Places to visit in Udupi

Udupi Shri Krishna Matha or Krishna Matha is synonymous with the name of Udupi. The Matha is famous for the Krishna temple, a major pilgrimage destination in the region. The 13th century Matha was founded by Swami Madhvachraya after he received two idols of Lord Krishna and Balaram from sailors of the ship he helped and saved from the storm. He ceremoniously installed the Balaram idol in Malpe and the Krishna Idol in present day Udupi. The peculiar thing about the idol is that it faces west unlike most Hindu deities and has its back to the entrance of the temple. The temple is widely visited by pilgrims each year known for its ten carving of Vishnu incarnations, a golden Krishna Chariot and Dvaitaphilosophy of Madhvachraya. Astha Matha is a group the eight Mathas that were built for eight disciples of Madhvachraya, surrounding the Krishna Matha. These Mathas handle the Krishna Matha administration for two years each. The daily offering (Seva) to the god is managed by the Matha in charge at that time. The responsibility is then passed on to the next Matha at The Paryaya Festival held every two year.

Udupi Shri Krishna Matha or Krishna Matha is synonymous with the name of Udupi. The Matha is famous for the Krishna temple, a major pilgrimage destination in the region. The 13th century Matha was founded by Swami Madhvachraya after he received two idols of Lord Krishna and Balaram from sailors of the ship he helped and saved from the storm. He ceremoniously installed the Balaram idol in Malpe and the Krishna Idol in present day Udupi. The peculiar thing about the idol is that it faces west unlike most Hindu deities and has its back to the entrance of the temple. The temple is widely visited by pilgrims each year known for its ten carving of Vishnu incarnations, a golden Krishna Chariot and Dvaita philosophy of Madhvachraya. Astha Matha is a group the eight Mathas that were built for eight disciples of Madhvachraya, surrounding the Krishna Matha. These Mathas handle the Krishna Matha administration for two years each. The daily offering (Seva) to the god is managed by the Matha in charge at that time. The responsibility is then passed on to the next Matha at The Paryaya Festival held every two year.

 

These temples in Ambalpady are dedicated to goddess Kali in her Mahakali form and Sri Janardana respectively. It is said that if a straight line is drawn from Krishna Temple towards west it reaches the Janardana temple. Adjacent to this is the Mahakali temple in its south east. Legends say that Goddess Kali came earlier to protect the land that is present day Ambalpady and thus the name Ambalpady was derived from ‘Amma’ and ‘Padi’ meaning ‘Woods of Amma or Mother’. Goddess Kali was then prayed in form of a stone that is still worshipped at the temple. Later, Swamy Janardana came to the region in Search of the Goddess and stayed at the temple to protect the devotees.

 

The temple is located nearly 5 kilometres from Udupi near Malpe Beach. The temple built in 1998 spreads across 2 acres of Land and has sections dedicated to Shri Shirdi Saibaba, Swami Shri Raghavendra Swami and Swami Shri Nityananda. Kodavoor is also home to the Shankarnarayan Temple. Built in 9th century, the temple was visited by Swami Madhavacharya whose philosophy widely influences the culture of Udupi.

This church situated in Kallianpur is also known as Milagres Church, which is the Cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Udupi.

 

Kids will enjoy the speed boat ride at the Malpe Beach. The boat ride is up to St. Mary’s Island and is very safe. The Beach can also be an ideal swimming spot as the waters are calm and tides are very low.

 

Numismatics and Notaphily Museum at Corporation Bank’s founder branch is an ideal place for currency lovers and children. The museum houses a collection of 1800 coins dating since 400 BC till present. The oldest coin at the museum dates back to 400 BC from Gandhara Janpada. Various other silver, brass, copper coins form the era of Surasen Janapada to Tipu Sultan to East India Company are at display. Udupi museum of Anatomy and Pathology at Manipal University has a collection of about 3000 specimen shedding a light on the vast subject of understanding human body and its diseases.

 

Ajjarkad Park and Kallu Bande Park are located at nearly 2 kilometres from the Krishna Matha are pleasant green gardens ideal for morning and evening strolls. You can also look for Children’s park in Kinninulki, Royal Garden and Botany Garden on State Highway 65. The Manipal End Point Park marks the end of Manipal and is located on the cliff overlooking the Swarna River. The garden offers a colourful view of the Arabian Sea in the west and the Western Ghats in the east. This park is nearly seven kilometres from Krishna Matha.

 

Your Udupi trip can be combined with other beautiful cities of the region. Coorg at 204 kilometres is popular for its hospitality, undulating landscapes and villages. Whereas Ooty located 426 kilometres away in the Nilgiri Mountain Range sees temperatures dipping up to zero degree Celsius. You will experience a more detailed cultural enthusiasm in Mysore, which is 308 kilometres from Udupi. There are a number of small towns around Udupi with pristine beaches and exotic landscapes. All these places can be explored with local help.

 

Malpe Beach is one the best Beaches near Udupi known for its pristine and calm waters, golden brown sand and palm trees lining. The Beach is located nearly 7-8 kilometres from Udupi via State Highway 65. Recreational activities at the Beach are quite popular as the water is calm. It has a cluster of islands close to it. Daria –Bahadurgad, Kari-Illada-Kallu and Daria-Gadara-Kalluthe islands are the notable ones. Most popular is the St. Mary’s Island, speed boat rides to which are highly enjoyed by adults and kids alike. Manipal End Point marks the end of land at Manipal after which Arabian Sea begins. It is famous for its scenic beauty and views of the Swarna River, the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. Udupi is also close To Kudremukh National Park (60 km), Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary (50 km) and Agumber Forest Reserve (60 km). Kaup Beach is another spot popular among locals.

 

Kodavoor is the cultural hub of Udupi. The town has a Bharatnatyam school called Nritya Niketan visited by dancer interested in Indian dance form of Bharatnatyam. The town is host to many cultural events such as Maari pooje, Lakshadeepothsava and annual festival of Lord Shankaranarayana. While Maari Pooje is held every month, Lakshadeepothsava is celebrated annually by lighting the entire town with Deepa (lamps). The Shankarnarayana festival is a nine day event that is celebrated with great zeal. You can also visit the Manipal Heritage Village that has a Museum of Folk Art. The village is an ideal place to understand the culture of Udupi and its transformation since centuries. There is an exhibit of bronze masks, wooden idols of deities, masks of the popular musical dramatic art form of Yakshagana etc. Another popular event in the region is the Hulivesha Kunitha performance during Krishna Janamashtmi.

 

Krishna Matha along with the surrounding Astha Matha is a major landmark while navigating around Udupi. A visit to Udupi is synonymous to the Krishna Matha pilgrimage. Moodabidri Jain temples are a group of eighteen Jain temples out of which Saavira Kambada Basadi is the finest. Built in 1430 by Devaraya Wodeyar rulers, the temple has a 60 feet tall Manastambha. The Moodabidri Jain Matha manages the temple and is also known as the Jain Varanasi of the south. Karkala Jain temples and Bahubali Statue is another popular landmark of the region. The 57 feet tall monolith of Bahubali or Gommateshvara is the prime attraction.

Manipal Lake located nearly 7 kilometres from Krishna Matha is a widely popular picnic spot in Udupi. The lake is also known as Manna Palla Lake and spread in an area of 60 acres. Kaup Beach, Brahmavar Beach and Shankarnarayana Beach are few spots around Udupi known for their natural beauty.

A swim at the pristine Beach of Malpe is an enjoyable outdoor activity to undertake while in Udupi. The Beach also has few water sport activities. Sitanadi Nisarga Dhama, 40 Kilometres from Udupi and Jomlu Theertha are popular for River rafting. For Para-sailing you should head to Marawanthe Beach. Another popular adventure spot is Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary known for camping and trekking activities. You can also enquire about Adve Nandikoor Kambala, a form of local bull racing event.

Pandit’s Resort and Spa near Moodabidri is a popular commercial set up offering refreshing spa facility. Swadeshi Ayurved Bhandar is an ideal place to look for organic health products and seek medicinal spa services. Wild woods spa & resort is another prominent place.

Carnatic Music is one of the most revered music forms in India and Udupi is host of many events showcasing the biggest of names in the field. Shri Lakshmi Sabha Bhawan is a concert hall host to many such events. You can also be witness to Nemotsava (a form of worship offered though dance and music), Shri Saukur Mela, Carnatic Classical Vocal Recital and Tala Vadya meaning  Rhythmic Instruments and Kacheri Means performance. It is a fusion of North and South Indian percussion music. Many such events are organized throughout the year and you can enquire about ones listed at the time of your visit.

The city is full of restaurants and cafes serving wide range of south Indian dishes, local snacks as well as foreign cuisines. Woodland restaurant, Naivedya Restaurant, Prax, Honey Dew, Panagala Restaurant are the notable ones. You should not miss the Al-Arif Chicken centre and Thamboolam catering mouth-watering non-vegetarian dishes. 

Sambhar-Dosa is a staple south Indian dish but Udupi takes it a notch up with its innumerable verities. Menaskai, Saaru, Huli and Koddelu are some of the Sambhar variations that will stimulate your taste buds for long. Kosambari, a seasoned salad made of Lentils, is popular speciality of the region. For those of you with a sweet tooth, Udupi is a buffet of tempting deserts. Paramanna, Paayasa, Rasayana, Bakshya, Kasi Halwa are a must have. Kori Sukha (Spicy Chicken with grated coconut), Kori Rotti (Chicken Curry & Roti) and Sea Fish delicacies in the non-vegetarian section cannot be missed.

 

Sky Lounge, Remix Lounge and Zero Degree Lounge are known night spots playing foot tapping Bollywood and international numbers.

Bacchu’s Inn Bar & Restaurant is the most prominent night spot in Udupi. Some others are T-Spirit and Cocks & Mocks both on SH 65, Blue Water Lounge and Remix Lounge.

Tiger Circle, two kilometres ahead of Manipal Lake, has a small market popular among locals and students. It has eateries, trinket shops and shops selling cheap clothing etc.

City centre mall is the largest mall in Udupi. You can find branded and branded items of every necessity. Kanaka mall, Sairam Central Mall, Mega Mart, CPC Mall are the prominent places of shopping. Few others are Sampoorna Departmental Store on Car Street, Little Pai Super store near Gitanjali Theatre and Big Bazaar near Taluk office.

Ratha Beedi Street market near the Krishna Matha in an ideal spot for buying idols of deities, metal ware for worships, incense sticks etc. You can also find number of shops selling wooden hand crafted items.

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