Udupi (contd – 3)

  • Udupi is also famous for a host of other things, chief among them is its contribution to the world of cuisine.
  • It is said that Udupi is the birthplace of Masala Dosa.
  • The Mangalore Bonda or “Goli Baje” available at Mitra Samaja, Car Street, Udupi is truly amazing.
  • Udupi hotels are also world famous for their taste and hospitality.

Udupi (contd)

  • Sri Madhvacharya’s pre-sanyasa name was Vasudeva. His name upon receiving diksha was Purna Prajna. He is also called as Ananda Theertha. Madhva is one of the sanskrit names for Vayu – the lord of Air or Life.
  • Sri Madhvacharya was requested by his parents not to accept Sanyasa when he desired to do so at a very young age. Their contention was that since he was their only child, there would be no one left to take care of them. Sri Madhva agreed to postpone his decision saying he will accept Sanyasa only after they are blessed with another son. A year later, Sri Madhva’s parents had another son and Sri Madhva accepted Sanyasa under Achyutaprajna later.
  • Sri Madhva’s brother, though, accepted Sanyasa after their parents’ death. He became a follower of Sri Madhva’s Dvaita philosophy and was called Sri Vishnutheertha. Sri Vishnutheertha was the first Swamiji of what is now known as Sode Matha.
  • While on Sode Matha, the most famous Swamiji from the Sode Matha is Sri Vadiraja. Among the many astonishing facts about Sri Vadiraja, the most impressive is that he lived for 120 years and performed 5 Paryayas, each after a gap of 16 years!!
  • Sri Madhva considers Sri Vyasa (Author of Mahabharata) as his Guru. He visited Badari twice in his lifetime to present his works to Vyasa, who is considered to be still living there. In fact, Sri Madhva disappeared when he was about 79 years old, saying he wanted to meet Sri Vyasa. Hence we do not find any resting place for Sri Madhva, unlike most other Swamiji’s.
  • Sri Madhva wrote more than 40 works on Bhagavadgita, Mahabharata, the Upanishads and other Sutras. His most famous work is the “Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya”, the excellent commentary on Mahabharata.
  • Most of the initial followers of Sri Madhva, who subsequently became the head of the various mathas were “converts” to Dvaita philosophy, after having been defeated by Sri Madhva in philosophical debates. They had their origins in Advaita philosophy and Buddishm.
  • Sri Madhva’s huge collection of books was once stolen by his adversaries. The king of present day Kasargod, sent his men to capture the thieves and retrieved all the books for Sri Madhva.
  • While carrying the idols of Sri Krishna and Balarama from the coast to Udupi, the idol of Balarama was supposed to have fallen off. A temple was built at the same spot for Balarama. This place is called Vadapandeshwara and is about 7kms away from Udupi.


While on the topic of Udupi, I thought it will be interesting to pen down a few lines about Udupi in the next couple of blogs. I have collected these tidbits from my readings over the years. They may not be authoritative, of course. There are many versions for each of these stories. The following are from my readings and understanding.

  • Sri Madhvacharya founded the Sri Krishna temple in Udupi.
  • It is widely believed that Sri Madhva helped rescue a ship near Malpe (about 5 kms from Udupi) and in gratitude, the captain of the ship let Sri Madhva pick-up anything he wanted from the ship. Sri Madhva picked up the Krishna and Balarama idols cast in Gopi Chandana and brought them to Udupi.
  • The Krishna idol is supposed to have been sculpted by Vishwakarma, the celestial architect for Rukmini. Rukmini is supposed to have been worshipping this idol in Dwaraka.
  • It is believed that Sri Madhva composed the “Dwadasha Stotras” while walking back to Udupi with the Krishna Idol. The Dwadasha Stotras are an example of the skill of Sri Madhva in the art of poetry and music.
  • Udupi is also known as “Rajata Peeta Puram” or “Raupya Peeta Puram”. In fact, the entrance arch at Udupi welcomes visitors in Sanskrit to “Rajata Peeta Puram”.
  • Before the Sri Krishna temple was established, Udupi was known as a place of congregation for Brahmins of South Kanara. The Anantheshwara and Chandramouleshwara temples of Udupi were established long before the Sri Krishna temple. Even today, the custom is to visit the Anantheshwara and Chandramouleshwara temples before entering the Krishna temple. Of course, this custom is not practised by all. But, during the Paryaya, the incoming Swamiji follows this order.
  • Sri Madhva entrusted the responsibility of the Krishna temple to eight of his disciples or “Shishyas”. The disciples took turns of two months each in worshipping the Lord. The eight disciples led to the formation of the eight mathas.
  • Sri Vadiraja Swamiji changed the duration of worship from two months to two years. This made it easy for the Swamiji’s to travel around and spread the Dvaita and Vaishnava cultures for 14 years before heading back for the 2 year Paryaya.
  • Sri Madhva’s mother tongue was Tulu. His father’s name was Narayana Nadillaya Bhatta and his mother’s name was Vedavathi. His father’s middle name means “One from the middle house” in Tulu.
  • Sri Madhva is widely considered as the third avatar of Vayu, after Hanuman and Bhima. In fact, the strong physical features of Sri Madhva is widely recorded. He was an active wrestler and has many recorded physical feats during his lifetime. Proofs of some of these are visible to this date in Pajaka, his birthplace.