Possessing a rich history that is more than 800 years old, the Sri Manjunatha Swamy Temple in Dharmasthala, also known as the Dharmasthala Temple is one of the most famous and most respected temples not only in southern India but all across the country. The presiding deity of this religious institution, Manjunatheshwara, is worshipped at this temple in the form of a shivalinga, and people from near and far flock in large numbers to seek his blessings. The river Nethravathi that flows in this region is also a famous attraction in this area, and pilgrims halt especially to take a bath in this river on their way to the temple.
What adds to the uniqueness of the Manjunatha Temple is the fact that this Shiva temple belongs to the Shaiva sect of Hinduism, is beseeched by Vaishnava priests, and is administered by a Jain Bunt family known as the Pergades. Thus, this historical structure also represents a place overflowing with religious tolerance, where caste, creed and faith of pilgrims do not really matter.
The Dharmasthala Temple is situated in the southern part of Karnataka, and other than the presiding deity Shiva, who is referred to as Manjunatha; other deities like Ammanavaru, the Tirthankara Chandraprabha, and the protective gods of Jainism, Kalarahu, Kalarkayi, Kumarasvami and Kanyakumari are also worshipped here. One of the most sacred places in south India, it is a must visit by all, irrespective of the religion that they belong to!
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