Inside the temple heritage town of Dharmasthala

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Inside Dharmasthala

Before heading to Udupi, our next destination after Ujire (which is a purely educational tour), we passed by Dharmastala to see another project.

Inside Dharmasthala
The gate of the Dharmasthala.

Dharmasthala is host to well known Shiva temple popularly known as "Manjunatha." The other temples include Shrine of Shri Manjunatheshwara, Shrine of Ammanavaru and the Four Daivas - Kalarahu, Kalarkayi, Kumaraswami and Kanyakumari, and Shrine of Lord Ganapathi. We did not get to see these temples due to lack of time. However, we did see the shrine of the 39-feet tall statue of Bahubali.

Inside Dharmasthala
The busy street of Dharmasthala where people from all of life converge for their devotion and worship.

While it is a pilgrimage site, this temple town also features the exhibition and restoration of Indian heritage. It has Manjusha museum with a cardinal purpose of bringing together the Indian heritage objects.  There is also a car museum but I did not have the chance to take photographs as it was prohibited to do so. At the very least, it was nice to see those vintage cars up on the show. We did not get to see the museum since it was already late as our group was heading for Udupi and the other group, back to Hassan. One interesting part of the complex was the collection of ancient elephant chariots. (More of these in a separate blog).

Inside Dharmasthala
The car museum. Photography is not allowed inside.

Inside Dharmasthala
This plane was bought and put up inside the complex as an exhibit intended for the poor who have not seen an airplane.

Inside Dharmasthala
An exhibit in front of the Car Museum.

If I had more time to explore this place, it would be great to observe what it is known for--religious tolerance as well as partaking of "Anna Daana" (free food). They serve at least 10,000 pilgrims every day that they have installed a mechanized kitchen to cater to everyone who would like to dine. So they say, it is perhaps one of the most impressive events that take place at the holy temple. It is also complete with free and paid lodging that caters to the poor and more affluent pilgrims, as well as shops and other amenities.

What strikes me most about this place is that devotees and pilgrims come in thousands every day--as honored guests irrespective of caste, creed, culture or status.

Inside Dharmasthala
Shri Kshethra Dharmastala Rural Development Project Office

More photos about Temple town of Dharmasthala.

This is the Third leg of my
Please come back for more stories while exploring and learning about the State of Karnataka in India.

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Aside from my day job, I love photography and storytelling. Going places--be it a cliche destination or the far side of the road--stoke and free my soul. I dig deeper into the people’s psyche, culture and ethnicity, and heritage. I love to observe how they thrive and build social institutions, preserve their culture and traditions.

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