Dharmasthala is a must visit famous Shiva temple in Dakshina Kannada District of Karnataka and it is a must visit popular tourist place in South India. Dharmasthala is the perfect embodiment of the word "Dharma" for it displays every shade of meaning with which the word is imbued. The greatness of Dharmasthala, however is the fact that it has added an active element to "Dharma", such that it touches the lives of people with a transformational directness that is unique. and one of the popular tourist place near Mangalore.
To those that come for worship, Dharmasthala represents religious tolerance wherein caste, creed and faith of pilgrims are no bars. For here, the Jain Theerthankara is worshipped on the same consecrated grounds as the native Daivas and Lord Manjunatha (Lord Shiva). The priests are Vaishnavite Brahmins and the guardian of the temple is Heggade, a Jain by faith. Altogether forming a confluence of faiths that harmonize in belief of the Omnipotent.
To those that come for justice, Dharmasthala is the scale that does not tip in favour of a lawyer's glib tongue. Here, without any legal formality or argument the Heggade dispenses justice, acting in the tradition of his ancestral role as the Heggade and representing the presiding deities.
To those that come in need, Dharmasthala is an Oasis, where succour, solace and hope abound in the serenity of the temple and in the free hostelries that provide food and shelter.
And to those that come in curiosity, Dharmasthala is a miracle of paradoxes. Here different faiths co-exist in harmony just as traditions make room for experimental services, High or low, rich or poor, devout or atheist, at Dharmasthala all are equal.
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.
Dharmasthala is popular for temple of Sri Manjunatha, God Shiva’s another avatar, Hence, The Maha Shivaratri is celebrated grandly in temple premises. So we have arranged a trip to Dharmasthala from Bangalore.
First, we booked seats in KSRTC’s new venture ‘Karanataka Vaibhava’ Its as same as ‘Rajahamsa’ (KSRTC’s Delux Bus Service) and the fare is very cheaper than the Rajahamsa. Bus fare is little more than KSRTC’s ordinary service ‘Karnataka Sarige’ (Karnataka Sarige – Rs. 220/-, Karanataka Vaibhava – Rs. 237/-).
We started at Sunday night from Bangalore and reached Dharmasthala at 5.00 a.m. on the day of Shivarathri. Once we reached there, we tried to book a room, but since there is very crowd, we did’nt get the room, so we taken ticket for ‘Hairike Mudi’ and went for queue. Its amazing!!! There a queue stands more than a kilometer for harike mudi at the time of 6.00 a.m. we also included in that queue. after seven hours of waiting, we reached the harike mudi place ( Note : On the eve of Shivaratri, there are more than one lakh pilgrims visited Dharmathala. On other days, you may finish within an hour).
Once we finished, we went to Nethravathi river to take bath, (2kms from temple) and came back to temple at 3.00 p.m. and the temple will open for darshan at 5.00 pm, so we went for lunch in Annapoorna Complex (Temple’s free annadana complex). and went to see gommateshwara statue.
We got Darshan at 7.30 p.m. and went again for dinner at 8.00p.m.
We have taken tickets for return to Bangalore in Karnataka Vaibhava bus, and reached Bangalore at 5.00 a.m.
Overall, it’s a pleasant journey!!!!
The Official Website of Sri Khsethra Dharmasthala