Sringeri Sharada Temple
Sringeri is a picturesque town in the heart of the Malnad with rich vegetation and pleasant climate. Sringeri (also written as Shringeri) is a taluk and pilgrimage centre located in the banks of Holy River Tunga in Chickmagalur district of Karnataka state. Sringeri is the important religious center for Hindus. Sringeri is the first of the four mathas established by the renowned 8th century Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya. The name Sringeri is derived from Shringa Giri (Rishyashringa-giri), a nearby hill that is believed to have contained the hermitage of Rishi Vibhandaka and his son Rishyashringa. Shringa Giri hills, said to be the birth place of Sage Rishyasringa. Rishyashringa appears in an occurrence in the Bala-Kanda of the Ramayana where a story, narrated by Vasishtha, relates how he brought rains to the drought-stricken kingdom of Romapada. According to legend, Sringeri was discovered by Sri Sankaracharya. While Adi Shankaracharya was walking by the Tunga river, he saw a cobra with a raised hood, providing shadow from the scorching rays of the hot sun, to a frog about to spawn. Impressed with the place where natural enemies had gone beyond their instincts, he selected this place and decided to stay here and teach his disciples and stayed here for twelve years. Sringeri is home to a number of historic temples.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS AT SRINGERI
Sri Sharada Temple:
The temple is dedicated to Goddess Sharadamba, the Goddess of learning and wisdom. Adi Shankaracharya installed Goddess of learning, Sri Sharadamba over a Sri Chakra fixed on a rock on the left bank of river Tunga.
Sri Vidyashankara Temple:
The Vidyashankara Temple was built in the year 1338 A.D. The Vidyashankara temple was built in memorial of the pontiff Vidyashankara by Vidyaranya, patron-saint of Harihara and Bukka, the brothers who founded the Vijayanagara empire.
The Vidyashankara temple is a unique monument built entirely of stone combining both Hoysala (Chalukya) and Dravidian architectural styles. The temple architecture is also an exhibition of the astronomical expertise of medieval south Indian temple builders. The main temple hall features 12 pillars designated for the 12 signs of the zodiac in their regular order, and arranged in such a manner that the rays of the sun fall on each of them in the order of the twelve solar months. Windows and doors along the temple walls are arranged such that equinoxes sunrise views reach the deity.
Shree Sankaracharya temple, the Janardhana temple and the Harihareshwara temple are also beautiful.
Sringeri Sharada Peetham:
The matha at Sringeri is known as Sringeri Sharada Peetham. It is one of the four Hindu Advaita maths established by Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya. It is also called to as Dakshinamnaya Sringeri Sharada peetam. The head of the Sringeri matha is called Jagadguru (teacher of the world in Sanskrit) and also carries the Shankaracharya name as a title. Shri Bharati Tirtha Swamiji is present and 36th head of Sringeri matha.
A number of Vedic schools and temples are maintained by the Sringeri matha. In addition to this, Sringeri matha runs a hospital and a few colleges. The Sharada Temple at Sringeri is managed by the Sringeri matha. The matha has also played an important role in preserving the natural beauty of Sringeri.
Navarathri is the most important festival in Sringeri. Special Pujas and archanas are offered to Goddess Sharadamba at the temple for nine days. A ceremonial procession takes place in the temple.
Facilities to the visitors:
Sringeri has guest houses run by the temple administration. Temple guest houses are available to stay. Lunch and Dinner is provided daily for the visitors.