Uppinakudru, or Salt Island, is located at 6Km towards north of Kundapura Udupi District (Karnataka, India). It is a small island village, once famous for trading of salt (uppu) and also for seafood (picking of sea shells in backwaters).


It was isolated from main land of Kundapura and important transportation was by boats only. During Tippu Sultan regime Uppinakudru was a major armament storage point. It is also a through destination from Arabian Sea towards Basrur which was a major trade centre up to 19th Century. Coconut trees were to be found around the island which literally hides the island from pirates, which was useful up to 20th century as this village was near an important trade sea route. Vessels sailing to Basrur, (then an important business centre, now an obscure village) must pass Uppinakudru village.

Temples and Mutts

Though it has a low population, it boasts of 3 temples and 8 mutts. It is noteworthy that car festival has been a regular annual feature throughout. All temples are being renovated regularly.

Lord Gopalakrishna

Lord Gopalakrishna TempleIt is one of the famous temple in Uppinakudru. Lord shiva temple is near to this. The festival going on every Ramanavami.

Lord Vasudeva Temple

Vasudeva temple is the village deity. This temple was the seat of education in olden days. The idol is quite ancient, saying that it that application of Gandha on the forehead centuries has made a dent on the forehead of the idol.

iddi Vinayaka Temple

Adjacent to the above Vasudeva temple is the temple of lord Ganesha.It is said that during the entry time of British rule in India tobacco was exported from here. As statues in foreign market fetched lot of money, it was planned to smuggle this idol (stolen from a temple in mainland) in one tobacco bundle. But somehow, it slipped from the tobacco bundle and got dropped here and a temple was built for the statue. In the year 2002 this temple has been renovated and work on new Dwajastambha and chariot is under progress now is under construction (Jan 2005).

Lord Laxminarasimha Mutt

Lord Laxminarasimha Mutt which is located at the heart of village is in a cluster with high school, higher primary school and Varada Ganapathi temple. This mutt is the leading mutt with largest land holding in the village. This mutt has been renovated in the year 2004. The other notable mutts are Ishwar mutt, Ganapathi mutt, Gopinath mutt and Devi mutt. Ishwar mutt near Gopalkrishna temple is waiting generous devotees to get a face lift.

Bobborya Daivastan

The Bobborya daivastan is having lot of devotees in Gangolli & Kundapura. People eking out a living from the river (picking" chippu" and catching fish) are the main devotees.


The village has three Kinder Gartens of which one requires new building (presently running in Lord Vasudeva temple). Higher primary school which was built in 1917 has charmed out nearly 5000 old students. It has midday meal scheme running efficiently. Presently it has total of 241 students. Children are taken on educational tours and participate local sports and competitions. In the year 1992 new building was constructed. Sri U.Nagappa Aithal and Yajnanarayana Aithal are motivating personalities of new building for the higher elementary school.

High school

The Government high school in this village was established on 16-01-1993.It has a present strength of 125 students. Totally 569 students have passed out so far up to 2005. Students are taken on regular educational tours around Karnataka. From last 4 years the results of SSLC public examination has been above 90% and this percentage is comparable to general results of Kundapura Taluk.


People of this village largely depend on agriculture. They grow paddy, ground nut and various types of dhal. There is a milk collecting centre which provides livelihood for a lot of people. Formerly they used to grow sugarcane but now it is not grown, as there is no reliable market nearby. Self help groups which have come into existence recently have helped many people to stand on their own legs through co-operative means.


Yakshagana string puppets is the major art of this village. (Puppet dance with music in Yakshagana Style). These wooden puppets are about 18 inches high. Their costumes are exactly like those worn by the characters from Yakshagana Bayalata , with the same elaborate make-up, high and colorful head-gear and heavy jewellery. The person who infuses life into the puppet and makes it come alive, by dexterous manipulation, is the puppet master, known as the ‘Suthradhara’.

The contents in the Yakshagana puppetry, as in every other ancient performing art, is drawn from the Epics and Bhagavatha Purana. There may have been possibilities for embracing secular themes, but the older tradition still persists. Yakshagana puppetry has lived through the onslaughts of social and economic ravages and now reposes safe in the hands of handful of devoted practitioners. This ancient folk art was founded by three brothers Laxman, Narasimha and Manjappa Kamath, three centuries ago at Uppinakudru, a small village of Kundapura Taluk. Devanna Padmanabha Kamath, the grandson of Laxman Kamath pursued this profession with missionary zeal. With the able assistance and patron age of Smt. Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, Sri Srinivasa Mallya, Sri K.Sanjeeva Prabhu, Sri K.S Upadhyaya, Sri Devanna Kamath got National recognition by winning National Award in 1966.Sri Kogga Kamath staged many shows in the country and abroad and participated in many National and International Festivals. Sri Kogga Kamath also won National Award in 1980,State Award in 1986 and Tulsi Samman in 1995.

National awards

This tiny village has been bestowed with four national awards. The awardees are two in the field of education and two in the field of fine arts. In Education field, Sri Anantha Maiya and Sri U. Nagappa Aithal are the recipients of national award. Where as father son duo of Sri Devanna Kamath & Sri Kogga Kamath are the two other recipients in fine arts .Their specialization is in Yakshagana string puppetry. For a village, four national level awards is really outstanding.

----Latest news

Helen Rebello, Daughter of Alphonsus Rebello, ex-chairman Uppinakudru Village Panchayat holds the distinction for being the first Female graduate from this village, Recently attended the International conference as one of the two delegates chosen from India, Held at Chicago, U.S and also received the EXCELLENCE AWARD for the BEST TEACHER for the year 2005 in Bangalore.

External links

* [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uppinakudrufriends/ Goto uppinakudrufriends group]
* [http://www.yakshaganapuppets.com Yakshagana string puppets]

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