Mesmerizing India – Sringeri

We left Jaipur catching a Jet airways flight. Though we were on an international trip, the airlines charged for excess baggage – something I had to follow up on after getting back home. The flight to Bangalore had a stop at Mumbai. We couldn’t go straight to the gate as at US airports. You had to walk round, go through two security screenings – totally ridiculous after just embarking off a plane. This is the same case even in Europe, one has to go through a security check even for connecting flights.

Arriving in Bangalore after three years surely had its impact. Predictable changes again – more traffic, more highways. Meeting family was the best part.

Annapoorneshwari temple in Hornad
Annapoorneshwari temple in Hornad27-Aug-2011 18:17, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 3.2, 8.898mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 400
27-Aug-2011 18:24, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 2.8, 6.1mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 400
The next day we had booked a mini-van for our trip to Hornad, Sringeri and NR Pura. The main purpose of the trip was to visit our family temple in NR Pura. The story goes that my great grand father found an pancha-loha vigraha (an idol of Subramanya made out of five metals) and he and the village panchayat had a dream the same night where they had this divine message to build a temple for it. This temple stands in Narasimharaja Pura in Shimoga district. The drive to Hornad, which is near the western edge of Karnataka was anything but comfortable. The roads are plain horrible in addition to meandering. The constant monsoon rains in these ghat sections constantly erode the roads. We reached the Annapoorneshwari temple around 7 PM after much uneasiness. The temple is right in the midst of the western ghats. It is said that anyone seeking blessings here will have no scarcity of food for life. Upon hearing this back home, Vikas had expressed desire to visit the temple. The idol is made out of pure gold.
Vidyashankara temple, Sringeri. Astounding architecture, 1358 AD
Vidyashankara temple, Sringeri. Astounding architecture, 1358 AD28-Aug-2011 09:45, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 4.0, 21.461mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 80

The same day we drove back to Sringeri. The 75 km journey should normally need an hour’s worth of driving, but the roads again posed a great deal of challenge in addition to the darkness. We arrived at Kanaka’s cottage – a guest house reserved ahead by my brother. After some hot simple meals, we took to bed.

28-Aug-2011 10:19, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 4.0, 18.098mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 80

Sringeri is the one of Adi Sankaracharya’s four established maths. His Holiness said a snake sheltering a frog about to give birth and convinced of the place’s higher level of energy, he established a muth here. A Muth is a religious school or seat of preaching. There are two temples here. The Sharadhamba temple and the Vidyashankara temple. The latter is architecturally stunning built around 1358 AD and is intact in every aspect. The temple walls have incredible engravings from Hindhu mythology – to sequence of yoga postures, to the ten forms of Lord Vishnu (Dashavathara). The intricate carvings have stood the test of time. The main temple hall has twelve pillars denoting the zodiac signs.

28-Aug-2011 10:19, Canon Canon PowerShot G12, 4.0, 18.098mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 80

We took more time than the hour we had planned at Sringeri. A guide helped understand the temple better. Stopping next at NR Pura was a mission accomplished. We wanted Vikas to visit his ancestors temple before he headed off to college. Belur and Halebid were on the way but for lack of time, we skipped them. Else it would have been a great photo-shoot opportunity. A late lunch at Chickmangalur got us some masala dosas and coffee at a unknown but fairly clean restaurant. When we reached Bangalore around 9:30 PM, our travels for the trip were almost over, excepting a trip to Tumkur the very next day.

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