Sringeri Mutt

By Sanjeev Nayyar [email protected] | 2012

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Visit to Sringeri Mutt was a dream come true for me. I reached Sringeri from Mookambika Temple Kollur. It was a 160 kms drive thru forests, villages loved it. U can also reach Sringeri from Udupi or Mangalore. Feeding the fish in Tungabhadra river is an important part of a devotee visit. This is the ghat where fish are fed, clicked against the rising sun from the bridge that connects the Mutt ie on either side of the river. Whatever is in inverted commas is content from the official Sringeri Mutt site.

Early morning or late evening large number of devotees feeding the fish. I reached Sringeri around 5pm, checked into the temple guest house ie meant for devotees. Very clean and impressive. Cost Rs 300/ per day. "The Peetham is the first and foremost of the four Peethams established by the renowned 8th century philosopher saint Sri Adi Shankara, the principal exponent of Advaita (non-dualism)".

Temples to see are Vidya Shankara, Maalikarjuna, Shardadevi, Adi Shankara, Malayla Brahma and Samadhi of the 6th Shankaracharya. The structure that u see in this pic is a hall where the life of Shankaracharya is depicted through pictures. To visit Sringeri site Click here

Entrance to the Shardadevi Mandir. "The Divinity of Knowledge, Goddess Sharada, installed at Sringeri by Sri Adi Shankara, graces the Peetham as the presiding deity". Entrance to the peetham is thru a small gate. After walking for a few minutes on left is open area, right is dining hall. To read more about this Mandir Click here

"Clicked from the south eastern side against the rising run is the Vidya Shankara temple. ""The Jagadguru upholds the activities of the Peetham towards the propagation and sustenance of Sanatana Dharma while pervading the lives of many thousands of disciples as their spiritual guide.""

Another view from the north western side of the Vidya Shankara mandir. "The meditation of the Linga (Vidya Shankara Linga) in the sanctum and other Murtis will lead to Divine realization."To read about history of Peetham Click here

Came across a number of families in traditional attire. The young girl is wearing a traditional dress. The skirt is called Pavadia and shirt is called Ravikkai. What the father is wearing is a Veshti ie the Tamil equivalent of a Dhoti.

An overview of the Guru Niwas where the Shankaracharya stays. It has a huge hall that u shall see and his home.

Prayer hall inside the Guru Niwas. Quite big. Devotees get darshan of the Shankaracharya every morning or can witness him doing puja every evening.

A view of the ceiling of the Guru Niwas building. Windows allow light to come in.

Two gentleman from Chennai wearing the Veshti. It was pretty cold the time I clicked but they seemed ok. Background is Vidya Shankara temple.

Personal temple of the Shankaracharya.

A huge Carnatic Saraswati Veena lies in the hall inside the Guru Niwas. It has images of various Gods engraved on it

U see elephant on bridge that takes u from the Vidya Shankara temple side to where the Guru Niwas side. Elephants are worshipped in all the Karnataka temples that I visited.

Early morning fog at the ghat where fish feeding is done. Went end December nights were pretty cold.

A devotee feeding the fish. Fish is an avatar of Vishnu called Matsyavatar. Feeding fish is equivalent to worshiping Vishnu. Probably this must be the logic behind feeding fish at Sringeri.

Fish in the water. Clicked this pic from top of the bridge.

After the Guru Niwas walk a short while ahead, climb a small hill to reach Vedic school. It is so quiet and green perfect place to study.

This is the Prarthna Mandiram.

The whole complex has a series of rooms where students are taught different subjects. This is another room that I entered.

The complex also houses a Sri Shankara Advaita Research Centre. I was in Sringeri from 5pm to next day 12 noon. Very fulfilling trip. I as stirred from within when I went to the Adi Shankara mandir. When I looked at the image something happened to me. After a while felt as if I was blessed. Somewhere a voice within me said ''travel throughout Bharat, click pictures and showcase your country to the world'' as if this were Shankaracharya''s message.

This is an overview of the open space outside the Vidya Shankara temple. At far end red and white building that u see is the guest house where I stayed. There is ample car parking space and a good restaurent close to the Mutt entrance.

In the same open area on right side is a wooden structure called Parijatha Thotti. The board is self explainatory. I wish the Peetham had a guide to show us around the temples.

This is the wooden structure described in the earlier pic. Do have meals at the temple Dining Hall. For pics see Anna Kshetras Sringeri. Superb food. Over 25,000 devotees fed free of cost daily.

Next four pics of rising suns rays on the Vidya Shankara temple. East facing entrance. "The Vidyashankara Temple was built in the year 1338 A.D. It is a unique monument built entirely of stone combining both Hoysala (Chalukya) and Dravidian architectural styles. "

Close up of entrance east side. "The structure stands on a high plinth and commands a magnificent view from the hills and their slopes all round. It is more or less a rectangle with apisidal east-west ends". Was lucky to see Jagadguru Shankaracharya twice, get his personal blessings once.

Sculptures on north west side of temple. "In the eastern half of the structure is a mandapa with twelve pillars, huge monoliths carrying large figures and carrying heavy projecting corbels on top. These twelve pillars are marked by the twelve signs of the zodiac in their regular order, and arranged in such a manner that the rays of the sun fall on each of them in the order of the twelve solar months."

South west view of temple. "The vimana over the Garbhagriha rises magnificiently with sikhara, mahapadama and stupi. The rest of the roof is made up of sloping channelled slab. The basement is elaborately sculpted with animals, puranic stories, Siva, Vishnu, Dasavatara, Kali, Shanmukha and so on."