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Udupi, a quiescent coastal township guarded by the imperial sierras of the Western Ghats towards its east and enclosed by the fathomless expanses of the majestic Arabian Sea towards its west is the abode of Lord Krishna that is credited to be one of the holiest pilgrimage destinations of entire Southern India. Situated about 62 kilometers to the north of Mangalore, Udupi; the administrative headquarters of the Udupi District is esteemed amongst one of the most prominent conurbations of the state of Karnataka; third only to Bangalore and Mangalore.
This land of ethereal glory immensely exalted for its invaluable cultural bequest is renowned for its ethnic traditions such as Yakshagana, Bhuta Kola, Nagaradhane, Aati Kalenja, Karangolu, etc. and its chief temple festivals including Rathothsava, Krishna Janmashtami and Bhajana Saptaha. Purified by the lotus feet of the great Vaishnavite saint ‘Shri Madhavacharya’, Udupi is globally venerated for its world famous ‘Udupi Krishna Temple’ that was established by Sri Madhavacharya in 13th century AD. Udupi also lends its epithet to the popular ‘Udupi Cuisine’ of the South India.
Commonly reckoned as the ‘Parashurama Srishti’ (the world created by Parashurama) and also known by the laurels ‘Rajata Peetha’, ‘Shivalli’ and ‘Shivabelli’, Udupi derives its appellation from two Sanskrit words viz. ‘Udu’ and ‘Pa’, wherein ‘Udu’ means ‘Stars’ and ‘Pa’ means ‘Lord’. As per the prevailing myth, when King Daksha; the Father – in – Law of the Moon God noticed his discriminating behavior towards his wives (Daksha’s daughters), he cursed Lord Moon that he would lose his bright luster.
Subsequently, the remorseful Moon God worshipped Lord Shiva at Udupi and regained his original radiance by the grace of Lord Mahadeva. It is believed that the Shiva Lingam installed at the Chandramaulishvara Temple of Udupi is the very same Lingam that was consecrated by the Lord Moon Himself. Thus, ‘Udupi’ means ‘the Land of the Lord of the Stars (Moon)’. According to another theory, the name ‘Udupi’ has been coined from a Tulu word ‘Odipu’ which suggests a link between Udupi and the Vadabhandeshwara Temple of Malpe.
Udupi; an ostentatious treasure house of mythology, history, culture and natural splendor offers a priceless trove for the delight of tourists and gratification of voyagers. The impressive layout of antediluvian temples, finely designed contemporary edifices and infinite natural pulchritude augmented by the undulating hill chains, exuberant landscapes, verdurous forests, angelic beaches and pacifying ambience of Udupi constitute a classic milieu for a perfect vacation.