Karnataka holy places to visit
Pajaka  Kshetra Dharmasthala Udupi  
Pajaka  Kshetra
Pajaka is a village in Udupi Taluk and district of Karnataka state in India. Pajaka is the place where Dvaita philosopher Sri Madhvacharya was born. Madhvacharya is also known by name "Poornaprajna" and "Anandathirta".The place is near Kunjarugiri Durga temple. The place is bestowed with beauty by nature.There is a lot of historical evidence about Madhvacharya's life and times at Pajaka. It includes his birthplace and the places he frequented in the village.The importance of Pajaka kshetra is also narrated in a small biographical poem called "Sampradaya Paddhati", whose author is Sri Madhvacharya's direct deciple Sri Hrushikesha, the mulayati of Sri Palimaru Mata.
Sri Vadiraja swamy of the Sode Mata in his "Tirtha prabandha" explains Pajaka Kshetra as a very holy place, because it was here Sri Mukyaprana was born as Sri Madhvacharya and hence it has to be visited all wise men.There is an impression of Sri Madhvacharya's feet near his house. Sri Vadiraja swamy later installed an idol of Sri Madhvacharya there which is worshipped by devotees till date.
Places to see:
There are many interesting places to see at Pajaka. Perhaps the most important of all is the ancestral home and birthplace of Sri Madhva. There are many archaeological evidences of the life and times of Sri Madhva at this place. This includes the spot where his Aksharabhyasa (Initiation Ceremony) was performed, a banyan tree supposed to have been planted by him, the place where Sri Madhva (by virtue of being an avatar of Vayu) lifted two huge stones and placed them on pots, and a pond where Sri Madhva is supposed to have brought the water from 4 nearby ponds (Dhanus Theertha, Gada Theertha, Bana Theertha and Parashu Theertha).There is also a Madhva Mandira very close to the house. Lot of religious activities happen here and it is also a Vidyapeeta where students learn Vedas and Sanskrit. The entire complex is managed by Sri Kaniyooru Matha, one of the eight mathas Sri Madhva established.The Kunjaragiri Durga temple is also a fascinating place to visit. The temple is located on top of a hill and the hill offers some breathtaking sceneries of Udupi. There is also a Parashurama temple nearby.



About 60 Kms from Mangalore is a fairly large and upcoming town that was sanctum of Madhvacharya, the great Sanskrit Philosopher. The famous temple here, has a fascinating idol of Lord Krishna that is richly adorned with jewels.

The main attraction of this temple is the 'Kanakana Kindi' - a small window through which Krishna is believed to have given darshan to his ardent devotee, Kanakadasa.

Lord Narayana, in his incarnation as Parasurama, after making twenty one assaults on the Kshatriyas and destroying them, performed a great yajna. In this yajna, he gave away all the land as gift to Brahmins. Finding that he was not left with any land for himself and reluctant to stay in the land already given away as gift, he reclaimed from the Arabian sea a strip of land from Gokarna to cape Comorin. This coastal strip of land, obtained by Parasurama from Varuna the Sea God, is known as Parasurama Kshetra or Parasurama's land. Ramaboja, a great devotee of Parasurama, was proclaimed king of this land.
Sri Krishna Mutt, Udupi.
Intending to perform Ashwamedha yajna or horse sacrifice, Ramabhoja got the site for sacrificial fire ploughed up. While ploughing, a serpent got killed by the ploughshare. Although this serpent was nothing but a demon in disguise, Ramabhoja was greatly worried as it was a sin to kill a serpent. To atone this sin, he was directed by lord Parasurama to build a big silver pedestal with the image of a serpent at each of its four corners and to worship him who would be seated in spirit on the pedestal and also to distribute gold equal to his own weight to deserving persons. Ramabhoja did likewise and performed the Aswamedha yajna successfully. At its conclusion, Lord Parasurama appeared and declared that he was pleased with the yajna and that henceforth the sacrificial land 'Roopya Peetha' (silver pedestal) would become a famous pilgrimage. This land is also known as 'Thoulava' land and because Ramabhoja performed 'Tulabhara'. This in brief is the ancient history or the legend, of this land.

This Roopya Peetha land is now known as Udupi. The name has been derived from the Moon. The moon was once cursed by Daksha Prajapati. To ward off his curse, the moon performed penance in propitiation of God Iswara in this forest land. Iswara was pleased, appeared before the moon and removed the evil effects of the curse. This place has since been known as Chandramuleeswar and there is an ancient temple of this name in this place. The actual spot where the moon performed penance is known as Abjaranya. There is a sacred tank Chandra-Pushkarani by its side. In Sanskrit, 'Udu' means stars; 'pa' means lord of. Hence 'Udupa' means lord of the stars, that is, moon. The place where the moon performed penance and obtained grace is known as Udupi.


It is believed that the idol of Sri Krishna, installed in Udupi by Sri Madhvacharya, was got made by Sri Krishna himself by Viswakarma out of Saligrama stone. Towards the end of Dwapara yuga, Devaki felt a keen desire to see once again Krishna's balaleelas. These leelas which were enacted by Krishna for the benefit of his mother were also witnessed incognito by his wife Rukmini, who falling in love with this balaroopa requested him to get her a similar image for her daily worship. Thereupon Sri Krishna asked Viswakarma to make such an idol of Balakrishna with a churn in its right hand and a cord in the other. This idol was daily worshipped by Rukmini. After Sri Krishna's disappearance from this world, the idol fell into the hands of Arjuna, who hid it in Rukmini's garden. By lapse of time the idol got completely covered by gopichandanam. A sailor from Dwaraka loaded this heavy lump in his boat as ballast, in one of his trips along the west coast.

Sri Madhvacharya, sensing this by his 'Aparoksha' or divine gnana, awaited the arrival of this precious ballast at Vadabhandeswar, a seashore spot near Udupi. When the boat approached that place it was caught by severe storm and was about to sink.

The captain of the boat, seeing a holy man on the sea shore entreated him to save him from disaster. Sri Madhvacharya waved his upper cloth and quieted the storm. The grateful captain offered all the riches in his boat to the Acharaya but he accepted from out of the lot only the lump of 'gopichandana' which was used as ballast. On breaking this, Sri Acharya found the beautiful and perfect idol of Sri Krishna. He carried the idol to Udupi, a distance of four miles, singing the praise of Lord Narayana in ecstasy. These hymns under twelve chapters are called "Dwadasa Stotra". He washed the idol of Sri Krishna in Madhwa Sarovara and installed it in the temple nearby and started worshipping it. These poojas have been going on since then even to this day in unbroken continuity. Since Sri Madhwacharya's time, these poojas are being conducted by his disciples who are all 'balasanayasis'. The right of touching and worshipping this idol rests with the pontiff of these eight mutts only who are the spiritual descendants of Sri Madhvacharya. No one else is permitted to touch the idol.

This place is of religious interest in the interiors of Dakshina Kannada. An outstanding example of religious and cultural tolerance where charity is a way of life, extended to all without discrimination. Lord Manjunatha temple is a famous pilgrim center. Sri Dharmasthala which is one of the sacred places in South India is well known to all pious people. It is situated in the village of Dharmasthala, in Beltangady Taluk of South Canara district.
The History of this place says that, One day the guardian angels of Dharma assumed human forms & riding on horse & elephant, with their retinue in regal pomp & divine glory came to Nelyadibeedu. Ammudevi Ballathi & her husband received the visitors with joy & respect. The angels were so pleased with the welcome & charities that they said "Pergade (Pergade-Heggade) we are attracted by your pious conduct & charities. Offer this Nelyadi Beedu to us & build another house for yourself nearby & worship us in this Beedu & we will see that your wealth & charity be unbounded."
Thus they blessed & vanished. It was then that Pergade & his wife were aware that their guests were not mortal beings but divine visitors who had chosen to test them. From that day they begun propitiating them by putting up a swing cot & burning lamps & incense in their Nelyadi Beedu. They built a separate residence for themselves nearby.
Entrance of
Dharmasthala Temple
Main Entrance of
Dharmasthala Temple
Pergade invited Brahmins for festive offerings, but they refused to come unless Gods were worshipped along with Daivas, Whilst Pergade was grieving over this problem the Dharmadevathas sent their vassal Annappa to bring from Kadri the Lingam of Sri Manjunatha & installed it at the spot in the temple where it now stands. Manjula means pleasing or beautiful, Natha means Lord. Pergade built a temple there on the right side of the shrine of Dharma Daivas where the Lingam was installed by Annappa, established the performance of the daily poojas & the rituals & the festivals in a befitting manner. The shrine of Annappa faces the Lingam of Sri Manjunatha. Thus in Kuduma, Sri Chandranatha, Sri Manjunatha & four Daivas & Annappa Daiva came to be worshipped simultaneously at different shrines with common festivals. In Nelyadi Beedu, Heggade alone worships his ancestors & the four Daivas.

The temple has Vaishnavite Archakas and is administered by Heggade, a Jain Trustee. Charity is a way of life here & is extended to all with no distinction of caste or creed. Thousands throng the temple and every visitor is fed free of charge. During Laksha Deepothsava, one lakh lamps are lit and literacy and religious discourses are held. In the recent past , 39 ft monolith of Bahubali was installed at Dharmasthala by the Heggade
Lord Bahubali's Statue, 
Dharmasthala Temple
Connecting Dharmasthala

Air : The nearest airport is Mangalore(75 km).

: Dharmasthala is the nearest railhead & is linked to other parts of the State.

: Some distances are

  • Mangalore -75 km
  • Kukke Subramanya -70 km
  • Udupi - 100 Kms
Elephants of 
Dharmasthala Temple
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