Goddess Sharadamba, the presiding deity of Sringeri, was installed by Adi Shankaracharya as a murti made of sandalwood over the Sri Chakra that he had carved on a rock. The origin of this temple is traced to a debate between Sri Shankaracharya and Bharati (considered an incarnation of Goddess Saraswati), wife of Mandana Misra. When Sri Shankara answered all Her questions, She granted a boon that She would reside at Sringeri. Originally an unpretentious shrine with a thatched roof, the ancient temple of Sri Sharada was replaced with a golden idol and tiled roof by Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha and Sri Vidyaranya.
Here is a melodious song on Sri Sharada composed by the current Acharya of Sringeri, Sri Bharathi Tirtha Mahaswamigal, and tuned/sung by my father, H. S. Thyagaraja.
The Saradamba temple is constructed in the modern Dravidian style, with a gopuram at the entrance, and broad covered walkways for pradakshina. The beautiful image of the Goddess can be seen from the distance as one enters the temple from the main gopuram. She is seated on the Sriyantra on a golden throne, inside the garbha-griha, which is made of polished granite. In front of Her Sanctum is a spacious hall supported by pillars with exquisite carvings on them. Within the temple of Saradamba is kept the Vyakhyana Simhasanam, which represents the sarvajna-pitha, the throne of transcendental wisdom. The Acharyas ascend this simhasanam when they are first initiated into sannyasa, when they take charge at the matha, and also on ceremonial occasions like the nine days of the Navaratri festival.Sangita Samrajya, a beautiful song in the ragam Mohanakalyani, is composed by Bangalore Ramamurti in praise of Goddess Sharadambal. Here is an old rendition of this song by Sri Maharajapuram Santhanam.
Sharada is Guru Rupini – she is of the form of the guru. Through the person of the Jagadguru she dispenses her grace. In the Prapancasara, Adi Sankaracharya describes Goddess Sarada as Brahmavidya, which is identical to the Incommensurable Brahman Itself. She transcends the three qualified conceptions, known as Trimurtis, and their corresponding Saktis known as Saraswati, Lakshmi and Iswari. She encompasses all these. This accounts for the fact that Sri Sarada reigns alone in the temple at Sringeri. She is also called Sarada Parameswari and pooja is done reciting the Lalithasahasranamam. The Sarada Navaratri festival is specially devoted to the Mother Goddess throughout India. She is worshipped as Durga, Lakshmi and Sarasvati. The festival occurs in the beginning of the autumn season (Sarad ritu) and is therefore special for Goddess Sarada.
Here is my rendition of ShringapurAdhIshwari, another beautiful song in praise of Sri Sharada as the Mother of all who resides in Shringapura (Sringeri), composed by Sri Padmacharan.
The present Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal dedicated a Rs 1 crore golden chariot at Sringeri to Goddess Sharada in 1999. On the event of golden jubilee Vardhanthi (Birthday) of the Jagadguru, golden doors worth rupees twenty four lakh were installed and inaugurated at the temple entrance. The gold covering to the door has eight panels with the figures of Ashta Lakshmi inscribed on them.
On the Chaitra Shukla Poornima day, special Puja is performed in Sri Sharada Shrine. On Vaisaka Krishna Prathipath Mahabhishekam and special pooja is done for Sri Sharadambal. On Karthika Poornima day Deepotsava is conducted in Sri Sharada Shrine. On the Magha Shukla Panchami, Lalitha Panchami is celebrated with special Puja performed to Sri Sharadamba by the Jagadguru. On the Magha Krishna Dwithiya special Puja to Sri Sharadamba is performed by the Jagadguru. On the Magha Trithiya Sri Sharadamba Rathotsava is celebrated.
1) Sri Sharadamba Temple
2) Sringeri Sharadambal
4) Destination of the Month - Sringeri
5) Wikipedia - Sringeri