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Dharmastala - Karnataka


Dharmasthala, as the name suggests its a place of Truth, Faith and Cultural Tolerance. Sri Dharmastala kshetra is one of the sacred place in Karnataka enshrining lord Manjunatha - (Lord Shiva). Situated on the banks of river Nethravathi, surrounded by the lush green forests and hills of Malnad, Dharmastala is at a distance of about 75 km from Mangalore.

of Dharmastala

Eight hundred years ago, Dharmasthala was known as Kuduma in Mallarmadi, then a village in Dakshina Kannada. There lived lived a Jain chieftain, Birmanna Pergade and his wife Ammu Ballalthi in a house called Neliyadi Beedu. They were simple, pious and affectionate people. All knew the Pergade family for its generosity and hospitality.

According to the legend, the guardian angels of dharma assumed human forms and came to earth in search of a place where dharma was being practised and could be continued and propagated. They arrived at Pergade's abode. And the Pergade couple received these visitors with great respect. Pleased by their sincerity and generosity, that night the Daivas appeared in Pergade's dreams. They explained the purpose of their visit and instructed him to use this house for the worship of the Daivas and dedicate his life to the propagation of dharma.

Asking no questions, Pergade built himself another house and began worshipping the Daivas at Neliyadi Beedu. This continues even today. As they continued their worship and their practice of hospitality the Dharma Daivas again appeared before the Pergade in his dreams. This time they asked him to build separate shrines to consecrate the four Daivas - Kalarkai, Kalarahu, Kumaraswami and Kanyakumari. Pergade was instructed to choose two people of noble birth to act as the Daivas' oracles and four worthy persons to assist Pergade in his duties as the executive head of the shrines.

In return, the Daivas promised Pergade protection for his family, abundance for charity and fame for the kshetra. As desired Pergade built the shrines and invited Brahmin priests to perform the rituals. These priests requested Pergade to also install a Shiva linga beside the native Daiva. The Daivas then sent Annapa Swami to procure the linga of Manjunatheswara from Kadri, Mangalore. Subsequently, the Manjunatha temple was built around the linga.

Around the 16th century, Devaraja Heggade invited Vadiraja Swami of Udupi to visit the place. The Swamiji gladly came, but refused to accept Bhiksha (food offering) because the idol of Lord Manjunatha has not been consecrated according to the Vedic rites. Heggade then requested the Swami to do so and the Swami named the place Dharmasthala - the abode of religion and charity.

Thus, the roots of charity and religious tolerance established by the Pergades 800 years ago have been nurtured and strengthened by the Heggade family, the word Heggade being a derivative of Pergade.

Accomodation at Dharmasthala:

For more details, please contact Temple office:
Shri Kshetra, Dharmasthala - 574 216
Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka State
Phone : 08256 - 277121, 277141
Fax: 08256 - 277116

How to Reach Dharmasthala:
By Air : Mangalore is the nearest domestic airport, which is 71 kms away and Bangalore is the nearest international airport, which is 324 kms away.
By Rail : The nearest railway station is Bantawala , which is 39  km.
By Road : Dharmasthala is well connected by KSRTC & Private bus services. It is connected to all major cities nearby.

Photo Gallery of Shree Keshatra Dharmastala

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