A boat jetty while on the train
After the wonderful weekend trip it was time for a family outing.. Spent less than 24hours in Chennai before i was off on the train to Mangalore, to head towards Sringeri.[one of the 4 Mutts established by Adi Shankaracharya]. We are all followers of this Mutt and my grandparents make couple of trips during the year. Me - well, i go once in a while!! :)
The Main Sharadambal temple
My cousin's poonal [ Holy thread ceremony] was slated for 4th June, so we booked tickets for the 2nd June!! I was travelling with my parents after ages, felt nice... :) Packed 3sarees[yes, here we wear only sarees, atleast around the temple campuses] , 2 salwars, other essentials, and i was set!!
On the steps of River Tunga..
The train journey was very nice... esp while we were going past Kerala.. The back waters, West coast, the ocean waves lapping against the shore, fishermen on their small boats, absolutely scenic and breath taking...
Elephants during evening snack
We reached Mlore around 9.30am on 3rd, hopped into the cab waiting for us and headed towards Sringeri. The route is scenic, Ghats are beautiful and there is something mystical about them. if you were look out the window, you can see River Tunga flowing peacefully down below [except during the monsoons, where she rages on]... Takes about 2.5 hours to reach Sringeri, and by the time we checked into our room it was 12.45pm...!! Normally, we halt at Hotel Sreenivas for breakfast, but since we had already had some on the train, we rode along...
Sringeri is one such place where people come for religious purposes, to admire the architecture, worship Gods and Goddesses or as a tourist spot.. Early on, there wasnt so much of Tourist crowd that used to throng the place, but now that crowd is enough to put me off!! eeks... people crawling all over the place, noisy and dirty!! hehehe..
The stone idol of Adi shankara in the garden
A place i've been familiar with for over 15yrs is where am most comfortable wandering about in. No worries of getting lost, or running into dead ends. Priest, admin office staff and even security guards know me quite well [ thanks to grandparents frequency and having known me since i was in my teens]
The main temples to visit here are all within the campus-
Adi shankara temple- which is being renovated
Sri Vidhya shankar temple- part of the Heritage sites - a must see for its rich architecture...
Thorana Ganpathi- a small ganapathi fixed on the threshold
Sri Balasubrahmanya - Murguan temple right on the banks of the river TIunga
Sri Malahanikareswara- Shiv who resides on top of the mountain..
And then when we cross the bridge over the River Tunga flowing through the Mutt, we come to the Narasimha vanam, where The Sringeri Swamiji resides and does Pooja daily.. the place where we go to take his blessings or be a part of the pooja is the newly built haven called Guru Bhavanam ... Beyond it is where Elephants [2 of them], horses[ right now there are 3], Gosala[ home for cows] and deers run about...
Walking across the bridge, watching the moon light up the sky, crickets and other bugs singing aloud, its a mystical feeling going for the Pooja... Sitting in that massive hall, watching Swamigal do pooja to the Chandramouleeswara Linga and Ganapathi, i realised we stop worrying about the daily aspects of our life and are totally immersed in the Pooja...
A place of tranquility where one can simply sit still for hours is how Sringeri feels to me... Yes, i do make a quick visit to all the temples, say Hello to all the Gods and Goddesses, but the best part if the serenity... this is Spirituality according to me!! :)
Evening sky pver River Tunga..
In the evening, i stand on the bridge, looking up at the sky or at the fish fluttering about in the river, feeding on the puffed rice or generally swimming about...
Vyasar Mandapam on the other side of the river
Today, the place looks very diff from what it did couple of years ago.. Construction going on everywhere, renovations happening here and there.. The main entrance used to be a beautiful archway, today it is a bundle of concrete debris.. there is a huge 127ft tall Gopuram which is being constructed there...
Best way to travel is to take a train from Chennai to Mangalore, and then a cab/bus to Sringeri.. You have trains at 11.30am daily ,and 5pm[on certain days]
In case you are coming from Blore, then direct buses ply almost every day. Its about 7hrs from Blore ...