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Shri Manjunatheshwara Temple Dharmasthala

The Manjunatheshwara Temple is an 800 years old place of worship where Lord Shiva is the main deity. This powerful god is also referred to as Manjunath, Tirthankara Chandraprabha, Ammavaru and the protective lord of Kalarahu, Jainism, Kumarasvami, Kanyakumari and Kalarkayi. The unique feature of this place is that it belongs to the Shalva section of the Hinduism.

Besides the main deity, there is also an Avatar of Lord Vishnu worshipped, named as Nrusimha Saligrama. The Avatar of Lord Vishnu sits besides Lord Shiva. Goddess Parvathi or Ammanavaru, Goddess Durga, Lord Ganesha are also worshipped in the temple. Goddess Mangala Devi is also worshipped in the temple in form of goddess ‘Shakti’.

Shivali Brahmins belong to Vaishnava class and are the praying priests here. The entire administration of the temple is managed and run by Jain Bunt family, who are also called as the Pergades.

The temple is located at distance of 75 km from Mangalore and is one of the most visited pilgrimages of Karnataka. With a tall entrance of 150 ft and township flanked by multiple choultries on either side makes it a visually appealing place to see. Literally, Dharma means the place of religion, truthfulness and solace. For this reason, the region is known as Dharmasthala, as it holds the famous Manjunatheshwara Temple in its boundaries.


Originally, the place was known as Kudumba and holds an interesting history. According to history, angels in appearance of human beings entered into the house of pious people, Barmana Heggade and his family. The couple greeted the guests with respect and joy. The angels were impressed by their hospitality and start appearing in their dreams promising them that they will now in stay in Kudumba only. They also asked Barmana and his family to donate food and clothing to needy one. As according to the wish of the angels, Barmana built temples at few places such as Kalarkai, Kalarahu, Kumarswamy and Kanyakumari.

Barmana started performing religious ceremonies and rituals there from time to time. Few time later, Annapa Swamy, the messenger of angels brought Shivalingam from Kadri in Mangalore, Barmana Heggade built a temple known as Manjunatha Swamy. He placed the Shivalingam there. Since then, several religious ceremonies are conducted in name of Manjunatha Swamy, Chandranatha Swamy and the angels.

Later on, Kuduma was changed to Dharmasthala, a place where religion is way of life. The ongoing dedication and contribution of the Heggade and Pergade family has brought the place to the growing fame of the Manjunatheshwara Temple. Even the Chandranatha Swamy temple at Dharmasthala is maintained with hard efforts and is one of the most reversed Digambara shrines in the South India.


The temple was originally constructed with use of laterite, clay and wood. It possesses a Sapta-Konakana style of architecture. The primary pavilion or the Mukha Mandap of the temple is supported by beautiful pillars made with wood. The temple holds three storey entrances that feature sloping roofs, which are further accented by Kalases.
Other interesting attractions in and around the temple are the 11 meter tall statue of Bahubali, Manjusha Museum and the Lord Shiva temples in Vasnthamahal and Karanje.


There are numerous festivals celebrated in the temple all year round. Among them, Navratri, Ganesh Chaturthi and Deepavali are major festivals that are enjoyed here. Besides this, there is also a festival named the Pattanajee Jatre, which is annual carnival or festival held in the region in month of April. During this time, people from all possible regions are eager to participate and enjoy, but not all of them get the chance. So, the remaining individuals decide to participate in the festival the next year.

Laksha Deepothsava is another great festival, which is being celebrated in Dharmasthala with great grandeur. It is a five days ceremony in month of Kartika, which mainly falls in November or December. Different cultural activities such as Sahithya Sammelana and Sarva-Dharma are organized in the festival ceremony.

Code of Conduct of the Temple

The temple of Manjunatheshwara differs a little from other temples of India. There are certain rules that devotees need to follow in order to enter the temple premises. These codes of conducts are as follows:

  • All men must remove their upper body innerwear (i.e. above waist), before entering the Sanctum Sanctorum.
  • Ladies may not enter the temple premises in night-gowns or any kind of short dresses. Similarly, even men with half pants are barred from entering the temple premises.
  • Children below two years of age may not enter the Sanctum Sanctorum.

Annadhanam and Other Danas

This is a unique feature of the temple and is considered most imperative virtue among Danas or offering Alms. Here, free food is offered to pilgrims by the temple committee defying all creeds and castes. This is an amazing feature of the dining hall of the temple. In this food, simple meal of dal, rice, vegetable and buttermilk is served to individuals in an airy, clean hall and friendly environment.

In addition to this, the temple also offer other services to the needy such as protection known as Abhayadana, free of cost medicine known as Aushadhadana and free of cost educational facilities named as Vidyadana.

Best Time to Visit

Dharmasthala is the Holy place of Karnataka. There are more other beautiful temples located in the region which makes it a destination to be visited at least once in a lifetime. Months of October to February and from June to September are suitable to visit this place and the Manjunath Temple.

Entrance Fee

There is no entrance fee charged to enter the temple premises. Pilgrims are only required to follow the temple’s code of conduct strictly.

Temple Timings

Devotees can avail Darshan, Prasadam and Pooja from 6-30 a.m. to 2-00 p.m.

Abhisheka, Archane is held from 8-30 a.m. to 11-00 a.m.

For night Darshan, Pooja is 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)

How to Reach

By Train

The Mangalore Railway station is the nearest railway point to the temple.

By Road

There are local buses also available that run Kempegowda Bus Station in every half an hour to Dharmasthala. There are ordinary buses also available during late night while special buses known as Rajahamsa run from 21:00 to 23:15 only. One can also hire private buses running from Bangalore to Dharmasthala at reasonable fare.

By Air

The Mangalore and Bangalore airports are the nearest spots for those who want to travel by air. A taxi or cab can be hired from these regions to reach Dharmasthala.

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