- Sringeri - The Seat of Learning
The quaint town of Sringeri is located along the banks of the scenic
Thungabhadra River with the towering Sahyadris in the backdrop. The town
was developed into a centre of philosophy, science and religious ethics
by Saint Adi Shankaracharya. There are quite a few temples in and
around Sringeri constructed by the saint himself, the Kalabhairavi
temple, the Durga temple, the Anjaneya temple and the Kali temple. The
Advaita Mutt, a well-renowned Hindu monastery, was also established here
by Saint Adi Shankara.
The name Sringeri is derived from Rishyashringa- a chief priest who finds mention in the great Indian epic of Ramayana. Sringeri was under the rule of the Hoysalas, until Mallik Kafur a Muslim invader from Delhi defeated the kings in the year 1311 AD. The invaders ruined the Hindu temples, stole the idols, and almost destroyed the Sringeri Mutt. Later, Sringeri rose to prominence as a political hub which eventually led to the formation of the Vijayanagar Empire. Sringeri continued to be the centre of learning and was visited by students and scholars from far and wide even after the fall of the mighty Vijayanagar Empire.
The Vidyashankara temple is visited with equal fervor by worshippers and
historians. The temple carvings show the craftsmanship of the age at
its very best. Intricate carvings depicting figures of gods, celestial
dancers, animals, etc., can be found on the walls of the temple. The
temple also has a variety of sculptures related to mythological stories
from Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The temple architecture mirrors the
influence of both Hoysala and Vijayanagara styles. Advanced engineering
principles were employed in the construction of the temple. The 12
pillars inside the main hall represent a zodiac sign each. The doors and
windows are strategically designed so that sunlight falls directly on
the deity. The garba-griha of the temple houses a linga called
Vidyashankara which was installed in memory of Guru Vidyatheertha.
The Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetham is one of the four mutts constructed by Saint Adi Shankaracharya. Originally, the temple was just a small shrine which was subsequently renovated and expanded. Today, an opulent hall covered with beautiful carvings and pillars face the deity. Built in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is made up of a main Gopuram with broad walkways surrounding it. The deity of Saradamba sits on a magnificent throne made of gold, housed in the inner sanctum. The seat of transcendental wisdom known as Vyakhyana Simhasanam is also housed inside the sanctum sanctorum.
- Best Time To Visit
October to March.
- How to Reach
Mangalore Airport is the nearest airport located at a distance of around 110 km.
Birur railway station on the Bangalore- Pune road is the nearest railway station.
There are frequent buses plying from Chikmagalur, Hassan, Shimoga, Birur and Agumbe. Sringeri is at a distance of 340 km from Bangalore.