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Sri Kshethra Dharmasthala

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Click here to go to the main page of this section (Temples).

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Brief introduction:
Dharmasthala: Lord Manjunatha Dharmasthala (74 Kms from Mangalore) is an important place of pilgrimage. The temple here is dedicated to Lord Manjunatha and the annual festival of lights (lakshadeepa) comes off in November-December. Once in twelve years there is a festival called Nadavali, which lasts for 13 days. The place originally called Kuduma but in the 15th century it attained the name of Dharmasthala (a place of charity). It is a quiet corner under the hills surrounded by thick forests and rivulets. Legend avers that some Dharma Devas visited a Jain Heggade who was chief of this place in the distant past on horseback and he accommodated them in his house, which he vacated for the purpose. 

They were pleased with is good nature and directed that people visiting the place would have their heart's desire satisfied and that whatever the Heggade spoke would turn out to be true. The temple for these Devas was built opposite the Heggade's house. The lingam (symbolic statue) in the temple was later brought from Kadri near Mangalore. The local deity Annappa has also got a niche in the temple and is worshipped daily. Here there is the sacred Netravathi River where the pilgrims take their bath and then go to the temple. The temple was visited in the 15th century by Sri Vadiraja, a Swamy of Sode Mutt, Udupi who bestowed on the place the title Dharmasthala. The temple was left undisturbed in the hands of the Heggades even during the Islamic rule over Canara.

The presence of Shri Bahubali (39' height) in Dharmasthala is evidence of the religious tolerance and spirit of oneness that is the quintessence of Dharmasthala. The monolithic statue symbolizes total detachment from the material world and the narrow boundary of religions.

Steps to Annappa Swamy BettaThe late head of the temple Sri Manjayya Heggade was a great social worker and a pious soul. He was the Heggade for 37 years from 1918 to 1955. It may be truly said of him that he put the place Dharmasthala on the map of India. A scholar himself he was a great patron of scholars. Although a devout Jain, he took delight in organizing Sarvadharma Sammelanas in those days.

Sri Veerendra Heggade, the present head of Dharmasthala, born in 1948 is the living example of the intense devotion to Dharmasthala - the hallmark of his noble ancestors. In less than three decades, since he assumed responsibilities in 1968, he has carried his heritage to greater heights. Not only by continuing to protect the essence of the Kshetra. But also by achieving remarkable progress in his service to mankind.

The influence that the temple Dharmasthala wields over the mass mind in Karnataka adjoining areas is immense, legal disputes of the most serious nature being resolved by the word of the Heggade, which the parties may reject or disobey only at their peril.

History of Shree Dharmasthala:
What people call Dharmasthala was known as KUDUMA before in Mallarmadi village, Kodu-ma the place DANA or CHARITY is predominant. About five centuries ago, there lived a Jain family of Ammudevi Ballalthi with her husband Birmanna Pergade in the residence called Nelyadi Beedu. It was a family of chieftain. They were very charitable. Nearby there was Shri Chandranatha Swamy Basadi, which is still there, that was founded and worshipped by Nelyadi family.

Visit of Dharma Daivas (legend):
One day the guardian angles of Dharma assumed human forms and riding on horse and elephant, with their retinue in regal pomp and divine glory came to Nelyadibeedu. Ammudevi Ballalthi and her husband received the visitors with joy and respect. The angels were so pleased with welcome and charities that they said "Pergade, we are attracted by your pious conduct and charities. Offer this Nelyadi Beedu to us and build another house for yourself nearby and worship us in this Beedu and we will see that your wealth and charity be unbounded." Thus they blessed and vanished. It was then Pergade and his wife was aware that their guests were not mortal beings but divine visitors who had so chosen to test them. From that day they began to propitiating them by putting up a swing cot and burning lamps and incense in their Nelyadi Beedu. 

They built a separate residence for themselves nearby. Thereafter divinities appeared to the couple in their dreams and commanded thus - "We are powerful Daivas, we are KALARAHU, KALARKAI, KUMARASWAMY, and KANYAKUMARI. You must build separate shrines for us at places pointed out by us. You must hold festivals at appointed times. You must choose for us two mediums of noble birth so that we may speak our well through them. Our vassal Annappa will carry out our commands. You must appoint four worthy persons, to help you and see that rituals are strictly observed. We shall reward you and your posterity with health, wealth and longevity so long as you worship us with faith and devotion. We shall spread our glory far and wide and get you abundance of offerings. Therefore see that Dana-Dharma is extended to all equally at all times. We shall back your wishes with support, your word with fulfillment and crown all your efforts with success. Should you act against this behest you shall suffer. Don't be afraid; we will protect you, be peaceful". So directed by those spiritual beings who appeared in the effulgent glory Birmanna Pergade and Ammu Devi Ballalthi were overjoyed. They lost no time to build shrines, install idols of Dharma Daivas and hold utsava, parva and nadavali as commanded.

Installation of Shri Manjunatha Swamy:
Pergade invited Brahmins for festive offerings, but they refused to come unless Gods were worshipped along with Daivas. Whilst Pergade was grieving over this problem the Dharmadevathas sent their vassal Annappa to bring from kadri the Lingam of Shri Manjunatha and installed it at the spot in the temple where it now stands. Manjula means pleasing or beautiful, Natha means Lord; Manjunatha was taken to mean. Manju means snow. Thus Manjunatha means snow - lord. Perhaps the Lingam at Kadri was so named after Bodhisatva Manjughosha who was prototype of Siva among Jains and Hindus. God being the source of all beauty it matters little how the name came by.Pergade built a temple there on the right side of the shrine of dharma Daivas where the Lingam was installed by Annappa, established the performance of the daily poojas and rituals and the festivals in a befitting manner. The shrine of Annappa faces the Lingam of Shri Manjunatha. Thus in Kuduma, Shri Chandranatha, Shri Manjunatha and four Daivas and Annappa Daiva came to be worshipped simultaneously at different shrines with common festivals. In Nelyadi Beedu, Heggade alone worships his ancestors and the four Daivas.

The Successive Heggades of Nelyadi Beedu:
After Birmanna Pergade, Padmayya Heggade occupied at Pattam. He died issueless in 1432 A.D. and was succeeded by his younger sister's adopted son Chandayya, son of Gummakka. During Padmayya Heggade's regime a Daiva called Kallurthaya was being worshipped by a Brahmin at a place called Kalleri near Kuduma. This deity was taken over and installed in the temple on the northern side as a result of vow and is being propitiated every month even now and is regarded as the right hand power to Annappa Daiva in looking after the welfare of the devotees. Shree Veerendra Heggade who is a present Dharmadhikari of the Kshetra from 24th October 1968 contributed very much for all round development of the temple, villages, education etc.

Renovation of the temple:
The Shrine of Shri Manjunathaswamy was renovated in consultation with experts in temple architecture and the Brahmakalashotsava or consecration was performed on 1991.

Dharmasthala: Lord Maha GaneshFestivals celebrated at the Kshetra:
1. Ganesha Festival:
Special poojas are performed on Ganesha Chathurthi at the Mahaganapathi Shrine located at Annapoorna Choultry and at the storehouse where an idol is installed on the day for the purpose. This idol is immersed in the tank near Beedu in the evening with due formalities after a ceremonial procession.

2. Navarathri Festival:
There are special poojas on all days of Navarathri. Special celebrations are held at the shrine of Ammanavaru and Brahmins are fed on all days and sarees are distributed to married women of the Brahmin community on the last day. Bhajans, Harikathas, Music etc. are conducted everyday and a festive atmosphere prevails throughout Navarathri.

3. Deepavali:
This festival is celebrated with decoration of the shrines with lights and a special celebration on the Amavasya. The idol of Sri Swamy is taken round the temple on that day all special festivals like Ranga Pooja and Silver-Chariot seva start from that day.

4. Lakshadeepotsava:
Dharmasthala: Laksha Deepostsava Every year in the month of Karthika (November - December) for five days from Ekadashi to Amavasya, Lakshadeepotsava is celebrated on a grand scale. Special programmes and celebrations at the shrine are held on all the five days. They are called Hosakatte Utsava, Kerekatte Utsava, Udyanavana Utsava, Kanchimarukatte Utsava and Gowrimarukatte Utsava. The special programs are called Lalithakala Gosti on the third day, Sarvadharma Sammelana on the fourth day and Sahitya Sammelana on the fifth day. The Samavasarana Pooja of Shri Chandranatha Swamy is held on the next day at the Lalithodyana. The Yakshagana Troup of Sri Kshetra performs at the Kshetra for 2-3 days from that day and then starts on its tour performing in different places.

5. Shivarathri Festival:
On the occasion of Shivarathri, there is Rathotsava of Sri Swamy, Special pooja and Bhajan throughout the night.

6. Annual Festival:
This is a nine-day festival beginning on Mesha Sankramana (in April) with Dhwajarohana and all the other customary rituals, Special poojas are performed to Dharmadevatahas and offerings are made. There is Sri Swamy's Rathotsava also.

7. Tenth day festival (Pattanaje):
This is celebrated on 14th may and is the last festival of the year. The flag-post is lowered and special poojas are held at Sri Swamy's shrine. The idol of Sri Swamy is kept inside the sanctum from that day onwards until Deepavali next year. The Yakshagana Troup also closes its tour of the year on the next day.

8. Twice a year Nadavali is held for the Daivas

9. On 24th October of every year the anniversary of Shri Veerendra Heggade's Pattabhishekha is celebrated with cultural programs.

How to reach temple:
Since the Kshetra is very famous there are plenty of busses ply from all over the Karnataka state. Frequent bus facility is provided by Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is a very convenient one.

Postal Corresponding Address:
Padmashri Dr. Veerendra Heggade
Dharmasthala Sri Manjunatha Temple
Dharmasthala - 574 216
Karnataka, INDIA
Telephone: 08256-317121, 08256-317123, 08256-317124, 08256-317141

Seva list
Sevas to Sri Manjunatha Swamy:
Shatha Rudrabhishekha Rs.200
Panchamrithabhishekha with Ekadasha Rudrabhishekha, Brahmadaya, Brahmarpana Rs.70
Kartik Pooja Rs.25
Harivana Naivedya Rs.30
Ksheerabhishekha Rs.10
Bilva Patrarchane Rs.6
Karpoorarati Rs.2
Thirtha bottle Rs.10

Sevas to Sri Ammanavaru:
Pavamana Abhishekha Rs.200
Flower-Pooja Rs.100
Panchamritha Abhishekha Rs.50
Kartik Pooja Rs.20
Paramanna Naivedya Rs.20
Kumkumarchane Rs.10
Karpoorarati Rs.2

Sevas to Sri Ganapathi Swamy:
Appa Naivedya Rs.20
Panchamritha Abhishekha Rs.40
Pancha Kajjaya Rs.10
Doorvarchana Rs.5
Mangalarathi Rs.2

Sevas to Sri Annappa Swamy:
Balivada Rs.15
Special pooja with Balivad Rs.40
Bellakai Naivedya Rs.10
Karpoorarathi Rs.2

Sevas to Sri Chandranatha Swamy at Basadi:
Panchamritha Abhishekha Rs.60
Ksheerabhishekha Rs.30
24 Kalashabhishekha, Pooja Deeparadhana Rs.400

Sevas to Sri Ammanavaru at Basadi:
Pooja to Padmavathi Ammanavaru Rs.40

Special Poojas and Utsavas:
Name of the Seva & price list on Monday & other days:

Ranga Pooja (24 Yede) Monday 5,000, Other Days 9,000
Ranga Pooja (48 Yede) Monday 8,000, Other Days 12,000
Ranga Pooja (120 Yede) Monday 13,000, Other Days 17,000
Silver Chariot Utsava Monday 2,500
Silver Palaki Utsava Monday 2,500, Other Days 4,500
Silver Palaki & Chariot Utsava Monday 4,000, Other Days 6,500
Silver Lalaki Utsava, Deepotsava Monday 5,000, Other Days 7,000
Silver Lalaki Utsava, Deepotsava, Viharotsava in Lalithodhyana Monday 6,500, Other Days 7,500
Silver Nandi Lalaki Deepotsava Monday 5,500, Other Days 7,500
Silver Nandi Lalaki Utsava, Viharotsava in Lalithodhyana Monday 7,000, Other Days 9,000
Santharpana to 108 Brahmins with usual sevas Deepotsava Utsava in Silver Palaki and Pooja in Udyanavana Monday 7,500, Other Days 10,000
Santharpana to 108 Brahmins, 24 yede Ranga Pooja, Silver-Pallaki Utsava, Deepotsava and Viharotsava in Lalithodyana Monday 11,500, Other Days 14,000
In Ganapathi Special Pooja, Moodappa Pooja Monday 4,000, Other Days 4,000

For your information:
Those who wish to offer Special Pooja and Utsavas should contact the Parupatyagar (Manager) of the temple on the previous day.
Those who offer Ranga Pooja should approach the Parupatyagar for necessary information.
3. The sevas mentioned above cannot be offered during the time of Annual and other periodical festivals.
4. The Sevas and Moodappa Seva can be offered between May 24 and Deepavali Amavasya.
5. Accommodation facility is available for devotees from remote places at newly constructed temple guesthouses viz. Netravathi Guest House and Vaishali Guest House for reasonable rates (Guest House enquiry Phone 91-8256-77124).

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Compiled by - Vishweshwara Rao M, Mangalore
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