Dharmasthala – A Popular Hindu Pilgrim Temple
Dharmasthala is a popular Hindu pilgrim temple town located on the banks of Nethravati River in the Dakshin Kannada district of the Indian state of Karnataka.
The town is known for being the hub of a list of villages, the most famous of which is of the namesake, Dharmasthala Temple that houses the shrine of Shiva, Manjunatha, Chandranath, Dharma Daivas, and Ammanavaru.
One of the most unusual yet fascinating aspects of the temple is the fact that it is run by a pure Jain administration, yet the priests who conduct all religious and cultural events here are of the Hindu community of the Madhava order.
The place certainly conveys a strong essence of religious tolerance.
Dharmasthala on a daily basis hosts approximately 10,000 pilgrims and the big mechanized kitchen here actually provides free food to every pilgrim. The place is also decked with accommodations for the devotees, with all kinds of modern amenities.
The most popular festivity here is the annual festival of lights named Lakshadeepa, held in the months of November-December; and although the temple town is always bustling throughout the entire year, it is especially during this festival that there’s a huge gathering of devotees from all over the country and celebrations get on in full swing.