Shringeri Sharadamba Temple is located in Shringeri town, in the Chikmagalur district of Karnataka.
Shringeri Sharadamba Temple – Overview
The Sharadamba temple in Shringeri was established by Sri Shankaracharya when he established the Sharada Peetham Matha here. It is a beautiful temple, set in the Malnad region. Shringeri is located on the banks of the river Tunga. It is a famous pilgrimage center, and very important for the followers of Shankaracharya.
Shringeri Sharadamba Temple – History
Shringeri Sharada Peetham and Shringeri Sharadamba temple were established by Adi Shankaracharya. There is a beautiful traditional account of how he came to choose this spot for a Matha.
Shringeri Sharadamba Temple – Mythology
Sri Shankaracharya was travelling across the country with his disciples. He reached this spot, known as Shringa Giri, because the hill here was the place of the ashram of Vibhandaka Maharishi and his great son Rishyashringa. When Sri Shankara came to this place, he saw a strange scene – a cobra had reared up and spread its hood, to provide shade from the hot sun for a spawning toad. He was enchanted by this sight. Saraswathi Devi, who was with him in the form a young girl named Bharathi, decided to stay here. Adi Shankaracharya also decided to stay here and set up the Shringeri Sharada Peetham, one of the five Mathas he established in various parts of India. It is said he spent twelve years here. He is also said to have built four other temples around the Matha – Kalabhairava temple, Durga temple, Anjaneya temple and Kali temple
As Devi Saraswathi had decided to reside here, he built a temple here and installed a sandalwood idol of her as Sharada Devi, in a standing posture.
It is believed that during the Muslim invasion under Malik Kafur, the original idol was destroyed. During the Vijayanagara period, a gold statue of Sharadamba in a seated posture was installed here. Recently, a Gopuram was added to this temple. Navaratri or Dusshera celebrations are a grand occasion here. The Goddess is taken out in procession, and thousands attend the festivities.
How to Get to Shringeri Sharadamba Temple
The nearest airport is present in Mangalore. Shimoga and Kadur are the nearest railway stations. Bus services are available from most places in Karnataka to Shringeri.