Exploring The Offbeat Temples In Udupi: A Guide For Devotees

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The district of Udupi is famous for many things such as natural beauty thanks to its 100 kilometers long coastline and the verdant mountain ranges of the Sahyadris. It is also a famous medical tourism and education destination but perhaps what people don’t know is that it is also one of the most offbeat religious places for a pilgrimage in South India. Temples such as the Sri Krishna Mutt and the Sri Anantheswara Temple attract devotees from across the length and breadth of Karnataka yet very few people across India know about them.

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Top 10 Temples To Visit In Udupi

  1. Shri Anantheswara temple
  2. Astha Mathas in Udupi and the Sri Krishna Math
  3. Shri Chandramouleeshwara Temple
  4. Shri Vishweshwara Temple
  5. Sri Anantha Padmanabha Temple, Hebri
  6. Siddhi Vinayaka Temple Anegudde
  7. Batte Vinayaka Temple
  8. Neklaje Sri Kalikamba Temple
  9. Sri Indrani Panchadurga Parameshwari Temple
  10. Shree Bramalingeshwara Temple

1. Shri Anantheswara Temple

Shri Anantheswara Temple is the most ancient temple in Udupi district in the village of Shivalli, which according to legend derived its name from this temple. The Brahmins in the village are known as Shivalli Brahmins. While there is a linga in the inner sanctum and the temple is regarded as that of Lord Shiva, Vaishnavites worship the image as both Shiva and Vishnu. During temple processions, the idol that is taken out is of Lord Ananthapadmanaba, which is a sign that the temple is the abode of both Shiva and Vishnu.

The best time to visit the Sri Anantheshwara Temple is during the annual festival held here on Kumbha Maasa or Maha Shivarathri.

2. Astha Mathas in Udupi and the Sri Krishna Math

Astha means ‘eight’ and ‘matha’ means monastery. The Astha mathas are eight monasteries of Hinduism founded by Saint Madhvacharya, founder of the Dvaita school of Hindu philosophy. Out of these eight mathas, the Sri Krishna matha is the most famous and was founded in the 13-century.

Each of the mathas was assigned a deity for daily worship. These deities were the four avatars of Lord Vishnu, namely, Krishna (Vittala), Rama, Narasimha, and Varaha.

These mathas are eight in number because it is believed that eight is the favourite number of Lord Krishna who was also the eighth child of Vasudeva and Devaki.

The Sri Krishna Matha has the unique feature of being able to be viewed from nine different holes known as “Navagraha Kitiki”. The entire math complex is full of ornate and elaborate carvings.

3. Shri Chandramouleeshwara Temple

Adjacent to the Shri Anantheswara Temple and smaller in size, this temple is an ancient place about which few historical details can be found. According to legend, the Moon God had performed at the spot where the temple stands today and pleased with this, Lord Shiva appeared in front of him and granted his wish. The Chandramouleeshwara Temple also surfaced at this spot to commemorate this event.

According to the literary work Madhwa Vijaya, the temple used to be called Moodu Devalaya as it to the east (Moodu) of the Anantheswara Temple. It is said that visitors should first visit the Chandramouleeshwara Temple and then proceed to the Anantheswara Temple.

4. Shri Vishweshwara Temple

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The Shri Vishweshwara Temple is situated in the small village of Yellur in the Udupi district of Karnataka. The temple is dedicated to Vishweshwara or Lord Shiva. The temple is more than 1000 years old and has been mentioned in 12 rock diktats.

Such is the importance of the temple in the local life around the place that devotees from neighbouring villages such as Belapu, Kunjoor, Kuthyar, Maniyoor, Naandikoor, Adve, Santoor, and Padoor flock to the temple to offer their respects. It is considered part of a tradition to light earthen lamps, offer tender coconut and gold coins.

Although the temple is devoted to Shiva, there are also shrines dedicated to Lord Vinayaka and Goddess Annapoorneshwari.

5. Sri Anantha Padmanabha Temple, Hebri

The temple of Lord Anantha Padmanabha is another historic and famous temple in Udupi. The inner sanctum accommodates a black granite sculpture, which various historical records have pointed out as the deity of Sri Anantha Devaru or Sri Anantha Padmanabha. The Beedina Ballala family of Hebri has been looking after the management of the temple since the 18-century. The annual festival of Gounothsva is held for five days every year here.

6. Siddhi Vinayaka Temple Anegudde

Anegudde, it a small hamlet, which is located in the Udupi district in Karnataka. The meaning of Anegudda is elephant hill in the local language. This place is famous for the Siddhi Vinayak Temple. This village is also known by another name, which is Kumbhasi.

The Siddhi Vinayaka Temple in Anegudde has an age-old history and there is a colourful legend surrounding the temple and Lord Vinayaka. Here’s what the story is all about. Sage Agastya, for the well-being of everyone, was performing a ritual, when the demon Khumbasura tried stopping the yagna. Seeing this, Bheem, one of the Pandavas, decided to kill Khumbasura. Bheem killed Khumbhasura with a sword, which was gifted to him by Lord Vinayaka. After this sage Agastya was able to complete his ritual successfully. The people of the village became extremely prosperous and as a sign of thanks started worshiping Lord Vinayaka.

Lord Ganesha’s idol is in a standing position in the temple. His four hands are in the sanctorum. The first two hands are held up, these hands are known as “Varad Hasta”, meaning offering divine boons. And the other two hands, which are held down means salvation. The temple is loaded with scriptures on the walls, which are related to ancient Puranas.

If you are planning to visit Siddhi Vinayak Temple, then you must visit it during Ganesh Chaturthi. People from all over the country visit Vinayak Temple during this time.

7. Batte Vinayaka Temple

Another temple that you must visit in this region is the Batte Vinayaka Temple. This is one of the oldest shrines of this area. A large number of people travel from all over India to Batte Vinayaka Temple during Ganesh Chaturthi and on Sankashtahara Chaturdashi. The idol of Lord Ganesha in this temple is facing towards the north. This is probably the only temple, which has the Ganesha idol facing north.

It is said that the temple was constructed before the advent of the Barkur Kingdom. Many temples in this region deteriorated with time due to natural calamities and lack of maintenance.

8. Neklaje Sri Kalikamba Temple

Sri Kalikamba Temple is an important temple in Neklaje. It is believed that the Sri Kalikamba Temple was constructed during the eleventh or the twelfth century and was built by a well-known sculptor, Arkasali Bhujangacharya. This temple is situated in the west of Sri Bahubali Hills. A lot of devotees travel to Neklaje Sri Kalikamba to pray and for its quiet and calm atmosphere.

Once you go inside the temple, you will see the idol of Goddess Kalikamba, who is sitting in a posture holding sword, fruits, chakra, and the Abhaya Mudra in her four arms. After Balmanja Krishnayya Purohitha took over the charge, this temple gained a lot of recognition. He took the initiative of the development of the temple. After the temple was fully renovated, Brahmakalashothsava was performed.

The outer yard has the Anheneya and Datthathreya shrines along with Panjurli Bhoothas, Raktheshwari, and Kalkuda shrines. During Mesha Pournami an annual festival of three days takes place here.

9. Sri Indrani Panchadurga Parameshwari Temple

The Sri Indrani Panchadurga Parameshwari Temple is an 11-century temple that is dedicated to Goddess Durga. The original structure was repaired in 1993. The temple houses five (pancha) lingas that represent Goddess Durga and it is one of the Shakti Peethas in the region. The temple is situated on top of a hill about 2 kilometres east of Udupi town and there is a serene environment in the entire place. It is not very well-known among the tourist circuit so it is not too crowded. There is a lake near the temple so the place also doubles up as a good place for family outings and picnics.

10. Shree Bramalingeshwara Temple

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Within just half a kilometer to the west on the banks of the beautiful holy river Seetha lies the temple of Shree Bramalingeshwara. It is 32 kilometers away from Udupi. It is said that devotees from all across the country visit Shree Bramalingeshwara Temple to offer their prayers to Shree Bramalingeshwara who is the main deity of the temple and it is said that people who visit the temple with open minds and true heart, their prayers never go unheard.  The best time to visit this temple is from January to March and again from October to December when the temperature is pleasant. The shrine is also said to be around 800 years old. The visiting time is from 5:00 am to 8:30 pm.

You can get on a bus from Udupi to reach Shree Bramalingeshwara Temple. There are AC buses and KSRTC buses available too, you can choose the bus according to your budget.

If you are in search of offbeat religious place that is different from the usual places and you are looking for a place where you can enjoy the small town vibes and atmosphere, Udupi is the place to be.

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