Shankara Samadhi in ThrissurSituated along the coastline of the Arabian Sea, Thrissur, or Trichur, is a prominent district located in the central region of Kerala. With its rich legacy of cultural and historical wealth, Thrissur has earned itself the famed title of Kerala’s Cultural Capital. Scenic beaches, pilgrim spots, Hindu temples and various forms of natural beauty draw a lot of tourist attention to Thrissur.
Historical Background of Shankara SamadhiShri Adi Shankaracharya was early medieval India’s most well-known and influential religious commentator and philosopher.
Adi Shankara or the first Shankara, is credited with upholding ingenious Hindu values in times of utter religious chaos and bigotry in India. Born in 789 A.D. in a village on the banks of the River Periyar in Kerala, legend has it that Adi Shankara’s parents, having been without a progeny for many years, decided to offer prayers at Thissur’s Vadakkunnathan Temple in hopes of having their desire for a child fulfilled. It was then that Lord Shiva appeared to both husband and wife in their sleep, and promised to grant them a son who would either have many years to live, but will remain an average commoner, or a son who would perpetuate his name in history, but not live long. Both the parents chose the latter; and a son was born to them, whom they called Shankara (Sanskrit, "bestower of happiness"), in honour of Shiva.
Adi Shankara lived his short but valuable life fulfilling the prophecy with which he was born. His remarkable reinterpretations of Hindu scriptures, especially of the Upanishads or Vedanta, had a profound influence on the growth of Hinduism as superior and ‘cleansed’ religion of the subcontinent. Shankara advocated the greatness of the Vedas and was the most famous Advaita philosopher who restored the Vedic Dharma and philosophy of “Advaita Vedanta” to its former purity and glory.
At the age of 32, Shankaracharya, after completing his life’s mission of propagating the Advaita philosophy of righteousness and non-duality, decided to take his Samadhi (a voluntary process of transcending bodily life by supremely spiritual beings). According to Keraliya Shankaravijaya lore, he chose his Samadhi place to be Thrissur, where he’s also believed to have attained his Mukti in 820 A.D.
At his Samadhi, today stands a magnificent temple housing a most enchanting idol made in white marble of the sage in its vicinity.
The Samadhi and the temple are surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape, with an atmosphere of lush green and serenity. It is frequented by Hindu Pilgrims, for whom the Samadhi is a sacred place.
Interesting Facts about Shankara SamadhiA popular legend about Adi Shankar’s Mukti and Samadhi, contrary to Keraliya tradition, states that he travelled to Kedarnath and Badrinath in the Himalayas towards the end of his life, and attained his videha mukti ("freedom from embodiment") there. There is also a samadhi mandir dedicated to Adi Shankara behind the Kedarnath temple.
How to Reach Shankara Samadhi in ThrissurRailways: The nearest railway station to Shankara Samadhi is Palakkad train Station Junction which is 11 kms away from Shankara Samadhi.
Airways: The Cochin International Airport located at a distance of 55 km south is the nearest airport to Thrissur. Alternatively, at 80 Kms North of Thrissur, one can choose to land at the The Kozhikode/Calicut airport.
Taxi: Thrissur is well-connected via roads. Taxis to the Samadhi can be hailed from the airport and railway station.
Bus: Regular buses ply for Thrissur from Kochi and Kottayam.