Shankara Mutt History
The importance of Koodli and the tale behind it being a sacred place is clearly mentioned in the puranas. The legend goes that Srimanshankara Bhagavatpada (famously known as Adi Shankara) defeated Mandana Mishra and his wife Ubhayabharati in a debate. Mandana Mishra was a Hindu Philosopher and believed to be the incarnation of Brahma, while his wife Ubhayabharati was said to be the incarnation of Goddess Saraswati. As per the terms of the debate, the loser should give up the worldly pleasures and be the disciple of the winner. As Mandana Mishra was the defeatist, he had to renounce the world and become the disciple of Sri Adi Shankara. Mandana Mishra was renamed as Sureshwaracharya. His wife Ubhayabharati decided to return to her world since her husband renounced the worldly pleasures.
At that moment Sri Shankara, who was aware that she was an incarnation of Goddess Saraswati prayed her to settle down at the proposed Dakshinamnaya Peetham in south. She agreed to his request on condition that she would follow Sri Shankara, but if he looks back would settle down at the very place. After some time, the Acharya did not hear the sounds of the anklet bells of Ubhayabharati, and he looked back with anxiety. The next moment Ubhayabharati stood at that place as per the terms of agreement. Since then she has settled down in that very place and is being worshipped as Sharada Devi.