“Live Your Life by a Compass and not by a Clock”
Dear Readers, as I mentioned in my previous post the rest of the group proceeded to the falls and three of us had decided to visit Udupi. Udupi has its origin in the Tullu word Odipu. Another belief is that it is named after the Moon God.In Sanskrit “Udu” means Star and “Pa” means leader.The Chandra is the leader of stars thus the place came to be known as Udupi.
We started for Udupi at 10 am, Sanket drove the three of us Seema,Bhagyashree and Myself in the Tempo Traveller and we reached Mookambika Bus Stand at 11.15 am.Sanket had arranged a cab for us to take us to Udupi.
The cab was fixed for Rs 3000 inclusive of sight seeing.We reached Aneegudde Ganesh Temple at about 12.10 pm which was on the way to Udupi.
Anegudde means elephant (Aane) hillock (Gudde) and it is the abode of the elephant god, Sri Vinayaka. Legend says that when drought hit this area sage Agasthya came here to perform yajna to please the rain god. The demon Kumbhasura tried to disrupt the yajna by troubling the sages performing the yajna. To rescue the sages Lord Ganesha blessed Bheema, the strongest among the Pandavas, with a sword (Asi), using which Bheema killed the demon and facilitated the completion of the yajna. The Vinayaka here is said to be a Swayambhu (emerged by himself) who manifested in Dwapara Yuga.
After finishing Darshan( sighting of the image of God) and clicking a few photographs we proceeded with our journey to our next destination ie St Mary’s Island.
We reached Malpehe harbour at 1.15pm and bought tickets for the island which cost Rs 250 both ways.There are regular ferry services and this is the only mode to reach the island.It covers the distance of 8 km in 20 minutes.There are as such no fixed timings the boat waits and as soon as there are enough passengers it sails.
We reached the island at about 1.45 pm.
The land where Vasco De Gama set his first foot, the land whose geological importance is immense and whose beauty is spectacular, is St. Mary’s Island, Karnataka. A quaint island just off the coast of Karnataka, St. Mary’s Island is an island of white sand beaches, rock monoliths and great wildlife making it a mesmerizing place to be in.
The island is one of the popular tourist trail providing you with a peaceful place to be with your friends and family.Located just 4 miles off the coast of Karnataka in the Arabian Sea, St. Mary’s Island is a geological treasure and hosts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. It is a group of four individual islands namely Coconut Island, North Island, South Island and Daryabahadurgarh Island. One can find a shoreline made up full of crystalline rocks which were created at the time Madagascar Island got separated from India.
The enchanting site is wonderful but is yet to be truly discovered for its tourism potential.We spent about an hour in the island.We hopped from rock to rock and took many photographs of the alluring island.We took the ferry at 2.45 and reached the island around 3 pm.
The driver was waiting for us, Bhagya googled and found Thimppa Fish Hotel.The phone no of the restaurant is 09845763799. Udupi being a small town does not have extended lunch hours like Mumbai,so we were worried we may not get any food but when we called up the restaurant to our delight they said they were still serving lunch.We reached the restaurant at 3.30 pm.We ordered the Fish Thali which had rice and fish curry and pickle and two varieties of Fish Fry we opted for Pomfret and Bangda fry.We were looking for authentic Manglorean Fish curry, and we were happy to get one in Thimppa.
There is an option for white rice and brown rice we opted for the brown rice,later we ordered a local fish fry which was very delicious but I can’t recollect the name of the Fish.We ate to our hearts content and the bill was just Rs 300 per person.If you are a foodie and a seafood lover Udupi is the place to be in.There is a paan shop serving delecious paan just outside the restaurant.We finished lunch and left the place at 4.20 pm .Our next destination was Malpe beach,we walked on the beach and sat down to watch the sunset.
The sun was playing hide and seek, at one point it was totally covered with the clouds.Then slowly it came out and we witnessed the sun slowly going down in the Arabian sea.
It was 6 pm by the time we left the beach.
What better way to end a perfect day than with a glass of chilled beer which we picked up on the way.We checked into Treebo Vijaya Grand at about 6.45 pm.We were tired and lazy to go out for dinner so ordered some snacks in the room.We chatted and had a relaxing evening and called it a day at around 11pm.
The next morning we got up around 7 am and after a very delicious breakfast of idli Sambhar,Chutney Upma ,Sheera and Poori Bhaji we left for the famous Shri Krishna Temple which is walking distance from our hotel.We reached the temple complex at 9 am.Outside the temple complex we found stalls selling Puja Articles and flowers.We found the market full of Amlas and branches of Amla tree or Indian gooseberry being sold on enquiring we found out that they were celebrating Amla Navami.It is said that if one eats Amla or sits under a Amla tree on this day one is blessed with health and wealth.
The Shri Krishna Complex has three temples the Anantheshwara Temple,Chadramouleshwara temple and the Shree Krishna Math.
The Anantheshwara Temple: is a historic Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.The temple’s deity is referred to as Mahadeva of Udupi. The temple is known for its association with Hindu philosopher Madhavacharya who taught his disciples within its complex.We visited the temple during Aarti and offered our prayers.After this we proceeded to the Chandramouleshwara Temple.
The legend has it that the Moon God was cursed by Daksh Prajapati.To redeem himself from the curse Chandra started worshipping Lord Shiva on the banks of the holy pond Chandra Pushkarni.Pleased with Chandra,Lord Shiva appeared before him and freed him of the curse hence Shiva came to be known as Chandramouleshwara and a temple has been built to honour Lord Shiva and the temple is known as Chandramouleshwara temple.The temple is constructed in front of the Anantheshwara temple below the ground level.It is built after the Anatheshwara Temple.The temple was not crowded and we had a very peaceful Darshan.
Udupi Shree Krishna Math:- The History
The temple was founded in the 13th century by the Vaishnavite saint and founder of the Dvaiti school of Vedanta, Shri Madhvacharya. It is believed that the saint found the idol of Lord Krishna buried in a large stone ball of sandalwood. There’s an interesting story associated with the discovery of Lord Krishna’s idol that sits at the temple.
A Different Way to Worship
Apart from its religious history and legends, the temple is famed for its two exclusive features. Firstly, no one gets a close, wholesome view of the idol of Lord Krishna since it’s a tradition in the temple to worship the Lord through an exquisitely carved, silver-plated inner window with nine holes depicting the ten incarnations of Vishnu.
Secondly, unlike the usual norm of placing the idol of Lord Vishnu facing the east, Lord Krishna’s idol at the temple is placed facing the west. In fact, the idols in all the Ashtha Maths are west-facing.
The glorious little idol of Lord Krishna sits all alone in meditational silence and wisdom, swathed in diamond-studded gold cover, fragrant garlands made from fresh flowers, the regal crown, the sacred thread made from gold yarn, and the brilliant stones-studded gold lined garments.
The 9-holed window, also known as the Kanakadasa window, is attached to a wall in the Chandrasala hall. The hall lends itself a sublime ambiance in aid of the holy sound made by numerous bells hanging at its arched entrance, as well as the beautiful glow of the earthen lamps burning in the hall. Devotees either sit there in meditation saying silent prayers or try to peep through the 9-holed window to get a glimpse of the Lord. One corner of the hall holds the shrine of Lord Hanuman in a meditative pose.
Overlooking the Chandrasala hall is a four-pillared raised platform with a silver roof. The platform houses the traditional Deepastambam, holding the sacred oil lamp.
On the right side of the main sanctum in the path of circumambulation stands the statue of the temple’s founder Shri Madhvacharya, while on the northern side of his statue stands the shrine of Lord Panduranga.
The holy tank Madhwapushkarani is placed next to the southern entrance of the temple. The eastern entrance to Shri Balkrishna’s sanctum sanctorum is strikingly beautiful flanked by a Panchadhatu (5 metals) figure of Lord Vishnu mounted on his Garuda holding conch and discus. The eastern entrance usually remains closed and is open only once a year on the day of Vijaya Dashami.
Udupi Shri Krishna Matha: The Legends
According to mythology, when Lord Krishna’s wife Rukmini requested her husband for the idol of Balkrishna, the child form of the Lord, Shri Krishna entrusted Vishwakarma with the task of designing the idol. Vishwakarma made a beautiful idol of Balkrishna with the holy Saaligrama stone and gave it to Rukmini for worship.
The idol, in the course of being worshiped by hundreds of devotees at Dwaraka with the application of sandalwood paste, got completely covered with the sandalwood paste. It is believed that this same idol is now placed at the temple.
As a consequence of the great flood that occurred at the end of the era of Lord Krishna, Dwaraka was completely engulfed by the sea. And the sandalwood covered idol of Lord Krishna also got washed away.
Saint Madhvacharya and the Idol.
Decades passed. And then centuries later, a sailor found the idol in the shape of a hard rock on an island. He began using the rock to balance his ship. Sometimes later, when his ship was faced with a raging sea storm somewhere beyond the west coast of the South Indian Peninsula, Saint Madhvacharya sensing the danger while meditating on the shore, beseeched Lord Vishnu’s mercy to calm down the angry weather. He then signaled the ship with his garment to sail ashore,the sailor requested him to accept something from his ship as a token of thankfulness. Saint Madhvacharya chose to accept the sandalwood rock as his gift. Later when he happened to break the rock, the idol of Balkrishna emerged from it bit by bit.
The Saint was filled with sublime joy and bliss when he realized through his deific vision that it was the same Balkrishna idol that Rukmini worshipped. He immediately decided to bring home the idol of his true devotion to his Matha at Udupi, some 4 km from the shore where he was praying.That shore today is known as Malpe Beach.
The Many Legends and One God
Another interesting legend goes about the peculiar west-facing position of the idol at the Temple. It is said that Saint Madhvacharya had originally installed the idol facing east. Kanakadasa, a devout devotee of Lord Krishna, was denied entry to the temple through the main eastern entrance because he was from the lower caste.
Desperate to get a glimpse of his Lord, Kanakadasa ran to the western side of the temple, and pressing his eyes through the three holes in the wall, began to pray fervently to Lord Krishna to appear before him.
Impressed by his devotion, the Balkrishna turned to the west and made himself seen to Kanakadasa through the 9-holed window and the opening on the wall beyond. It was since then that the idol of Balkrishna rests facing west inside the temple. And that’s how began the tradition of offering prayers to the Lord only through the 9-holed window in the western wall of the temple. The hole came to be known as Kanakana Kindi
We bought a ticket for Rs 100 as special Darshan to avoid the queue and did Pradikshana and offered our prayers through the Kanakana Kindi.There was some confusion regarding the exit and we landed in the queue for Darshan again that’s how we managed to worship the lord twice.We also paid our obeiance to Lord Vishnu on his Garuda.Photography inside the temple is prohibited.After Darshan we did the Navgraha Puja for Rs 150 there are different rates for this Puja.Later we did Aandaan for Rs 101. I also bought a small photo of the lord for Rs 20.The famous Prasad time is from 12-3 pm expecting rush and as we had a train to catch at 3 pm we decided to return to our hotel.We walked around this simple town,on the way we bought the famous Banana Halwa for Rs 75(quarter kg) and Sambhar Masala(very tasty).The Masala’s aroma is different from the one we usually buy in Mumbai.We returned to the hotel at 11.45 pm.The check out time was 12 pm.So after checking out we kept our luggage in the reception, we also requested them to get us the tasty Upma and Sheera(sooji hawa) which we ate for breakfast.We asked at the reception for guidance for a good sea food restaurant.We were guided to one just opposite the hotel.The food was delicious at “Anupama” restaurant.I settled for kori roti and chicken curry whereas my friends for some Pomfret Curry and Fish Fry.We couldn’t finish as the portions were large so we got it packed and ate as dinner in the train.The Chicken curry and Kori Roti cost only Rs 250 enough for two persons.After lunch we browsed around and I bought a fish fry Masala(very tasty).Our stay at Vijaya Grand was comfortable, the staff is very courteous and helpful.
We started at 2 pm for the station and hired an auto.We paid Rs 80 from our hotel to Udupi station. It took about 20 minutes and so we reached the station at 2.20 pm.We were disappointed to know our train was delayed by an hour which extended to 3 hours.We boarded the train finally at 6 pm.We were all in different compartments but sat together and chatted for sometime and then decided to have dinner.We ended the dinner with the tasty Sheera(Halwa).We reached Panvel at 7.30 am and I was home by 8.30 am.I shared my experience and photos with my family over a cup of tea.
“Live life with no excuses, Travel with no regret” – Oscar Wilde
There are number of trains going from Mumbai.Matsyagandha Express,Mumbai Express to name a few. Udupi does not have an airport the nearest Airport is Manglore Airport from Manglore you have to come by road.So train is a better option.For sight seeing and pick up you can call on this no 07899493225.Two days are sufficient you can visit St Mary’s Island and also spend time on the beaches.Morning time is ideal for visiting the Shree Krishna Temple.