The thought of certain people and places brings a cool breeze and calms the mind. Sringeri is one such place which is a store house of devotion and peace. It is a perfect choice for an escape from huzzle buzzle life, especially for people who have a religious bent of mind.
Set in the lap of nature, this amazing place is situated in Chickmagalur district of the Malnad region in Karnataka. River Thunga enriches this place. Sringeri Temple is situated on the banks of river Thunga. Sharada Devi is the main deity of the place. There are temples of Vidyashankara, Thorana Ganapati, and Shiva in the main Sringeri temple complex. Sringeri Temple is also surrounded by many places that are worth visiting.
How to reach Sringeri
Sringeri is about 370 kms. from Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka. There are both private and Government buses plying from Bengaluru. Train service is available till Hassan from where you have to travel by road. One can also drive down to Sringeri, which is a unique experience. If you are driving, take the Hassan-Chikkamagalur-Sringeri route which offers a panoramic view of nature and is also the shortest route.
Best time to visit Sringeri
The place can be visited any time of the year, but if you have the choice, better to avoid rainy season. It rains continuously for hours here. Beginning of rainy season is good for nature lovers.
Places of interest in Sringeri Temple
Sharadadevi Temple Complex
The main temple of the place is Sharadadevi, the Goddess of Education. The custom is before visiting the temple, devotees visit the Thunga River. Many take a holy dip while others just spray water and offer prayers to the river. This portion of the river is a storehouse of fish. People offer food for these fish like biscuits, chips, rice, etc. The next step is to visit the Sharadadevi temple. The temple and the deity are just amazing and one will not feel like taking their eyes from the Deity. People come here to perform the ‘Aksharabhyasa’ ceremony for their children. Observe the inner structure, architecture, and carvings in the temple. There is Shakthiganapathi temple inside the Sharadadevi temple.
The history of this temple dates back to 1357 CE. The temple’s architecture is a combination of Hoysala and Vijayanagar Styles. The main hall of the temple has 12 pillars and each pillar is assigned to a zodiac sign. The architectural marvel of this place is that sun rays falls on the presiding zodiac sign. The sculptures and construction of temple makes one awestruck.
Sringeri Mutt was founded by Sri. Shankaracharya, the founder of Adwaitha philosophy. Sringeri Mutt is situated on the other side of the river and if you are lucky you can also get a chance to have darshan of ‘Sringeri Swamigalu’. The Sringeri Temple complex and Sringeri Mutt are connected by a small bridge. The Pravachana Mandir here has no pillars and is an architectural achievement. The place is filled with the sound of birds in the evening, which is a rarity for city residents. You can roam around the gardens here, meditate or spend some peaceful time.
Thunga River – Abode of Fishes
Just adjacent to the Sringeri temple, River Thunga flows peacefully. People take a holy dip here early in the morning. The river is the house for many species of fishes from tiny to huge ones. Do not forget to offer food to these fishes and it is amazing to watch them catch food as you through them.
Visit all the temples in the Sringeri temple complex like Thorana Ganapati temple, Srinivasa Temple, Chandramouleshwara Temple. Spend some time peacefully sitting in the temple complex. This experience is beyond words.
The Sringeri temple offers free meals to all devotees visiting the place, both afternoon and night. The view of hundreds of people being served in a systematic manner is not to be missed. The food will be simple with ‘Payasa’, rice, sambar, rasam, and buttermilk. The food tastes extraordinary.
There are plenty of eateries along the main street. All types of simple south Indian foods are available.
Accommodation in Sringeri
There are many accommodation complexes managed by the temple trust. These are clean, well maintained, and economical. Generally, they will be available except during peak season and festivities. Private accommodations are also available. Advance booking is not available, it is on a first come first serve basis. Other private lodges are available for booking online.
Places to see around
There are many places which are located close to Sringeri. One can easily travel for a weak or more in this region. Horanadu, another religious place is situated at about 43 Kms. For nature lovers, Sirimane Falls is not to be missed. The fall is amidst lush greenery and is just 12 kms. from Sringeri, it is worth visiting. Shiva temple at Kigga is 9 kms from Sringeri. Sirimane falls is another beautiful place just 5 kms. further from Kigga. It is a small falls, but the surroundings are beautiful and not very crowded. You can rejuvenate yourself here for some time.
Do not forget to purchase regional spices like Cardamom, Clove, and Coffee Powder when you are in this region. There are many shops selling local delights like Midi Mavinakayi Pickles, Jackfruit Happala. Just a walk on the main road opposite the Sringeri Temple will take you to shops selling these food items.
A humble request to Tourists
Our culture preaches worshiping nature. Please do not through the plastic into the river. There are dustbins provided where you can through all the waste. Do not use soap or shampoo while bathing in the river. Just a dip in the river is perfect to clean your body and soul. Have some mercy on creatures living in the water.