Sringeri is a hill town and Taluk headquarters located in Chikkamagaluru district in the state of Karnataka, It is the site of the first mutt  (Sringeri Sharada Peeta) established by Adi Shankara, Hindu theologian and exponent of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy, in the 8th century CE. It is located on the banks of the river Tungā and also has a historical Temple (1200 years).

Aadi Sankaracharya established the Sarada Peetham here in the 1st millennium CE, and installed an image of Sarada with a Sri Chakra in front of her, and started the Bharati Sampradaya to propagate the philosophy of non dualism.

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 mutts in the northern (at Jyotirmath, near Badrinath), eastern (at Puri) and western (at Dwaraka) quarters of India.

There are several temples in the mutt including the Sharadambal temple, which is that of the presiding deity. Adi Shankaracharya had invoked the Goddess of Knowledge, Sharada, consecrated an idol of her and even named the Peetam after her.

Saradamba Temple

Sarada Devi is enshrined seated on the Sri Chakra Peetham, holding a Japa Mala, with a parrot perched on the top of her hand. The original image of sandalwood was installed by Adi Sankaracharya, and it was replaced with a golden image, in the 14th century. The processional image of Saradamba is enshrined in the southern prakaram. There are also shrines to Shakti Ganapati, Bhuvaneswari and Aadi Sankara here. Each Friday witnesses the procession of Saradamba in a silver chariot around the temple. The Navaratri festival season also witnesses processions of the processional image of Saradamba. Also in this temple are shrines to Shakti Ganapati, Mahishasuramardini and Rajarajeswari.

The Vidyashankara temple

The Vidyashankara Temple built in the 14th century (1338) is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple stands almost at the entrance to the River Tunga and is an architectural marvel. A fusion of Hoysala, Chalukya, Vijaynagar and Dravidian styles, this temple was built by the pontiff, Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha Acharya, as a tribute to his Guru, the 10th Acharya, Sri Vidyatirtha during the reign of the brothers ,Harihara and Bukka, the founders of the Vijaynagar empire. His brother and succeeding Acharya Sri Vidyaranya was the Guru of the Vijaynagar Empire, founded in 1336 which had its capital in Hampi.

The temple has twelve pillars adorned with sculptures and they represent the twelve zodiac signs and it is said that they are placed in such a way that the rays of the sun fall on each of them in the order of the calender or the twelve solar months.One cannot miss the stone rings that hang in the shrine which is seen in most monuments built during the Vijaynagar period. The sculptures on the ceilings, walls and even the floor are all depictions of the various puranas.

The other shrines include several deities like Kodandarama, Malayala Brahma, Thoranam Ganapathi,Stambha Ganapathi Janardhana Swamy,Balasubramanya, Chandramouleeswara Linga.

Sri Parshwanath Basadi

This Digambar Jain Temple is situated in the heart of Sringeri Town. The basadi was built in the memory of Mari Setty whose origin goes to one Vijayanagara Shanthi Shetty of Nidugodu village near Belur. The date of construction comes to about 1150 A.D. The main temple is 50 feet long and 30 feet wide. Completely built of stone it has a slooped roof. The Basadi consists of Garbhagriha, Sukhanasi, Navaranga, Mukha Mandapa and Pradakshina Patha.

In the Garbhagriha, there is the idol of Sri Parshwanatha Swamy presiding deity made of black stone. It is one foot high and on its base, the words Srimathparisanathaya Namaha are inscribed. Generally a single cobra holds its hood over the Lord’s head. But here, the speciality is that a pair of cobras intertwined hold their seven hoods like an umbrella. Hence this deity is known as Jodi Parshwanatha Swamy.

In the sukhanasi the idol of Goddess Padmavati is kept. It is about nine inches in height and is made of black stone. Besides this, there are Jina images of marble, sphatika, black stone and the bronze images of 24 tirthankaras in the Gandhakuti and the beautiful idols of Brahma, Saraswathi, Ganadharas, etc





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