Throughout Tulu Nadu, there are many holy places tied to Sri Madhvacharya. Many of these are mentioned in Sumadhva vijaya, the hagiography of Sri Madhva. They are scattered throughout Udupi and Mangalore districts of Karnataka and Kasaragod district of Kerala. One day, I hope to cover all these places and provide details of them. But here is a small introduction to some of the places.
- Danda theertha: This is the place where Sri Madhva studied the Vedas, under Sri Achyuta Preksha Theertha. This place also has a pond which was ‘created’ by Sri Madhva using his danda or stick. This place is located on the Udupi Mangalore highway. It is about 10kms from Udupi. Upon finding Bharat Canning Company, one needs to turn left to reach this place.
- Sandalike Padi: This is the place where Sri Madhva encountered a Bhuta, when returning from Badarikashrama. It is located on the Udupi Kukkikatte road.
- Kantavara Kanteshvara Temple: Some ignorant people tried to test the strength of Sri Madhva here. They could not even move the toe of Sri Madhva! He also displayed his Laghima siddhi here by going around the temple on the back of a small boy. This is located on the Padubidri Karkala road, off the Udupi Mangalore highway. After 15kms on this road, one reaches Belmann. The next stop is Manjarapalke and a right turn here and 10kms later, one reaches Kantavara.
- Madhva: This is also the name of the place! Sri Madhva used to rest while on his way to Naddanthadi Matha. It is located on the Mangalore Dharmasthala road. From Mangalore, it is about 39kms and the name of the stop is itself Madhva.
- Naddanthadi Matha: Sri Madhva used to travel very frequently between Udupi and Subramanya. During this journey, he used to stop at Naddanthadi. There is a matha here today and a “Madhva Mantapa” at the place where Sri Madhva used to sit down. On the Dharmasthala Ujire road, one needs to get down at Moorje. The place is about 45kms from Mangalore.
- Erki Matha: Sri Madhva performed one of his numerous miracles here. In the season of Greeshma, he ‘created’ rain here. There is a pond at this place as a witness to the event. Another speciality of this place is that the head of the matha here has the authority (granted by Sri Madhva himself) to perform “Tapta Mudra Dharana” on Shayana Ekadashi, the only Gruhastha permitted to do so! Erki matha is located on the Uppinangadi – Kadaba – Subramanya road. From Uppinangadi, Aatoor is located about 10kms away. Erki matha is close to this place.
- Kodipadi: It was at Kodipadi that Sri Madhva got back his stolen library. The King of Kumble returned this to Sri Madhva in a grand ceremony here. There is also a Janardana idol at the temple which was worshipped by Sri Madhva, plus a pond and a stone bench from that period. Kodipadi is on the way from Mangalore to Mani (Bangalore Highway). It is located 2kms before Puttur. After entering through the arch of Kodipadi, one has to travel 3kms to reach the place.
- Adoor Mahalingeshwara Temple: This is a very important place for Madhvas. It was here that Sri Madhva defeated numerous scholars from other schools and converted them to Tattvavada. It was at Adoor where he also revealed the fact that every single name in the Vishnu Sahasranama had at least 100 meanings. Sri Madhva has also established a Vishnu idol here. One needs to take the Kasaragod Sullya road and cross Mulleriya and Kotyadi to reach Adoor.
- Paranti Panchalingeshwara Temple: When Sri Madhva visited this place, the temple was in shambles and even the “Naivedya” to the Lord had stopped. Sri Madhva re-established the worship procedure here. He also revealed that he had worshipped at this place during the time of the Mahabharata (as Bhima). There are five natural Lingas located here. From Uppinangadi (Mangalore Bangalore Highway), after 11kms, one reaches Kanchana. 2kms from here is Periyadka and from there one needs to reach Mudya. Paranti is close by from here.
- Kokkada Mahalingeshwara Temple: Sri Madhva wrote the famous “Krishnamruta Maharnava” here and also established a Vishnu idol in this temple. From Uppinangadi, one needs to travel 19kms to reach Nelyadi. 3kms from here, one needs to turn left and travel a further 5kms to reach Kokkada.
- Kavu Matha: This was the home of Sri Trivikrama Panditacharya and Sri Narayana Panditacharya, the great Gruhastha disciples of Sri Madhva and the authors of many priceless works. Their brundavanas are also located here. Kavu matha is located 45kms from Mangalore and 2kms from Kasaragod, near the chowki stop.
- Madhur Temple and Vishnumangala Temple: Both these places were visited multiple times by Sri Madhva. They are located close to Kasaragod city.
- Kanvatirtha Kanva Matha: Sri Madhva gave a sermon here during a solar eclipse. Here, he also established the principle of “Dvandva Matha” or “Twin mathas” of Udupi, according to which there are 4 pairs of mathas worshipping at the Udupi temple. In case of the inability of the current matha to discharge their duty, the dvandva matha takes over. Kanvatirtha is located 20kms from Mangalore, towards Kasaragod. One needs to alight at the Talapadi bus stop. Kanvatirtha is close to Talapadi.
Of course, I have not covered Udupi and Pajaka here but they are very well known and a must visit also.
I hope this small writeup will be beneficial to Madhvas. It would be good if we plan to visit these places whenever we are visiting Udupi, Dharmasthala or Kukke. The rich religious, cultural and historical significance of these places will then start spreading.