Location: Near Kochi
Highlights: it is the birthplace of Adi Sankaracharya
How to Reach: You can reach Kalady in Kerala by rail, road or
airways. Nedumbassery Airport is about 6 km from here and Angamali
railway station is situated 10 km away.
Kaladi village, located near Cochin city of Kerala, is a famous pilgrim
center cum tourist spot. It was once an insignificant little village,
but it gained importance after Adi Sankaracharya, the great Indian
philosopher of the 8th century AD, was born there. He was the only son
of Sivaguru and Aryamba, a Kerala Brahmin couple. It is said he was only
16 when completed the study of the Vedas. Adi Sankaracharya evolved the
philosophy of Advaita, one of the two principals of the Vedantic school
asserting the sole existence of Brahma.
At Kalady, there are two shrines dedicated to the memory of the Adi
Sankaracharya. While one shrine is dedicated to him as Dakshinamoorthi,
the other shrine is dedicated to Goddess Sharada and is looked after by
the Sringeri Mutt. The Sringeri Mutt is believed to be situated exactly
at the same place where Adi Shankaracharya house once stood. To the left
of the entrance of the temple is a black pole, which was meant to mark
the exact spot where Adi Sankaracharya was born.
Sharing the same premises is another spot called Brindavan, where
Shankaracharya's mother Aryamba was cremated. Shri Krishna temple
located nearby used to be the family temple of Adi Shankaracharya.
Infact, around this venue there are many sites associated with the life
of the Shankaracharya. For instance, there is the famous bathing ghat
called the Crocodile Ghat outside the temple. It is said the Crocodile
Ghat is the place where the young Shankaracharya once got caught by a
His mother was against his taking the Sanyasa and so he utilized this
opportunity to coax her to give him permission to take up Sanyasa or
renouncement. When she said yes to Sanyasa, the crocodile let him go
easily. About 45 m away from this Mutt is the nine-storey Sri Adi
Shankaracharya Keerthi Sthamba Mandapa, which bears illustrations
narrating the entire life story of the great Adi Shankaracharya.
The village of Kalady, meaning 'Feet', was earlier known as "Sasalam."
There is a touching story explaining how Kalady got the new name. The
story goes somewhat like this. One day, Aryadevi, the widowed mother of
little Shankaracharya fainted while walking the 3 km stretch for her
daily bath in the Poorna River. Feeling helpless, Shankaracharya asked
his favorite deity Lord Krishna for assistance.
The Lord blessed him saying, "The River will flow where your
little feet marks." Young Shankaracharya marked his little feet on
the ground and the Kerala's mighty Periyar River took its new course
from where his feet were marked. From that time onwards, the place came
to be known as 'Kalady. Thus, the term 'Kalady' signifies the love of an
innocent child for his beloved mother and the blessings of Lord Krishna.
Kalady is the place where Adi Sankaracharya was born. Read to know about Kaladi near Cochin/Kochi city of Kerala.