Sri Manjunatheshwara temple situated in Dharmasthala in South Kanara District attracts more than 10,000 visitors every day. It is a place with a culmination of people from all walks of life and faiths.
As intended by the four Daivas the head of Dharmasthala Shri Pergade built shrines for the four Daivas. He appointed priests to perform the rituals daily. These priests requested Shri Pergade to install a Shivalinga besides the Daivas. Annappa Swami bought the idol of Lord Manjunatheshwara from Kadri, near Mangalore. The idol was installed and the temple was built around this idol. Annappa Swami is also worshiped as the local god or hero: Annappa Panjurli.
In the 16th century, Shri Devaraja Heggade invited the Dwaitha saint Shri Vadiraja Swami of Udupi to visit the temple. The saint visited the temple and informed that he will not be able to accept the alms as the idol is not consecrated according to the vedic rites. On the request of Shri Heggade, Shri Vaidraja Swami consecrated the Linga and named the place Dharmasthala: the abode of religion and charity.
Until now the Vaishnavite Brahmins (Madhwa sect) worship the idol and the guardian is Shri Heggade, a Jain. This is an excellent example of a culmination of faiths seeking the blessings of god.
The temple is in the Sapta-Konkana region architecture. Clay, wood, and laterite was used to build the original temple. Wooden pillars support the Mukha Mandapa (pavilion in the front). The entrance is a three-storied structure with sloping roofs.
In the Sanctum Sanctorum is the Linga and next to it is the Lord Narasimha Saligrama. Shrines of Shiva’s concert Goddess Ammanavaru, or Parvathi, and Lord Ganapati, are located inside the sanctum sanctorum.
In the West of the temple complex is a shrine dedicated to Goddess Durga and in the North is a shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesha. There is also a shrine dedicated to Mangaladevi worshiped as “Shakti”. It is believed that people who get married here have a successful and happy married life.
Free food and shelter is provided to the pilgrims by the temple. The Annapoorna Choultry is a dining hall where 30,000 to 50,000 people can be fed in a day. The kitchen is well-equipped with automated cooking aids.
Every year Lakshadeepa (1,00,000 lights), the festival of lights is held in the month of November.
Ancient manuscripts and paintings are preserved by Sri Manjunatheshwara Cultural and Research foundation, started by the temple committee. The Manjusha Museum was established to showcase antique objects. A Vintage car museum displays vintage cars for the visitors benefit.
Best time to visit is from June to February.
Type of place: Temple
Situated: Dharmasthala, South Kanara District
Distance: 90 Kms from Padubidiri, 70 kms from Mangalore
Transport: Well connected by road
Facilities: Dharmashalas, Choultries, hotels to suit all budgets, restaurants are available
Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatha temple
Dharmasthala – 574 216
South Kanara District
Karnataka State – INDIA
Phone: 08256-317121, 08256-317123, 08256-317124, 08256-317141