Udupi Temple's Own Janmashtami

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Udupi is a town that is famous for its temples. In fact, the Krishna temple in Udupi is one of its kind. Would you believe it? Udupi celebrated Janmashtami this Saturday (8th September, 2012) and thousands thronged to the town to get a glimpse of Krishna in all his splendour. Now the birth of Krishna is usually celebrated in the month of August every year. The majority of India celebrated Janmashtami on the 10th of August this year.

However, Udupi has its own folklore and astrological calculations due to which they celebrate the birth Lord Krishna, a month later.

Udupi Temple

Why Udupi temple celebrates a different Janmashtami?

According to Mangalorean traditions, the festival to celebrate Krishna's birth must happen on a day that coincides with the exact astronomical co-ordinates of the day on which Krishna was actually born. In the records of the magnificent temple of Krishna in Udupi, these coordinates are Rohini Nakshatra, Simha Maasa or Leo sun sign, Krishna paksha (time of the day) and the day must be Ashtami or 8th day of the month.

All these conditions have to be met for the day to be declared auspicious for Janmashtami celebrations. Eventually, this does not coincide with the festival celebrated in the rest of the country.

Temple-lore in Udupi:

Apart from the uniqueness of a different date of Janmashtami, the Krishna temple of Udupi is surrounded by some interesting folklore. The idol of Lord Krishna is made of pure Sandalwood in this temple. The legend goes that this statue of Krishna was stolen from Dwarka after the city fell. The sea merchant who stole it thought it to be a valuable piece of sandalwood. But his ship was wreaked near Malpe and he was saved by a saint called Sri Madhvacharya. This great soul had foreseen the displacement of the Krishna idol when he was meditating. In return for saving the sailor's life, Sri Madhvacharya asked for the Krishna idol and established it in the temple.

During the 16th century, a devoted follower of Krishna Kanakadasa came to visit the temple of Udupi. But due to his low birth station or caste, he was denied entry into the temple premises. But Krishna was on his devotee's side. He blasted a hole in the back wall of the temple so that Kanakadasa could get his 'darshan'. That legendary hole is now called KanakanaKind and has become a shrine of faith and determination.

Do you know any other interesting stories about the famous Krishna temple in Udupi.

Read more about: temples, lord krishna
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