I came here while reading Ramachandra Guha's India after Gandhi book. In this book I came across a claim that Adi Shankaracharya was defeated in debate by a Kashmiri panditani (priestess). How much of it is true? Is there any recorded history about this incident?
Page no 77,chapter:a valley bloody and beautiful,title: India after Gandhi.
On the first anniversary of Indian independence Abdullah sent a message to the leading Madras weekly, Swatantra. The message sought to unite north and south, mountain and coast, and, above all, Kashmir and India. It deserves to be printed in full:
Through the pages of SWATANTRA I wish to send my message of fraternity to the people of the south. Farback in the annals of India the south and north met in the land of Kashmir. The great Shankaracharya came to Kashmir to spread his dynamic philosophy but here he was defeated in argument by a Panditani. This gave rise to the peculiar philosophy of Kashmir – Shaivism. A memorial to the great Shankaracharya in Kashmir stands prominent on the top of the Shankaracharya Hill in Srinagar. It is a temple containing the Murti of Shiva. More recently it was given to a southerner to take the case of Kashmir to the United Nations and, as the whole of India knows, with the doggedness and tenacity that is sousualto the southerner, he defended Kashmir. We in Kashmir expect that we shall continue to receive support and sympathy from the people of the south and that some day when we describe the extent of our country we shall use the phrase ‘from Kashmir to Cape Comorin’.