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

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