Temples in Udupi
Udupi is one of the few pilgrim centres, which have, through centuries, sought to preserve the hoary Vedic culture and Vedantic philosophy of India, along with Sanskrit learning and educational enterprises founded on its cultural base.
The strip of land between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, ranging from Nasik to Kanyakumari, is known as the "Parashurama Kshetra" (Holy land of Parashurama). Hindu epics narrate a legend as to how sage Parashurama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, reclaimed this piece of land from the sea.
Historical accounts of Parashurama Kshetra mention sub-divisions of this region, such as the Maratha, Konkana, Tuluva and Kerala. The coastal strip lying between Gokarna and Payaswini (Perumpula) river of Kerala State was known as Tuluva land or Tulu Nadu. Udupi, described in traditional religious literature as "Rajata Peetha" or "Ruupya Peetha", is deemed to be one of the seven holy places of Tulu Nadu, the other places being Subramanya, Kumbhasi, Koteshwara, Shankaranarayana, Kollur and Gokarna.
The name 'UDUPI' is the modern kannada version of 'ODIPU' which is the ancient name of this place in Tulu language. The Sanskrit name "Rajata Peetha" means a silver seat. This name is associated with the ancient Anantheswara Temple of Udupi, where a legendary king called Ramabhoja is believed to have worshipped Lord Parashurama in the form of a Shiva Linga, which manifested itself on a silver seat offered by the king for the purpose of worship. Shiva worshipped in this temple, in the one and the same symbol of a Shiva linga. Hence, the deity of this temple is called Anantheswara.