Sri Manjunatha Swamy Temple Dharmasthala

Sri Manjunatha Swamy Temple Dharmasthala
Sri Manjunatha Swamy Temple Dharmasthala

Sri Manjunatha Swamy Temple is ascribed to the worship of Sri Manjunatha, one of the manifestations of Bhagwan Shiva. It is situated at Dharmasthala, a town in Karnataka. The phrase “Dharmasthala” means the place of righteousness.

The temple is said to be atleast 800 years old.  The unique feature of the temple is that it is managed by Jains and Pujas are done by Madhwa Vaishnavites.

As per the legend, this place was called Kuduma. Kuduma is in Mallarmadi, a village in Belthangady, South Karnataka. At the place, in a house named Nelliadi Beedu, the Jain chief Sri Birmanna Pergade and his wife Ammu Ballalthi were residing. One day, some visitors came to their home and asked them for a dedicated place where Dharma, the righteousness could be continuously practiced. Though mystified by the request, the couple welcomed the visitors with respect and offered them heart-felt hospitality.

That night Bhagwan appeared in their dreams and told that his house has to be dedicated for the worship and practice of dharma, the visitors were Dharma Deities and that the couple would construct another house for themselves. The Jain couple did not question the veracity of their dreams. They had built another house for themselves and moved out.

In the house which was dedicated for worship, the Dharma deities had again ordained to the couple to build four dedicated shrines for Sri Kala Rahu, Sri Kalarkayi, Sri Kumara Swamy and Sri Kanya Kumari inside the premises.  The Dharma deities had asked the Jain couple to manage the shrine. The Jain couple invited brahmin priests to do pujas.

The priests had asked for installation of a Shiv Ling apart from the native vigrahas. A Shiv Ling was duly procured from Kadri Manjunatha Swamy Temple near Mangalur. Dharma Deities had appointed Sri Annappa Swamy to procure the Shiv Ling from Kadri.

There is a dedicated Shrine for Sri Annappa Swamy in Dharmasthala at a distance of 1.5 K.M away from the main temple.

The Dharma Sthala temple was re-built with Manjunatha Swamy Shiv-Ling in the centre. There are dedicated Shrines for Sri Ganapathy.

Even to date, the descendent of the Pergade Jain family is revered as the Dharma Adhikari for the resolution of disputes.

The presiding Deity is Sri Manjunatha Swamy. He is also called as Sri Chandra Prabhu and Sri Manjunatheshwara.

Sri Manjunatha Swamy

His consort Sri Parvathi Devi is called as Sri Amma Varu.

Sri Swami and Sri Ammavaru

The temple opens at 04.00 A.M. After Vedic ritualistic cleansing, the darshan is allowed from 06.30 A.M to 11.00 A.M. Meanwhile Shatha Rudhra Abhisheka and Puja are conducted following Vedic rituals from 08.30 A.M to 10.30 A.M. At this time, Bhagwan Shiv is worshipped in the form of Rudhra. At 11.00 A.M, Sri Shiva Sahasra Namavali, the thousand names of Bhagwan Shiv is chanted. Maha Neivdya Samarpana is offered to Bhagwan Shiv at 11.30 A.M. Annadhanam to the devotees commences after this.

Maha Puja, the main puja is done 12.00 Noon in an elaborate manner with chanting of Vedic hymns and with playing of musical instruments. The Pujaris do the pradikshanam of the temple during this time. The darshan is stopped during the Maha Puja time as the entire temple premises is used for doing the Puja. Darshan re-commences at about 12.15 P.M and continues till 02.15 P.M or till the queue lasts, whichever is the earliest.

The temple re-opens at 05.00 P.M and is open till 08.30 P.M. Maha Puja is done at 08.30 P.M.

Temple Nandavanam

The ritual named “Nithya Bali” is done at 12.10 P.M and at 08.45 P.M. As per the ritual, the Urchava Murthy of Sri Manjunatha Swamy is taken in a procession around the main sanctum five times. Darshan is stopped during this time.

On special occasions and during festivals, the darshan timings may vary.

Nethravathi is the Punya Theertha river in the vicinity.

Nethravathi river

On Ganesh Chathurthi, special puja is conducted to Bhagwan Ganesh at the temple. During Nava Rathri festival, special pujas are done to Sri Amma Varu. Religious discourses, bhajans and divine music concerts are conducted during this time.

During Deepavali, the entire temple premises is lit with lamps. The special puja named Ranga Puja is conducted. The processional Deity of Sri Manjunatha is taken in procession. The temple car festival commences on this day.

In the last five days of Karthika month, Laksha Deepa Urchava is held. Various bhajans, religious discourses, fairs and exhibition are held at that time.

During Maha Shivrathri also, temple car festival is celebrated. The new year day Yugadhi is celebrated in a grand manner. Annual Jathra is conducted during April.

Dharmasthala can be reached from Mangalur through bus or by taxi. There are lots of “Yathri Nivas” hostels with rooms around the temple. Accommodation can be booked online. Even walk-in guests are allowed subject to availability of rooms.

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