Namaste Sharada Devi|
Tvamaham Prarthaye Nithyam|
Vidya Danam Chadehimi||
Sharada Devi Temple, Sringeri is one of the main temples in Sringeri Matha (monastery) complex and attracts thousands of devotees around the year. She is the presiding deity of the Matha and every successor of the Matha over the past 1200 years have been blessed by her and has enabled to spread the truth of advaita. A Gopura stands tall in front of the temple and as you enter you can get a darshan of Sharada Devi, and that is the beauty of this temple.
A sandalwood image of Sharada Devi also called Sharadamba or Saraswathi the goddess of wisdom and learning was installed on a yantra carved on a a rock in the middle of the Tunga river by Sri Adi Shankaracharya. This was covered with a thatched roof.
An idol made of gold was re-installed by Sri Vidyaranya in the 14th century and a tiled roof was added. A stone and concrete building was built in 1907 by the 33rd Acharya. The Kumbhabhishekha was performed in the year 1916 witnessed by His Highness the Maharaja of Mysore.
The new temple is in Nattukottai Chetti style. Polished granite is used for the sanctum sanctorum and the small hall in front of it. A broad walkway is built for pradakshina (circumambulation). A large hall supported by carved pillars is in front for the devotees to congregate. The goddess is visible beyond the gateway, which adds to the beauty of this place.
The smiling Devi (goddess) is seated in Padmasana (folded legs) on a Sri Chakra Peetam (Seat), on her upper right hand is a Japa mala (rosary), the upper left hand is an amruta kalasa (nectar pot of immortality), the lower right hand is in Chin Mudra (pose showing the awareness of the identity of life with Brahman), and lower left hand holds a book (knowledge). The beauty of the idol and the energy is to be seen and experienced by a visit to the temple.
The utsav murthy (procession deity) is placed on the Southern hall on a Vyagyana Simhasana (seat). Dasara is celebrated grandly here and the goddess is dressed in different attire every day. Recently when I visited the Devi was decorated in Raja Rajeshwari attire and looked just out of this world. I was also blessed to witness the procession of Sharada Devi in a silver chariot on a Friday during Dasara (Navaratri).
In the pillared hall right in front of the goddess statue is placed the Vyakhyana-dharmasimhasana, which is the sarvajnapitha (transcendentalism). This throne is used to induct the new Acharya to the head of the Matha.
Picture above: His Holiness Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji
Interesting places in Sringeri:
Stambha Ganapathi temple
Lord Malahanikareshwara temple
Sringeri Matha complex consists of Thorana Ganapathy temple, Vidyashankar temple, Adi Shankara Shrine, and the Ashrama of Swamiji
Type of place: Ancient Temple
Situated: Sringeri, Chikmagalur district, Karnataka
Distance: 90 Km west of Chikkamagaluru, 105 Km from Mangalore, 336 Km from Bangalore
Transport: Well connected by road
Facilities: Rest rooms available. Free food is provided two times a day. Sringeri has many restaurants and staying options.