Sringeri (or Shringeri) is a hill town located on the banks of the river Tunga in the evergreen forests of Chikkamangalur, which is most popular for Sringeri Mutt is also known as Sringeri Sharda Amnaya Peetam. Amnaya–The Veda; Peetham–Throne. (i.e. throne of the Veda), seat of learning established for the preservation and propogation of the Vedas. It is the site of the first matha established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya, Hindu theologian and exponent of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy, in the 8th century CE.
The Vidyashankara Temple located here is an architectural marvel. The Sharadamba temple, built in the Dravidian style, is dedicated to godessSaraswathi, the goddess of learning.
Legend / Sthala Purana
The name Sringeri is derived from Rishyashringa-giri, a nearby hill that is believed that the hermitage of Rishi Vibhandaka and his son Rishyashringa lived here. Rishyashringa appears in an episode in the Bala-Kanda of the Ramayana.
According to legend, Adi Shankaracharya, when he was walking by the Tunga river, he saw a cobra with a raised hood, providing shelter from the hot sun, to a frog about to spawn. Impressed with the place where natural enemies had gone beyond their instincts, he selected the site as the place to stay and teach his disciples and stayed here for twelve years. Adi Shankaracharya also established muttas' in the northern (at Jyotirmath, near Badrinath), eastern (at Puri) and western (at Dwaraka) quarters of India.
The Chandramoulishwara crystal linga is radiant like the moon, representing Jnana and bliss, is the principal idol of worship not only in Sringeri but also in the other three Amnaya Peethams. Legend is that these four Sphatika lingas, were handed over by Sri Adi Shankaracharya to his four disciples. Sri Adi Shankara himself received the four lingas from Lord Shiva.
The Sharada temple, dedicated to the Goddess Saraswathi, of learning and wisdom, has grown from a simple shrine from the time of Adi Shankaracharya. In the 14th century, Vidyaranya (patron-saint of Harihara and Bukka, kings of Vijayanagara) is said to have replaced the old sandalwood image with a stone and gold image. The temple structure continued to be made of wood till the early 20th century. After an unexpected fire damage of the structure, the present structure was built in the traditional south Indian chettinadu style.
The Vidyasankara temple was built in commemoration of the pontiff Vidyashankara, around 1357-58 C.E. by Vidyaranya. The niches in the temple have a number of sculptures from Hindu mythology. The temple architecture combines Hoysala and Vijayanagara architectural features and is also an exhibition of the astronomical expertise of medieval south Indian temple builders. The mandapa features 12 pillars, which are marked by the twelve 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. On the floor there is a large circle, marked with converging lines to indicate the direction of the shadows. The meditation of the Linga (Vidya Shankara Linga) in the sanctum and other Murtis will lead to Divine realization.
The Tungabhadra river have spectacular views of forest creek. Guru Nivas and Narasimha Vanam can be reached by Vidyaranya bridge. Narasimha Vanam, where one can see nature at its best with plenty of peacocks and deers. There is a temple to Vyasa Maharshi, the foremost among all the gurus.
Sringeri Temple Images
Sringeri Temple and Mutt complex
Sri Vidyasankara and Saradamba temples
Sri Vidyashankara temple architectural view
Devotees taking blessings from temple elephants
Present Guru and Peethadhipathi Sri Bharati Tirtha
Another view of Vidyasankara temple
Massive fishes in Tunga river
Vidyateertha bridge to Narasimha vanam and Gurunivas
Sringeri has guest houses (Sringeri Mutt Guest House) run by the temple administration and also have private lodges to stay.
Festivals / Events
Guru Purnima – The Full Moon day in the month of Ashadha (June / July). The holy day is dedicated to Guru or the Teacher
Chaturmasya Vrata – performed for a period of two months (July – August). The Sannyasins observe the Vrata and stay at one place to disperse spiritual knowledge to their disciples.
Sharan Navaratri – The Navaratri Utsav is celebrated with great fervor and zest. The festival is celebrated in a unique way which is a must see in anyone’s lifetime. A Maha Abhishekam will be performed for Goddess Sharadamba. The Rudrabhishekam and 108 Abhishekams will be followed by an offering of several Alankaras to the Goddess.
Vidyathirtha Rathotsava – This festival is celebrated for seven days during the Kartik Shukla Paksha (November).
Besides the above main festivals mentioned all other Hindu festivals celebrated on a grand scale