It is believed that this town was named after Rishyashringa, who figures in the famous Indian mythological epic Ramayana as the chief priest at the sacrifice of King Dasaratha. Sringeri, where the founder of the Advaita philosophy, Adi Shankara, discovered a cobra sheltering a frog from the torrential rains, has its spiritual centre on the banks of the Tungabhodra river in the evergreen forests of Chikmagalur. The Vidyashankara Temple located here is an architectural marvel – its 12 sculpted pillars, each representing a sign of the zodiac, are placed so that the sun’s rays fall on each successively in the order of the solar months. The temple also has a paved courtyard. A second temple, built in the Dravidian style, is dedicated to Sharada, the goddess of learning. The Tungabhadra river flows past the temple where devotees congregate to feed the sacred fish.