Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sringeri Trip : Vidyaranya Temple and Sharadaamba Temple

Continuing from previous post

Next day morning, I went out to explore the streets of Sringeri town. I could see streets filled with morning mist, few news paper shops being open and people from different parts of India getting ready for a morning darshanam of Goddess Sharadaamba. A crowd had gathered in front of a shop, discussing news broadcasted on TV that morning. When enquired, I came to know the sad news that Kannada matinee idol, Dr.Vishnuvardhan had died that morning. The day before, Kannadigas had wept for the loss of their beloved musician - Dr. C Ashwath. Thought it was huge loss for Kannada cinema and music with the passage of these two giants.Sringeri Vidyashankara Temple
Sringeri Vidyashankara Temple
After a while, I headed towards Sringeri Temple. An architectural wonder, Vidyashankara Temple comes to mind when anybody speaks of Sringeri. This was built by Vidyaranya, the guru of Hakka and Bukka, founders of Vijayanagar Empire. The sight of temple covered with morning mist, takes us to a different world altogether. The walls of the Vidyashankara Temple are filled with sculptures from Hindu mythology, notably ten avatars of Lord Vishnu and there are pillars representing each of Hindu zodiac signs.Stone work on the walls of Vidyashankara Temple, Sringeri
Scultpures on the walls of Vidyashankara Temple
They say, every morning, first rays of the sun falls on that pillar of zodiac, where the sun is currently positioned. Amazing, right? Besides Vidyaranya temple is the Sharadaamba temple, which is the prominent temple in Sringeri. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Sharadaamba or Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, arts and music. One of the Hindu rites, Vidyaaramba (Akshararambha) or the commencement of studies is performed here, by making the child write first alphabets on rice grains. The prasadam offered at the temple, the orange coloured sweet is very tastier. In front of the Sharadaamba temple, there is Jagadguru Sri Nrusimha Bharati Yaaga Mantapam.Sringeri Shaaradaamba Temple
Sringeri Sharadamba Temple
Sringeri Temple is on the banks of River Tunga. This is an added attraction as one can see from the banks of the river, lot of fresh water fishes. Near the bank of the river, you could also see the sculptures of a serpent giving shade to a pregnant frog. It is this incident, which showed the sanctity of the place, inspired Adi Shankaracharya to establish the Sringeri Matha, which is one of the 4 mathas he established in India.River Tunga at Sringeri
River Tunga
Once you cross the bridge across the river, you can find Narasimhavana, the garden which houses Avisthana Mandiras. Entry timings for that is from 9 am to 12 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm. Since we did not have enough time to visit Avisthana Mandiras, we finished our breakfast in Sringeri and headed towards Horanadu.

In the next post - Horanadu, Kalasa and Hosanadu.

Raveeshstone sculptures of Matsya, Varaaha, Narasimha avatara of Vishnu at Sringeri
Avatars of Vishnu - Matsya, Varaha and Narasimha
Bridge across River Tungaa Sringeri
Bridge across River Tungaa Sringeri

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Trip to Udupi, Anegudde, Kollur, Agumbe and Sringeri

Last December, I visited some of the pilgrimage centres in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Chickmagalur districts with my family members. We left Mangalore on Dec 29th morning to reach Udupi. After a long time, I was visiting Udupi. So, the new gopuram built in front of the shrine, caught my attention. After visiting Udupi we headed towards one of the famous temples of Coastal Karnataka, Anegudde.Udupi Sri Krishna Temple
Udupi Sri Krishna Temple
From Udupi, to reach Aanegudde, you need to go via Kundapur through National Highway 17. This place also called Kumbhashi is abode of Lord Vinayaka. Idol of Lord Vinayaka covered in silver armour. Kumbhashi is one of the seven places for salvation in Coastal Karnataka. As the legend goes, once there prevailed a severe draught in this place. Then sage Agastya, came here to perform Yajnas to please rain god, Varuna. But the demon Kumbhasura used to disrupt the yajnas. At this time, Lord Vinayaka blesses Bheema, strongest of the Pandavas with a sword, by which he kills Kumbhasura. In Kannada, 'asi' means sword. So, the place where Kumbhasura was killed with the sword was known as Kumbhashi.Anegudde Sri Vinayaka Temple
Anegudde Sri Vinayaka Temple
Apart from the shrine, people from Dakshina Kannada/Udupi are also well aware of monkeys living in Anegudde and the tricks they play. People have tagged the monkeys as 'Anegudde Ponkr Manga'(mischievous monkey from Aneguude). But to my surprise there no sign of any monkey in the place, when we visited.Kollur Sri Mookambika Temple
Kollur Sri Mookambika Temple
After Anegudde our next destination was Kollur. Kollur is the abode of goddess Sri Mookambika. Kollur is a place of interest to both the devout and trek enthusiasts. River Sowparnika flowing in front of the temple with Kodachadri hill in the background, is sure to delight the nature lovers. To get the darshanam of Sri Mookambika, there are two queues maintained. One is the regular queue without any seva charges. Another one is the North Gate Dharshanam. You have to pay Rs.15 per head for this.For complete details about Kollur, you can visit this link. Here is the list of sevas you can perform in Kollur. After visiting Kollur, we were getting ready for a journey through the Western Ghats.Kodachadri Hills
Kodachadri Hills
Our next plan was to reach Sringeri via Agumbe. Agumbe in the western ghats is famous for its sunset point. It records high rainfalls in the region. But it was too misty to view any light from the sun. It was 8 in the night when we reached Sringeri. Agumbe Sunset Point
Sunset point at Agumbe
Sringeri Mutt provides pilgrims with rooms for stay at a nominal rate. Since we could easily find the Mutt's office as soon as we entered Sringeri, there was no difficulty in getting rooms for accomodation. Month of December is also a time when school children go on a educational tour. Sringeri too was visited by school children then. More on Sringeri and Chickmagalur in the next post.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Aptharakshaka - Movie Review

Nagavalli is back again in Aptharakshaka. Psychiatrist Dr.Vijay (Dr.Vishnuvardhan) tries to cure the person who considers herself as Nagavalli. Of course, Ramachandra Acharya(Avinash) helps Dr.Vijay in this task. Well, on the whole Aptharakshaka is an apt sequel to Apthamitra(2004).

Like in Apthamitra, a family is devasted by the strage things happening in their house after the painting of Nagavalli is brought home. To solve this mystery, Ramachandra Acharya is called upon. Then Acharya calls upon Dr.Vijay after realizing that the problem is similar what he had seen in Ramesh's house(in Apthamitra). Dr.Vijay and Ramachandra Acharya, both had thought that the problems created by Nagavalli had ended in Ramesh's house. Then they discuss on this aspect several times but fail to come to a conclusion on any matter. Well, the story takes curious twist in the second half. Probably those who had seen Apthamitra also may not have guessed this part of the story. This is what makes the movie interesting to watch.Vishnuvardhan and Avinash in Aptharakshaka
Picture Courtesy :
What I liked about the movie - Story which is in line with Apthamitra and sequences which are well connected to the old story, attention to minor details in the movie, science and myth which come face to face in the discussions of Dr.Vijay and Acharya, proofs provided in support of the surprising elements in the movie. Sequences in the movie which show why Nagavalli is after King Vijaya Rajendra Bahaddur is well depicted. Well, Vishnuvardhan also plays the role of King Vijaya Rajendra Bahaddur with ease. Though in some scenes, if graphic elements were not used, they would have been more natural. Also, the climax of the movie could have been shot in a better way. Inspite of these, Aptharakshaka is a good watch and surely go for it.


Related Posts with Thumbnails