Road trip to Sringeri from Manipal via Agumbe was unplanned. It happened promptly. Initially, the plan was to go back to Udupi. This time on a food trail led by Vaibhav. But a day before, decided to take the road trip to Sringeri through the Malnad region. It was an easy decision to make. Our place at Parkala was close to the Agumbe-Udupi Highway. We started early at sunrise, had a quick 'masala dosa' at Manipal before heading towards Agumbe. The minute you leave the row of institutional buildings, Beautiful green landscape envelopes you. Shifting your perception and alerting your senses.
Road Trip to Sringeri and Nostalgia
For me, the excitement was manifold. I was going back down memory lane after decades. Entering the Rain forest zone definitely set up the mood. Leaving behind the week full of memories was easy, from Mangaluru to Manipal via Moodbidri and Udupi.
In about an hour of drive, we arrived in Agumbe. The gentle breeze, the rich red soil of hinterland welcomed us. The plan was to explore Agumbe. Instead, we headed towards Sringeri. Of course, we had enough time to pick some Mangalore buns and relish some Vada soup, (vada dunked in sambar) briefly.
Weather in March and Road trip to Sringeri
It was not even ten in the morning. I could feel the warm sun hit us upon our arrival in Sringeri. We quickly headed to the Sharada Peetham Temple. It is less than five minutes from the town centre. The best time to visit is from November to February. Should you want to experience the southwest monsoon, and the rainforest region near by at agumbe then july to august is right.
Sringeri Sharada Peetham
Sighting an elephant is joyous and here we were greeted by two. One of them was on a light sprint. Immediately I noticed the clean roads and absolutely no litter around. The elephants and the mahouts had an easy walk. With no undulations or obstacles along the path. Even the buildings that housed the administration, booking offices of the temple wore a new fresh look.
Any pilgrim like me would be content with such thoughtful facilities. The pavement was just fine making the short walk comfortable. Even during the high monsoon season, it will hold well because of the non-slippery surface.
The temple complex at Sringeri
After quickly depositing our footwear we entered the temple premises through the tall and brightly coloured Gopuram. The temple is opened to visitors almost throughout the day.
Date of Experience the timings were 5:30 AM–2 PM, 4 PM–8:30 PM. The vast expanse of space and the temples are spread across in an organised planned manner. Interestingly the distances apart give an instant visual delight.
Sri Vidyashankara temple
Road trip to Sringeri led us to this ancient temple built in 1338 AD by Sri Vidyaranya. The then rulers of the time Vijayanagara Empire, Harihara and Bukka had made in commemoration of the saint. The architectural features have Hoysala, Chalukyas and the Dravida prevailing during that period;
What is noticeable is the stone architecture and the high plinth. Built entirely of stone on a rectangle base. The main garbagriha was placed on the west side, with a diety of Ganapati and Durga on the third side. On the other side of the Garba Graha are the statues of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva with their consorts. This heritage site has interesting details on the basement.
Even in the 21st Century, I was struck by the natural beauty of this location. What fascinates me like always the great temples of south India are built on the banks of the river. Here I saw the magnificent temples of Sharada Temple and closer to the bank was the Vidya Shankara Temple.
Trip to Sringeri includes the river Tunga
Sringeri town is located on the banks of River Tunga which is known to originate in the western ghats not far from here. The river flows through Chikmagalur and Shivamogga district in the northeastward direction.
As I crossed the footbridge from the north end I could see the Vast place on the southern banks, where trees and plantations are well maintained. On an elevated level are the guru niwas and the samadhis of the earlier spiritual leaders. At the far end was the cowshed called 'go-shala ', library and Veda Pata shala aka school among others.
Blog post coming up
- Annadana hall and free meals for everyone.
- Veda Pata shala and guru paramapara
- A library that holds some of the rarest manuscripts in Sanskrit.
Air – Nearest Airport is Mangaluru IXE distance 103 km, Bengaluru BLR 342 km
Rail – Nearest Station is Udupi, distance 82 km. Shivamogga distance 103 kms
Road – Mangaluru distance 108 km, Chikmagalur 85 km Mysuru 248 km Bengaluru 323 km
Where to Stay
Sri Sharada Peetham, Sringeri has constructed guest houses for the Pilgrims
Few hotels and homestay facilities are available and one can also book through airbnb
Nearby Places –
Shivamogga, Chikmagalur, Udupi, Mangaluru, Kudremukh, Horenadu, Kemmanagudi, Coorg.