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Temples Of India
Lord Siva To Be Adored The Devalayas Of Karnataka
Palani Dhandhayudhapani The Kovils Of Kerala
The Temples of North-West India Temples For The Triple Sects
Mata Kanakadurga of Vijayawada The Legend Of Mata Kanyaka Parameswari
The Temples Of North-East India Mantralya Mahakshetra
The Aalayas of Andhra Pradesh The Mandirs Of Maharastra
Mighty Atoms For Tiny Tots Lord Siva Of Sri Kalahasthi
Bhagawan Vithoba Of Pandharpur Bizarre Beliefs And Odd Traditions
Asoka Priyadarsin The Mother Of Melmaruvathur And Her Miracles
Vishnu Mayam Jagat Sarvam Sakti Mayam
The Temples Of Tamilnadu Hindu Ethos In Capsules - Vol I

Hindu Ethos In Capsules - Vol II

Hullo Tirupathi !
Uthuthshta Govinda Cum Jo Jo Mukunda The Miracles Of Gods For The Debacles Of Humans
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Udipi - Sri Hrishna Devalaya

The Glory Of Udipi

Its original Sanskrit name was Udupa - 'Udu' standing for star, and 'Pa' for Lord, which means the Lord of stars - i.e. Moon. Udupa accordingly represents Lord Siva bearing the moon on his head. This etymological meaning justifies its name; for, there is an ancient temple for Lord Chandeamauliswara here. So people called it in all probability Udupa. As Sanskrit has a unique magical flexibility of yielding several meanings; it can be taken to mean a boat or raft, and this too finds justification; for, it stands for a place to which Lord Krishna came from Dwaraka by boat under extraordinary circumstances. Yet there is another version in Kannada which attributes it to the boat, that cracked before reaching the destination. Tulu origin corroborates the incident of cracking of boat that necessitated the landing of icon of Krishna here. Thus, the word Udipi, a variant of original Udupa, admitting several interpretations ends that it was the seat of Lord Chandramauliswara and also Krishna.

The Temple Complex

This famous temple is situated in the Car Street, the spiritual
treasure house of Udipi, as it were. This beautifully designed and well-built Car Street, studded with Mutts and temples is rectangular in form, and huge in extent. And it is the haven of eight eminent pontiffs and learned scholars. As we enter the Car Street, the imposing tower of Krishna Mutt greets our sight. Underneath the tower lies the reputed Kanakadasa IGndi
- Kanakadasa window - an integral part of Kanakadasa Mantap, enshrining the image of the Saint - Poet Kanakadasa, who stayed here during his visit to the temple. And this one is held in high,esteem and equated with other places of worship. Of the illustrious dasas, like Purandaradasa, Vijayadasa,
etc. Kanakadasa is deemed superior. When he visited this place, Saint Vadiraja, recognising the highly evolved soul enshrining in him, arranged for his stay at a cottage lying just opposite the present Krishna Mandir.
He spent the whole time singing in praise of Krishna's glory to the
accompaniment of Tambura. Despite a wall separating him and the Lord's image, he enjoyed the sight of Balakrishna's divyamangala rupa seeing him with his inner eye. Can there be any barrier for the antarchakshu - inner eye ? After a few days, there heard  ear-splitting sound of earth quake one night. And it stopped soon after making a crack in the wall, adequate enough to peep in at the image of Balakrishna in the temple. It shocked the people, but surprised Vadiraja, who at once closing the portion cracked, installed a window to enabling the devotees to have the darsan of Lord Krishna round the clock. Since then the window is reverentially called Kanakadasa window. And to perpetuate this great event and honour Kanakadasa, the tradition of looking at the presiding deity through this window before entering the temple was started. Even now the eight pontiffs too are honouring this much-hallowed practice along with the visiting public.

This august window going by the name of Navagrahakitiki - has nine square holes. And it is through this window alone the visitors see the archamurti. The garbhagtiha has no entrance - front or back side for public. A curious feature! Everyone - high or low is allowed to avail the darsan of the Lord through this window, covered with artistically carved silver plates. Ah! What a tradition! How unique! Nay, it is unique of uniques never found anywhere in a Krishna temple and in any point of time. The statues of Jaya-Vijaya, the eternal sentinels are seen on either side of this holy window. It is decorated with the carvings of dasavataras of Lord Vishnu.

Everyone is to be satisfied with seeing the image of that Jaganmohanakara adorned with churning rod in the right hand and rope in the left and with innocent face flashing smiles. No similar in size, pose, charm etc. are found anywhere in India. This garbhagriha has many more surprises to surprise the devotees. The belief current is that the oil lamp lighted first by that great Madhva Peetadhipathi is still burning. By feeding it with oil periodically, it is kept up burning un extinguished. Another! The illustrious Chaitanya Maharshi of Brindavan during his visit got a lamp lighted from this Akhanda jyoti and took it to Brindavan to preserve it there. So the Madhvacharya's jyoti is not only illumining this Krishna Mandir, but in the very far off place, where the Lord demonstrated his sports some millenniums ago. There are two shrines on either side of the hall in front of it dedicated to Mukhyaprana and Garuda. And these two according to tradition are brought from Ayodhya by Sri Vadiraja and installed by himself. Another object that draws reverent attention is the Tulasi Brindavan. It is worshipped in the bright fortnight of lunar month of Karthika with unprecedented fervour. For 12 days along with pujas, devotees dance round it in ecstasy. An oddity! Next visit-worthy shrine is Madhvacharya's. Here the Acharya reveals in lion's cloth with a stick beside right and mudras of knowledge and abhaya. It was installed by Sri Vadiraja with a view to instilling and igniting the high ideals of devotion to gurus. Simhasana is another venerated place with two rooms - big and small. The idols of the Matadhipathi are kept in the small room and the other, for cooking special dishes for the Lord's naivedya. There is a room called Canki next, where the Acharya dines with eminent personages.

Annual Festivals

Every Hindu festival - from least to the highest distinction of creditable sanctity is celebrated here with due rituals, along with pomp and splendour. So hectic spiritual activity seems a regular feature in the temple . throughout the year. Besides the usually performed festivals, like Ugadi, Vasantotsava, Mahabhishekha, Nagapanchami and Punyathithis of pontiffs, the Jayanthis of Hanuman, Krishna, Kalki, Bhuvaraha, Buddha, Madhava, Datta, Kumara, Narasimha, Chaturmasya, Sri Raghavendra festival, Uttaradwadasi, Laksha Deepotsava, Subrahmanya Shasti, Teppotsava, Rathasaptami, Sivaratri, Holi - Kamadahana, Vyasa Punya thithi and Vadiraja Punyathithi are celebrated with unusual pomp. No temple in India could stand comparison with this in the celebration of a wide variety of festivals and to witness the glory of Hinduism, one has to visit this temple and feast his mind, eye and soul than reading descriptions, which alas! end like man's incessant stretching his hand to grab the far end of that spectacular Indradhanus.

It lies near Mangalore, one of the famous towns of Karnataka accessible by bus.


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