Sringeri

Coordinates: 13°25′N 75°15′E / 13.42°N 75.25°E / 13.42; 75.25
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Sringeri
Town
Sri Vidyashankara temple (1342 AD) at Sringeri
Sri Vidyashankara temple (1342 AD) at Sringeri
Sringeri is located in Karnataka
Sringeri
Sringeri
Coordinates: 13°25′N 75°15′E / 13.42°N 75.25°E / 13.42; 75.25
Country India
StateKarnataka
DistrictChikkamagaluru
RegionMalenadu
Government
 • BodyTown Panchayat
 • Chief OfficerR. Sreepad [1]
 • MLAT D Rajegowda (Indian National Congress)
Area
 • Town1.8 km2 (0.7 sq mi)
 • Rural
442.38 km2 (170.80 sq mi)
Elevation
672 m (2,205 ft)
Population
 (2011)[2]
 • Town36,539
 • Density20,000/km2 (53,000/sq mi)
 • Urban
3,922
 • Rural
32,617
Languages
 • OfficialKannada
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
PIN
577139
Telephone code08265
Vehicle registrationKA-18
Websitewww.shringeritown.mrc.gov.in

Sringeri (IAST: Śṛngēri) also called Shringeri is a hill town and Taluk headquarters located in Chikkamagaluru district in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is the site of the first maṭha (Dakshinamnaya Sringeri Sharada Peetham) established by Adi Shankara, Hindu theologian and exponent of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy. Located on the banks of the river Tungā, the town draws a large number of pilgrims to its temples of Sri Sharadamba, Sri Vidyashankara, Sri Malahanikareshvara and other deities.

Etymology[edit]

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. In an episode in the Bala-Kanda of the Ramayana, Vasishtha narrates how Rishyashringa brought rains to the drought-stricken kingdom of Romapada.[3]

According to legend, Sri Adi Shankara 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 undergoing labour. Astonished by the place where natural enemies had gone beyond their instincts, he stayed here for twelve years. Sri Adi Shankaracharya also established mathas in the northern (at Jyotirmath, near Badrinath), eastern (at Puri) and western (at Dwaraka) quarters of India.

Geography and climate[edit]

Sringeri is located at 13°25′N 75°15′E / 13.42°N 75.25°E / 13.42; 75.25.[4] It has an average elevation of 672 meters (2204 feet). The average annual temperature is 23.5 °C, with the highest temperatures reaching 32 °C in April and lowest temperatures of 16 °C in winter months (December–January). There is significant rainfall (annual average of 3949 mm ), mostly during the months of June, July and August.

In 2018, Sringeri received an annual rainfall of 4,981 millimetres (196.1 in), while Kigga hobli received 6,968 millimetres (274.3 in), one of the highest in the state that year.[5]

In 2019, Sringeri received 3,819 millimetres (150.4 in) of annual rainfall.[6]

In 2022, it received 3,892 millimetres (153.2 in) of annual rainfall. [7]

Demographics[edit]

As of the 2011 India census, Sringeri had a population of 36,539. Males constitute 49% of the population and females 51%. Sringeri has an average literacy rate of 86%, higher than the national average of 74%: male literacy is 90%, and female literacy is 82%. In Sringeri, 8.5% of the population is under 6 years of age.[2][8]

Temples in Sringeri[edit]

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

Sri Sharadamba temple[edit]

The ancient temple of Sri Sharada, the presiding deity of Sringeri has a glorious history that begins with the setting up of the Dakshinamnaya Sringeri Sharada Peetham by Sri Adi Shankara. Originally it was an unpretentious shrine with the idol 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, and substituted the sandalwood idol with the present golden idol.

Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Nrisimha Bharati raised the present structure in granite around 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 large 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.

Sri Sharada Temple and Gopuram

Construction of the 127 feet tall Rajagopuram entrance was completed in 2014 and its Kumbhabhishekam (grand inauguration) was performed by Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji on 8 June 2014, the day of Jaya Samvatsariya Jyeshtha Shuddha Dashami.

In addition to Sri Sharadamba temple, the following temples and shrines are within the temple complex:

  • Sri Thorana Ganapathy
  • Sri Adi Shankaracharya
  • Sri Shakthi Ganapathy
  • Sri Kodandaramaswamy
  • Sri Malayala Brahma
  • Sri Sureshwaracharya
  • Sri Vageeswari Vidyaranya
  • Sri Janardhanaswamy
  • Sri Anjaneya
  • Sri Garuda
  • Sri Balasubrahmanyaswamy

Sri Vidyashankara temple[edit]

Sri Vidyashankar Temple

The Vidyashankara temple was built in the year 1338 A.D., in commemoration of the pontiff Sri Vidyashankara, by Sri Vidyaranya, patron-saint of Harihara and Bukka, the brothers who founded the Vijayanagara empire. 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 (Chalukya) and Vijayanagara (Dravida) architectural features. It is built entirely of stone and stands on a high plinth, more or less a rectangle with apsidal east-west ends. On the western side is the garbhagriha, with Vidya Ganapati on one side and Durga on the other side. On the other three sides of the garbhagriha are shrines to Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara with their consorts.

Tunga river and steps

In the eastern half of the structure is a mantapa with twelve pillars (popularly known as rashi stambhas), marked by the twelve signs of the zodiac. The rays of the sun fall on each of them in the order of the twelve solar months. On the floor is a large circle, marked with converging lines to indicate the direction of the shadows. The central ceiling is an exquisite piece of workmanship with lotus and pecking parrots. The vimana over the garbhagriha rises with shikhara, mahapadma and stupa. The rest of the roof is made up of sloping channelled slab. The basement is elaborately sculpted with animals, puranic stories, Shiva, Vishnu, Dashavatara, Kali, Shanmukha and so on. Other intricate features include chains of stone rings and growling lions with stone balls inside the faces, which can be rotated. The temple is under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India.[9][10][11][12]

Vidyatirtha Rathotsava is celebrated on a grand scale during kartika shukla paksha. The festival spans for seven days from tritiya to navami. On the saptami day Jagadguru Bharathi Teertha Mahaswamiji[13] performs special puja. The aradhana of Sri Vidya Shankara is performed on shasti, saptami and ashtami.

Sri Malahanikareshvara temple[edit]

Sri Malahanikareshvara Temple

Malahanikaresvara means destroyer of the impurities of the soul. This serene temple is located at the centre of the Sringeri town, atop a small hill, and can be reached by a flight of about 170 steps. The temple structure is a fine piece of architecture in stone, consisting of navaranga, antarala and garbhagrha. The ceiling has a lotus bud carving. The deities inside the temple include Malahanikaresvara, Bhavani, Chandikeshwara, Durga and Sthambha Ganapati. The linga is said have been worshiped by Sage Vibhandaka, son of Sage Kashyapa. After many years of penance, Vibhandaka had the vision of the Lord and merged into the Linga. The Sthanbha Ganapati was created in stone by Sri Ahinava Narasimha Bharati (1599 – 1622), the 24th Jagadguru, by drawing a figure of Ganesha with a piece of turmeric on one of the front pillars. Outside the temple, there are small shrines of Meenakshi Sachidanandeshvara, Kshetra Palaka and Bindu Madhava.

On Mahashivaratri, the Jagadguru performs special Puja to the Lord. On Kartika Poornima day, Laksha Deepothsavam is celebrated on a grand scale in the presence of the Jagadguru.

Temples of guardian deities[edit]

Sri Adi Shankara also established guardian deities around Sringeri in four directions.

  • Kala Bhairava Temple in the East
  • Kere Anjaneya Temple in the West
  • Kalikamba Temple in the North
  • Durgamba Temple in the South

Sri Parshwanath Swamy Basadi[edit]

Sri Parshwanath Swamy Basadi

Sri Parshwanath Basadi (Digambar Jain Temple) is situated in the heart of Sringeri Town. This 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 sloped roof. The Basadi consists of Garbhagriha, Sukhanasi, Navaranga, Mukha Mandapa and Pradakshina Patha.[14]

In the Garbhagriha, there is the idol of Sri Parshwanatha Swamy, the 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.[14]

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 also Jina images of marble, sphatika, black stone and the bronze images of 24 tirthankaras in the Gandhakuti, as well as idols of Brahma, Saraswathi, and Ganadharas.[14]

Sringeri Sharada Peetha[edit]

Adi Shankara with disciples, by Raja Ravivarma, 1904

The Sringeri Sharada Peetha or Matha is located South of the Sri Sharadamba temple, across the Tunga river, in Narasimha Vana. A foot bridge, called Vidyatheertha Setu connects the two sides. The Sringeri Sharada Peetha, also called Dakshinamnaya Sringeri Sharada peetam, is one of the four Hindu Advaita maths established by Sri Adi Shankara. Following the tradition initiated by Adi Shankara, the maţha is in charge 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 Shri Bharati Tirtha Swamiji has nominated Jagadguru Vidhushekhara Bharathi as his successor.

Nearby places of interest[edit]

There are several other historic temples and places of interest around Sringeri.

Sri Chaturmurti Vidyeshwara temple, Simhagiri[edit]

Simhagiri (old Sringeri) is a small village about 2 km from Sringeri bus stand and comes on the way to Vidyaranyapura. It was established by the Sri Simhagiri Mahaswami, the 7th Jagadguru who had adorned the Sringeri Peetham in the 11th century. Sri Chaturmurti Vidyeshwara temple contains a statue combining four idols, that of Sri Vidyatirtha, Bhahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The village houses several priests of the temples in Sringeri.

Rajiv Gandhi Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Menase[edit]

Menase is around 4 km from Sringeri bus stand, on the road to Balehonnur. Rajiv Gandhi Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha was established in 1992, as one of the campus of Central Sanskrit University, New Delhi. Its foundation stone was laid by Sri Bharati Teertha Mahaswamiji in the presence of Shri R. Venkataraman, the then President of India. The 10 acre campus includes hostels for boys and girls.

Sri Rishyashringeshwara temple, Kigga[edit]

Kigga is a small village located 9 km from Sringeri. Sri Rishyashrungeshwara temple is located on the banks of Nandini river, a tributary of Tunga. Built during Vijayanagara period, the temple houses a linga of a unique shape, with three protuberances resembling horns. There is a big Nandi statue in front of the temple. Sage Rishyasringa is said to have performed penance here. It is believed that the worship of the linga averts famine in the land up to a distance of 12 yojanas (100 miles). The rathotsavam of the temple is conducted in the month of Chaitra (March/April).

Sirimane falls, near Kigga[edit]

Sirimane falls is situated at a distance of 12 km from Sringeri, and 5 km from Kigga. Visitors can take a bus from Sringeri to Kigga, then hire a local autorikshaw (3-wheeler) to reach the falls.

Sri Sharada Lakshminarasimha Peetam, Hariharapura[edit]

Hariharipura is about 20 km from Sringeri. Here, Sri Sharada Lakshminarasimha Peetam was established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya on the banks of the River Tunga. The place is serene amidst forest, Arecanut farms and rice fields surrounded by small hills. There is a 110 year old bridge across the Tunga connecting Hariharipura to Koppa. This bridge is believed to have been built by Sir M Visvesvaraya.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TP Shringeri". Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Census of India 2011 - District Census Handbook - Chikmagalur - Karnatakaook" (PDF). Office Of The Registrar General & Census Commissioner India. Retrieved 30 August 2023.
  3. ^ "The legend of Rishyasringa". Sringeri Sharada Peeta. Retrieved 7 November 2006.
  4. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Sringeri
  5. ^ "Annual State Report 2018" (PDF). Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  6. ^ "Annual State Report 2019" (PDF). Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  7. ^ "Annual State Report 2022" (PDF). Retrieved 21 June 2023.
  8. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  9. ^ http://www.sringeri.net/temples/sri-vidyashankara%7Caccessdate= 15 March 2015|
  10. ^ "Sri Vidyashankara Temple". Sringeri Sharada Peeta. Retrieved 7 November 2006.
  11. ^ "Zodiacal pillars of Sringeri" (PDF). Current Science. Indian Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 October 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2006.
  12. ^ "Vidyashankara Temple". Indiantemples.com. Retrieved 7 November 2006.
  13. ^ "Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji".
  14. ^ a b c Krishna, M. H. (1931). Annual Report of the Mysore Archaeology Department (PDF). Bangalore: Superintendent at the Government Press. p. 15.

External links[edit]