July 10, 2012

Pajaka Kshetra - The birth place of Madhvacharya

Site Name: Pajaka Kshetra
Site Type: Hindu Pilgrimage
Location:  Pajaka Kshetra, 10 kms from Udupi, around 65 kms from Mangalore, Karnataka state, India
Highlights: The birth place of Madhvacharya, one of the greatest saints of Hinduism
Nearest Railway Station: Udupi (Mangalore train station has better connectivity from other parts of India; Udupi station is a small one with less connectivity)
Nearest Airport: Mangalore
How to reach: Well connected by road from Udupi
Hotel: A lot of options are available within Udupi and around Udupi
Restaurants: Udupi cuisine is popular; many vegetarian restaurants are located across the town

Madhvacharya (1238-1317 AD) was the chief proponent of Dvaita school of Hindu philosophy. It is one of the three most important Hindu philosophies. He is believed to be the incarnation of Hanuman and Bheem. Let us learn about Pajaka Kshetra, the birth place (janmabhoomi) of Sri Madhvacharya, one of the greatest saints of Hindu religion.

Pajaka Kshetra is a small calm village located at a distance of around 10 kms from Udupi, one of the important pilgrimages of Hindus. It is located in Karnataka state of India.

Four Teerthas:

As per the legend, Parasurama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, created four ponds in Pajaka Kshetra.

The pond created by him using his Parasu weapon is called as Parashu Teertha. It is located on a rocky hill near Belle village which is around 3 kms form Pajaka.

He created another pond using his bow called as Dhanush Teertha. It is located in a rocky area around 6 kms from Pajaka.

Gadda Teertha was created by his mace. It is located very near to Pajaka.

The pond created by his arrow is named as Baana Teertha. It is found on a rock close to Kunjarugiri hill.


Durga Temple
 Kunjarugiri Durga Temple:

A Kerala type temple of Durga is found on the top of hill called Kunjarugiri. It is believed that Maya who got swapped with the infant Krishna in the prison during Krishnavatar is the Goddess of this temple. There is no other idol or shrine in this windy shrine. There are two prakaras surrounidng the main shrine in this temple. One has to climb 50-60 steps to reach this temple. It is believed that Parasuram constructed this temple.

The site where the demon was killed
The site where Manimantha was killed:

It is believed that a demon named Manimantha took the form of a serpent and bit Madhvacharya when he was a boy. However, he was not affected due to this. He killed the serpent and the site where it was killed is still present with the bas relief images depicting the scene.

Madhvacharya birth place
Madhva Janmabhoomi:

The house where the Guru Madhvacharya lived is still there in Pajaka. The family deity Ananta Padmanabha and Narasimha idols are found in the Pooja room of this house. It is divine feeling to worship the same idols which were worshipped by the greatest saint of Hinduism.

The stone stab used by Madhva to practice writing, Vasudeva Teertha - the pond created by Madhva, the place where he cleared the debt of his father by converting tamarind seds into coins, the huge stone slabs which he as a boy used to cover the vessels of milk and curd, the Banyan tree believed to have grown merely from the stick planted by him and other such things are all well preserved in this house.

Madhvacharya Temple
Madhva Temple:

Next to the house of Madhvacharya, there is a small temple of Madhva. The idol of Madhva is installed in the main shrine. The temple is built in the Kerala style. After killing the serpent demon, he heard his mother calling him. From the top of the hill, he jumped to this site. The foot prints of Madhava are still preserved in this site.

Parasurama Temple
Parasurama Temple:

It is very rare to find a temple dedicated to Parasurama. One such small temple is found in Pajaka. It is located near Parashu Teertha. However, you need to be lucky to find this temple opened, as it is very rare the priest visits this temple.

Happy travelling.

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