ALL ROADS in Udipi lead to the large open square in the city centre where the Krishna Temple is located. This is the focal point of all activity, spiritual and commercial, in this bustling pilgrim town. The famous 13th-century Vaishnavs teacher, Madhava, is believed to have founded the temple by installing an image of Krishna he had rescued from a shipwreck. Parked outside the temple are the festival chariots with dome-like towers made of bamboo and covered with colourful textiles. After passing through the entrance gate, pilgrims bathe in the tank before entering the main sanctuary with its silver doors and viewing window. Surrounding the square are other temples and the eight mathas associated with the Krishna Temple, built in the typical Kanara style with wooden verandahs and sloping roofs.
Udipi also lends its name to the inexpensive eateries that originated here. Catering to a local clientele, the menu concentrated on traditional South Indian vegetarian food, such as the mdsala dosa and idle . These restaurants, with their affordable rates, quick turnover and simple but good food, are now found all over India.
ENVIRONS: About 5 km (3 miles) west of Udipi is Malpe Beach, where fishing boats can be hired for excursions. Manipal, 4 km (2.5 miles) to the east, is an industrial and educational centre. TheHouse of Vijayanath Shennoy in Manipal, now amuseum, is an example of a traditional home, with a fine collection of everyday objects.