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Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Swamy Temple, Karnataka

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Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Swamy Temple, Karnataka
Dharmasthala is perhaps the most highly revered and best known temple town in Karnataka. This holy place is the home of the Sri Manjunatheshwara Temple, where devotees of all castes and creeds visit. The temple is devoted to Shiva and houses a lingam of gold. The temple is unusual in that it is run by a Jain administration and poojas are conducted by Madhva priests. Everyone enjoys the generous hospitality without any distinction of caste, creed or class whatsoever. On an average the flow of pilgrims is about 10,000 people a day. A mechanised and clean kitchen provides free food for all pilgrims. There are guest houses with modern amenities.The temple is unique example of unity in diversity.

Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Swamy Temple, Karnataka
The word "Dharma" traditionally means religion, ritual, duty, righteousness, and alms. It also implies justice, truthfulness, freedom from fear, faith, solace, fulfillment and peace.

Dharmasthala is the perfect embodiment of the word "Dharma" for it displays every shade of meaning with which the word is imbued. The greatness of Dharmasthala, however is the fact that it has added an active element to "Dharma", such that it touches the lives of people with a transformational directness that is unique.

To those that come for worship, Dharmasthala represents religious tolerance wherein caste, creed and faith of pilgrims are no bars. For here, the Jain Theerthankara is worshipped on the same consecrated grounds as the native Daivas and Lord Manjunatha (Lord Shiva). The priests are Vaishnavite Brahmins and the guardian of the temple is Heggade, a Jain by faith. Altogether forming a confluence of faiths that harmonize in belief of the Omnipotent.

Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Swamy Temple, Karnataka
To those that come for justice, Dharmasthala is the scale that does not tip in favour of a lawyer's glib tongue. Here, without any legal formality or argument the Heggade dispenses justice, acting in the tradition of his ancestral role as the Heggade and representing the presiding deities.

To those that come in need, Dharmasthala is an Oasis, where succour, solace and hope abound in the serenity of the temple and in the free hostelries that provide food and shelter.

And to those that come in curiosity, Dharmasthala is a miracle of paradoxes. Here different faiths co-exist in harmony just as traditions make room for experimental services, High or low, rich or poor, devout or atheist, at Dharmasthala all are equal.


Dharmasthala has not been content being a source of inspiration to the devout. Having expanded the meaning of Dharma to encompasses the advancement of society at large, it has played an active role in bettering the lives of communities far and wide. Its initiatives have aimed at renewing the Paid and hope within, so that people may be helped to help themselves.

Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Swamy Temple, Karnataka
800 Years ago, Dharmasthala was known as Kuduma in Mallarmadi, then a village in Belthangady. Here lived the Jain Chieftain Birmanna Pergade and his wife Ammu Ballathi in a house called Nelliadi Beedu. Simple, pious and affectionate people, the pergade family was known for its generosity and hospitality to all.

According to the legend, the guardian angels of Dharma assumed human forms and arrived at pergade's abode in search of a place where Dharma was being practiced and could be continued and propogated. As was their habit, the pergade couple hosted these illustrious visitors with all their wherewithal, and great respect. Pleased by their sincerity and generosity, that night the Dharma Daivas appeared in the dreams of Pergade. They explained the purpose of thier visit to him and instructed him to vacate his house for the worship of the Daivas and dedicate his life to the propogation of Dharma.

Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Swamy Temple, Karnataka
Asking no questions, the Pergade built himself another house and began worshipping the Daivas at Nelliadi Beedu. This continues even today.

As they continued their worship and their practice of hospitality, the Dharma Daivas again appeared before the Pergade to build separate shrines to consecrate the four Daivas - Kalarahu, Kalarkayi, Kumaraswamy and Kanyakumari. Also, Pergade was instructed to choose two persons of noble birth to act as the Daivas's oracles and four worthy persons to assist Pergade in his duties as the Executive Head of the Shrines. In return, the Daivas promised Pergade protection for his family, abundance of charity and renown for the ' Kshetra '.

Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Swamy Temple, Karnataka
Pergade, as desired, built the shrines and invited Brahmin priests to perform the rituals. These priests requested Pergade to also install a Shivalinga beside the native Daivas. The Daivas then sent their vassal Annappa Swamy to procure the linga of Lord Manjunatheshwara from kadri, near Mangalore. Subsequently, the Manjunatha temple was built around the linga.

Around the 16th Century, Devaraja Heggade invited Shri Vadiraja Swami of Udupi to visit the place. The Swamiji gladly came but refused to accept Bhiksha (food offering) because the idol of lord Manjunatha had not been consecrated according to vedic rites. Shri Heggade then requested the Swamiji to reconsecrate the Shivalinga himself. Pleased by the observance of the vedic rites and Heggade's charity to all, the Swamiji named the place Dharmasthala, the abode of religion and charity. Thus, the roots of charity and religious tolerance established by the Pergades 600 Years ago have been nurtured and strenthened by the Heggade family, Heggade being a derivative from Pergade. And today's Dharmasthala blossoms with the fruit of this selfless dedication.

Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Swamy Temple, Karnataka

Darshan & Seva Details

Devotees may avail Darshan, Pooja & Prasadam from 6-30 a.m. to 2-00 p.m.
Abhisheka, Archane will be held from 8-30 a.m. to 11-00 a.m.
At night Darshan, Pooja will be held from 7-00 p.m. to 8-30 p.m.

Thulabhara Seva can be offered at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 Noon on any day. (Materials supplied by Temple only)

Code of Conduct:

1. As per the custom of Kshetra,

◦Men should remove shirt and Banian while entering the Sanctum Sanctorum.

◦Men with half pant and Ladies with nighty are not allowed inside the Temple for Darshan.

◦Children below the age of 2 years are not allowed inside the sanctum sanctorum.

2. Bags are not allowed inside the Temple for security purpose.

3. Please co-operate with Temple Staff if they check your bags for security purpose.

4. Take care of your valuable like purse, ornaments, Mobile phone, etc.

5. Don't put coins or tie rings with tag anywhere in the Temple by superstitious belief. (false belief)

6. No eatables allowed inside the Temple.

7. Smoking and spitting is prohibited in the Temple premises.

8. Maintain cleanliness the Temple premises and Q-complex.

9. Please follow the Temple custom and co-operate.

10. There may be variation in Darshan, Meals (Annadana Prasadam) and accommodation in choultries on crowded days. Please co-operate.

11. Use of Mobile phones in the Temple premises is prohibited.

Places to visit in Dharmastala:

Main Temple

* Shri Manjunatheshwara
* Shri Ammanavaru
* Four Dharma Daivas: Kalarahu, Kalarkaayi, Kanyakumari and Kumaraswamy
* Lord Ganapathi
* Lord Annappa

Other places to visit at Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala

* Vintage car museum
* Manjusha vastu sangrahalaya (museum)
* Pushpa vatika
* Vasantha Mahal – Cultural Hall

Manjusha Museum
This Museum near the Temple has a antique collection of swords, armory even old cameras etc. Collection of Temple chariots of various temples of Karnataka are exhibited outside the museum in a shed.

Car Museum: Little away from the main temple, is a car museum with various vintage cars, all in running condition. Among are a Daimler Double Six(1949) owned by King of Mysore Sri Jayachamarejendra Wodeyer. Timmings: 9 am – 1 pm and 2.30 pm – 6 pm.

How to reach:

By Road : Dharmasthala is located approximately 300 kms from Bangalore, and is connected by National Highway. It is about 65 Kms from the port town of Mangalore

Nearest Railway Station : Mangalore.
Nearest airport : Mangalore & Bangalore

Best Season to visit : October to February, June to September

Address of the Temple:

Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatha temple
Dharmasthala – 574 216
Belthangady Taluk
South Kanara District
Karnataka State – INDIA
Phone : 08256-317121, 08256-317123, 08256-317124, 08256-317141

Accommodation is available only in the temple guest houses and dharmashalas. Rooms are allocated through a computer for a stay of 24 hrs only. Extension is possible on request.

Few words from Dr. Sri Anand Guruji :

To get rid of Heart related problems or any health issues offer Thulabhara Seva with Salt & Wheat in this temple.


  1. I am one of the devotee, need justices , shall I meet or ask justices with hegde sir before manjunatha swamy


  3. I need justice regarding property matter. How to seek justice here? Please provide me the procedure to seek justice from Veerendra heggade.

  4. Dharmasthala is indeed Heaven on Earth . Humble Salutations to Sri Veerendra Hegde for such a Great humanitarian services he is rendering at Sri Kshetra. Lord Manjunatha specially created this Great man to serve Humanity.May Lord Manjunatha shower his blessings on all of us & let us all Support Sri Hegde in all his endevours. SADASHIV D HULGUR, Journalist, Bangalore

  5. Dharmasthala is indeed Heaven on Earth.Lord Manjunatha is Blessing Everybody here. Lord has specialy Created Sri Veerendra Hegde to serve Mankind.Sri Hegde has transformed this kshetra into a Heavenly abode for everyone.Lord Manjunatha will shower his blessings on everyone who surrenders to him. Sri Veerendra Hegde's social service is marvellous. May Lord Manjunatha bless him with good strength, health & Wealth.

  6. can people of different religion come here for prayers or justice?