Kanaka Dasaru (1509-1609) was a poet, philosopher, musician and composer from modern Karnataka. He is known for his Kirtanes and Ugabhoga compositions in the Kannada language for Carnatic music. Like some other Dasas, he often used colloquial language for his compositions. He was a disciple of Vyasathirtha and a follower of Dwaita philosophy propounded by Madhvacharya.
Kanakadasa having come under the spiritual influence of Sri Vadiraja Swamiji, came to Udupi. He was singing with devotion in praise of the Lord, in front of Krishna Temple.
So intense was the devotion of Kanakadasa, that without entering the temple he was granted a sight of Krishna’s image through a crack appearing on the western wall of the temple.
It is believed that Sri Vadiraja Swami set up a window to commemorate this divine event. This window, with a trellis work of peep-holes is popularly known as Kanakana Kindi. Peeping through this window, a pilgrim can have a ready flashing sight of Krishna’s image without entering the temple.
After this window was installed, it became customary for all devotees to catch a sight of Krishna’s image through this window, before entering the temple.
The major literary works of Kanakadasa are – Nalacharitre, Haribhaktisara, Nrisimhastava, Ramadhanyacharitre (a rare work on class struggle) and Mohanatarangini.