The Vidyashankara temple, Sringeri, was built in memory of Guru Vidyashankara or Vidyathirtha by Vidyaranya, with the aid of the Vijayanagar rulers in the 14th century. The golden image of Sarada was also installed then at the Sarada temple. The temple also houses ruby images of Venugopala and Srinivasa and a Nandi made out of a large pearl. Several inscriptions are seen in the temple, describing contributions made by the Vijayanagar emperors.
This temple combines the Hoysala and Dravida architectural features. It stands on a richly sculptured basement. There are six doorways leading into the temple. The twelve pillars in the mandapam are named the Raasi pillars, and are so arranged that the sun’s rays fall on each of them, in the order of the solar months.
12 pillars surrounds the mandapa with figures of the 12 signs of the zodiac. They are built in such a creative way, the rays of the sun fall on each pillar in the sequential order of the 12 months of Hindu calendar!