Dharmasthala- A very legendry historic temple built 8 centuries ago
Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala, the land of piety and righteousness, is a very renowned religious landmark of South India with a history as old as 800 years. The chief deity of this spiritual adobe is Manjunatheshwara, who has taken the form of a Shivlinga. This Shiva temple is beseeched by Vaishnava priests and administered by Jain descendants. In this temple, Lord Manjunatheshwara is being worshiped in a very phenomenal and exceptionally inordinate manner.
Dharmasthala, or the adobe of righteousness, is also considered the adobe of Dharma, and is a quintessence of faith and humanity. As the name suggests, this place represents dharma in its truest sense and also means righteousness. And so it is the embodiment of the world’s purest and most divine emotions in spite of one’s religion, cast, or creed.
Overview- Dharmasthala Temple
The Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is of a very unique nature. Besides the idol of Manjunatheshwara, there are idols of other deities as well, such as Dharma Daivas, Ammanavaru, or Shakti, along with the four guardian spirits of Lord Dharma such as Kalarahu, Kalarkayi, Kumaraswamy, and Kanyakumari.
History- Dharmasthala Temple-
A very fascinating story is associated with this temple. The area where this temple has been built was ideally located in a small village called Kuduma in Belthangady. A very famous Jain Bunt Chief with the name Birmanna Pergade, resided in this house Nelliadi Beedu, along with his wife, Ammu Ballalthi.
As we recall the legend, one fine day, the four guardian angels of Lord Dharma masked themselves as humans and entered their house. They were on the quest of Dharma propagating and preaching and received a very warm and kind welcome from them. They requested them to vacate their house which the couple accepted. After this they decided to make separate shrines for the four Daivas. Most of the communication took place in dreams after which the dreams turned into reality.
After the four shrines were constructed by Pergade, Brahman priests were invited in to perform proper rituals. The priests asked Pergade to build a Shivalinga near the Daivas. Later on, the temple was created around these significant structures.
Family History- Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple-
The couple who was involved in building up the temple, Birmanna Pergade and Ammu Ballalthi, are the hereditary trustees of the temple. Various designations or positions are assigned to the different members of the family. The eldest member acts as the Dharma Adhikari or Chief Administrator and earns the title of the Heggade. He is mainly entrusted with the duty of resolving all disputes whether civil or criminal cases. This has been going on for the past twenty years now. However, the current person who has been assigned to this position is Veerendra Heggade.
Code of Conduct – Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple
While you visit this temple, all devotees are expected to conform to certain rules, maintain dignity, and pay complete respect to the sentiments associated with the temple. Men are not supposed to wear half pants and they are expected to remove their shirts and vest before entering the temple. While women are supposed to wear proper clothes.
Children below 2 years are not allowed to enter the Sanctum Sanctorum. But the good thing is that the temple grants permission to a few activities such as distributing free medicines or aushadhana, offering food or annadana, providing or helping with education or vidyadana, and helping the poor and needy people or abhayadana.
Things To Do – Dharmasthala Temple-
- Climbing a Famous Hill-
Your trip will be incomplete if you miss out on climbing up to the Badinede Betta Hilltop. The most famous shrines and the main dwelling place of the four Dharma daivas are placed right on the top of the hill. Climbing up to this hilltop is worth it.
- Engaging in Festivals-
Several beautiful festivals are celebrated with joy throughout the year. Ganesha festivals, Navarathri, and Diwali are some of the most revered ones. During the summer of April, Pattanajae Jatre is celebrated with great joy just before the start of the monsoons. Also, a major festival that is celebrated just before the end of the year is the Festival of Lights or Laksha Deepothsava. This festival also rejoiced with numerous cultural activities.
- Visiting The Museum-
A very recognized museum called the Manjusha Museum is situated close to the temple and is an eminent storehouse of armors, old cameras, swords, and vintage cars from the famous collection of Sri Veerendra Heggade, and many more such things.
How to reach Dharmasthala Temple?
The Dharmasthala Temple can be reached easily from the different modes of transport:
Dharmasthala is approximately 300 km from Bangalore and almost 65 km from Mangalore. Buses are very frequent on these routes and traveling to Dharmasthala becomes very easy.
Mangalore Railway Station is the closest to the temple. Trains move from Mangalore to Bangalore railway station as well. So traveling between the two cities is also quite comfortable and not very time-consuming.
The closest airport to the temple is that of Mangalore which is almost 60 km away. Also, Kempegowda International Airport is 300 km away from the temple.
Quick Facts about the Temple-
Main Deity– Lord Shiva
Entry Fee– Free
Temple Timings– 6:30 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 8:30 pm
Best Time to Visit– Between October and February
Address– Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala, Dakshina Kannada, Dharmasthala- 574216