Monday, April 30, 2012

Sri Krishna Temple, Udupi: A Temple most visited by me!

Sri Krishna Temple, Udupi, is a very popular Temple in our country and it is the most visited Temple by me! Certainly over 150 times and perhaps very close to 200 times! While I was studying Bachelor of Engineering, 5-Year Course, at Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, it was our practice to visit Sri Krishna Temple at Udupi / Udipi, every Saturday. The Temple is under 7 kms. from Manipal. This practice was started and was there among my brother, Dr. Lakshminarsu and his friends who were my seniors at Manipal, studying Bachelor of Dental Surgery at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. Every Saturday evening I used to go to my brother’s hostel and from there we used to go in a group to Udipi and visit Sri Krishna Temple and the nearby Temples. After the visit to the Temples we used to have heavy refreshments at Mitra Samaj which is close to the Temple and sometimes at other popular eating places in Udipi like Diana. When I completed my III-Year Engineering, my brother completed his Graduation and left Manipal. And then I continued this practice of visiting Sri Krishna Temple every Saturday with my engineering college - junior, Alladi Raghu, who incidentally is my friend since childhood and our neighbor at Secunderabad.
Sri Krishna Temple, Udipi, is a very ancient Temple; it came into existence towards the end of 13th century. It is said that a Ship carrying the Statue of Lord Krishna from Dwaraka sank due to a storm in the Arabian Sea, close to Malpe Village, which is 3 kms. from Udipi. After sometime when Saint Sri Madhvacharya came to Udipi for spreading his philosophy, a divine power guided him to Malpe to retrieve the Statue of Lord Krishna from the Sea. He brought the Statue to Udupi and placed it in the pond that you can see at the Temple today (Madhava Sarovar) and then on the day of Sankranti he placed it at the present Sanctum Sanctorum, where it is being worshipped since then.
The unique feature of this Temple since 16th century is that Lord Krishna is worshipped by the visiting devotees only through a window! having nine holes, called the Navagraha Kitiki. In the 16th century during the rule of Sri Vaadiraja, a devotee named Kanakadasa came to Udipi to worship Lord Krishna but he was not allowed inside the Temple as he belonged to a lower caste and was considered an untouchable. Kanakadasa sat in penance behind the Temple and worshipped the Lord, pleased with the devotion Lord Krishna created a hole in the back wall and turned to face the hole and through it Kanakadasa. Since then the original entrance is closed and the archakas enter the Sanctum Sanctorum through a side door to carry out the daily worship and rituals, and the visiting devotees have to pray through the window!

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