Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sringeri

I have this thing for bamboo plants. Group a cluster and they'll group in a pretty circle and from the top these pretty bamboo leaves will shoot out. Hence do I even have to tell you how much I loved the drive to Sringeri?
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Sringeri is located in the midst of the western ghat forests so the only way to get there is to drive through some amazing landscape. Do I look like I'm complaining? Anyway on one side you'll find gorgeous bamboo groves, the other luscious boulder laid rivers and further out coffee and pepper plantations.
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Bring down the mirror and enjoy the breeze while listening to the sounds of the forest. I remember hearing a weird sound, but neither me or the driver could identify what animal it was from nor did we see it.

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Most of the time you're the lone car driving down the winding roads, at night it might be scary but in the day it was total bliss. Occasionally you'd meet a lone man walking down the beaten path and you wonder how do they live here without electricity, isn't it scary?
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The scene would look like the photos at dharmastala drive - boulder laden rivers. Now if you're wondering why no photos. Well right after entering the forest it started getting colder by the minute and then it started raining. Yes it rained in summer, that too heavily.

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That's when we pass this huge bridge and I turned to look at the most amazing scene I've ever scene, something I can only describe to you. The banks of the river were lined by bamboo trees which were swaying towards the river from the onslaught of the rain. Imagine green arms embracing gushing white wisps of water.

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Sigh it would have been the photo of the year if I could take pictures in the rain! We continued driving down the road in heavy rain when suddenly we heard a noise as if someone was throwing stones on the car. That's when we realised it was raining ice in the middle of summer! ;p

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My driver was astonished as we had told him it always rains when we were there. When the sounds got louder we stopped the car to let the ice stop falling and that's when we realised we had stopped in front of a tiny ganesha temple. Right in front of him! What a coincidence eh?

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Well I decided how could ice fall without me playing with it. So till it stopped raining ice I happily caught them in my hand and seriously it was chilly! Fresh from the rain, we reached the wet grounds of sringeri and we were astonished to find such a temple in the middle of nowhere.

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Set across the bank of River Tunga, amidst the Sahyadri hills in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka, Vidyashankara temple marks the spot where Adi Shankara discovered a cobra shielding a frog from the torrential rains under its hood (thats the circular cone shaped temple). Right next to it is the Saradhaba temple.

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Vidyashankara Temple is a Shiva temple which is once again built in escalated levels famous in this region and in a circular shape rather than the common square. Hence the temple has 6 doors. Its pretty peaceful inside and you don't notice the pillars at first.
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Look closer as these are the 12 raasi pillars. The have been arranged in such a way that the sun's rays fall on each of them in the order of the solar months. You can identify them by the carvings on each pillar.
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The temple is really a sight to behold, different in shape from different angels. As with other temples, this too was heavily sculptured though not as lavish as the hoysala temples.

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The Saradamba Temple enshrines the golden image of Sarada Devi on the Sri Chakra Peetham. Intersting is how the lalitashasranam is recited continuously, so believe me you could go on listening.

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We came out of the temple to find the sun beginning to set. What a beautiful sight it was to find the temple awash in golden colours. The bridge across the river will take you to the Sringeri ashramam.
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People arriving on boats can of course get off at the steps located at both sides of the river. That was probably the ancient passageway to this hidden treasure.

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You definitely want to be here during sunset, what with the play of colours and how it sets precisely at the back of the temple. The Sringeri town itself is pretty small hence you wonder how people reached here and how this picturesque town remains nearly untouched.

30 comments:

Maran said...

Love the lone boat & sunset/rise photos. Very nice.

Harsha said...

Loved the photos. Had been there long time back with my parents.
Inside the temple there are huge pillars too. I vaguely remember there was something on the ceiling .... somekind of engraved scriptures or gods.... exactly outside the main garbha-gudi, do you have a pic from the inside??? Do you rem what it was??

I guess photography was prohibited inside. (as it should be)

sreekrishnanv said...

hey, that photo with a single baot is my pick .. best of all .. !! Amazing .. reminds me of a poem in my 10 th i guess ..its called the Stolen Boat ride !!Donno why i remember it !!

How could you take photo's inside the temple ... was kind of tough for me when i tried it in chozhanaadu temple's ..ppl used to stare ... Still got hold of some angles (check it out in my photoblog)
and btw: I relaize the diff between a 2MP phone camera and a prof. Camera !!

soon getting one Canon Rebel XT !!

SKM said...

Awesome Amzing photos.Your descriptions are way too good.Thanks for the tour.

Aravind said...

>> Well I decided how could ice fall without me playing with it.

me so jealous....... i dont even remember when i last saw aalangatti mazhai!!

BTW, super fotos, as usual! ;)

BawangMerah said...

You know what you should do. Take the best of the shots and make a book. My roadtrip or something. Heck I'd buy it. Love the first picture. To just be there while the sun sets. Mmmm.

Jeevan said...

Visith u have been tagged!

kG said...

i like it that u took at from the shadows of the temple, therefore highlighting the fiery sky.

it's amazing how the sky can set a mood.

visithra said...

Maran : those r my favs too ;) thanks its sunset by the way


harsha : thanks ;) nice to know the place is gorgeous

yep there are carvings on the ceiling - i think navagraha not sure though - nope didnt take any photos inside - normally i dont - i just take them outside - unless i see someone else taking photos inside


sree : thanks ;) interesting - the poem sounds perfect - me too not sure why ;)

nah normally they allow around the outside of the temple - its inside that they dont allow - yeah the stares well got used to it - i have prob with stares here in msia since most of the time i know ppl n they wonder y do i need photos ;p

will come by - yeah theres lots of diff - u realise it most at night ;) wow getting a rebel huh? Mummyy i want one too ;p


skm : thanks ;) no prob


aravind : ehehhe see i bring the rain no doubts with it ;p ehehe
Ohh this aalangkati took so long to melt ;p as big as 1 cent coin ;p thanks ;)


Bawangred : Someone just suggested i do a coffee table book - lets see

yeah sunset is awesome anywhere but there it was just magical


jeevan : will come see ;)



Kg : i love the fiery sky ;) yeah tell me about it ;) thanks ;)

sreekrishnanv said...

yup esp. night mode !! ... mine is not that good !! infact bad !!

Keshi said...

Came here to see wut the babe had to say today...wut a pic!

Keshi.

Harsha said...

Thanks. And i need to go there once again. :)

Btw, are u a prof photographer? Whats your cam? I have a canon powershot a700. How do I tweak it to get stuff like urs?

Jeevan said...

awesome pic visith. i too like the sounds which come from the forest. I have experiance of playing with Ice Rain, it was an unexpeted Ice rain,when i was in a relative village near chennai, every cube was round share like Kuzhankaal me and my bro eat that. Some used to tell if we put these Ice cubes in a box and close thightly it will not melt.

the yellow sky in the first pic and the golden color Saradamba Temple was beautiful!!

R. Balaji said...

Great pics. I particularly like the lighting and mood in the pic with the boat.

prasad said...

Great story, enjoyed it very much. now i hate you for writing this ;)

SamY said...

okie ... now I am really J 'V' :D ... serious :)

netajovi said...

really awesome sunset...good job..hehe

My days(Gops) said...

ennavendru solvadhamma...indha photo's pathi....adhuvum andha lonely boat....ada ada, besh besh romba nanna irruku (*wink*)...

aaama theriaama thaaan ketkuren
(therinchaalum naan ketpen), neenga chinna vayasula irrundhey ippadi'a? illa? ippa konja naaalavey thaaan ippadi'a?
( adhuthaaanga, photo clicking)

WA said...

Great pictures Visit. never been to Sringeri, hopefully next time

Vani said...

your pictures are so saturated with colour, i can imagine them oozing out. lovely pix. as usual, i was distracted. sorry.

Gladtomeetin said...

Asusual the pics are awesome...Esp the Vidyashankara temple ones. I had been there with my grandmom, mom n dad and your post refreshed my memories (I hear u saying "asusual") :-))

visithra said...

Sree : none are good at night - even the ones with built in flash


keshi : thanks ;)



harsha : its worth going there ;)

nah not a prof - an amatuer - im using an older model the a620

one thing is you have to study different images the angle their focus point - then meddle with the cam - spend one day takign different shots - night, movement, macro, landscapes - each has a different setting - so check them out

visithra said...

Jeevan : thanks ;) wow round ones eh? Thats interesting - it wont melt?? Ooohh never knew - thanks for sharing ;) thanks dear ;)


Rbalaji : thanks - one of my fav photos too ;)


prasad : thanks hehehe awww yyy


Samy : hehehhe its time u travelled ;p


Netajovi : thanks ;)


Mydays : hehe thanks ;)

actualla chinna vaiyusileh irundhu photos nah rombeh pudhikum - edhukuvum pudhiku - but u see then photo developing expensive so until i started working never wasted with photos - then started using cam at home - neriya develop pahnuvehn - amma waste sohluvange - then digi phone vangunen neriya photos eduthen then digi cam - now unlimied photos ;p



Uma : thanks - u should lovely peaceful place


Vani : well it was such a beautiful day that day - hehehe thanks ;)


Glad : thanks ;) you've really travelled havent u - thats nice to know - glad ure memory got some refreshing ;) even if its asusual ;p

Harsha said...

Thanks for the tips. will try it out.

visithra said...

harsha : good luck ;)

karthy said...

Excellent pics!

Hip Grandma said...

i missed going there this year.may visit soon.lovely pics.

visithra said...

Karthy : welcome here ;) thanks ;)


hipgran : thanks - u should lovely place

Srivalli said...

Beautiful post and pictures...inspiring...will try to visit the place...

roopa_sastri@yahoo.com said...

hi. the description was very nice. since u have gone into so much detail. do u know any good hotels in sringeri. i plan to visit in october. please help. would be of great help. thank u.