Among the most visited Shiva temples of Karnataka, Dharmasthala Manjunatha temple is highly celebrated for its religious and spiritual significance. It is an age-old temple located in the temple town of Dharmasthala, maintained by Heggade family. This particular temple is marked as a unique abode of Shiva for a reason that it is run by a Jain Bunt family and rituals being performed by Vaishnava priests. Come, let’s get into details and know a few interesting things about Dharmasthala Manjunatha temple on today’s read.
Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple (Built 800 years ago)
#1 On the Banks of River Nethravathi
Dharmasthala is located in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka which houses Sri Manjunatha Swamy temple. The iconic temple is located on the banks of Nethravathi river standing as one of the most significant abodes of Shiva.
#2 Dharma Daivas
The main temple is dedicated to Shiva in the name of Manjunatha and the other shrines include Ammanavaru, Chandranath, and the Dharma Daivas.
#3 Rarest Shiva Temple on Earth
One fascinating thing about the temple is its religious tolerance and the puja protocols. It is the rarest Shiva temple on Earth where we find Vaishnava priests taking care of daily puja. On the other hand, the temple administration is taken care of by Jains who act as the temple guardians.
#4 Jain Thirthankara is Worshipped
Another amazing fact about Dharmasthala Manjunatha temple is the amalgamation of Jainism and Hinduism. A Jain Thirthankara is worshipped beside Daivas and Lord Manjunatha which is a rare sight to witness.
#5 When Dharamsthala was known as Kaduma
To say a few words about the history and origin of the temple, it dates back to 800 years. There is a lore which says that the Shiva Linga was brought to Dharmasthala by a local person with great powers, named Annappa.
A few centuries ago, Dharmasthala was known as Kaduma. The legend goes like, there lived the Jain Chieftan Birmanna Pergade and his wife Ammu Ballathi in a house called Nelladi Beedu. It so happened that Dharma Daivas appeared in the dream of Pergade and instructed him to install Dharma Daivas in Nelladi Beedu. As desired, Pergade builds shrines to consecrate the four Daivas – Kalarahu, Kalarkayi, Kumaraswamy, and Kanyakumari.
#6 Story Behind the Temple
From then on, Kaduma becomes Dharma Kshethra and the abode of four Dharma Daivas. A day comes when Pergade invites Brahmin Priests to perform rituals for Dharma Daivas. These Priests requests Pergade to install a Shiva linga beside the Native Daivas. When in search of Linga, Daivas send their Vassal Annappa Swamy who procures Linga from Kadri Manjunatheshwara temple (Mangalore) and after a while, the temple was built around the Linga.
#7 Shiva linga consecrated by Shri Vadiraja
Around the 16th century, the then Dharmadhikari Shri Devaraja Heggade invites Shri Vadi Raja Swami of Udupi to visit the place. The great Vadiraja Swami comes and sees that the Linga was not consecrated according to the Vedic rites. Heggade then requests Vadiraja Swamiji to reconsecrate the Linga. On Heggade’s request, Vadiraja Swami consecrates the Shiva Linga through his yogic powers. He also considers Heggade’s charity to all and the Vedic rites followed, named the place as Dharmasthala; the abode of religion and charity.
#8 Legacy of Pergade Family
Since then, Dharmasthala became a place dedicated to Dharma and Religion maintained by 20 generations of the Pergade family. The eldest member assumes the position of Dharma Adhikari and uses the title Heggade. Now, the present Dharmadhikari is Veerendra Heggade.
#9 Annadana and Charity
Today, Dharmasthala is one of the prominent temples in India with an average of 10,000 people visiting it a day. The temple has a mechanized Kitchen to serve people with Annadana (Free food). Devotees can eat to their satisfaction in the Annadana Hall, which is one of South India’s largest halls. The hall can easily cater to 10,000 guests per day.
#10 Statue of Bahubali
Dharmasthala also houses a statue of Bahubali, carved out of single rock. It is about 39 feet in height which look spectacular.
#11 Celebrations and Events
During the month of Karthik, the temple hosts Laksha Deepotsava where one can see 100,000 oil lamps lit in the premises of the temple. It is one of the major celebrations in the temple. Also, Maha Shivaratri and Mahamastakabhisheka are performed with great grandeur and devotion.
#12 Social Work
Under the leadership of Shri Veerendra Hegde, the temple conducts Annual mass marriage coupled with active involvement in the rural development and other social works.
So, this was about the Famous Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple. Hope you found this article informative.
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