Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Sri Adi Sankaracharya

KaladiKaladi is a pilgrim centre 45 Kms away from Kochi, situated on the banks of the Periyar river. A tiny village cradled in green fields, it is famous as the birth place of Adi Shankaracharya, the great Indian Philosopher. There are two shrines dedicated to him. Adi Sankara's Shrine is located at Kaladi, 45 Kms away from Kochi. It is open to all pilgrims irrespective of religion or caste. The shrine run by the Sringeri Math is a large, partly open structure situated right on the banks of the river Periyar.

Adi Sankara Memorial Tower

One Of the two shrines here, one is dedicated to Sri Sankaracharya and the other to Goddess Saradamba, guardian deity of Sringeri. The evening prayers are conducted with chanting accompanied with the rhythmic ringing of cymbals at the small temple of Vinayaka or Ganapati situated nearby. Sri Sankaracharya was born at Kaladi, as the only son of Sivaguru and Aryamba, a Kerala Brahmin couple.

His early life was marked by several miraculous exploits that single him out for a divine role. Among the miraculous happenings associated with his life is one, when he is believed to have diverted the course of the river Poorna, then flowing one and a half kms away from the house, for his aged mother so that she could have her daily bath in the river without walking a long way. Even today one can see the river has taken an uncharacteristic turn towards the Sringeri Math shrine, believed to be the site of Sankara's house.

The extra ordinary intelligent boy mastered the Vedas and completed his studies when he was merely 16 years of age.He then spent many years of his life preaching the Vedic Dharma as well as its universality and superiority. He established four 'Maths' at Sringeri, Dwaraka, Joshimath and Puri. At the age of 32, he attained 'mahasamadhi'. There is an 8 storey-high brilliantly painted memorial, Sri Adi Sankara Keerthi Sthambam here. The entrance to the memorial, is guarded by two elephant statues. Several large statues of Ganapati, Adi Sankara and others are also housed in this memorial.

Adishankara Janmabhoomi Temple

, Kaladi It is located quite near to the Keerthi Sthambam on the banks of river Periyar. The temple was built in the year 1910 by the 33rd swami of the Sringeri Ashram, Sachithanda Shivabhinava Narasimha Swamikal with the help of the Sree Moolam Thirunal. The Samadhi (tomb) of Shri Sankara's mother Aryamba and the Crocodile ghat where AdiSankara took his vows of renunciation is also seen here. Brindavan of Aryamba is a holy spot in Kalady where Aryamba, the mother of Sri Adi Shankara was cremated. The lamp post made of black stone just near this samadhi was in existance from the time of Sri Shankara.

Crocodile Ghat

Crocodile Ghat or Muthala Kadavu is the place where Sree Shankara took 'Manasa Sanyasam' or his vows of renunciation. Even from a young age, Shankara was spiritually inclined and wanted to take up sanyasa much against his mothers wishes. Once while Shankara was taking bath in the Periyar river one day, he was caught by a crocodile. Shankara demanded his mother Aryamba to permit him to take up sanyasam so that the crocodile will leave him. His mother was forced to give permission and then the crocodile released him immediately, and the ghat came to be known as Crocodile Ghat.

Sri Sadvidya Sanjivini Rig Veda Patashala

This is a unique institution that teaches Vedas and Sastras in the traditional method. The patashala established by Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Nrisimha Bharati Mahaswamigal, is managed by the Sringeri Mutt.

Sri Krishna Temple, Kaladi

This Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, Sri Krishna Temple is located to the west of the Sringeri Mutt temple complex. The temple is under the Kalady Devaswom and the worship is conducted by Namboothiris.

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