Sri Krishna temple, Udipi and the gold-plated sanctum roof

Udipi Sri Krishna temple, gold-plated sanctum

Among the temples of Sri Krishna the one at Udipi town in the coastal Karnataka is a popular one. This 13th century CE Hindu temple is being visited by lots of devotees across south India and also from the northern states. 

Location map. .Udipi, Karnataka.

Udipi Sri Krishna temple, gold-plated sanctum

The small Sri Krishna idol (Bala Krishna) was installed by the Vaishnavite  saint Jagadguru Shri Madhvacharya in the 13th century and the idol was supposedly worshipped by  Goddess Rukman Devi at Dwaraka (GUjarat). The seer was the founder of the  Sri Krishna Matt and  the Dwaita school of Vedanta. The great sage and philosopher  accidentally found   the Sri Krishna idol - vigraham inside a huge ball of ''gopichandana'' ( yellow clay used by Vaishnavites to wear their religious mark). In the sanctum, the  main idol was installed facing west and the devotees can have darshan only through silver plated 9  small windows called  the Navagruha Kindi  and  the outer window known as the Kanakana Kindi.

Seer Madhvacharya was entrusted with the dual responsibility of performing nithya pujas  to the deity besides  propagation of Madhva philosophy.

 What is special about the sanctum that covers 2500 sq.ft  is it was in June 2019 the roof over the  garbagriha  was covered with  gold plates  containing 100 kg  of  gold  and for this purpose  'Brahma Kalashotsava'' ritual was done on the  9th of June 2019.   In March 2019  ''havan rituals''  were held before dismantling the roof. The

Udipi Sri Krishna temple,

Above image: A  sketch of the golden roof of the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Krishna Mutt, Udupi...................

pinnacle of Sri Krishna Mutt  was  lowered  before actual dismantling work had begun.  Besides gold, 300 kg  of copper and 900 kg of silver  were  used  for  gold-plating work. It means 40gm of gold was used for each one sq. foot. The total cost of this work was around INS 40 crores.

The advantage of gold-plating the silver sheets is, according to experts, gold used in this way can be recovered easily. The work was certified by experts from the NIT (National Inst. of Technology, Sourathkal.

Madhwa Pushkarani, Udipi sri Krishna temple, KA

Sri Krishna idol, Udipi, KA.

Udipi Sri Krishna temple, KA

The tradition of Sri Krishna mutt  has been that the pontiff   who ascends the "Paryaya Peetha''  for his turn  takes a vow at the time of   Paryaya to adorn the roof of the sanctum with gold.  Accordingly  the endeavor of Sri Vidyadheesha Theertha of Paryaya Sri Palimar Mutt to cover the roof of the sanctum sanctorum (Sri Kovil) of the Sri Krishna Mutt with golden plates during his two-year Paryaya tenure got   good response from devotees across India who contributed roughly 70% of the required gold. In order to maintain the shine  on the metal  and longevity, 23ct gold was used for roofing purpose.  About 15 gold smiths were involved in the work on the golden roof .

Before dedication certain rituals were carried out.  The rituals began with the Kalashabhisheka of 1,008 Kalashas (sacred pots) and the installation of three Suvarna (gold) Shikhara on the occasion.  

The 1,008 Kalashas were on display near Goshala and the Puja was performed under the guidance of the Paryaya Palimar Mutt Deewan Shibaroor Vedavysas Tantri.   Homas were performed at 13 Homa Kundas (fire-altars or pits) and Dhanvantari Homa was witnessed by about 1000 devotees. It is normally done for the welfare and health of the communities.


01, Sri_Madhavacharya  had established eight Maths (monasteries) and appointed eight saint-disciples to head these Maths. The rotation of puja rights  (every  two years) among these eight Maths is symbolized in the “Paryaya Mahotsava.”

02. The present pontiff of Sri Palimaru Math Sri Vidy-adheesha teertha Sripaada,  introduced the mid-day meals program 

for school children. He also  had offered diamond ‘Kavacham’ to Sri Krishna during his 1st Paryaya.

Sri Krishna Jayanthi Udipi

03. At Sri Krishna Janmashtami celebrations are held on a grand scale.   In the past  here Paryaya Sri Eshapriyateertha Swamiji offered special puja to the deity - one lakh  tulsi leaves to Lord Krishna. Arghyapradhana ritual was performed on 30 August, this year. The  clay idol of Krishna in the sanctum  was offered milk and holy water. A few days later it was taken around the street before immersion in the temple water tank. A 10-day festival event 50 verities of laddoos are made during this time. There will be cultural programs as well. But now there  are restrictions over admission of devotees to the temple due to COVID -19 pandemic.

04. Other festivals are Navarathi Mahotsava, Madhva Jayanti (Vijaya Dashami), Naraka Chathurdashi, Deepavali, Geetha Jayanthi etc. are celebrated with religious zeal by Paryaya Mutt every year.

05. The Paryaya tradition established by Madhavacharya has completed 500 years as of 2021 and presently,  Sri Admaru Math is administering the temple with Junior Pontiff Sri Eshapriya Teertha Swami, thus continuing the age old tradition with devotion and Bhakti.