This place will leave you overwhelming because of its rich
history and the binding of different cultures. The temple is one associated
with Lord Shiva and thus homes a large Shivalinga inside the premises. A
Shivalinga is the virtuous and most significant form of appearance of lord
Shiva which is worshipped here in all its grandeur. Moreover, the blend of
various sects involved with the working of this temple is a great message to
hold on to. The temple belongs to the Shaiva sect of Hinduism and is taken care
of by Vaishnava priests. It is administered by the Jain bunt family known as
The Sri Manjunatha Swamy temple also known as Dharmasthala
temple is more than 800 years old. It is located in southern India but is revered
by people across the country. The specific God figure associated with this
Shivalinga is the diety Manjunatheshwara who is a form of Shiva. The elegance
of this temple is multiplied because of the nearby flowing Nethravati river.
The pilgrims attach a special significance to it and prefer taking a dip in the
Other than the main form of Shiva in this temple that is
Manjunath, there are other deities and Gods who are worshipped here. These
include Ammanavaru, the Tithankara Chandraprabha and Jain Gods such as
Kalarahu, Kalarkayi, Kumaraswami and Kanyakumari.
More on Dharmasthala Temple
A Jain couple Birmanna and Pergade lived peacefully at this
place around 800 years ago. They were a serene couple practicing good deeds in
their lives and moving ahead on the path of righteousness. One day, the
demigods also known as the Daivas adopted human forms and came on the precincts
of earth in search of a place where right deeds were being practiced.
They also wanted a place where they would be assured of
propogation of Dharma. They came across this home and were impressed by this
couple. Therefore, the Daivas instructed Pergade to build a temple at their
home. They blessed them with long life of the Pergade family and protection to
Later, the Daivas appeared in dreams to instruct the couple
about more shrines that were required to be constructed. That is how the major
Shivalinga of Manjunatheshwara was created along with the other associated
The construct resembles the architecture of the ancient
Sapta-Konkana region.It has a high statue of bahubali and also embraces figures
of other Gods such as Lord Vishnu’s NruSimha Saligrama avatar which sits beside
the main Shivalinga. Shrines of Goddesses such as Ammanavaru, Parvathi and Lord
MahaGanapathi increase the austerity of the premises.
A shrine of Goddess Durga is also inculcated within the
temple premises. Shrines belonging to the Dharma Daivas are located in the
vicinity. These Gods are Kalarahu, Kalarkai, Kumaraswamy and Kanyakumari
The temple offers Prasad in the form of three free meals to
anyone entering the temple. It is considered auspicious and caters to the
sacred ancient beliefs of offering food to the devotees so that their
pilgrimage is considered complete.
The kitchen is an eco-friendly place where the food is
prepared with utmost devotion and modern hygienic techniques. The temple does
not make any discrimination between the people and is welcoming to all castes,
creeds, cultures and religions.
The temple embraces a unique tradition where the devotees
can offer their hair on the payment of a certain fee in the temple. Through
this gesture, they try to imbibe the belief that they have removed all
materialistic desires and their ultimate aim is to become one with the deity.
The devotees take a bath in the holy river after this procedure.
A variety of festivals are celebrated within the premises.
These include Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi and Shivratri. They are celebrated with
grandeur and a great festive mood. A unique festivity of this temple is the
‘Deepotsava’ which is held annually around November-December.
The temple has a specific dress code. Males will not be
allowed in vests, skirts or half pants. Women will not be allowed inside in
The morning darshan, pooja and Prasad inside the temple
happens between 6:30 AM- 2:00 PM. Also, the abhisheka and archane are held
between 8:30 AM- 11:00 AM. Timings for evening darshan and pooja are 7:00 PM-
Thulbhara seva can also be offered at the temple between
7:30 AM and 12:30 PM.
Children below the age of 2 are not allowed inside the
temple premises. Carrybags and mobile phones are also not allowed.
How to reach
The Karnataka road transport corporation provides an easy
way to reach the temple which is located in the Belthangady Taluk of South
Kanara district of Karnataka.