Lord Shiva

Temple History

Dharmastala Kshetra, a holy place of Sri Manjunatha Swamy an incarnation of Lord Shiva is located amongst the scenic beauty of the Western Karnataka on the banks of the Nethravathi River.

Originally this place was called Kuduma, Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala, the land of righteousness and piety, is one of south India’s most renowned religious landmarks with a history as old as 800 years. Manjunatheshwara, the chief deity of the spiritual abode, has taken the form of a shivalinga and made immaculate, the temple town of Dharmasthala since and forever. Lord Manjunatheshwara is being worshipped in a very unusual yet exceptionally inordinate manner in Shree kshetra dharmasthala, as this Shaiva temple is beseeched by Vaishnava priests and administered by Jain descendants.

Great sanctity is attached to the Manjunatha shrine of this place which attracts thousands of pilgrims every day. Although it is a Shiva temple, it is managed by a Jain Heggade by tradition. On a nearby hillock, a statue of Gomateshwara has been recently installed which has developed as a Jain pilgrim place.

Main temple consists of Shri Manjunatheshwara,
Shri Ammanavaru, Lord Ganapathi, Lord Annappa and Four Dharma Daivas: Kalarahu, Kalarkaayi, Kanyakumari and Kumaraswamy.

Here lived the Jain Chieftain Birmanna Pergade and his wife Ammu Ballalthi in a house called Nelyadi Beedu. Simple, pious and affectionate people; the Pergade family was known for its generosity and hospitality to all.
According to 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 propagated. 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 Shri Birmanna Pergade. They explained the purpose of their visit to him and instructed him to vacate his house for the worship of the Daivas and dedicate his life to the propagation of Dharma.
Asking no questions, the Pergade built himself another house and began worshipping the Daivas at Nelyadi Beedu. This continues even today.

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

As ordained, Shri Pergade built the shrines and invited Brahmin priests to perform the rituals. These priests requested Pergade to also install a Shivlinga beside the native Daivas. The Daivas then sent their vassal Annappa Swamy to procure the Idol of Lord Manjunatheshwara from Kadri, near Mangalore. Subsequently Shree Manjunatha Swamy temple was built around this idol.

Around the 16 Century, Shri Devaraja Heggade invited Shri Vadiraja Swami of Udupi to visit the shrine. The Swamiji gladly came but refused to accept Bhiksha (food offering) because the idol of Lord Manjunatha had not been consecrated according to the vedic rites. Shri Heggade then requested the Swamiji to re-consecrate the shiva linga 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 800 years ago have been nurtured and strengthened by twenty one generations of the Heggade family, (Heggade being a derivative from Pergade). Today’s Dharmasthala blossoms with the fruit of this selfless dedication.

Ganesha festival, Navaratri and Deepavali festivals are celebrated with grandeur at Dharmasthala. The annual festival or carnival called Pattanajae Jatre is held in April every year before the onset of monsoons. People flock from far and near during these times. Laksha Deepothsava, festival of lights grand illumination celebrated for five days in the month of Kartika (November – December).

Other Attractions:
Bahubali Temple, Manjusha Museum, Vintage Car Museum, Moodabidri, Ujire Sri Janardhanaswamy Temple, Shree Rama Kshethra, Shishileshwara Temple, Shri Chandranatha Swamy Basadi, Badinede Betta and Sri Sadashiva Rudra Temple are the nearest historical places to visit from Dharmasthala temple.

Kodachadri, Thadiyandamol Hills, Chelavara falls, Biligi Riranga Hills, Bababudangiri Hill, Kudremukh, Chikmagalur, Bathi Gudda etc are the most popular hill stations near Dharmasthala.


Additional Information

Dharmasthala temple trust board is maintaining the best accommodation facilities to the devotees visiting the Manjunatha Swamy temple at a nominal price range. Devotees can book the accommodation through the temple's website

Free food(Nityannadanam) is provided to the devotees who come in thousands every day.The temple has modern machinery and makes quality food continuously through out the day. Dharmasthala Temple in Karnataka is popular for its Annadana. The interesting feature of this place is that all the visitors and pilgrims are fed both times of the day and accommodation at Dharmasthala is available for pilgrims, accommodation is for overnight stay.

Mangalore city has good connectivity with all the major cities of India by road and railways. From Managalore city Dharmasthala temple is in 70 kms distance. KSRTC buses regularly runs from Mangalore and other major cities of Karnataka.

Dharmasthala Bus station is just 1.1 kms only from the temple.

Mangalore railway station is 72.3 kms and Mangalore railway junction is 67.9 from the temple.
Another nearest railway station is Bantawala which is in 50.3 kms distance from Dharmasthala.

Buses, Taxis and private transport is available from Mangalore and Bantawala cities.

Mangaluru International Airport is the nearest airport which is 80 kms from Dharmasthala.
  • 6:30 AM to 2:30 PM & 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM
  • Contact Person: Temple Office
  • Contact Number: (+91) 08256 277 121,123, 124, 141