Thursday, March 5, 2009


Udupi and other Temples of Dakshina Kannada

Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka on the west coast has some of the most famous temples. They include famous Krishna temple at Udupi, Mookambika temple at Kolur, Manjunatha temple at Dharmasthala, Subramanya temple at Kukke and Sringeri mutt.
Sri Krishna Mutt, Udupi (Tel. No:0820-2520598) : This is one of holiest pilgrimage centers in India established by Dwaita saint, Sri Madhwacahrya. The unique feature of this temple is that darshana of the lord can be had only thru' a window with nine holes called the Navagraha Kitiki. It is said that idol turned around to provide darshana to Kanakadasa. Only the swamiji are allowed to enter enter the garbha gruha.The presiding Swamiji worships Lord Krishna fourteen times a day. Afternoon and night poojas are elaborate and a treat to watch. View Video
Apart from establishing Krishna Mutt, Madwacharya started eight mutts (called ashta matas) and all the eight mutts can be found in Udupi. Paryaya is an important event in Udupi. Paryaya is a system in which the eight pontiffs of Udupi undertake the responsibility of worshipping Lord Krishna and manage the temple by turn for a fixed period of time. More details of the mutt and the Shrine can be read here .

Udupi Accommodation: Udipi is the ideal base for you to explore all the temples in Dakshina Kannada district. Pilgrims can stay at in various temple guest houses. Gita Bhavan guest house and Krishnapura guest houses are right behind the temple. Sri Bhuvaraha Guest house is opposite Sode mutt.
Kukke Subramanya Temple (Tel #: 0825- 281265) : Temple is situated in Kukke- a scenic village on the foots of Kumara Mountains. Lord Subramanya is the deity worshiped in the form of a Cobra (Sarpa). In the temple, Subramanya is enshrined seated on a peacock in the sanctum of this temple. Also enshrined here are images of Vasuki and Adi Sesha. Legend has it that Garuda, the mount of Vishnu was once chasing Vasuki, the king of snakes. Vasuki took refuge in Subramanya who offered protection to the snake from Garuda
Many devotees visit the temple if their horoscope has “sarpa dosha”. Famous cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar, visited this place to offer prayers as he was believed to be afflicted with Sarpa Dosha
Accommodation : Temple offers excellent accommodation including A/C guest houses. One can visit Dharmasthala in the morning and stay at Subramanya for the night. Regular buses ply between these two important shrines.
Trek to scenic Kumara Parvata is excellent and one of the important hiking trails.

Mookambika temple at Kollur (Tel #-08254-758488) :Goddess Mookambika is in the form of Jyotir-Linga incorporating both Shiva and Shakti. The swayambhu lingam in front of the image installed by Adi Sankara, has a golden rekha (line) approximately at the center, and is considered to be a Shiva-Shakti manifestation.

The Panchaloha image (five element mixed metal) of the Goddess on Shree Chakra is stated to have been consecrated by Adi Shankaracharya during his visit to this place.
You can visit Mookamika temple from Udupi via Kundapur. A trek to the peak of the Kudashadri peak and a hike to the Govinda Theertha waterfalls are noteworthy trips from Kollur. Pooja and other details are listed here

Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple: Manjunatha (Shiva) is the deity of the temple. Dharmasthala literally means “Place of Dharma”. Dharmadhikari at Dharmasthala provides judgement to local disputes and hence the name. Dharmasthala is a miracle of paradoxes. Here different faiths co-exist in harmony. Dharmasthala is famous for its Anna seva - food is provided to lakhs of devotees everyday. Food is prepared in hygienic environment and using modern techniques
Dharmasthala is 100 Kms from Udupi . You can take a bus to Belthangaddi and then a Jeep to Dharmasthla. Temple has numerous guest houses where pilgrims can stay comfortably. Visit the official site for more details.
Sringeri Mutt (Tel #08265-250123) : Sringeri Mutt was established by renowned 8th century philosopher saint Sri Adi Shankara, the principal exponent of Advaita (non-dualism). The Divinity of Knowledge, Goddess Sharada, installed at Sringeri by Sri Adi Shankara, graces the Peetham as the presiding deity. It is said that Shankaracharya decided to establish peetam at Sringeri after he saw a rare sight of a hooded king cobra giving shade to a pregnant frog, thus saving it from the burning rays of the sun. Adi Sankara felt that the place had to remarkable if the worst of enemies help each other.
Sringeri is located amidst the Western Ghats in Chikamaglur district of Karnataka, heart of "Malandu", on the left bank of the river Tunga. The twelve pillars in the Vidyashankar temple, popularly known as Rashistambhas (zodiacal pillars) is a major attraction. . Symbols of the twelve divisions of the zodiac are engraved on hese pillars. It is said that the design of the pillars involved certain astro-nomical concepts – for example, the first rays of the rising sun fall on specific pillars with the zodiacal symbol on the pillar corresponding to the position of the sun.
There are many routes to reach Sringeri. If you reaching from Udupi or Mangalore, you need to reach Karkala and take the scenic route to reach Sringeri. There are overnight buses from Bangalore.
Daily Anna Dhanam is a significant feature of Sri Sharadha Peetam Sringeri..Every Devotee or Pilgrim who visits Sringeri is given bhojan. Temple offers Annaseva as well has clean comfortable rooms for accommodation. More details can be found here


Mantralaya is one of the important pilgrimage centers in South India as it houses the original samadhi of the great Vaishnava saint Sri Raghavendra.
Sri Ragahavendra selected Mantralaya for his Jeeva Samadhi. Devotees visit Mantralaya to have the darshan of the Brindavan of Sri Raghavendra. The mutt is situated on the banks of river Tungabhadra in the state of Andhra Pradesh bordering Karnataka.
Reaching Mantralaya: It is easily accessible by train as it on the Chennai /Bangalore – Mumbai line. Almost all train stops at Mantralaya Road station which is just 12 Kms from the Mutt. For those coming from Mumbai, Mumbai – Chennai Express starting from Mumbai at 2 PM is most convenient as it reaches Mantralaya by 4 AM. Bangaloreans can reach Mantralaya by Udyan Express. KSTDC also runs a conducted tour covering Mantralaya and surrounding places. More details on reaching Mantralaya from various cities is available here.
Sevas at Mantralaya : For sevas, you need to make a booking at the temple office by 8 AM. Detailed list of sevas are available here. Most popular is the Sankalpa Seva. Details on Sankalpa seva can be read here. Aradhana at Mantralaya is very popular and numerous devotes reach Mantralaya at the time of Aradhana. Poorna Aradhana for the year 2007 is on 29th August.
Accommodation :Temple has several guest houses which are provided to devotees for nominal fee. You can find teh availability at central booking office at the road junction near the Mutt. Rooms are clean and well maintained and available for a nominal fee. Advance booking is possible for the newly constructed 100 rooms guest house and AC rooms. Details for advance booking
Temple also serves free meals as Prasadam to all devotees visiting Mantralaya
Near Mantralaya :
Panchamukhi temple near Mantralaya is a must visit. Autorickshaws ply between Mantralaya and Panchamukhi temple. Navabrindavana and Hampi are other destinations near Mantralaya


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