Devoted to “Goddess Saraswati” is a Hindu shrine situated in Karnataka known as the “Sharadamba Temple”. This temple established by “Adi Shankaracharya” is located in a small hill town Sringeri in the Chikkamagaluru district. This renowned Hindu shrine was first constructed during the 8th century. Furthermore, a gold idol of the main deity i.e. Goddess Sharadamba (in a sitting position) was enshrined at this temple during the 14th century. In addition, the “Chandramouleeshwara Lingam” (a gift by Lord Shiva to Adi Shankaracharya) is also found at this temple, which is worshiped everyday via a regular prayer service (i.e. pooja).
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a. How to reach Sharadamba Temple
Sharadamba Temple Map
1. By train:
The nearest station to this temple is located in Udupi. The Udupi Railway Station is well connected to major cities in the country.
2. By road:
If you intend to drive to this temple the ideal starting points would be Mangalore, Bangalore, Karwar, Udupi, and Coimbatore.
- Via Mangalore:
There are three routes from Mangalore to this temple, and they are via NH169, via Bajpe Road and NH169, and via SH67 and NH169.
- Via Bangalore:
There are three routes from Bangalore to this temple, and they are via NH75 and Chikkamagaluru Sringeri Road, via NH48 and NH369, and via Chikkamagaluru Sringeri Road.
- Via Karwar:
There are three routes from Kawar to this temple, and they are via NH66 and SH27, via NH66, and via NH69.
- Via Udupi:
There are three routes from Udupi to this temple, and they are via NH169A and via SH27, via Udupi Perdoor Agumbe Road and SH27, and via NH169.
- Via Coimbatore:
There are three routes from Coimbatore to this temple, and they are via NH948, via NH948 and SH57, and via Mysore-Ooty Road.
3. By air:
The closest airport to this temple is located in Mangalore. The Bajpe Airport is well connected to major cities in the country.
b. Religious significance of the Sharadamba Temple
According to a popular legend that exists in the Sringeri region there lived a renowned scholar by the name of Madanmisra. Now this scholar was such an expert in debates that apparently he had never ever lost one. So in order to test the abilities of the scholar, Goddess Saraswati took the form of Upaya Bharathi and arranged for a debate with Adi Shankaracharya. However, before the commencement of this debate a condition was set which stated, that in case Shankaracharya loses he would have to marry and start a family, and if Madanmisra lost then he would have to live a life of a sage. The debate then began which lasted of 17 days with Shankaracharya achieving victory. A few days later Upaya Bharathi challenged Shankaracharya on the topic of marital life. Once again it was Shankaracharya who won, who then requested Bharathi to follow him to a spot he visits regularly i.e. Sringeri. This request was accepted by Bharathi with the condition, that he would not look back to see whether or not she is following. So having agreed upon the condition, Shankaracharya and Bharathi began their sojourn towards Sringeri. It is on reaching this town that he (Adi) finally looked back only to see Bharathi disappear in thin air. It was at this very spot that Adi Shnkaracharya then built a temple devoted to Sharada, an avatar of Goddess Saraswati. Furthermore, it was Madanmisra who was then made the head priest of this temple.
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