Ashta Mathas in Udupi:
The Ashta Mathas or Monasteries of Udupi were established by Madhwacharya, the great Dvaita philosopher. These Mathas were established in eight villages around the Udupi Krishna Temple. Sri Madhwacharya appointed eight of his direct disciples as head of each Matha.
The Ashta Mathas and their original heads:
- Palimaru Matha - Sri Hrishikesha Tirtha
- Adamaru Matha - Sri Narasimha Tirtha
- Krishnapura Matha - Sri Janardhana Tirtha
- Puthige Matha - Sri Upendra Tirtha
- Shiruru Matha - Sri Vamana Tirtha
- Sodhe Matha - Sri Vishnu Tirtha
- Kaniyooru Matha - Sri Rama Tirtha
- Pejavara Matha - Sri Adhokshaja Tirtha
The Ashta Mathas are all located in Udupi town itself, around the Krishna temple. They are responsible for the administration of this temple. When Sri Madhwacharya formed these eight Mathas, he paired them up in a system called Dwandwa (two). Each pair of Mathas takes up the responsibility in rotation. If the main Matha for that rotation is not able to assume responsibility for some reason, the other Matha takes over. This way, the temple administration goes on undisturbed. At any given time, only one of the Mathas holds the responsibility. These Mathas are also in large of spreading the message of Dvaita philosophy in the region.
In Sanskrit,Udupa means moon. According to history moon prayed Lord Shiva here to get rid of a curse.Lord Shiva was pleased with moon’s prayers and blessed him in the form of Lingam which you can see in Chandramoulishwara Temple.Since moon prayed here the place has got its name Udupi.