An Introduction to Dharmasthala
is a temple village on the banks of the Nethravathi River in the Belthangaditaluk of the Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka.The temple is devoted to Shiva and the principal object of worship is the linga. The temple isunusual in that it is run by a Jain administration and Poojas are conducted by Hindu priests of Madhva order.Around an average of 10000 pilgrims visit the temple every day. Amechanised kitchen (Annapoorna) provides free food for all pilgrims and there are guesthouses with modern amenities. The guest houses are free of cost and any pilgrim can availthe facility free of cost for three days. The principle of Dharmasthala is not to help the poorbut to serve all guest and pilgrims who come to Manjunatha swamy Temple.The word “Dharmasthala” means “Place of Dharma”. The word 'Dharma' traditionally meansreligion, ritual, duty, righteousness, alms. Equality and secularism is followed at this divinetemple of Dharma. . High or low, rich or poor, devout or atheist - at Dharmastala all areequal.As said above, though the diety is Shiva, the priests are Vaishnavite Brahmins and theguardian of the temple a Heggade, a Jain by faith. This religious harmony itself is one of kindin the whole country.To those who come here for justice, Dharmastala is the scale that does not tip in favour of alawyer. Here, without any legal formality or argument the Heggade dispenses justice, actingin the tradition of his ancestral role as the Heggade and representing the presiding deities. Thepractice has been following since decades and every verdict given in the presence of LordManjutheshwara is recorded with great precision.To those who come in need, Dharmasthala is a gifted land. Dharmasthala follows thefollowing Daanas
VidhyadhanaThe trust provides accommodation to all the pilgrims. There are about 400 rooms in 4 with acapacity of 3-4 per room. The rooms are well maintained and the guest is well taken care bythe servants at the accommodation.