The idol of Sri Krishna installed at the Sri Krishna Matha is carved out of Shaalagrama Shila. Legend has it that Rukmini herself was worshipping this idol at Dwaaraka (Gujarat). When Sri Krishna disappeared from this world Arjuna deposited this idol in the spot called 'Rukmini Vana'. The idol which lay buried inside the mud of Gopichandan, was mistaken for a lump of Gopichandan and loaded as ballast on a ship carrying merchandise from Dwaraka along the West Coast. When the ship was approaching Malpe (Udupi) Port, it got caught in storm and was about to sink. Sri Madhwacharya who was on the shore, waved his upper cloth on which the storm subsided, saving the ship from disaster. The grateful captain of the ship offered all the wealth in his ship to Sri Madhwacharya. But the great Acharya chose only the lump of Gopichandan which lay in a corner. He carried the Gopichandan to Udupi, a distance of four miles, singing the 'Dwadashastotra'.The moment he immersed the Gopichandan in the Madhwasarovara, a beautiful idol of Sri Krishna emerged. Sensing this chain of events by his aparoksha jnana (divine knowledge), the Acharya himself installed the idol. The idol represents Lord Krishna in his playful childhood posture with a curd-churning rod in the right hand and the churning rope in the left. Thus Lord Krishna came to being worshipped by Sri Madhwacharya and later by the pontiffs of Ashta Mathas founded by him.