Firewood stash for two years shaped like a chariot at Udupi Krishna Temple — Photo by Vidya Sury ©

Saving For A Rainy Day

Six Word Photo Story: Freestyle

We must keep the fire burning

I was excited about this photo for the Spring challenge but found that it did not meet the guidelines. Still, there’s an interesting story here.

The historic 13th-century Udupi Krishna Temple, Karnataka was founded by the Hindu saint-philosopher Madhvacharya. He established a tradition where the temple would be managed by his 8 students by rotation, each for a two-year period.

Every alternate year, there’s a ritual called paryaya that involves planting banana saplings and basil to meet the needs of the pooja and to feed devotees. Next, they store around 48 packs of rice stored. This is followed by Kattige muhurta, where firewood is stored in the form of a chariot or temple car.

The firewood arranging ritual was begun in 1522 AD and takes 25 days. Devotees bring in stacks of firewood to build the “chariot”. Rather than pile it haphazardly, it is arranged artistically like a chariot, lasts for two years, and is used as fuel to cook for the devotees.

Talk about self-sufficiency and forward planning, eh?

Close to 8000 people eat at this temple daily and during festivals, the numbers go up to 12000. The menu is mind-boggling and delicious.

By the way, the Masala Dosa, one of South India’s most popular dishes, originated in Udupi. Slurrp!

Oh, here’s one of the legends about this temple: Apparently, Kanakadasa, a famous composer, was a shepherd and denied entry into the temple (low caste 🙄). Sad, he would stand behind the temple and sing. One day, the rear wall of the temple collapsed and the beautiful Krishna idol turned 180 degrees to face Kanakadasa. (Krishna — 1, Temple — 0) This is now called Kanakadasa’s window. Yes, we peeked through it. The Krishna idol is gorgeous.



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Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles

Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles


Writing about Self Improvement, Mindfulness, Meditation, Parenting, Health, Travel, Life, Books. Showing my diabetes who’s boss. Visit: