, according to an elaborate code of elegant rituals, starting at 4 AM and closing at about 11 AM. The unique feature of this temple is that the Lord is worshipped only through a window with nine holes called the Navagraha Kitiki. The window is exquisitely carved and silver – plated. It has been a tradition in this temple to worship the Lord only through this window. A distinguishing aspect of this worship is feeding of devotees on a large scale.
Besides the holy image of Sri Krishna, there are many subsidiary deities and noteworthy spots for pilgrims to see inside Krishna Temple, and around the Car Street. There are two small enclosures enshrining images of Hanuman (Mukhyaprana) and Garuda in the north-western and south-western corners of Sri Krishna temple. These deities were brought from Ayodhya and installed in the 16th century by Sri Vadiraja Swami. In the north eastern corner, one can see a room containing a holy seat called SIMHASANA. This is the spot on which Sri Madhva used to sit and meditate. It is the privilage of the Paryaya Swamiji to occupy this seat for Japa, meditation and distribution of holy water and prasadam to devotees. This holy seat is near the entrance of the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Krishna Shrine. At this entrance, there is a beautiful image of Sri Madhva, installed by Sri Vadiraja Swami.
Adjacent to the main corridor through which the pilgrims enter the Krishna temple, there is the holy tank called MADHVA SAROVARA. The Swamijis have to bathe in this tank beofre they commence the worship at the shrine. A lovely image of goddess Bhagirathi is worshipped in the south-western corner of this tank.
In the outer wing of the temple, on the northern side, pilgrims come across a small shrine of Subrahmanya, dining halls, administrative office, Vrindavans of deceased Swamijis, and auditoriums meant for religious discourses or cultural programmes.
The headquarters of the Eight Mathas are housed in eight buildings situated around the Car Street. The names of these Mathas and their original monks are listed below, according to the serial order in which they assume charge of worship of Sri Krishna and conduct the Paryaya:
1. PALIMARU Matha – Hrishikesha Theertha
2. ADAMARU Matha – Narasimha Theertha
3. KRISHNAPURA Matha – Janardana Theertha
4. PUTTIGE Matha – Upendra Theertha
5. SHIROORU Matha – Vamana Theertha
6. SODE Matha – Vishnu Theertha
7. KANIYOORU Matha – Rama Theertha
8. PEJAVARA Matha – Adhokshaja Theertha
You may find more information about the temple here…