Sunday, May 26, 2024

Divine Tranquility

Written by Aria Mondal (Grade 5)


How would I know that my journey with my parents from Udupi to Chikmangaluru could be so special? This was just another holiday trip with the family soaking ourselves in the serene beauty of nature until we stopped in Sringeri. Nestled in the Western Ghat in the Chikmangaluru District in Karnataka, is the temple town of Sringeri. The Sri Vidyashankara temple built entirely from stone in the 14th century during the Vijayanagara Empire, is an architectural masterpiece. The huge temple complex located on the bank of the Tunga River, has a Matha established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th Century.

The exquisitely constructed Vidyashankara Temple – a unique monument built of red granite exhibits a flawless fusion of spirituality and science. The architecture combines the best of Dravidian and Hoysala design. It has a square shaped three-story tower without supported by any pillar. Rather supported by building’s foundation. The complete structure is constructed over an elevated platform. On top, the Puranic episodes are illustrated. The main attractions are the 12 massive pillars (in front of the idol) that include carving of lions standing on two legs. There are stone balls nestled between the growling faces of the lions. I could move those balls with my hands. Though could not take them out. These pillars were constructed based on the astronomical principles. 12 pillars are marked by 12 zodiac signs in the regular order. The pillars are constructed in such way that they receive first rays of the rising Sun successively in the order of the 12 solar months. This is why these pillars are called “RasiStambh” or “Zodiac Pillars”. Also there are three openings for the first rays of the Sun to enter the temple. Based on the position of the Sun during the different part of the year Sun rays enter through any of these three openings and fall on the pillars. I was awestruck with this marvelous combination of astronomy and architecture. The outer wall of the temple also displays marvelous sculptures.

I was completely stunned with the advancement of architectural skills even around 700 years ago. This temple is a live testimony of the rich architectural heritage of our great nation. I, as an Indian, truly felt proud after witnessing the marvel created during the Vijayanagar Empire. The architectural masterpiece standing tall in divine tranquility with the murmur of Tunga River filled my heart that I will cherish forever.


Featured Image Courtesy – Kanartaka.com



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