Dharmasthala Tourism
Pilgrimage

Dharmasthala Tourism

Rank 21
Ranked 21 of 97
Karnataka Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
6/7
731 Ratings & 441 Reviews

Dharmasthala Info

  • State: Karnataka
  • Famous for/as: Pilgrimage
Nestled on the bank of the River Nethravathi and set amidst the hills and forest of Malnad in Karnataka, Dharmasthala is known for the temple of Sri Manjunathaswamy, devoted to Lord Shiva. The temple housing a golden lingam attracts pilgrims irrespective of their cast and creed.

Charity is the essence of Dharmasthala, which is forwarded to all. Sri Dharmasthala is one of the major centres of pilgrims. The site is located in Dharmasthala village in the Beltangady Taluk of South Kanara district, which is 75 km from Mangalore.

Originally known as Kuduma, Dharmasthala nurtures a history of over 800 years. According to myth, angels in guise of men came to the house of Barmana Heggade. Convinced with the generosity of Heggade and his family, the angels came in their dreams, promising to reside at Kuduma.

To fulfil the wish of the angels, Barmana built shrines for Kalarkai, Kalarahu, Kanyaumari and Kumarswamy. Afterwards Heggade constructed the Manjunatha Swamy temple in Dharmasthala and placed the Shivalingam, brought by Annappa Swamy, a representative of the angels. Soon, Kuduma became Dharmasthala and lately it has emerged as a city, dotted with buildings, tourist bungalows and a number of temples.

Dharmasthala experiences a footfall of about 10,000 pilgrims every day. Free food or ‘Anna Daana’ is offered to thousands of devotees. With the aid of modern machinery, food is produced in the temple all round the day. There is no distinction among wealthy and poor in case of Anna Daana.
   
Education is the focal point of interest in Dharmasthala, where the SDMCET Society run by the Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala, operates 25 educational institutions, which range from Gurukula to teach Sanskrit and yoga to primary schools, and professional courses in Medicine, Engineering and Dental sciences.

Free mass weddings are also conducted in Dharmasthala, which were initiated in 1972. The expenditure involved in the whole wedding is carried by the Kshetra. In the heath care domain, medical services are also provided to the local villages. Shri Heggade has also established a mobile hospital, which offers medical facilities in remote areas of Malnad.

The major attraction of Dharmasthala - Manjunatha Temple was built by Sri Devaraja Heggade in the 16th century. The architecture of the temple belongs to the age-old Sapta-Konkana region. The original temple was built from clay, wood and laterite.

The mukha man-dap or the pavilion in front of the temple is supported by wooden pillars. The entrance, which is a three-storied structure, features sloping roofs, admired by Kalases. The premise of the temple is decorated with around 100,000 oil lamps, during the Laksha Deepotsava festival.

The museum of Dharmasthala treasures some antique objects like ancient paintings and manuscripts. The car museum of the place showcases some collections of vintage cars.

Dharmasthala is also known for communal harmony along with religious tolerance. The ‘Sarva Dharma Sammelan’ takes place every year in Dharmasthala, in which a number of spiritual leaders participate. The town is also known for housing eight Jain Basadis and an 11 metre high statue of Bahubali.

The major temples of Dharmasthala are Shri Manjunatheshwara, Shri Ammanavaru, Four Dharma Daivas and Shrine of Shri Chandranatha Swamy. The other popular destinations are Manjusha vastu sangrahalaya (museum), Vasantha Mahal, Pushpa vatika and Vintage car museum.

The nearby attractions of Dharmasthala are Kukke Subrahmanya, which is around 60 kms from Dharmasthala, Kateel Durga Parameshwari Temple at Kateel near Mangalore, Udupi Sri Krishna Temple in Udupi) and Horanaadu Annapoorneshwari Temple in the Chikamagalur District.


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Best time to visit Dharmasthala in the next six months

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Dharmasthala Traveller Reviews

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Read 41 destination reviews
with average rating of 6/7, 1
out of 441 Dharmasthala reviews 41
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Nandagopal Damodaran

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  • Nandagopal Damodaran
  • Critic
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 10 Reviews
  •  5 helpful votes
  •  2532 readers

"Dharmasthala - Must visit the temple at least once"

  • 6/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
Place is well connected from Bangalore/Mangalore / Mysore with good roads and train service. You could fly in from Bangalore to Mangalore as well and drive to this place. Roads have been recently tarred and in good condition. Temple is always crowded so be prepared to rough it out in long queues / jostling etc. There are however paid queues which also could be pretty long but relatively shorter compared to the general queue. Average darshan time is 30minutes on lean days to 2-3 hours or more during peak hours/days/events.

Once you get in, the image of Lord Manjunatha is sight to behold and worth the trouble as it is divine experience.

The temple closes by 2pm and again opens only at 7pm. So, plan your trip properly otherwise, you might waste 5 hours in between doing nothing.

Accommodation in the temple complex are very average (1 star and 2 star) kind. You could move to Ujjre town which is 5-8 km from Dharmasthala and you will find good lodging to stay.

Don't miss the free food at the temple -- it is basic but tasty and is an experience to have that along with hundreds of devotees.

Nearby if you have time, you could plan to cover Kukke Subramanya temple which is about an 1 hour drive.

Best time is Sept onwards post the monsoon and you will enjoy the Western Ghats to the maximum Summer could be really hot.
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Giridhar Gowda

  • Expert
  • Giridhar Gowda
  • 13 photos
  • 29 Reviews
  •  134 helpful votes
  •  20198 readers

"A beautiful place on the banks of Netravathi river"

  • 7/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
On the range of western ghats, through the misty Charmadi Ghat is something to. Relish about. Lord Manjunatha is worshipped. Really a beautiful place on the banks of Netravathi river. Food is provided in the temple premises. Make sure you reach early morning so that you get rooms for refreshing your self.
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  • 4 votes

Madhu Lakshmi

  • Scout
  • Madhu Lakshmi
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 2 Reviews
  •  16 helpful votes
  •  1383 readers

"Shrine place"

  • 6/7
  • Posted Mar 23, 2015
Its a Holy Temple and worth visiting it. We visited Manjunatha God which is most highlighting part of the trip. We had Anadana food which everyone must have. Restaurants are not so great. Overall experience is good.

One advise: Temple is closed between 11-12. So please avoid going during that time.
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  • 15 votes

Raj Esh

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  • Raj Esh
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 2 Reviews
  •  207 helpful votes
  •  22785 readers

"A nice place with greenery around"

  • 7/7
  • Posted Dec 8, 2014
Its a great hindu shrine not valuing money but spirituality. Must visit is Kukke Subrahmanya which is 1.5 hrs journey from here. Food is great there as well and cleanliness as well. Greenery around is great. Drive is very good except shiradi ghat. Dont know how the condition is now.
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  • 14 votes

Ajay Pushkaran

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  • Ajay Pushkaran
  • Flashpacker
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 7 Reviews
  •  113 helpful votes
  •  15608 readers

"Just great."

  • 7/7
  • Posted Jan 1, 2014
It was the first time I visited using my own car. No words to express my joy. The roads were too smooth to zoom at 120km/h! It was thrilling for me personally.

As it was a religious trip, I feel blessed for having made the adventure. Unbelievable it went smooth. Looking forward for more such trips.
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  • 17 votes

Nagesh n pulavarthi

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  • Nagesh n pulavarthi
  • Soulseeker
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 3 Reviews
  •  91 helpful votes
  •  11007 readers

"Best food in the Temple"

  • 7/7
  • Posted Nov 28, 2013
Temple and surroundings are clean, Temple staff are friendly. I could not eat the temple food as I have to rush to Kukke-Subramanya. Based on the food quality I had at Kukke-Subramanya, my personal suggestion is enjoy ur meal only at Temple. Cleanliness is low in private hotels. People in general are friendly.
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  • 17 votes

Keerthi kumar D

  • Tourist
  • Keerthi kumar D
  • 1 Review
  •  16 helpful votes
  •  3733 readers

"Good to be there"

  • Posted Sep 2, 2013
This was a really good holiday and was quite good. But no restaurants, good connectivity.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Temple, museum, river

Activities & things to do: Visit temple, take netravathi river bath, visit bahubali

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: 250km from Bangalore. Lots of buses available.6 hr journey
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  • 16 votes

Lokesh babu Mateti

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  • Lokesh babu Mateti
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 2 Reviews
  •  15 helpful votes
  •  4413 readers

"It is a devine destination..."

  • Posted Aug 29, 2013
It is a devine destination and during the month of june to august the travel to this destination will be much more entertaining due to the greenary and the self made falls on the way to this destination.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: I prefred the food served in the temple

Activities & things to do: Take bath in sharavathi river, visit temple for geting the blessings of lord shiva and dont miss the prasadam offered in the temple.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Dont drink while driving and as you are travelling to a heritage please avoid Non veg and drinks.
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  • 15 votes

Badri Patra

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  • Badri Patra
  • Flashpacker
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 11 photos
  • 7 Reviews
  •  44 helpful votes
  •  12266 readers

"Manjunath Temple"

  • Posted Aug 14, 2013
This Place is famous in South Karnataka. The temple is a small temple but very good. Also one can visit Arnna purneswari temple in Hornadu, 2 or 3 hours from Dharmastala. The main thing we liked is the scenic beauty of Hornadu and Dharmastala.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: The prasadam they give in the temple is superb.
The devotees should have their lunch in the Temple only. It is very tasty.
There is nothing much for shopping.

Activities & things to do: No activities to do.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: We have travelled from Bangalore to Hornadu on Friday morning at 7 by own vehicle. The road is good except in Charmadi ghatt. In Ghatt section the roads are narrow. So one should be very careful.Then visited the Arnnapurneswari temple in Hornadu. Then started for Dharmastala. Reached in Dharmastala around 10 in night. The natural beauty of Hornadu is Awesome. If you are a nature lover then you will like so much this places. Saturday morning visited Manjunathswamy temple. It took hardly 1 hour. We entered the temple around 10 and at 11 we came out. From 11 to 12 the temple closes. Then Returned back to Bangalore. We could not go to Kukke subramanya because of our vehicle problem. One can go to Kukke from Dharmastala then back to Bangalore. If you have one more day time then you can plan for Shrengeri and Uduppi also.
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  • 20 votes

Bheema  Rao

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  • Bheema Rao
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 2 Reviews
  •  15 helpful votes
  •  4744 readers

"Dharmasthala was awesome as always..."

  • Posted Jun 28, 2013
Dharmasthala was awesome as always :)
The place inspite of great humidity,will provoke you to visit ,because of Manjunatha swamy :)

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Dharshanam was good though there was a long queue!!
food at bhojana shaale was good.After taking rest,we did roam about stalls in the premises. Nethravathi river is getting bad ,day by day :(
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  • 15 votes

Janardhan Shalini Vijay kumar Chengappa Janardhan, Shalini, Vijay kumar and 722 other people have been to Dharmasthala.
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