Inspiring Dharmasthala Temple, India

Dharmasthala Temple
Deepothsava.Dharmasthala Shiva temple.
Among the Hindu temples of Kanataka, Dharmasthala Shiva temple is a well known  one. It is located on the banks of the  Nethravathi River  in  the Belthangadi taluk of the Dakshina Kannada district and  is an important tourist center for the Hindus. The Shiva temple  is dedicated  to  Manjunatha and the other shrines include  Ammanavaru, Chandranath and the Dharma Daivas (guardian spirits of Dharma) namely  Kalarahu, Kalarkayi, Kumaraswamy and Kanyakumari.
Dharmasthala Temple, Brahma Ratha.
The most astonishing feature of this famous temple is its unique administration with respect to pooja protocols  and other temple activities, which is unusual  and one can hardly find in other Hindu temples in India. Here the Madhvas of Vaishnava tradition - Brahmins of Karnataka take care of poojas of various deities, while the Jains take care of the administration. Literally Jains are the temple guardians and custodians.
Dharmasthala Temple, Karnataka
Here  800 years ago, it is believed,  the Shivalinga  was installed by Annappa Swamy,  Devas' vassal , who procured the Linga of Manjunatheshwara  from Kadri, near Mangalore.  Annappa Swamy, had some divine powers and the  divine task was carried out at the request of Jain Chieftain Birmanna Pergade, his wife Ammu Bellathi  and  Pergade, the local chieftains. They required the services of Brahmin priests to conduct temple rituals and wanted a Shivalinga installed.  Shri Vadiraja Swami of Udupi,  in the 16th century, visited this temple which had not been consecrated then and, on request from Shri Devaraja Heggade, the swamiji undertook consecration work  according to the vedic rites and Agama Sastras  and was much pleased that 
Shri Devaraja Heggade  bore all the expenses incurred for the holy ceremony.  He praised his munificence and charity and named the the place''Dharmasthala,'' the abode of religion and charity.  Dharmasthala represents religious tolerance and  selfless devotion to God. Dharmasthala is the perfect embodiment of the word "Dharma"  traditionally meaning religion, ritual, duty,  righteousness, and charity. It also implies justice, truthfulness, freedom from fear, faith, solace, fulfillment and peace.
Dinning hall, Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala.Karnataka,
Even after 800 years, several generations of the Heggade family serve the temple with same unalloyed enthusiasm, charity  and dedication to God and  devotees. This temple is simply  an embodiment of their utmost devotion to duty in the selfless service to God and the visitors.  There are guest houses with modern amenities and the rates are quite reasonable.
Sri Manjunatha Swamy Temple, Dharmasthala in Karnataka
Among the charities,  free food (Anna Dhanam) is a noble one. Unlike cash, Annadhanam has its advantage and the receiver can eat to his heart's content and not beyond the limit.  Every visitor to this temple is the most honored guest  and about 10,000 people a day visit this holy shrine. A mechanized  kitchen provides free and quality  food for all pilgrims irrespective of caste and creed. The Annadhana Mandapam (Hall) is one of the largest dinning halls in South India catering to 10,000 guests per day.

During Laksha Deepostsava, 100,000 oil lamps are lit with reverence and devotion. The temple trust runs numerous  educational  institutions  offering  professional courses in engineering, medicine, and dental sciences in Dharmasthala, Ujire, Mangalore, Udupi, Dharwad, Hassan, Mysore and other places of Karnataka state besides Patasala and Gurukula where Sanskrit and Yoga are taught.

Yet another noble charity  is the conduct of  annual mass marriages that are  held usually during April every yearAs of 2013, about 10,698 couples have
married on the temple premises  fully  arranged by Dharmasthala Temple authorities / committee. Another note-worthy fact is that the entire expenses on the wedding dress, Mangalsutra (in Tamil ''Taali'') and wedding feast for a limited number of the couple's guests are borne by the Kshetra or temple trust. Prior information and registration is a must for such wedding at the temple. Mass marriage concept - a noble one was started in earnest by Dharmadhikari D. Veerendra Heggade to avoid unnecessary expenditure and dowry system in 1972.

In addition,  the trust runs high quality modern  health care hospitals,  including dental and eye hospitals and cater to the people including villagers. The trust also runs Yoga center and Ayurvedic hospital for the treatment of some  diseases.


01. Lord Manjunatha is the main  deity  in the sanctum. The other deities are Ammavaru, Chandraprabha and Jain gods Kalarkayi, Kanyakumari, Kalarahu and Kumarasvami
 02. Creed, Faith and Caste  do not stand in the way for the pilgrims who come to worship at this holy place. The Dharmasthala Temple upholds religious tolerance and faith in God through services to people.

03. Dharmasthala Temple is one of the most important and revered  Shiva temples in India.

04. Taking a dip in the the Nethravathi river before praying at  Dharmasthala Temple, it is strongly believed, will  remove  all your sins committed wittingly or unwittingly.

05. Childless Devotees, visiting Ammanavaru Devi  after prayer at the shrine of  Manjunatha,  will be  blessed with a child.     

06  The Jain Theerthankara is worshipped on the same consecrated grounds as the native Daivas and Lord Manjunatha (Lord Shiva).