Sringeri is a town located in the Chikkamangaluru district in the state of Karnataka. The hill town is situated on the banks of the River Tunga and is located at a distance of 107 km from Mangalore and 336 km from Bangalore. It can be easily reached from Mangalore through Karkala.
Sringeri holds significance in Karnataka due to the first matha, which was established by Adi Shankaracharya. The first of the four peetha was established here. Located amidst the Western Ghats, the name of Sringeri is derived from Rishyashringa-giri which is a nearby hill and is believed to have contained the rich heritage of Rishi Vibhandaka and his son Rishyashringa.
Sringeri Sharda Peetham
The town is also known as Sringeri Sharda Peetham and it has a 1200 year- old temple located there. It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya chose the site to stay and teach his disciples and impressed with his place, he stayed there for twelve years.
He then also established mathas in North India, East India, and West India. Adi Shankaracharya has constructed four temples in all the four directions – these include Kere Anjaneya Temple in the West, Kala Bhairava Temple in the East, Durgamba Temple in the South and Kalikamba Temple in the North.
There are a large number of temples with historic importance in Sringeri. Sri Sharadamba Temple, Sri Vidyashankara Temple as well as the Parshwanath Jain Temple are very important. At the entrance of the temple, one can sight the beautiful Vidyashankara Temple, which has a blend of the Dravidian, Viyayanagar and Hoyala style of architecture.
Sringeri is well known as a learning center due to the many temples and maths. Many students come down here to learn Vedic philosophy. A variety of options for accommodation are available at Sringeri.
Sightseeing in and around Sringeri
Shardamba Temple: Sharada Devi sits as a deity in Shardamba temple. She is seen seated on a Chakra Peetham and a parrot is seen perched on the top of her hand along side holding a Japa mala. This matha is in charge of the Yadur Veda, which is very prominent in South India.
The first image made of sandalwood was installed by Adi Shankaracharya and it was later replaced by a golden image during the 14th century. The Sharada Navrathri festival is celebrated here for 11 days. Friday holds a special importance here because of a procession.
Vidyashankara Temple: It has the famous vidyathirta linga and it is a temple which was built for the memory of the Guru Vidyashankara. The temple was built during the 14th century with the help of the Vijayanagar rulers. This temple has twelve pillars which are called Rashistambhas (zodiacal pillars). The symbols of all of the twelve zodiac signs are engraved over the pillars. They believed that its design had some astronomical concepts and Sankara Jayanti is widely celebrated here.
Sirimane Falls: The falls are located at a distance of 12 kms from the town. Once can easily hire vehicles from Sringeri to the falls.
Hanumanagundi Falls: The Hanumanagundi Falls are well known as Soothanabbi falls and they lie between Sringeri and Horanadu. The falls are at a distance of 36 kms from the town. The falls are located in a National Forest which is famous for the Shola forests.
The best time to visit Sringeri is from October to March.
How to Reach Sringeri
The nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport at a distance of 105 kms.
The city Shimoga which is at a distance of 95 kms from Sringeri is well connected to Bangalore through the rail route. Sringeri is at a distance of 86 kms from Chikkamagaluru which is connected to Bangalore through a rail line via Kadur.
The town can be reached from Mangalore or Chikkamagaluru by a well-connected road network. Udupi is also at a distance of 80 kms. Various private and KSRTC buses ply from Bangalore as well as Sringeri to Shimoga.