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Skywatch Friday – Sringeri

Beautiful carvings

We left at 6 a.m. in the morning from our homestay in Handi, Chikmagalur. It was a lovely morning and we were on our way to Sringeri the Adi Shankaracharya matha. The drive from Handi to Sringeri traverses through winding roads lined with tall, slender silver oak trees and coffee plantations.

Sringeri a small town in the Malnad region is around 72 km from Handi and around 90 km from Chikmagalur. You need to cross multiple mountain passes to reach this quaint and sleepy town. I would suggest an early morning drive as the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. The hills were wrapped in mist and the small villages en route depicting a simple lifestyle with the sunrise in the background was a beautiful sight.

Tall Silver Oak Trees
Tall Silver Oak Trees

Legend states when Sri Shankaracharya reached this place he found on a rainy day a frog spawning being sheltered by a hooded snake. It was a very peculiar sight considering the predator was protecting its prey. Impressed by this act he stay put in this region for twelve years.

We reached Sringeri around 8 and headed straight to the temple. The streets leading to the temple were empty and the shops were yet to open. The gopuram at the entrance is currently under construction. The Sharadamba temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswati the supreme deity for knowledge and wisdom is in the premises. Another temple is that of Lord Vidyashankar which has influences of Hoysala architecture. There are 12 pillars in the temple denoting the 12 zodiac signs.

Shardamba Temple
Shardamba Temple
Vidyashankar Temple
Vidyashankar Temple
Vidyashankar Temple

Beautiful carvings in Vidyashankar Temple
Beautiful carvings of God and Goddess

At the back of the temple I headed to the Tunga River. Devotees feed the fishes here with corn and puffed rice. Huge black fishes swim through the water close to the flight of steps. People offer their prayers to the sun god by dipping themselves into the water.

Tunga River
Tunga River

 

Black Fishes in Tunga River
Black Fishes swimming around

 

Shops near Sringeri Temple
Shops near the temple

As I walked up the steps I was greeted to the sound of shlokas being chanted by the brahmins in the halls. I circumambulated the temple and reached the nearby streets to have my cup of coffee and breakfast of piping hot upma and sheera drenched in ghee. The locals here have pulao as well for breakfast which in the North is considered as a meal for lunch or dinner. They call it as pilav and not pulao as in North. After a sumptuous breakfast I headed back to Chikmagalur to drench again in the beauty of the road that leads to the Coffee Land.

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