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Sringeri - The Temple Town in Karnataka
|by G. Venkatesh|
Sringeri is a world famous temple town in Karnataka. It has as many as 40 major temples. Pilgrims have to climb up hills, descend into valleys and cross the river to have a darshan of all the deities in the Hindu pantheon. The place is catholic as there is something fascinating in this pilgrimage center that attracts every type of visitor - whether he is an archaeologist, a student, a devotee, a sociologist or an educationist.
One of the well known temples in Sringeri is the Vidya Sankara temple that is an architectural marvel. This temple was built on the samadi of Sri Vidyatirtha (1228-1333). This is a classic example of blending of Dravidian and Hoysala styles of temple-building. This temple is located on the bend in the holy river Tunga. There is some resemblance to the famous Durga temple at Aihole.
The circumambulatory path [also called as the Pradakshina Patha], the sculptured pillars, the ornamental cornice - these are the Dravidian features of the temple. The material used is hard granite. Harmonious blending of these two styles makes this temple an exquisite work of art.
Students of astronomy may be interested in studying the 12 sculptured pillars marking the signs of the zodiac. As the sun moves from one zone to another, his rays fall on the respective pillars.
The statue of Chaturmurthy Vidyeswara is a rare example of Sri Dattatreya symbol. It is located in old Sringeri.
Over & above all this, the temple of Sri Sarada Devi is world famous. During Navratri, a special procession is held through the streets. The idol is decorated in different forms every day. This festival has attracted thousands of pilgrims to this center every year. Navratri is the festival of the three goddesses - Goddess Parvati, Goddess Lakshmi & Goddess Saraswati. So, a visit to Sringeri to have a plesant darshan of the goddess in its different forms is a must for every devotee.
The most remarkable aspect is that the Sringeri Mutt is accommodating and facilitates comfortable stay of pilgrims during the festival. Every Indian, who believes in Hinduism and the power of spirituality, must visit Sringeri at least once in their lifetime.
Temples dedicated to the more prominent Rishis like Vibhandaka and Gurus like Sankara and Sureshwara are added attractions. Their samadhis are held in great veneration because they bring immense peace and joy to those who visit these places.
It is not uncommon to see people praying at the shrine of Rishyashringa for rains and a good harvest. Above all, Sringeri is a holy centre, which like all other holy centers, has abundant positive energy. It is also unspoilt in the sense - the people who offer services are not as greedy as you can see in other places. Sringeri has managed to retain its old worldly charm precisely because of this reason.
Source : Sringeri - The Great Piligrimage Centre - L N Sastry, IBH Prakasana
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