‘If Tipu Sultan was not there to the rescue of the Peeta, it would not have existed now’
CHIKKAMAGALURU: The credit of re-consecration of Sharada idol made of sandalwood, the main deity at Sharada Peeta, Sringeri of Chikkamagaluru goes to ruler of Mysore Kingdom Tipu Sultan and the ruler’s contributions to the Peeta are well documented.
Kalkuni Vittal Hegde who has researched on Sharada Peeta threw light on the history saying, “If Tipu Sultan was not there to the rescue of the Peeta, it would not have existed now.”
Tracing the history, he said, the Peeta came under attack from Maratha army when Sachidananda Bharathi was the pontiff. The Maratha army which was on looting spree reached Sringeri and removed the idol of Sharada besides decamping with wealth from the Peeta. Owing to attack from Marathas, Sachidananda Bharathi went hiding at Karkala in Udupi.
Continuing, Mr Hegde said, when the attack took place, Tipu Sultan was waging a battle at Kannur in Kerala and on learning about the raid from the Marathas, he sent an army to Sringeri to drive away Marathas. The army was stationed at Sringeri to offer protection from further attacks.
According to Mr Hegde, Tipu Sultan brought back Sachidananda Bharathi again to Sringeri and offered donations in huge quantities and got consecrated a sandalwood idol of Sharada. He also gave away silver palanquin, a spatika linga which is still worshipped by serving pontiff of the Peeta.
“It would come into crores of rupees, if the donations made by Tipu Sultan are valued now,” he told DC adding that Sringeri Peeta has preserved 23 letters from the office of Tipu Sultan to the Peeta.
Though, there are no historical documents to prove that the main idol of Sharada at Sringeri was consecrated by Adi Guru Shankaracharya, there are documents to show that the main idol was re-consecrated by Tipu Sultan at Sringeri, said the researcher.
While a historian in Mysuru admitted that the donations to Sringeri Peeta were made by Tipu Sultan, he gave credit to Poornaiah, who was the then Dewan of Mysore State.
The historian said that Tipu did not make contributions to the Peeta on his own but on the advice of Poornaiah. On the claims of the historian, Mr Hegde said Poornaiah and Sringeri Peeta did not enjoy good rapport.