Three Days Tour
Visit to Sri Krishna Mutt – Udupi
Sri Krishna Temple Udupi is first among the seven places of pilgrimages. The unique feature of Sri Krishna Mutt temple is that the Lord is worshiped 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.
The Krishna Mutt was founded by the Vaishnavite saint Shri Madhwacharya in the 13th century. He was the founder of the Dvaita school of Vedanta. It is believed that Madhwacharya found the idol of Sri Krishna in a large ball of gopichanda. Legend has it that once Kanakadasa, a pious worshiper, and devotee of Lord Krishna, was not allowed into the temple. It didn’t upset him; instead, it made him pray with intense devotion. Lord Krishna was so pleased that the statue turned back to where Kanakadasa was praying, and the wall before Kanakadasa broke up to allow the disciple to gaze upon his heavenly form at the back of the mutt (monastery). Till today, devotees still worship Lord Krishna by praying through the same window that Kanakadasa was blessed with a view: It is known as Kanakanakindi.
Direct students of Madhvacharya were many. His first disciple was Shri Sathya Theertha. All other mathas except the Ashta mathas were established by Sri Padmanabha Thirtha. His disciples do not have the right to perform pooja to Lord Udupi Shri Krishna as it is headed and governed by the Ashta mathas such as Sode Matha, Shirur Matha, Kanniyur Matha, Pejavara Matha, Palimaru Matha, Adamaru Matha, Krishnapura Matha, Puthige Matha
Sri Krishna Mutt Acharya and Purohits conduct the poojas, before the sunrise and after the sunset, 14 poojas are held. They are Nirmalya Visarjane, Ushakal Puja, Akshaya Pathra Pooja and Gopuja, Panchamratha Abhisheka Pooja, Alankarapuje, Avsarankhadi Pooja, Udvartha Pooja, Kalash Pooja, Thiratha Pooja, Mahapuje, Chamaraseve, Ratripuje, Mantapa Pooja and Shayanothsava Pooja. Pooja will be held early in the morning 4:30 am to 8:30 pm. For the devotees, Sri Krishna Mutt will be open till 10:30 pm. In Sri Krishna Temple at Udupi have three chariots, Biggest one chariot is called Brahma Ratha, Medium one is called Garuda Ratha and the small one is called Chikha Ratha.
Visit to Ashta Mutt – Udupi
Next to Sode Mutt in the southern portion of the Car Street is Puttige Mutt. The main branch of this Mutt is in the village by name Puttige. The main icon illuminating Shree Puthige Matha is the Lord Panduranga Vittala given by Acharya Madhva.
The idol of Vittal with Rukmini and Satyabhama gifted to the first pontiff Sri Upendra Thirtha by the Acharya Madhwa is worshipped here. The idol has a smiling face with conch in one hand. The other hand with abhaya mudra is placed on the waist. Since other two Mutts also have the idol of Vittala, the idol of this Mutt is known as Upendra Cvithala to distinguish this from the other idols as the one worshiped by the pontiff Upendra thirtha.
One of the original disciples of Acharya Madhwa was Shree Upendra Theertha. He was very dear to Acharya Madhva and served him with a lot of devotion. When the Acharya and his disciples were on their second pilgrimage to Badri, they were attacked by a band of robbers. Under the Acharya’s inspiration and with his blessings, Shree Upendra Teertha fought with the robbers and single-handedly drove them away. Such was the power of the grace of Acharya on Shree Upendra Teertha. Acharya gave Shree Upendra Teertha an icon of Lord Panduranga Vittala.
The 29th Swamiji in the lineage Sri Sugunendra Tirtha is the present pontiff. He was initiated into the order at the age of 13 on the 8th April 1974.
Visit to Sri Durga Devi Temple – Kunjargiri
The small town of Kunjaru is well renowned for Shri Durga Devi Temple which is situated on a hilltop, resembling a “Kunjara” meaning an elephant. It is believed that the image of Goddess Durga was installed by Lord Parashurama. This place is also known as “Vimanagiri” as it is said that God and Goddesses descended by “Vimana” to offer floral tribute during the installation of the idol.
The temple can be reached by climbing 257 steps. The temple has a square built, made of stone in typical coastal sloping roof style. There are four ponds around the hill which were visited daily by Shri Madhava. These four ponds are Dhanush Theertha, Baana Theertha, Parashu Theertha and Gada Theertha. The idol of the deity stands in full splendor in the garbhagriha. The image of Goddess Durga is a Chaturbhuja image, holding the Shankha (Conch), Chakra (Discus), Dhanush (Bow) and Trishula (Trident).
The festival Sharannavarathri is grandly celebrated. Also, the annual chariot festival is celebrated with great pomp and show with many devotees thronging the place to seek Her blessings.
Visit to Pajaka Kshethra
Pajaka is a village in Udupi Taluk and district of Karnataka state in India. Pajaka is the place where Dvaita philosopher Sri Madhvacharya was born. The place is near Kunjarugiri Durga temple.
The importance of Pajaka kshetra is also narrated in a small biographical poem called “Sampradaya Paddhati”, whose author is Sri Madhvacharya’s direct deciple Sri Hrushikesha, the mula yati of Sri Palimaru Mata.
Sri Vadiraja Swamy of the Sode Mata in his “Tirtha prabandha” explains Pajaka Kshetra as a very holy place because it was here Sri Mukyaprana was born as Sri Madhvacharya and hence it has to be visited all wise men.
There is an impression of Sri Madhvacharya’s feet near his house. Sri Vadiraja Swamy later installed an idol of Sri Madhvacharya there, which is now a temple and where he is worshiped by devotees till date.
There are many interesting places to see at Pajaka. Perhaps the most important of all is the ancestral home and birthplace of Sri Madhva. There are many archaeological pieces of evidence of the life and times of Sri Madhva at this place. This includes the spot where his Aksharabhyasa (Initiation Ceremony) was performed, a banyan tree supposed to have been planted by him, the place where Sri Madhva (by virtue of being an avatar of Vayu) lifted two huge stones and placed them on pots, and a pond where Sri Madhva is supposed to have brought the water from 4 nearby ponds (Dhanus Theertha, Gada Theertha, Bana Theertha and Parashu Theertha).
There is also a Madhva Mandira very close to the house. A lot of religious activities happen here and it is also a Vidyapeeth where students learn Vedas and Sanskrit. The entire complex is managed by Sri Kaniyooru Matha, one of the eight mathas Sri Madhva established.
The Kunjaragiri Durga temple is also a fascinating place to visit. The temple is located on top of a hill and the hill offers some breathtaking sceneries of Udupi. There is also a Parashurama temple nearby.
Visit to Malpe Beach
Approximately six kilometers to the West of Udupi is the town of Malpe – a well-renowned port and fishing Harbour. Malpe beach is a famous tourist attraction. Every tourist who visits the beach swears by its beauty. One can enjoy the peace and quietude while taking a leisurely stroll on the silvery stretch of sand, flanked by the calm tides on one side and gracefully swaying palm trees on the other.
While on most days the beach is sparsely populated, weekends see a rise of tourists and locals thronging the place for an enjoyable evening. In recent times, evening entertainment has added to the glory. One can rent sea bikes, or take a camel ride in the cool breeze. There is also paragliding for those interested.
Quite close to the beach are four Islands known as St Mary’s Islands. Their unique geological formation of columnar basaltic lava sets them apart. As declared by the survey of India 2001, St. Mary’s Islands are one among 26 geological monuments of India. This place attracts a lot of geologists too.
Even though there aren’t buildings or shops on the Island, tourists can certainly enjoy the untouched charm of the place. It takes one far from the humdrum of city life. There are covered pavilions with seats on the shore for tourists to enjoy the virginal beauty of the seascape.
It is preferable that the visitors carry their own drinking water, and food items at these Islands. Also it is advised to take along sun protection gear such as sun screen, hats and sunglasses for climatic conditions. The fort on the Island of Daria-Bahadurgad is also visited by many.