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Udupi Krishna Temple


Viewed through a window with nine holes called the Navagraha kindi, Udupi Sri Krishna appears to his devotees as Muddu Krishna, the Cute Krishna. This window is elegantly carved and is silver plated. Founded by the Vaishnavite Saint Sri Madhwacharya, Udupi Sri Krishna temple was built in the 13th century. It is believed that Sri Madhwacharya found the idol of Sri Krishna in a large ball of gopichandana (yellow clay used by Vaishnavites to mark their bodies). The idol was installed by Sri Madhwacharya on the Makara Sankranthi day.


This idol of Bala Krishna was hidden in the gopichandana in Dwaraka. The sailors of a merchant ship decided to use the gopichandana (which they assumed was clay) as ballast. Headed on a southward sailing, the ship was blown by a tempest. Sri Madhwacharya who was then in the sandbank waved his uparni towards the ship and the ship sailed to the safety of the sand bank. The captain of the ship thanked Sri Madhwacharya for his help and offered to give him anything he wanted from the ship and Sri Madhwacharya chose the yellow gopichandana. The disciples of Sri Madhwacharya carried the lump towards Udupi and as they were proceeding the clay lump broke into two to reveal the beautiful idol of Muddu Bala Krishna.


The uniqueness of this temple is the darshan of Sri Krishna - through the Kanakanakindi, the window through which the devotee of the Lord, Kanakadasa offered his worship. Kanakadasa was not allowed inside the temple premises owing to his caste. He made a hermitage for himself just behind the temple and lived there to serve his Lord from outside the temple. One night there was a huge earthquake and the wall of the temple broke in such a way that Kanakadasa could get a darshan of his Lord. It is believed that Sri Krishna turned to face the broken area so that Kanakadasa could get his darshan.


Temple Tour


  • The temple is built resembling the Kerala style of architecture.

  • The entrance of the temple leads to the temple tank called the Madhwa sarovara. Western entrance leads the devotee into the temple shrine.

  • The statue of Chenna Keshava is placed on the eastern side.

  • There is an anuyaaga sala in the circumambulating path wherein offerings are made to the Fire God when puja is being offered in the Sanctum Sanctorum.

  • The Surya Sale is the place wherein learned scholars recite the Vedas and Puranas.

  • Adjacent to Surya Sale is the Chinnada Koone wherein all the jewelry of Lord Sri Krishna is stored. Jewelry collection includes contributions from the emperors of Vijayanagar to the Kings of Mysore.

  • There is a mantapa in front of the shrine; there is a passage between the mantapa and the Sanctum Sanctorum. This passage houses the Navagraha kindi through which the Lord can be viewed. Devotees cannot enter the Sanctum Sanctorum.

  • You will see intricate carvings on the door to the sanctum sanctorum.

  • The idol of Lord Krishna is in the bala roopa i.e. small boy adorned with gold and gems. Lord Krishna holds a churning rod in his right hand and a rope in his left hand. The butter churning rod represents the Lord churning the soul to obtain the butter of bhakti in humans.

  • The lamps lit inside are said to have been lit by Sri Madhwacharya and they are kept always lit. Utmost care has been taken to keep the lamp lit.

  • Carnad Sale is located to west of the mantapa on its front side. Kanakas window (Kanakanakhindi) is located on the wall of this hall.

Sri Madhwacharya among his numerous disciples had nominated eight direct disciples responsible for the puja and sevas of Sri Krishna at Udupi. These eight disciples went on to establish eight different Mathas. These eight maths take turn in performing the puja for two years. Collectively these maths are called as the Krishna math. The eight maths are Pejawara, Puttige, Palimaru, Adamaru, Sodhe, Kanivooru, Shirur and Krishnapura. Once in two years on the 18th of January, transfer of Krishna puja takes place; the ceremony is celebrated with pomp and is called Paryayothsava.


Numerous ceremonies are performed throughout the day in the form of sevas or pujas. Offerings for Lord Krishna begin from 5 in the morning with the Nirmalya Visarjana and ends with the Ekantaseva at night. Sapthothsava - another special ceremony is celebrated for seven days, the event concludes on the 8th day with thousands of devotees witnessing the Churnothsava.

The golden chariot for Lord Sri Krishna is another major attraction in Udupi. Festivals celebrated include Sri Madhwa Navami, Sri Rama Navami, Holi Kamadahana, Vasantotsava, Narasimha Jayanthi, Chaturmasa, Sri Krishna Jayanthi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navarathri, Deepavali, Sashti, Dhanupuja, etc.


Udupi is about 60 kilometers from Mangalore. Mangalore is well connected by air, rail and road. Udupi is a major station on the Konkan rail route and is well connected by road too. The temple is open from 5 in the morning to 9.30 in the night. Free food is served in the temple for devotees.

Udupi Krishna Temple
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Udupi Krishna Temple