Sri Manjunatheshwara Temple, Dharmasthala
Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala, the Holy Land, is renowned Hindu religious center with 700 years of history. Here diety is Lord Shiva (Supreme) worshipped as Lord Manjunatheshwara and His Holiness Parama poojya, Padmashri Shree shree Dr Veerendra Heggade is Dharmadhikari of Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala.
The temple is about 800 years. The temple houses a shiva linga of gold. It is belived that Shiva linga was brought by Lord Annappa fom a place called Kadri near Mangalore. The temple is unusual in that this Shaiva kshetra is headed by a Jain administration and poojas are conducted by Vaishnava priests.
Dharmasthala, a sacred place, as its name indicates, is a place of the Truth, Faith, Communal harmony and spiritual experience in the Holy Land. Here, everyone enjoyes the generous hospitality, irrespective of caste, creed or class whatsoever. Dharmasthala pilgrim center located on the banks of river Nethravathi in Beltangady Taluk of Dakshina Kannada (South Canara) District.
A Monolithic statue of Bhagavan Bahubali (Gommateshwara) is situated on the hill called Rathnagiri. This is a monolithic statue of 170 tons and 39 ft tall. Manjusha Museum at Dharmasthala is an absolute treasure house of lovingly preserved pieces of history. Manjusha museum has a unique collection of heritage objects as well as the artifacts, which were in use till recently in the coastal area.
Sri Kshetra is known for Annadaana, Vidyadaana, Aushadadaana and Abhayadaana. The average flow of pilgrims is about 10,000 people everyday. Free boarding and lodging with modern facilities are provided to all visitors with sincerly. There are six modern guest houses Netravathi, Vaishali, Sharavathi, Gayatri, Gangotri and Saket along with Ganga, Kaveri and Narmada (old guest houses). Advanced mechanized and clean kitchen provides free food for all pilgrims to the Annapoorna Choultry; beautiful dining room is equipped to feed people.
Free mass marriages which were started in 1972 have gained popularity. Every year hundreds of couples are getting married (Saamoohika Vivaha mahotsava) here.
Dharmasthala is also a famous educational center. Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala by the SDMCET Society manages 25 institutions ranging from primary schools, Gurukula to teach yoga, Sanskrit, and professional courses in Engineering, Medicine, and Dental Sciences in Ujjre, Mangalore, Udupi, Dharwad and other places. The medical trust also provides services to eliminate and prevent many diseases in the villages.
SHRINES TO VISIT AT SHREE KSHETRA DHARMASTHALA:
1. Shri Manjunatheshwara
2. Shri Ammanavaru
3. Four Dharma Daivas: Kalarahu, Kalarkaayi, Kanyakumari and Kumaraswamy
4. Lord Ganapathi
5. Lord Annappa
1. Maha Ganpathy Temple at Annapoorna Choultry
2. Shrine of Annappa Swami and the abode of Dharma Daivas, Badinade Hill
3. The Neliyadi Beedu: The original abode of the Heggades and the Dharma Daivas.
4. Sri Chandranatha Basadi
5. The statue of Shri Bahubali at Ratnagiri Hill
Other places to visit at Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala
1. Vintage car museum
2. Manjusha vastu sangrahalaya (museum)
3. Pushpa vatika
4. Vasantha Mahal - Cultural Hall
Festivals at Dharmasthala:
Lakshadeepotsava: Festival of lights and grand illumination celebrated for five days in the month of Kartika (November - December).
Once in twelve years there is a festival called Nadavali, which lasts for 13 days.
Mahamasthakaabhisheka to 39 ft monolith of Bhagawan Bahubali
Special pooja, Night long bhajans and Rathothsava on Shivarathri day
Navarathri: There are special poojas on all days of Navarathri. Special worship at Ammanavaru shrine. Distribution of sarees to married women.
Ganesha Festival: Special poojas are performed to Lord Ganapathi Temple at Annapoorna Choultry
Deepavali: Ranga pooja and car festival, Ceremonial idol of the Lord taken out in procession.
Pattanaje: Last festival of the Year (May 24th)