Udupi – The seat of Lord Krishna
Udupi, apart from being growing coastal city situated at the southern tip of the Konkan, is famous for its temples and is revered by pilgrims as a sacred place. The Shri Krishna Math temple dominates Udupi’s skyline. The most well-known landmark of the city, Udupi’s history has been entwined with this sacred structure for centuries.
According to local accounts, the temple has been in existence for more than 1,500 years, and the sacred Idol of Krishna was installed by the great sage Madhvacharya in the 13th century. According to legend, a ship which had set sail from Dwarka had found itself stuck in a storm just off the coast of Udupi. Madhvacharya, known for his miracles, calmed the waters and allowed the ship to safely come ashore at Malpe Beach. The grateful captain had wanted to give the sage all of the cargo as a gift for their rescue, but Madhvacharya refused, and asked only for the Krishna idol, which was in the cargo hold. It is this idol that is, till this day, the heart and soul of the temple.
On the 18th of January on every even-numbered year, Udupi celebrates Paryaya. A monk, known as a Swamiji, has to handle the administration and puja of the temple, and every two years a new Swamiji ‘ascends’ to this position. This handing over ceremony is known as Paryaya. Being Udupi’s biggest festival, preparations begin the previous year itself, and thousands flock to this grand gathering.
Do make sure to pay a visit to this spiritual place, if only for the other worldly atmosphere. You can’t miss it, and there’s a special reason why: All of Udupi’s main roads are built to lead right to the temple!