Regarded as one of the most sacred Hindu pilgrimages in South India, Sringeri was the abode of Shankaracharya, the great 9th century philosopher and social reformer. Shankaracharya established here the first of his four maths, the other three are at Joshimath in the Himalayas, Puri to the east and Dwarka to the west. As Shankaracharya's preaching reached distant shores, Sringeri came to be known as a seat of learning and spiritual wisdom.
Overlooking the Tunga River, the exquisitely sculptured Vidyashankara
Temple enshrines the Vidyatirtha-linga. An amalgamation of Dravidian and
Hoysala temple architecture, the unique feature of the temple is the
twelve zodiac pillars arranged so that the sun's rays fall on the pillar
corresponding to the appropriate month. Typical of Hoysala style, the
temple structure stands raised on a high platform and is laid out on a
circular star-shaped plan.
Established by Shankaracharya, the Sri Sharada Devi Temple is dedicated
to Sharada, an incarnation of goddess Saraswati. The presiding deity of
the temple stands on a Sri Chankra (yantra). The temple houses one of
the Sphatika-lingas given to Shankaracharya by Lord Siva in the