Dharmasthala

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Dharmasthala is amongst the most revered places. It is a place that u must visit and experience for more reasons than one. Here a Jain Tirthankara is worshipped on the same consecrated grounds as the native Daivas and Lord Manujatha (Shiva). Priests are Vaishnavite Brahmins and the guardian of the temple is Heggade, a Jain by faith. The building in centre of pic is the main temple that houses Lord Manjunatha. In front is the market.

Pic is not as good due to sun but wanted to give u a feel of the temple entrance. The Sri Manjunathaswamy Temple is housed inside his building. This is a private temple of the Heggade family. Temple complex is very well managed. Has an excellent guest house, town is very clean and a huge dining hall where meals are served free to one and all.

Market right in front of temple. Loved the thatched roof structure. Hope is not replaced by a concrete and steel one. 800 years ago Dharmasthala was known as Kuduma in Mallarmadi, then a village in South Kanara. Around the 16th century Shri Vadiraja Swami of Udupi visited the place and conserrated the shiva linga himself according to Vedic rites after which Swamiji named the place Dharmasthala, the abode of dharma and charity.

This is the huge dining hall where people of all ages, castes, economic status eat the same food side by side. On some days 50,000 devotees are fed. The dining hall and kitchen are very clean. Food is served with a sewa bhavna. Also see the Jain Basadi that I missed seeing.

A few minutes before the main temple are a series of steps that take you to an image of Bhagwan Bahubali. It is on the top of a hill. Can go by car also. U read the story of Bahubali on a board ie part of the temple complex.

Sculpture of Bahubali with Dharma Yaksha in front.

Lower portion of Dharma Yaksha has this image. Can someone help with a narration to this pic.

The stone sculpture of Bahubali symbolises renunciation, self control and subjugation of ego as the first step towards salvation. The naked (digambara) form of Bahubali represents complete victory over earthly desires and needs that hamper spiritual ascent towards divinity.

It was about 3.30pm and tried to get a clear picture from different angles. Dharmasthala is about 75 kms from Mangalore and less than two hours drive from Subramanya temple, situated in the Western Ghats. Work on the 39 foot high statue, carved from a single rock, with a pedestal of 13 feet was started in 1967 and completed in 1970 at Karakal. It was installed on 25/12/197 and the Mahaprathisthapna was conducted on 3/2/1982 by 108 Shri Acharya Vidyanandaji Maharaj.

Feet of Bahubali. 20 generations of the Heggade lineage have devoted their lives to manage and develop the Dharmasthala kshetra. See the Vintage Car collection and visit Manjusha, the Museum.

Elephant entrance to Bahubali enclosure. The Heggade Family also run numerous educational institutions for eg Mangala Jyothi school Mangalore, English school Ujire, SDM College Ujire, SDM Law College Mangalore, SDM College of Engineering and Technology Dharwad, SDM Institute of Management Development Mysore, SDM College of Medical Sciences and Hospital Dharwad, SDM College of Ayurveda Hassan.

View from top of the hill where Bahubali statue is. Very green. Information wrt temple and Heggade family taken from brochure published by temple trust. The family also undertakes rural development work. Very impressed. Devotees told me that Dharmasthala trust does o/s work and receives huge donations from individual devotees. May Lord Shiva bless all those who have made Dharmasthala the dharmic place that it is.