I visited this place during Diwali vacation late last week with my family.
Shringeri is the first Maṭham (Sringeri Sharada Peeta) established by Adi Shankaracharya.
It is a "must visit" place for those who are the followers of the dharma since Shankaracharya of Sharada Peetham lives here. For others it is a welcome change from the regular hustle bustle of city life.
The place is thronged by hundreds of pilgrims every day and the place is well equipped to accomodate most of them. The parking lot is spacious enough so that literally hundreds of vehicles can be parked at ease. There are different types of guest houses managed by the devasthanam for the pilgrims and they cost just peanuts. The rooms range from Rs. 50/- to Rs. 300/- for 24 hours. The Guest houses are allotted to the pilgrims/devotees on first come-first serve basis and advance booking for the same is not entertained. The rooms are okay since one cannot expect much. No TV and AC facility etc and just one power plug is provided in the rooms.
No food and snacks are served in the rooms, but small and big eateries are just a few meters away from the guest houses. One gets authentic south Indian food though with limited variety. But one is always assured that the spices are fresh. The street vendors are busy offering Chai and Kaapi (coffee) from almost 3 in the morning.
The temple complex is spacious and houses an ancient and some recently built/ renovated temples; Sharadamba Temple, Vidyashankara Temple etc. Cross the bridge on the Tunga river and you enter the calm area wherein the holy Shankaracharya resides and meets people in the mornings and evenings. Various functions take place in the Darshan hall there.
The place can be covered in just a few hours or one can spend at least two days here. You will, ultimately, remember it for the cleanliness on the temple premises and local cuisine.
******Narrated by Shri Adwait of Pune. This beautiful photo of the Bridge across the Tunga river in Sringeri Mutt is courtesy of TripAdvisor.