800 years ago
The Jain Chieftain, Shri Birmanna Pergade. Since then
20 generations of his lineage now known as Heggades
have dedicated their
lives for the management
and development of this sacred place,
Dharmasthala which literally means the abode of
Dharma. The head of the temple is known as
Dharmadhikari under whose guidance, direction and
vision the temple runs.
present Dharmadhikari, the 21st in the
lineage is Padmabhushan
Heggade, popularly known as Rajarshi, a man of vision
and action. He is a Karmayogi of great dedication and
devotion to duties.
Deity: Shri Manjunatheshwar(another name of Lord
Deities: Mother Goddess Ammanavru, Lord Ganesh and
the first Dharma Devates and also Annappa Swamy.
By: Shri Vadiraja Swamiji of Shri Madhwa
Peetha, Udupi, in the 16th Century, AD.
Festivals: Shri Ganesh Chaturthi(September);
Navaratri (9 days festival
during Dasara (Sept-October),
Deepavali(Festival of Lights—Oct.-November), Laksha
Deepotsava (Festisval of Lights and Grand
illumination) for 5 days in Kartika, (Nov. December),
Car Festival(April—Starting from Solar New Year’s
Day for nine days) and Pattanaje(the Last Festival of
the year May 24th)
Temple also holds Annually Sarva Dharma & Sahitya
Sammelan besides Cultural Programmes like folk dance,
music, dance and drama during Dasara.
Well connected by road to Mangalore which has a
Railway Station and also an Airport.
The temple has a unique feature of giving
justice if both the disputing parties agree. This is a
judiciary function and the aggrieved parties will
first report to the temple and the temple will
the opposite party irrespective of the caste or
creed or community. After listening to both the
parties, the Dharmadhikari gives his verdict which is
binding on both. There are no lawyers to plead, no
court stamp fee or inordinate delay, either.
notable activity of the temple is to help financially
restoration and repairs of other temples, if they seek
assistance. Really a very noble gesture.
The original name of the place was Kuduma, the
Headquarters of the Jain Chief Birmanna Pergade.
Pleased with his piousness, the dharma devatas or the
angels of righteousness arrived at this place. He
constructed a temple for them. Later during the 16th
Century, Shri Vadiraja Swamy of Shri Madhwa Peetha
Udupi consecreted Shri Manjunatheshwara Idol brought
specially from Mangalore Kadri temple and renamed this
place as Dharmasthala,
in appreciation of the dharmic and charitable
activities of the temple.
The tradition continues even now with more and
more vigour, year after year.
The temple serves free food every day to hundreds of
people, visitors and devotees.
The kitchen and dining hall is mechanised to
handle food for hundreds and it is worth seeing the
Activities: The temple runs a host of educational
institutions, professional colleges including a
Management Institute, in the state of Karnataka. The
samoohik wedding programmes are very popular when the
temple itself gifts the sacred gold mangalasutra, and
bears the expenses of
wedding dress and also dinner to a limited
number of guests of the couple. Every year more than
500 couples get married in this way, without any
barrier of caste, creed or community, or without the
problems of dowry and heavy expenditure.
Other Activities: The
temple has a very active yakshagana folk dance- drama
troupe and also a yakshagana
training centre. It has a Library of Ancient
Manuscripts; a Museum to display many facets of the
cultural heritage by exhibiting the sculptures,
paintings, idols and other works of art. There
is another museum where vintage cars of the bygone
era, yet completely roadworthy are on display. One may
not find such a beautiful collection of cars even in
the United States, the very home of automobile
industry. All this has been possible on account of the
untiring efforts and farsightedness of
Shri D.Veerndra Heggade, the dynamic
Dharmadhikari, who, always
moves with the
: Gomateshwar at Dharmasthala, carved By Dr. Shilpi
differently, this is a unique temple where Hinduism
and Jainism go hand in hand
almost without any line of demarcation.
Therefore, the tall monolithic Bahubali statue carved
around 1972 AD by Shilpi Ranjal Gopal Shenoy stands
here with all majesty.
recognition of his invaluable and distinguished
services to the society as a whole the Government of
India conferred on him the title of PADMA BHUSHAN
in the year
2000. A rare honour to excellent Temple Management.
is a temple of All
India fame, held in high esteem by GSBs as a