Sri Manjunatha Temple, Dharmasthala – A Quintessence of Faith and Religion
An epitome of spirituality and religious significance, Sri Manjunatha Temple is one of the renowned holy sites in South India. This Shiva temple is located in the sacred town of Dharmasthala in the state of Karnataka. The primary deity of the temple, Majunatheshwara, has taken the shivalinga form. Besides the chief deity, other idols like Dharma Daevas and Shakti are also worshipped in the temple. It is also the abode of Lord Dharma’s four Guardian Spirits, Kanyakumari, Kalarkayi, Kalarahu, and Kumaraswamy.
While the temple is implored by Madhwa Brahmins or Vaishnava priests, the administration is run by Jain descendants. This 800-year old institution reflects the true essence of spirituality despite the cast and religious differences. Dharmasthala, or ‘the place of Dharma,’ is a sacred landmark visited by thousands of tourists all across the world.
Many festivals and annual events are held on the temple premises, attracting pilgrims from far and wide. Laksha Deepotsava or the Festival of Lights, and the Pattanajae Jatre are some of the major festivals celebrated in the temple. Besides this, significant festivals like Diwali, Navratri, and Ganesha Chaturthi are organised with great enthusiasm and spirit.
Devotees coming to visit the Shri Manjunatha Temple in Dharmasthala have to follow a set of principles or rules. Men are not allowed to enter the temple with half pants, and they are supposed to remove their shirts and vests as well. On the other hand, ladies are prohibited from wearing nighties in the temple. Children below two years of age are barred from entering the Sanctum Sanctorum.
You cannot conclude your spiritual journey to the temple without climbing the Badinede Betta Hill. The residence of the four Dharma and a shrine is sited on the top. If you are a history buff, you can also visit the Manjusha Museum. Located near the Manjunath Temple, the museum has an exquisite collection of swords, old cameras, armours. You can also find Vintage Cars from Sri Veerendra Heggade’s collection.
The temple town of Dharmasthala is situated at a distance of 300 kilometres from the state capital, Bangalore. You can reach the town by road or by railways. Also, the Mangalore International Airport is just 82 kilometres from the town.
Best Time To Visit: November – February
Entry Fee and Camera Fee: Not Applicable
Places to Stay: One can choose from various options at Dharmasthala
How To Reach
By Air: Mangalore International Airport is the nearest airport ( 65 Kms )
By Train: The nearest railway station is Mangalore Railway Station ( 74 Kms )
By Car: One can drive from Bengaluru to Kshetra Dharmasthala Temple which is 310 Kms
Important Things To Do
- There are a lot of monkeys in and around the premises, so one needs to take care of their belongings
- There are shops around the temple which sell cucumbers, biscuits, and mangoes
- Time required to cover is about 2 hours