Dharmasthala Tourism

Dharmasthala Tourism

Rank 10
Ranked 10 of 97
Karnataka Tourism Destinations
Destination Rating
6.0 / 7
845 Ratings & 496 Reviews

Dharmasthala Info

  • State: Karnataka
  • Famous for/as: Pilgrimage
  • District: Dakshin Kannada
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.

Best time to visit Dharmasthala in the next six months

  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
  • January
  • March

Dharmasthala Traveller Reviews

Read 44 destination reviews
with average rating of 6/7, 1
out of 496 Dharmasthala reviews 44
Sort by:
Mohan Poduval

  • Connoisseur
  • Mohan Poduval
  • Critic
  • 140 photos
  • 34 Reviews
  •  16 helpful votes
  •  10678 readers

"A place of serene"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Feb 21, 2016
Travelled from Tumkur to Dharmastala ( Sri Manjunathaswamy Dharmasthala)Karnataka this weekend for a peace of mind. Took the Bangalore- Mangalore highway and the drive was excellent. Reached at Ossur, a cool country plains, known for coffee, took a break. Continued till we reached Sakleshpur which is approximately 80 km to Dharmasthala. Even though it was summer, streams could be seen. The whole journey of 280 km took us 5 hours but worthwhile. Reached at destination at around 9pm and checked into a hotel, which is around 8km away from the Temple. Went for ' darshan' early in the morning at 5. 30am and got into the Q. In the Q up to 7. 00am ( it is not a festive season yet) till reach the main sanctum where Manjunath Swamy is in the form of Shiva Lingam). The Temple itself has got the same architecture of any temples in Kerala and one should take note that the men have to remove the shirt or Banian as soon as you enter the main area and preferably if you can wear dhoti ( or vesthi as called in the South) but otherwise no issues. Had a hearty breakfast in the vicinity " Trupthi Uphar Graha" at a nominal price. Checked out of hotel to continue journey back home. On the way stopped at Southadka Mahaganpathi Temple.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Surya Sagar

  • Tourist
  • Surya Sagar
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 1 Review
  •  2048 readers

"Dharmastala, a spiritual place to go"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Jan 27, 2016
Very popular divine place. Lord Manjunatha swamy gives you all health success and happiness. Very beautiful place. Very cleanly maintained. Hotel are available in plenty. Food and facilities are in ample. Very beautiful places are available to visit nearby.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Rajeev Lochanam

  • Connoisseur
  • Rajeev Lochanam
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 2 photos
  • 28 Reviews
  •  8 helpful votes
  •  13770 readers

"Faith meets devotion at Dharmasthala"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Dec 13, 2015
This is a famous temple town, Lord Manjunatha is the presiding diety. This place is famous and household name in Karnataka. People across all castes and creed visit, seeking blessing of God. The temple is run by Veerendra heggade, as head of temple administration. It's excellent in providing facilities for pilgrims, like subsidised stay, free food and seva arrangements. Lots of temples around this place makes it a must visit, for religious minded. Recommend Dharmasthala, as top tourist destination in Karnataka.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 1 vote

Nandagopal Damodaran

  • Connoisseur
  • Nandagopal Damodaran
  • Critic
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 10 Reviews
  •  6 helpful votes
  •  9016 readers

"Dharmasthala - Must visit the temple at least once"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted Jun 5, 2015
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.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Giridhar Gowda

  • Expert
  • Giridhar Gowda
  • 27 photos
  • 34 Reviews
  •  244 helpful votes
  •  79129 readers

"A beautiful place on the banks of Netravathi river"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted May 25, 2015
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.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 7 votes

Madhu Lakshmi

  • Scout
  • Madhu Lakshmi
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 2 Reviews
  •  17 helpful votes
  •  6211 readers

"Shrine place"

  • 6.0/7
  • 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.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 15 votes

Raj Esh

  • Scout
  • Raj Esh
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 4 Reviews
  •  298 helpful votes
  •  80640 readers

"A nice place with greenery around"

  • 7.0/7
  • 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.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 14 votes

Ajay Pushkaran

  • Explorer
  • Ajay Pushkaran
  • Flashpacker
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 7 Reviews
  •  114 helpful votes
  •  24543 readers

"Just great."

  • 7.0/7
  • 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.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 17 votes

Nagesh n pulavarthi

  • Scout
  • Nagesh n pulavarthi
  • Soulseeker
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 3 Reviews
  •  96 helpful votes
  •  17137 readers

"Best food in the Temple"

  • 7.0/7
  • 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.
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 17 votes

Keerthi kumar D

  • Tourist
  • Keerthi kumar D
  • 1 Review
  •  17 helpful votes
  •  8442 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
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • 17 votes

Vishwanath K.m.prashanth Sachin gowda Usha k Vishwanath, K.m.prashanth, Sachin gowda and 833 other people have been to Dharmasthala.
View their ratings...

Dharmasthala Sightseeing

Dharmasthala Blogs

Best time to visit Dharmasthala with family

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Dharmasthala Information