Sringeri , also written as Shringeri is a taluk located in Chikmagalur district in the Indian state of Karnataka , is the site of the first matha established by Adi Shankaracharya , Hindu theologian and exponent of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy, in the 8th century C.E. It is located on the banks of the river Tunga .
Origin of the name
The name Sringeri is derived from Rishyashringa-giri, a nearby hill that is believed to have contained the hermitage of Rishi Vibhandaka and his son Rishyashringa . Rishyashringa appears in an episode 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, Adi Shankaracharya is said to have selected the site as the place to stay and teach his disciples, because 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 stayed here for twelve years. Adi Shankaracharya also established mathas in the northern (at Jyotirmath , near Badrinath ), eastern (at Puri ) and western (at Dwaraka ) quarters of India.
The Sharada temple, dedicated to the Goddess of learning and wisdom, has grown from a simple shrine dating to the time of Adi Shankaracharya. In the fourteenth century, Vidyaranya is said to have replaced the old sandalwood image with a stone and gold image. The temple structure itself continued to be made of wood till the early 20th century. After an unexpected fire that damaged the structure, the current structure was built in the traditional south Indian ( Dravidian ) style of temple architecture.
The Vidyashankara temple was built in commemoration of the pontiff Vidyashankara, around 1357-58 C.E.. It was built by Vidyaranya, patron-saint of Harihara and Bukka, the brothers who founded the Vijayanagara empire . The niches in the temple have a number of sculptures from Hindu, Buddhist and Jain mythologies. Inscriptions in the temple record contributions made by several Vijayanagara emperors, but the temple was probably built on an earlier Hoysala site, as it combines Hoysala and Vijayanagara architectural features. 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. Windows and doors along the temple walls are arranged such that equinoxes sunrise views reach the deity. The northern and southern gates enable the surise view from the hall during solstices.
Sringeri Sharada Peeta
The matha at Sringeri is known as Sringeri Sharada Peetham . It is one of the four Hindu Advaita maths established by Adi Shankaracharya . It is also referred to as Dakshinamnaya Sringeri Sharada peetam . Following the tradition initiated by Adi Shankaracharya, the matha is incharge of the Yajur Veda (the Krishna (Black) Yajurveda is more prevalent in South India, over which the matha has authority in the Smarta tradition).The head of the matha is called Jagadguru (teacher of the world) and also carries the Shankaracharya name as a title. The present Sringeri Shankaracharya is Shri Bharati Tirtha .
Places of interest near Sringeri
There are a number of prominent Hindu centers of pilgrimage near Shringeri. Some of the major ones include, Horanadu Annapoorneshari Temple, Hariharapura , Kigga (Rishyashringa Temple), Agumbe (Venugopalaswami Temple and Sunset Spot) , Kalasa ( Kalaseshwara Temple), Balehonnur - Rambapuri Matha, Koppa (Veerebhdra swamy and Chittemakki Mallikarjuna Swamy temple). Udupi famous for Krishna matha is three hour journey by road.
335 km North West of Bangalore Chikmagalur - 90km
Mangalore - 100km
Shimoga - 85km
By Road: -
Chikkamagaluru district is not known for well maintained roads. . The poor state of the roads has hampered development of this district to some extent; more so because of the absence of even a good rail network in this district . The total length of roads in this district is 7264 km . There are only two National Highways that pass through this district. The National Highway NH-13 ( Sholapur to Mangalore ) passes through the towns of Koppa and Sringeri where as the National Highway NH-206 ( Bangalore to Honnavar ) passes through the towns of Kadur , Birur and Tarikere . There is a proposal to upgrade the existing state highways Tarikere - Belur , Sringeri - Hassan & Kadur - Mangalore to national highway status.
By Rail: -
The Kadur and Tarikere taluks have railway lines passing through them. The total length of railway line passing through the district is 91 km of which 51 km is in Kadur taluk and 40 km is in Tarikere taluk. Birur station is a major junction in this district where the railway line from Bangalore bifurcates into two, with one line going towards Hubli and the other towards Shimoga . The district headquarters, Chikkamagaluru city does not have a railway station which is one of the reasons for the isolation of Chikkamagaluru city from the rest of the state. A new line is being laid between Kadur and Sakleshpur in Hassan district which should pass through Chikkamagaluru city .
By Air: -
Chikkamagaluru district does not have an airport. Airports at Mangalore , Bangalore and Hubli can be used as an alternative. However, there are plans to develop an airport near Marle village about 10 km from Chikkamagaluru city .
NH4 to Nalamangala then NH48 to Hassan via Kunigal then state road to Chikmagalur.
When to go:-
Since sringeri is a typical malnad region the best time to visit sringeri is between October to March .The nearest airport to Sringeri is Mangalore International Airport .
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