– By Dr. A Pranesh
Sri Vanadurga temple is situated about 5 kms from Sringeri temple. It is in the midst of forest hence the name Vanadurga. One has to take a left turn at Sringeri bus stand and drive for 4 kms to reach this temple. Local autos are also available for commuting.
Sri Adi Shankaracharya himself consecrated the temple of Sri Durgamba to the south of Sringeri.
When there was a Plague epidemic, Sri Sri Sacchidananda Shiva Abhinava Narasimha Bharati prayed to Durga, it is believed that there were no cases of Plague at all.
This temple is in typical style of Malnad architecture with wood and tiles. It has a Navaranga and Nandi facing Sanctum. While in Antyarala, Idols of Ganesha and Subramanya are installed. In the Sanctum santorum (garbha griha), the beautiful devi Vanadurga is installed by Adi Shankaracharya. Behind the devi, there is a Shiva linga, believed to be udbhava linga by name Mallikarjuna. Origin and period of this linga is not known. It seems the linga was there before Adi Shankaracharya’ s arrival.