The misty mornings of Kudajadri cast a spell which exalts the mesmerizing beauty of the serene nature. The Chitramoola cave where Sankaracharya - the Indian philosopher and theologian of the 8th century - sat down and meditated, has an aura of mysticism around it. It is believed that Adi Sankara trod the treacherous forest pathways to reach the Chitramoola cave, around 4000 years ago. The spiritual leader placed a 'shiv ling' at this 20-meter-long rock cave and worshipped the divine. One can comfortably sit and lie down inside the 'peedam' (sacred seat where Sankaracharya meditated). As this opening is on the slope of the mountain, you wouldn’t be distracted by the heavy rains or sunlight. This pious mountain is where the holy river Souparnika originates.
The cave is almost 10 ft above ground level and a wooden ladder is fastened onto the rock. However one has to crawl through the rocky mountain a bit to get into the cave. The panoramic view of the Sringeri hills from the cave is breathtaking. As the mist subsides, the majestic beauty of the lush green nature and thick forests becomes clearly visible. The pristine waters of the Souparnika River gleam when the sun rays touch its surface.
It is the scintillating beauty of the surrounding nature which enhances the divinity of the place. Kumkum powder in deep crimson hue and garlands adorn the shiv ling and devotees usually leave 'prasad' (offering) from the nearby Devi temple at the foot of the holy stone. The Souparnika River originates as a little spring from the cracks on the rocks inside the cave. Devotees collect water from this holy spring which originates from the centre of knowledge and enlightenment.
The summit of the Kudajadri hills is crowned with a diadem of mist, though the comforting warmth of the sun rays could be enjoyed at the valley. Kudajadri gets its name from the 'kutaja' flowers which are seen abundantly here. The hill in the Western Ghats is in fact a natural store house of many ayurvedic herbs as well. The Karnataka government has declared the Kudajadri hills as a natural heritage site.
It is believed that Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom had accompanied Adi Sankara to the 'Sarvajna peetha' (spiritual seat) through the rough forest path. The dense forest is home to various species of flora and fauna. Wild animals like tiger and poisonous snakes like king cobra and python can be spotted here. However, the devotion for the learned one overcomes the fear in the hearts of the devotees. The rocks may be slippery at some places and one has to move forward by clearing the creepers and leaves. Finally, perched on top of the hill, 'Sarvajna peetha,' the temple of the 'all knowing,' can be spotted.