Trip to Dharmasthala Temple - Shri Manjunatheshwara Temple is located on the banks of holy river Nethravathi at the foothills of Western Ghats in Dakshina Kannada.
“Dharmasthala” means the abode of dharma. Shri Manjunatheshwara, a form of Lord Shiva, is the chief deity of the spiritual abode of Dharmasthala. Lord Manjunath is worshipped here in a very unusual yet exceptionally inordinate manner. The other shrines here are Ammanavaru, Chandranath and the Dharma Daivas (Kalarahu, Kalarkayi, Kumaraswamy and Kanyakumari). Administered by Jain descendants and rituals are performed by Vaishnava priests, this temple is unique in its own way. it is the embodiment of the world’s most divine emotions and devotees irrespective of caste and creed visit here for His blessings.
Accommodation to visit Dharmasthala Temple is available in the guest houses if booking is done well in advance, at a nominal rate. Since ours was a last minute plan we could not get accommodation in the guest house. We had already planned a visit to Kukke Subramanya temple, which is 60 kms away, after our visit here. So we were able to book a hotel accommodation there at Kukke. One of our travel mates had told us that she had come here earlier and at that time she stayed in one of the guest houses and the rooms are very clean and well maintained.
The place is very peaceful and can feel a positive vibe throughout. We took a special darshan ticket of Rs.200/- for fast darshan.
Food - It is a traditional belief not to leave Dharmasthala without savouring the prasadam meal, doing so leaves your pilgrimage incomplete. The pilgrims are served with a three-course meal. Usually people sit down and have lunch, but chairs and tables are provided to those who cannot sit down.
Dress code - Men should wear dhothi and remove their shirts and banyans while entering the Sanctum Sanctorum. and no half pants are allowed. . Ladies should wear traditional dresses and no nighties are allowed. Children below 2 years are also not allowed inside the Sanctum Sanctorum of Dharmasthala temple.
Mobile phones are not allowed inside the temple. Security checking. Good management.
Temple Timings: 6.30 am -2.00 pm & 5.00 pm – 8.30 pm
Best time to Visit: Between October and February
After the temple visit, another attraction is Manjusha Museum - A vast collection of articles depicting the culture and history of Dharmasthala, including a 300 year old veena, are displayed here.