Sreemutt Hariharapura has been a prominent Adi Shankaracharya Dharmapeetham, propagating and practicing Sanatana Dharma, under the divine leadership of Peethadipatis. Sreemutt Hariharapura claims a glorious history and heritage with an esteemed Guruparampara. This Dharmapeetham is directly established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya. The Jagadgurus of this Dharmapeetham has been great Tapasvis, who transformed the lives of many people, by spreading the Dharma in society. Srimutt Hariharapura is presently headed by its 25th Peetadhipathi – Srimad Jagatguru Shankaracharya SriSri Swayamprakasha Satchidananda Saraswati Mahaswamiji.
History: Harihararaya, the second ruler of the Vijayanagara Empire ruled an Agrahara, renovated and was named after him Agrahara of Hariharapura. Harihararaya and other rulers of the Vijayanagara Empire had been very much devoted to the Shankaracharya Dharmapeetham of Hariharapura. As an expression of their reverence, they donated many villages and lands to Srimutt. From the inscriptions, it appeared to have been an Agrahara established by Sambanna Wodeyar in 1418. The religious formation of Sringeri also intimately connected with the foundation of the Vijayanagara Empire and Hariharapura.
Importance of Place: Ancient Kshetras populated by ascetics and sages are highly praised and respected in the Vedic tradition. Hariharapura is one such ancient kshetra located in the Chikmagalur district in Karnataka. The Tunga river flowing in the north direction (Uttaravahini) at Hariharapura. At holy places (Kshetram) where rivers flow in the north direction are considered as ‘Siddha Kshetras’, performing any kind of spiritual practice improves spiritual and material lives. In myths (Purana) and various Vedic texts, seers praised Hariharapura as one such Siddha Kshetra, the great pilgrimage which takes out one’s sins.
According to Skanda Puran, Sahyadri Kand Hariharapura was the place where Daksh Maha Yagna took place, so it addresses Hariharapura as ”Daksharama”. As per the historical details, an ancient temple of the self-manifested idol of Lord Shiva, known as ”Swayambhu Dakshahara Someshwara” is there. At that time Hariharapura is called ”Kapalam”. Thus, being the sacred land where Lord Shiva emerged as Yagna Purusha from Homa Kunda of Daksha Prajapati, Hariharapura is regarded as Yagna Bhoomi, a very pious place to perform Homa or Yagna.
According to scriptures, Agastya Maharshi after pacifying Vindhyachala moved to the south and done penance at many holy places. When he came to this holy place Hariharapura performed severe penance for Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy deity and Salagrama. Lord appeared before him for his devotion and blessed him. Since then Hariharapura is a prominent Lakshmi Narasimha Kshetra. Thus, having been the Tapovanam of Agastya Maharshi, Hariharapura is praised as Tapo Bhoomi also.
In addition to this upon the arrival of Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya, he inspired by the divine vibrations of this place, Sri Adi Shankaracharya sanctified the idol of Sri Sharada Parameshwari and installed Sri Chakra. After this Sri Adi Shankaracharya established Dharmapeetham at this Kshetram. Thus, renowned this place as Sri Adi Shankaracharya Sri Sharada Lakshmi Narasimha Peetham. During this time, a young yogi Sri Krishna Yogendra, who is gifted with divine qualities like self-control, peace, acquired mastery over all senses, and compassion, and an efficient scholar at Vedasashtras.
Sri Adi Shankaracharya saw this young yogi, who is deeply absorbed in meditation, immensely pleased with his devotion Sri Adi Shankaracharya blessed him and explained to him the greatness and significance of this holy Daksharama Kshetram (Hariharapura). Sri Adi Shankaracharya gave young yogi Sri Krishna Yogendra, Mantra Deeksha and directed him to adore and worship Goddess Sharadambika.
Other places to see at Hariharapura was a four-hundred-year-old temple of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu located across each other on the banks of the river Tunga. Sri Someshwara Swamy temple has complex carvings depicting the entire Ramayana on its three sides. 110-year-old hanging pedestrian bridge built across the river Tunga is a unique cable suspension bridge. In the lush greenery of Western Ghats Arogyaniketana Ayurvedic Ashram is also located in Hariharapura. At a time when Ayurveda and its benefits are commercialized and innocent people are cheated in the name of massage centers, this ashram strives to guide people with pure Ayurveda to develop a healthy body and mind and understand the real Ayurvedic principles.