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Steeped in history, the region is a pilgrim's delight

Other places of worship:The Anantheshwara and the Chandramouleshwara temples that were built in the seventh or eighth century A.D. in Udupi.

Other places of worship:The Anantheshwara and the Chandramouleshwara temples that were built in the seventh or eighth century A.D. in Udupi.  

Although Udupi is famous for the Sri Krishna Math, there are many other temples in the district, which have a mythology of their own. These temples are gradually gaining importance in the pilgrim's itinerary.

The Sri Anantheshwara Temple or the Ananthapadmanabha Temple, near the Sri Krishna Temple, tops the list. Built during the seventh or eighth century A.D., the temple's existence is recorded in an inscription dated 1357 A.D. and the deity in it has been referred to as Sri Mahadeva of Udupi. With spacious interiors, it was an important centre of learning then. Sri Madhwacharya is said to have studied under Sri Achyuta Prajna during his childhood. He took his “sanyasa deeksha” here. The acharya used to teach his disciples here.

The “peetha” on which Sri Madhwacharya is preserved. Prayers are offered to the “peetha” daily. Sri Vadiraja Swamiji is said to have installed a statue of Sri Madhwacharya. The “mukhamantapa,” “navaranga”, and “garbagriha” or the sanctum sanctorum of the Anantheshwara Temple are known for their unique architecture.

Chandramouleshwara

The Chandramouleshwara Temple in Udupi was constructed below the ground level. It must have been constructed on a lake-bed. This temple is said to have been built after the construction of the Anantheshwara Temple. Legend has it that the Lord Chandra (moon) did penance at this spot to appease Lord Shiva. The architecture of this temple dates back to the seventh or eighth century A.D.. In the inscriptions, the Anantheshwara and Chandramouleshwara temples have been referred to as “Padudeva” and “Mududeva”. These temples have been referred to as “Mududevalaya” and “Padudevalaya” in Madhwavijaya .

Sri Mahishamardini Temple at Kadiyali in Udupi is another important landmark. The structure is said to have been built in the 10th century. The deity of Mahishamardini dates back to the period between sixth and eighth centuries. Legend has it that King Rama Bhoja, who ruled this region, wanted to perform a “Putrakameshti Yajna” to have a son. But when the ground was being ploughed for the Yajna, a serpent got entangled in the plough and was killed.

To redeem himself of the sin, the king established the Anantheshwara Temple and four Durga temples.

They are the Mahishamardini Temple at Kadiyali, the Jayadurga Temple at Kannarpady, the Durgaparmeshwari Temple at Ambagilu, and the Mahishamardini Temple at Bailoor.

He also built four Skanda temples at Mangodu, Tangodu, Muchilakodu, and Arikodu.

Kollur

One of the famous temples in Udupi is the Sri Mookambika Temple at Kollur. This temple was established by Adi Sankara. Legend has it that a “Jyotiralinga” appeared here long ago, when the Sage Kolamaharishi did penance. Adi Sankara learnt about this, he went to Kollur, and worshipped Adishakti. The Goddess appeared before him and ordered him to erect her statue besides the Jyotirlinga.

Adi Sankara had the statue sculpted in the form in which he had seen the Goddess. He ordained that prayers should be offered daily to the Goddess. The temple is said to date back to the period between the eighth and ninth century.

The architecture is the in style of the ones prevalent during the times of Keladi Nayakas — a fact testified by the inscriptions.

Kumbashi

The Sri Mahaganapati Temple at Anegudde near Kumbashi is another major temple of the district. Legend has it that the Sage Agastya and Sage Gautama meditated and requested Lord Ganesha to bring the Ganga. Lord Ganesha granted this wish. As a token of their gratitude, the sages established the Vinayaka Temple and the Harihara Temple at the top and foot of the hill, which was earlier called Nagachala.

It is said that the second of the Pandava brothers, Bhima, had killed a demon called Kumbha, who came from Ravana's lineage. Bhima had prayed to Lord Ganesha who presented him with a sword or “asi” to kill Kumbha. Hence, the place got the name Kumbhasi . As Lord Ganesha had appeared before Bhima on the hill, it was renamed as “Anegudde.”

Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple at Kamalashile and Sri Kundeshwara Temple are among the other important temples.

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