The Ashta Mathas or Monasteries of Udupi were established by Madhwacharya, the great Dvaita philosopher. These Mathas were established in eight villages around the Udupi Sri Krishna Temple. Sri Madhwacharya appointed eight of his direct disciples as head of each Matha.
The first Swamiji of this Matha was Sri Hrishikesha Thirtha whose handwritten scripts, are still preserved at the Matha. For worship, Sri Madhwacharya gave the idol of Sri Rama. The main branch of this Matha is at distance of 30 Kms. from Udupi. The present pontiff is Sri Vidhyadeesha Theertha Swamiji.
The Fourth Matha is Admar Matha. The main branch of this Matha is at a place called Admar, 21 Kms from Udupi. The original head of this Matha was Sri Narasimha Thirtha who worshipped a Kalinga Mardhana Sri Krishna Idol given to him by his Guru Sri Madhwacharya. The present pontiff is Sri Vishwa Priya Theertha Swamiji
Sri Krishnapura Matha is on the Northern side of the Car Street, next to Sri Palimar Matha. The first head of this Matha was Sri Janardhana Thirtha. He was given an idol of Kaliya Mardhana Sri Krishna. The main branch of this Matha is at Krishnapura near Surathkal 45 kms from Udupi. The present pontiff is Sri Vidyasagara Theertha Swamiji.
Next Matha is Sri Puthige Matha. Upendra Thirtha was the first Swamiji of this Matha who was given the idol of Sri Vittala by Sri Madhwacharya. The main branch of this Matha is at Puttige, 21 Kms from Udupi. The present pontiff is Sri Sugunendra Theertha Swamiji.
Next to Sri Krishnapura Matha and on the right side of Sri Krishna Matha is Shiroor Matha. Sri Vamana Thirtha was the first Swamiji of this Matha. He received Sri Anna Vittala idol from Sri Madhwacharya for worship. The main branch of this Matha is at Shiroor, a place 21 kms from Udupi near Hiriadka.
The Second Matha as one proceeds in Car street, is Sri Sode Matha. The deity is Sri Bhoo Varaha. Earlier the name of this Matha was linked to a place called Kumbashi and called the Kumbhashi Matha. It was later during the time of Sri Vadiraja Swamiji the Matha came to known as Sri Sode Matha. Sode or Sonda is a place near Sirsi (North Canara) and is 224 kms from Udupi. The first head of the Matha was Sri Vishnu Thirtha, the younger brother of Sri Madhwacharya. It is believed that he is still engaged in penance in Kumaradri hills. The present pontiff of the Matha is Sri Vishwvallabha Theertha Swamiji.
Sri Kaniyoor Matha is located on the left side of the temple of Lord Sri Krishna. The main branch of the Matha is at Kaniyoor, a village near Kukke Subramanya, 145 kms from Udupi. The original head of the Matha was Sri Rama Thirtha. Sri Narasimha is the presiding deity. The present pontiff of the Matha is Sri Vidhyavallabha Theertha Swamji.
Next to Admar Matha is Sri Pejawar Matha. The first Swamiji of this Matha was Sri Adhokshaja Thirtha. Sri Vittala is the presiding deity of the Matha. The main branch of this Matha is at Pejawar 55 Kms from Udupi. The present senior & junior pontiffs are Sri Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji and Sri Vishwa Prasanna Theertha Swamiji respectively.