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Wednesday, February 08 2023
Marvellous Karnataka

Sringeri: Where spirituality blends with nature

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Education is the most important aspect. And if education is blended with knowledge then it leads to path of wisdom. One of the most beautiful places in Karnataka, Sringeri is the home of wisdom where Goddess of wisdom Sharada Devi resides.

Sringeri is a small town which is situated in the midst of Western Ghats, and adds more beauty to this holy place. The Sharadamba temple in Sringeri was established by Shri Shankaracharya, an Advaita philosopher when he established the Sharada Peetham Matha here. It is located on the banks of the river Tunga. It is a famous pilgrimage centre, and very important for the followers of Shankaracharya.

According to mythology Shri Shankaracharya was travelling across the country with his disciples when he reached this spot known as Shringa Giri as the hill here was the place of the ashram of Vibhandaka Maharishi and his great son Rishyashringa. When Sri Shankara came to this place, he saw a strange scene wherein a cobra had raised up and spread its hood, to provide shade to a spawning toad from the hot sun. He was enchanted by this sight. Saraswathi Devi, who was with him in the form of a young girl named Bharathi, decided to stay here. Adi Shankaracharya also decided to stay here and set up the Sringeri Sharada Peetham, one of the five Mathas he established in various parts of India. It is said he spent twelve years here. He is also said to have built four other temples around the Matha – Kalabhairava Temple, Durga Temple, Anjaneya Temple and Kali Temple. As Devi Saraswathi had decided to reside here, he built a temple here for her too and installed a sandalwood idol of her as Sharada Devi, in a standing posture.

It is believed that during the Muslim invasion under Malik Kafur, the original idol was destroyed. During the Vijayanagara period, a gold statue of Sharadamba in a seated posture was installed here. Recently, a Gopuram was added to the temple. Navaratri celebrations are a grand occasion here. The Goddess is taken out in procession, and thousands attend the festivities. As per some sources Salute pooja is offered to Goddess during Navaratri in the name of Tipu Sultan as he was passionate about Sringeri and Sharadamba Temple, which serves as an example for religious harmony.

As Sharadamba is a Goddess of knowledge, many devotees perform ‘Aksharabhyasa’ of their children in this temple everyday. The devotees come from various parts of the State as well as other states of South India. This matha has legacy of Bala Sanyasashrama.

One can visit the places such as Dharmasthala, Horanadu, Kigga, Kuduremukha among others during Sringeri trip. August to March is the best time to visit Sringeri.

Photo Source: Wikimedia commons

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Raksha Deshpande

The author is a postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from Karnataka University, Dharwad. Her interests range from literature, history, travel to politics, and is keenly interested to write human interest stories and articles relating to literature, travel.

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