Temples for Adhi Sankara built by Kamakoti Parampara!

Adi Shankara and disciples Ravi Verma

Sri Kanchi Kamakoti math established temples and Guru Paduka Mandapams throughout India for Adhisankara either on the basis of events happened in the life of Guru or events connected with the Kamakoti Peetam at Kancheepuram as a mark of respect. Some of the creations of this Order are narrated below.

1) Kalady, Kerala:

HH Sri Chandrasekara Saraswathy Swamigal, the 68th preceptor of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam desired to build a huge and a fitting Memorial for Guru at Kalady, Who born at this holy place as per the records during 509 B.C. This Himalayan task was entrusted by the Acharya to His prathama sishya HH Jayendra Saraswathy Swamigal.

Sri Swamigal fulfilled the desire of His Guru by installing a mammoth Keerthisthambam with six-tier structure depicting Shanmatham (six paths of worship in Hinduism) defined by Adhisankara. The Keerthisthambam costing several lakhs of rupees was consecrated on the 12th May 1978, on the last the day of Sankara Jayanthi Celebrations at Kalady in Kerala. The Keerthi Sthambam was declared open by the then President of India, Shri Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy. That day also marked the Kumbabishekam of the Siva temple built in the complex of the Keerthisthambam.

108 Thandi Sanyasis from Varanasi (Kasi) participated in the inaugural function of the Keerthisthambam. A long procession started from Angamali, along with well decorated 32 Elephants, each carrying the pictures of different postures of Adissankara reached the place of Keerthisthambam. The procession was well attended by 108 Thandi Sanyasis from Varanasi, Devotees and Vedic Pundits from all over India. It was a divine sight to see the Acharyas walking the entire stretch of the procession from start to end. This was indeed a greatest event performed in memory of Adhisankara.

2) Kancheepuram, Tamilnadu:

Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam has not only taken the credit of establishing a ‘Keerthi Sthambam’ at Kalady, Kerala, the birth place of Adhisankara, but also taken the credit to establish another big Memorial at Kanchipuram, the mukthi place of Adhisankara. HH Sri Jayendra Saraswathy Swamigal has installed a very tall statue of Adhisankara at Enathur near Kancheepuram. The statue is 60 ft. tall, weighing 200 tons and is carved out of a single stone by Sri Muthiah Stapathy.

The Peetam (base) of the structure alone stands as 30 ft. high.

The function was well attended by a number of Peetathipathis of Advaitha order. 108 Thandi Sanyasis from Benaras, thousands of Kamakoti Devotees from all over India were in attendance in the holy presence of HH Pujyasri Jayendra Saraswathy Swamigal and HH Pujyasri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathy Swamigal.

While the Keerthisthambam at Kalady was inaugurated by the former President of India, the AdhiSankara Statue at Enathur, Kancheepuram was inaugurated by the then President of India Shri Shankar Dayal Sharma.

3) Bukkai, Andhra Pradesh:

The Kanchi math has built a temple for Adhisankara at Bukkai 3 kms. from Nagari in Andhra Pradesh in 1932.

4) Rameswaram, Tamilnadu:

The Sankara Math, Kancheepuram has built Sri Sankara Guru Paduka Mandapam at Rameswaram. Sri Sankara’s statue along with four of His disciples in marble stones have been installed at the above Mandapam. Kumbabishekam was performed to this temple on the 28th April 1963 in the Holy presence of Mahaswamigal of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

5) Thiruvidaimarudhur, Thanjavur Dist.:

Thiruvidaimarudhur, a small village near Kumbakonam in Thanjavur Dist. is another place in the South connected with Guru Adhi Sankarar. A puranic story says that when Adhi Sankarar visited Sri Mahalingeswarar temple in this place he heard the Lord’s voice “Sathyam Advaitham”, and at the same time an Abayahastam appeared on the Sivalingam.

HH Sri Mahaswamigal desired that this puranic incident should be popularized among the public. Hence the Sankara Math at Thiruvidaimarudhur was renovated as “Sankara Paduka Mandapam” and Kumbabishekam performed to this Paduka Mandapam on the 5th December 1963.

6) Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh:

The Kanchi Math has built temples for AdhiSankara in almost all Dwadasalinga Shethras(The places where the 12 spatica lingams were installed by Sri Adhisankarar). The temple for Adhisankarar at Srisailam has been built near the east entrance of the Siva temple at Srisailam. In this temple Sri Adhisankara’s statue along with four of His disciples sitting before Him in marble stones have been installed and Kumbabishekam of this temple was performed by Mahaswamigal of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

7) Rishikesh, Uttar Pradesh:

“Sri Adhisankarar Vimanam” has been built near Lakshman Jula, Hanging Bridge, at the famous Hindu religious place, “Rishikesh” in Uttar Pradesh. The foundation stone was laid by the Governor of Uttar Pradesh at that time, Shri Gopal Reddy and the function was presided over by the Lt. Governor of New Delhi at that time, Shri Adhityanath Shah.

8) Mount Kailash in Himalayas:

The visit to Kailash by HH Sri Jayendra Saraswathy Swamigal during 1998 can said to be the highlight of all the events of Adhisankara memorials established by the Kanchi Sankara Math. HH Sri Jayendra Saraswathy Swamigal started His yathra towards North during March 1998. After visiting many holy places, He reached ‘Katmandu’ in Nepal.

On the 9th July 1998, He started from Katmandu and crossed Nepal border at ‘Surgith’. From there, He reached China border ’Share’ where the Swamigal was received with great honor by the Govt. of China. From there, He reached the place ‘Thaklakot’ and then reached the famous lake Manasaroever.

As that day happened to be Gurupoornima day, Swamigal performed ‘Chathurmasa Pooja’ at the specially erected Shamiana. From that place, one will be able to see ‘Mount Kailash’ directly. Hence at the end of Pooja, Swamigal showed ‘Deeparathana’ to ‘Mount Kailash’.

The place was at a height of more than 16000 ft. from the sea level. This place has a perennial lake that never dries even during summer. From there, Swamiji climbed down to ‘Tharbushe’.

The history tells us that Sri Adhisankarar alone had visited Mount Kailash during his Padayathra throughout India. After 2500 years, HH Sri Jayendra Saraswathy Swamigal, the 69th Peetathipathy of Kanchi Math re-enacted the visit to ‘Mount Kailash’ and also had installed a Vigraha of “Sri Adhisankarar” at Mount Kailash.

In the days to come, a devotee who visits ‘Mount Kailash’ will have holy dharshan of not only Kailash but also will be able to perform Pooja to Sri Adhisankara Vigraham installed there.

Kanchi Sankara ! Kailasa Sankara!!

*****

Narrated beautifully by Shri D. Sivasubramanian.

The picture of Adi Shankara and His disciples is a lovely painting by the famous Ravi Verma!



Categories: Devotee Experiences

18 replies

  1. As Mr. Venkateswaran has pointed out, there is the temple for Adi Shankara near the Pashupati temple at Kathmandu,Proposed by HH Sri Jayaendra Saraswati Swamigal, during his visit to Nepal in 1974, It was built by the order of Lat Maharaja Birendra Bikram shah.
    Regarding the Statue at Kailash, when I visited during 2001, I could not see the same and no groups who have visited later also have not mentioned about its existense at place nearby yama Dwar. At present. No temple has been built there. If any member of the group visiting kailash have found the statue there, they are requested to kindly report the same, for later visitors to kailash to have darshan of the same.

  2. Upon reading Shri Mahaperiyava’s Charitram some 25 years ago, I came to know that marble status of Shri Bhagavadpaadal Shri Adi Sankara with 4 Sishyas are established in Pasupati Nath temple in Nepal, by the Kamakoti mutt. Upon my subsequent visit to the temple upon enquiry , one of the South Indian priests who perform Puja to Shri Pasupatinath directed me just next to the temple under a ‘vilva vriksham’. I went and had darshan .

    Further, in Guwahati city, where I live now, on the Neelachal hills the famous Shakti peetam Shri Kamakhya temple is there. Upon constant follow ups of Mutt’s officials a piece of land on a small rock near the entrance of the Devi’s temple was procured where a beautiful, small but attract temple for Sri Adi Sankara is built.

    • As regards the query of Sri Venu Sridharan about Shri Maha Periyava’s visit to Kaladi, I think : As we all know upon the last time nearing for his mother Sri Aryamba, Shri Adi Shankara rushes from his pilgrimage to Kaladi, as per his earlier committment to meet her at Her last time. When she dies, He goes to perform her final rites, as promised to her. But the village Brahmins protest as to how a sanyasi perform the ‘antim-samskara’and they completely boycott him not giving any material for the funeral. Controlling his agony, he single handedly lifts her dead-body and burn it at the backyard of their house. The other-wise composite Acharya gives curse that no Sanyasis will visit Kaladi thereafter. For centries together this trend continued. The village brahmins approached some decendents of Sankaracharyas and requested to visit Kaladi. Though many Sanyasis blessed the village upon their request, probably Shri Mahaperiyava , unable to cross the words of Shri Adi Sankaracharya, might not visited this place. This is only my assumption. We know how much Guru-bhakti He has towards Shri Adi Sankara Bhagavadpadal.

  3. I wish to invite the kind attention of all devotees of Kanchi Mutt to the monthly Tamil magazine “Kamakoti Pradeepam” published by Kanchi Mutt. This contains articles on discourses by our Periyavas and also on little known slokas and related matters. This magazine is a must for all devotees and I request you to get in touch with me for subscription requests and other related enquiries. I may be contacted at 9840766538 os mailed at tssk55@yahoo.co.in

  4. Would love to see all these places.
    Also, want to visit acharya’s birth home which has been bought by Chinmaya mission and converted into a center for Vedic and sanskrit research. http://www.chinfo.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=29

  5. Very nice information. Very nice painting of Adi Sankara Bhagavadpada with HIs Disciples by Raja Ravi Verma. The colour and the brightness of the painting are simply superb. I am really surprised to learn that Maha Periyava did not visit Kaladi. Is it really true? Ramaswamy Maama may be able to give more details. Jaya Jaya Shankara, Hara Hara Shankara!

  6. thanks for this post. yes pudu periava has been doing wonderful service to us by all these. i do remember about the visit of HH periava to Kalady and what an unfortunate thing that this question is coming just fifteen days late as HH Mettur was there and he would have explained in full. i will try to get.

  7. I also wish to pioint out that HH Jayaendra Saraswathi Swsmigal also inaugurated during the year 1997 a big Sankara Sthubhi at Adambakkam Sankaeamadam at chennai . It has Six Adisankara’s Vazhipattu Muraigal of 1.Kanappathiyam 2. Kowmaram 3.Sowram 4 saivam5. Vaishnavam.6.Devi Upachanai in the Adisankara Stubhi in three floors each floor of the Sthubhi has described Two Vazhupattu muraigal it also attracts all devotees from all over the country. This for your kind information. Thanking you. Regards. M.Mohan.(mmohan7354@gmail.com)

    • Really beautiful and serene place right next to inner ring road @ Adambakkam. There is a beautiful Adhishankara and his sishya statue of marble with Sri Adi Shankaracharya’s padhukais. Pradhosha pujai there is a sight to see. There is a old Adhyapaka swamy there, who resembles just like Maha Periyavaa. There is also a beautiful painting of Maha Periyava in his 40s. Though its in dilapidated condition – will send in the pictures I took from there in my mobile. The reason this mutt was built there was, when Mahaswami was touring Adambakkam, he has sat down at this place to meditate and informed the devotees there that this place was once a forest with many Thapasvees doing great thapas and there will be many temples coming up in this area.

      Thanks and regards,
      P.Vijay

  8. HARA HARA SHANKARA JAYA JAYA SHANKARA MAHA MAHA PERIYAVA THIRUVADIGALE SHARANAM

  9. While Sri Mahaperiyava has travelled all over India on foot, I am still searching for details of his visit to Kalady. Being the birthplace of Sri Adi Shankaracharya himself, I am sure Sri Mahaperiyava would have visited Kalady at least during the few trips HE had made to Kerala.
    Can members enlighten me with details of HIS Kalady visit?
    Thanks

    • As far as I remember,Mahaperiyava did not visit Kalady,but played a significant role in commissioning Nadukavaeri Srnivasa sastri in locating Kalady as mentioned by Sri.Janardanendra Sarasvathy

      • There is certainly some obvious mismatch in dates in Sri Sundar’s posting. When Kalady was located and the temples were consecrated sometime during the years 1907 to 1910,Sri Mahaperiyava had just become the Peetadhipathi .
        It is not possible for him to have commissioned Sastrigal as Mr Sundar seems to have heard from a Swamiji.
        It is obvious that the Swamiji’s statement cannot be true.

  10. great details about temples of Sri Adi Shankara build by Kamakoti Peetam. Pranams to Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal.

    Periyava Saranam

  11. Had the good fortune of being in Pudhu Periava’s presence during the Kalady Keerthi Sthambam Consecration.

    Just need a small clarification – the article starts by saying Adi Shankara was born in 509 AD. Should’nt it be 509 BC? (or thereabouts) because the concluding paragraph says ‘After 2500 years, HH Sri Jayendra Saraswathy Swamigal, the 69th Peetathipathy of Kanchi Math re-enacted the visit to ‘Mount Kailash’ and also had installed a Vigraha of “Sri Adhisankarar” at Mount Kailash.’

    Whether its AD or BC, whether Sri Adi Sankara was born more than 2500 years ago or later, His Teachings will ever be relevant, but since the Age of Sankara is a hotly contested issue I thought I should bring this to your notice

  12. I am delighted to learn about HH Sri Pudhu Periyava’s establishing a Vigraha for Sri Aadhishanakar in Mout Kailash – HH Sri Pudhu Periyava’s bhakthi towards His Gurus is simply unparalleled and His untiring efforts to promote Sanatana Dharma against and from so many hostile adharmic forces are what history would continue to marvel about for several centuries to come. What HH Sri Pudhu Periyava has achieved is beyond anyone’s comprehension.

    Jaya Jaya Shankara! Hara Hara Shankara!

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