Holy Pilgrimage – Karnataka State –( Sringeri and Sringeri Sharada Peetham, Sringeri ) -21

Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Karnataka State

Shringeri, Karnataka

Sringeri, also written as Sringeri, Śŗngeri and Śŗngagiri is a hill town and taluk headquarters located in Chikmagalur district in the Indian state of Karnataka, is the site of the first maţha 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 Tungā.

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.[1]


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

Places of Interest

Sringeri is home to a number of historic temples. Of these, Sri Sharadamba temple and Sri Vidyashankara temple are very prominent.

Sharadamba Temple

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 style of temple architecture.  

Vidyashankara Temple

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 sunrise view from the hall during solstices.  

Sringeri is hallowed for all times by the ancient legend of the sage Sri Rishyasringa. Sage Vibhandaka, by a curious combination of circumstances, became the father of a child, with a horn in the forehead, born of a deer. He found himself responsible for the proper upbringing of the child, whom he named as Rishyasringa. He thought that the easiest way to keep his son innocent of the worldly ways was to keep him in forest isolation. He succeeded to such an extent that when the boy matured into manhood, he had never set eyes on any human being other than his own father. He was even unaware of sexual distinction.
It so chanced that a neighbouring kingdom, which was then ruled by a king named Romapada, suffered from a severe drought. The king was advised by his ministers that there would be rains if sage Rishyasringa, blessed his kingdom with the touch of his holy feet. Romapada sent a number of fair damsels to the forest to bring the sage. They were however afraid of sage Vibhandaka, and so approached the hermitage when he was absent.
King Romapada, learning that the boy-sage had started from his hermitage, waited to receive him at the frontiers of his kingdom. The instant the holy sage stepped on the soil, the heavens opened up and poured-down life giving showers. The king, thankful for the favour conferred on him, showed his gratitude by offering the hand of his daughter, Santha, in marriage to the sage. Rishyasringa accepted her as his wife and remained in the king’s palace as an honoured guest for sometime. 
It was during this period that Dasaratha, King of Ayodhya, invited him to officiate in the yaga named Putrakameshti, by which he was blessed with four sons, Sri Rama and others. Sage Rishyasringa felt that his married life was not without its merits. It gave him an opportunity to usher into this world Sri Rama, the personification of Dharma.

The Linga

Yet he felt himself called back to his native forest with its holy atmosphere. He retired to the forest to spend the remainder of his life in divine contemplation. When he shuffled off his mortal coil, a lightning issued forth from his body and disappeared into the Linga he was worshipping as a symbol of formless Absolute.
This Linga can be seen even now in the temple at Kigga, a village about 10 Km from Sringeri. Unlike others, this Linga is invested with a horn on its head, to commemorate the merger of the sage Rishyasringa.
The Linga that was worshipped by the sage Vibhandaka and into which he himself disappeared in the end is on the summit of a hillock. This is situated in the centre of Sringeri. The Linga is known as Malahanikareshwara (destroyer of the impurities of the Jiva) and is worshipped even today.

Temples of Guardian deities

Sri Adi Shankara had constructed four temples on the four sides of the sringeri village.
  • Kala Bhairava Temple in the East
  • Kere Anjaneya Temple in the West
  • Kalikamba Temple in the North
  • Durgamba Temple in the South

Sri Malahanikareshwara Temple

This is located at the center of the Sringeri town.

Sringeri Sharada Peeta

The matha at Sringeri is known as Sringeri Sharada Peetha. 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 maţha is incharge of the Yajur Veda (the Krishna (Black) Yajurveda is more prevalent in South India, over which the maţha has authority in the Smarta tradition).The head of the matha is called Jagadguru (teacher to the world) and also carries the Shankaracharya name as a title. The present Sringeri Shankaracharya is Shri Bharati Tirtha.

Zodiac Pillars

The twelve pillars in the Vidyashankar temple are popularly known as Rashistambhas (zodiacal pillars). Symbols of the twelve divisions of the zodiac are engraved on these pillars. The temple is an architectural marvel. Among the many delicate carvings, lions that are engraved in biped positions on the pillars may be mentioned. There are stone balls inside the growling faces of the lions and they can be moved inside their mouths. It is said that the design of the pillars involved certain astronomical concepts. For example, the first rays of the rising sun fall on specific pillars with the zodiacal symbol on the pillar corresponding to the position of the sun.

Places of interest near Sringeri

There are a number of prominent Hindu centres of pilgrimage near Sringeri. Some of the major ones include Horanadu Annapoorneshari Temple, Basrikatte Janardana Swami Temple, Hariharapura, Kigga (Rishyashringa Temple), Agumbe (Venugopalaswami Temple & Sunset Spot), Kalasa ( Kalaseshwara Temple), Balehonnur - Rambapuri Matha, Koppa (Veerabhadra Swamy & Chittemakki Mallikarjuna Swamy temple). Udupi, famous for Krishna matha, is a 3-hour journey by road.

Where to Stay

  • Sringeri has guest houses run by the temple administration. Visit Sringeri Mutt web site for details. There are many private lodges also.nice place to visit here.

Best time to visit

  • Since Sringeri is a typical Malnad region, the best time to visit is between October and March. The nearest airport to Sringeri is Mangalore International Airport formerly known as Bajpe airport at Mangalore.Sringeri can be reached from Mangalore which is at distance of 120 Kilometer by road via Karkala.  Udupi is also at distance of 120 Kilometre via Hebri and Agumbe.

Kundapura (KUDA) is nearest major railway station on Konkan Railway route. Road distance is less than 75km. Traveling options are private taxi and Govt.(KSRTC)/Private buses also there from Kundapura city. Shimoga is another nearer railway station and road distance around 115km.



Shringeri Sharadamba Temple, Karnataka


Shringeri Sharada Suprabhatha

The Shringeri Sharada Suprabhatha was adopted by the Shringeri matha in the late 1970s by his holiness Jagadguru Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha swamiji. The very famous Sree Sharada Suprabhata Stotram was composed by Veda Brahma. Turuvekere Subrahmanya Vishweshwara Dikshith (also known as Sri. T. S. Vishweshwara Dikshith) for the divine Shringeri Sharada maata (God Mother).
Veda. Brahma. T. S. Vishweshwara Dikshith was born in Turuvekere, a small town in Tumkur district, and was the Sanskrit professor in Maharaja College in the Royal Kingdom of Mysore and resided at Mysore. He was the Aasthana Vidwan of Alankaara Shasthra of King Jayachamaraja Wodeyar Bahadur. Dikshith was a learned Sanskrit scholar in several Vedas (Yajur Veda in particular) and specialised in Ghana Krama — the essence of the Vedas. He composed the Sree Srikanteshwara Suprabhata and Sree Chandramoulishwara Suprabhata of Lord Srikanteshwara of Nanjangud and Sri Chandramoulishwara temple in V. V. Mohalla, Mysore respectively. He was a Ghana Pati and had mastered several shastras such as Alankara Shastra, Jyothishya Shastra (astrology), Tarka, and Vyakarana (grammar) to name a few. He received several awards and accolades from the Maharaja of Mysore and their holiness the pointiffs of Sringeri Sharada Peetham and Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam respectively for his contributions to Sanskrit literature.


माला सुधाकुम्भ विबोधमुद्रा विद्याविराजत्करवारिजाताम् ।
अपारकारुण्यसुधाम्बुराशिं श्रीशारदाम्बां प्रणतोस्मि नित्यम् ॥

         The ancient temple of Sri Sharada, the presiding deity of Sringeri has a glorious history that begins with the setting up of the Dakshinamnaya Peetham by Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada. Originally it was an unpretentious shrine with the Murti of Sharada made of sandalwood, installed over the Sri Chakra that Sri Adi Shankara carved on a rock. Subsequently Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha and Sri Vidyaranya had a temple built in the Kerala style, with timber and tiled roof. Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha substituted the sandalwood idol with the present golden idol.

Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Nrisimha Bharati raised the present structure in granite with polished granite walling round the sanctum and Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati consecrated the new temple in May 1916. Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha made several improvements in the temple. The Mahamandapam has huge stone pillars exquisitely carved with deities like Durga, Raja Rajeshwari, Dwarapalakas and Devis which are all sculpted according to the Shilpa Sastras practised in Tamilnadu.
Sanctified by the worship of an unbroken succession of Acharyas of the highest purity, loftiest devotion and unsurpassed mantric powers, the Murti of Sri Sharada radiates grace and blessings.
In the year 1999, the present Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal, dedicated to Goddess Sharada a rupees one crore Golden chariot at Sringeri. On the event of golden jubilee Vardhanthi (Birthday) of the Jagadguru, golden doors were installed and inaugurated at the entrance of’ the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Sharada temple. The gold covering to the door worth rupees twenty four lakh is a marvelous piece of art. The eight panels have the figures of Ashta Lakshmi inscribed on them.


Navaratri festival is celebrated on a grand scale every year for 11 days with Shathachandi Homa Poornahuti performed on the Mahanavami day. On the Chaitra Shukla Poornima day, special Puja is performed in Sri Sharada Shrine. On Vaisaka Krishna Prathipath Mahabhishekam and special pooja is done for Sri Sharadambal. On Karthika Poornima day Deepotsava is conducted in Sri Sharada Shrine. On the Magha Shukla Panchami, Lalitha Panchami is celebrated with special Puja performed to Sri Sharadamba by the Jagadguru. On the Magha Krishna Dwithiya special Puja to Sri Sharadamba is performed by the Jagadguru. On the Magha Trithiya Sri Sharadamba Rathotsava is celebrated.

Darshan Timings

  • Morning - 6:AM to 2:00 PM
  • Evening - 5:00 PM00 to 9.00 PM


  • Archana - Ashtotram,Trishati, Sahasranamam, Laksharchana
  • Durga Shata Chandi
  • Dindi Deeparadhana
  • Udayastamana Pooja
  • Suprabhata Seva
  • Swarna Pushpa Seva
  • Aksharabhyas
  • Saraswati Pooja


The Hoary Guru-Shishya Parampara

सदाशिवसमारम्भां शङ्कराचार्यमध्यमाम् ।
अस्मदाचार्य पर्यन्तां वन्दे गुरुपरम्पराम् ॥
Obeissance unto the hoary Guru Parampara, begning from Lord Sri Sadashiva upto the present Acharya with Sri Shankaracharya in middle.
In our Indian tradition, a very high position has been accorded to the Guru. Without the grace of the Guru, no one can attain fulfilment of the purpose of life. We all desire Moksha, and the sole means to its attainment is Jnana (knowledge). The Veda says: “It is only by knowing the Supreme Brahman that one attains immortality. There is no other path”.
How can that knowledge be obtained by us? Can it be got by perusal of texts? No, this knowledge can be procured only from a Guru. In the Upanishads, we hear of holy ones going to Gurus who are well versed in the scriptures and established in the Supreme and making a request of the form, “O Guru! Please impart knowledge to me”. Even though the Rishis seeking knowledge may have been scholarly, it is certain that their acquisition of knowledge was solely dependent on their seeking it from a Guru. Only that knowledge which is obtained from the lotus mouth of the Guru is potent. Sans a Guru, no matter how many texts we may delve into, we cannot attain that knowledge. There is a hoary tradition everywhere which can be learnt only from the Guru.
(Given above the Excerpts from the English translation of Jagadguru Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji Anugraha Bhashanam )
The Hoary Guru-Shishya Parampara, avichchinna ( unbroken) Guruparampara of  Dakshinamnaya Sringeri Sharada Peetham is given below.

Lineage of Gurus

Divine Group
Lord Sadashiva
Lord Narayana
Lord Brahma

Semi-Divine Group
Vasishta Maharishi
Shakti Maharishi
Parashara Maharishi
Veda Vyasa
Sri Shuka Acharya
Sri Gaudapada Acharya
Sri Govinda Bhagavatpada
Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada

Jagadgurus of the Sringeri Sharada Peetham
Period of Reign (CE)
Sri Shankara Bhagavatpada
820 (videha-mukti)
Sri Sureshwaracharya
820 - 834
Sri Nityabodaghana
Sri Jnanaghana
848 - 910
Sri Jnanottama
910 - 954
Sri Jnanagiri
954 - 1038
Sri Simhagiri
1038 - 1098
Sri Ishwara Tirtha
1098 - 1146
Sri Nrisimha Tirtha
1146 - 1229
Sri Vidya Shankara Tirtha
1229 - 1333
Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha
1333 - 1380
Sri Vidyaranya
1380 - 1386
Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati I
1386 - 1389
Sri Nrisimha Bharati I
1389 - 1408
Sri Puroshottama Bharati I
1408 - 1448
Sri Shankara Bharati
1448 - 1455
Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati II
1455 - 1464
Sri Nrisimha Bharati II
1464 - 1479
Sri Puroshottama Bharati II
1479 - 1517
Sri Ramachandra Bharati
1517 - 1560
Sri Nrisimha Bharati III
1560 - 1573
Sri Nrisimha Bharati IV
1573 - 1576
Sri Nrisimha Bharati V
1576 - 1600
Sri Abhinava Nrisimha Bharati
1600 - 1623
Sri Sacchidananda Bharati I
1623 - 1663
Sri Nrisimha Bharati VI
1663 - 1706
Sri Sacchidananda Bharati II
1706 - 1741
Sri Abhinava Sacchidananda Bharati I
1741 - 1767
Sri Nrisimha Bharati VII
1767 - 1770
Sri Sacchidananda Bharati III
1770 - 1814
Sri Abhinava Sacchidananda Bharati II
1814 - 1817
Sri Nrisimha Bharati VIII
1817 - 1879
Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Nrisimha Bharati
1879 - 1912
Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati III
1912 - 1954
Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha
1954 - 1989
Sri Bharati Tirtha
1989 - Present

Sri Sureshwaracharya

To the southern side of Sri Sharada temple, almost abutting is the Adhisthanam of Sri Sureshvaracharya, known as Mandana Mishra of Mahishmati in his purva ashrama i.e., prior to his taking sannyasa from Sri Adi Shanakara. The idol is of recent date and is made of white marble. There is a lingam installed on his Samadhi. This temple has been renovated recently.
The unpretentious former dilapidated temple  structure in wood which enshrined the mortal remains and memory of one of the greatest saints, non-pareil among the masters of Advaita, the first Acharya, who presided over the Vyakhyana Simhasana at  Sarada Pitha  in Sringeri was overshadowed by the structural extensions which were made to the Shardambal temple, early in the 20th century. Mahasannidanam was eager to renovate the shrine. The renovation and reconstruction of the existing artistic granite structure was undertaken during the period of His Holiness Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahswamigal. The jeernoddharaana Kumbhabhishekam was performed on 10.05.1970 by Sri Mahasannidanam.
 The vimaana was enlarged and provided with a super structure. The new addition was the installation of the marble statue, of Sri Sureshvara behind the centuries old lingam within the sanctum. It is interesting to note that the style of sculpture of the two pillars at the entrance of this temple are similar to the one found inside the Vidyashankara temple. - an elephant with a raised trunk at the bottom, a roaring lion above, with a heroic rider.
The Jayanti of Sri Sureshwaracharya falls on Ashwayuja shukla Ekadashi. Mahasannidanam has His darshan before commencing the Navaratri rathotsava celebrations.

Darshan Timings

  • Morning - 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  • Evening - 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM


  • Panchamritabhishekha
  • Rudrabhishekha
  • Archana

How to Reach Sringeri

By Bus: The KSRTC (State Owned Transport) operates buses from all major cities to Shringere and Shimoga. Tickets can be booked from online vendors, KSRTC offices or online [1]. There are also a good number of buses and private transport from Shimoga town to Sringeri. Apart from that KSRTC operates a direct Volvo bus from Chennai to Sringeri via Bangalore. the bus leaves Chennai at 2:30PM and from Bangalore at 10:30Pm to reach Sringeri at around 6AM. Return the bus leaves Sringeri at 10PM to reach Bangalore at 5:30AM and proceeds to Chennai thereasfter. Ordinary buses also connects Sringeri to Coimbatore via Mysore and Sringeri to Kozhikkode regularly. A TNSTC service operates between Salem and Shimoga via Bangalore and Birur
By Train: Kundapura (KUDA) is nearest major railway station on Konkan Railway route. Road distance is less than 75km. Traveling options are private taxi and Govt.(KSRTC)/Private buses also there from Kundapura city. Shimoga is another nearer railway station and road distance around 115km


Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees ,  wikisources  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )


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