Holy Pilgrimage – Karnataka State –( Devarayanadurga temples, Dharmaraya swamy temple-Bangalore and Dharmasthala temple-Dharmasthala ) -9

Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Karnataka State

Yoganarasihma and Bhoganarasimha Temples, Devarayanadurga

Devarayanadurga (Kannada: ದೇವರಾಯನ ದುರ್ಗ) is a hill station near Tumkur in the state of Karnataka in India. The rocky hills are surrounded by forest and the hilltops are dotted with several temples including the Yoganarasimha and the Bhoganarasimha temples and an altitude of 3940 feet.  It is also famous for Namada Chilume, a natural spring considered sacred and is also considered the origin of the Jayamangali river. Another famous temple in the area is the Mahalakshmi Temple at Goravanahalli.


The place was originally known as Anebiddasari and Jadakana Durga after a chief named Jadaka and finally as Devarayana Durga subsequent to its capture by Mysore king Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar.

Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple

The temple, built in the Dravidian style of architecture, faces east and is said to have been constructed by Kanthirava Narasaraja I, king of Mysore. From the inscriptions numbered Tumkur 41 and 42, we learn that the enclosure and tower were repaired in 1858 by the Mysore king Krishnaraja Wodeyar III.
A south Indian automobile company has helped in the improvement and maintenance of the temple environs.
BhogaNaraishma temple is at the base of the hill and Yoga Narasimha temple is on top of the hill
On the third elevation stands, facing east, a temple of Narasimha, known as the Kumbhi. This Narasimha temple consists of a Garbhagriha, a sukanasi, a navagraha and a mukhamantapa and is similar to the plan of the temple below. In addition to the temple there are three sacred ponds or Kalyani here known as Narasimha-teertha, Parasara-teertha and Pada-teertha.
There is also another temple, said to be older than Lakshmi Narasimha swamy, dedicated to Hanuman, also known as Sanjivaraya, who stands with folded hands.
Higher up above is a small shrine of Garuda. On easter hill are located travellers bungellow and other guest houses.


Legend has it that the devotees of Hindu temples used to perform the ritual of circling the hills on which the temples were situated. As an effort to revive the practice, a large number of Devotees perform the Giri-pradakshina, organized by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).


Car Festival: Devarayana Durga Sri Bhoga Narasimhaswamy jathra/Car festival, an annual Car festival is held during Phalguna Masa shuddha poornima day somewhere in the Month of March/April in Devarayanadurga. On this day the chariot/car/Ratha of Sri Bhoga Narasimhaswamy is drawn in the main Ratha beedhi of the hill town. The festival draws devotees from all over Bangalore-Tumkur and surrounding region.
Narasimha Jayanthi: Devarayanadurga Sri Lakshminarasimhaswamy's Narasimha jayanthi, an annual celebration of Narasimha avathara day takes place during Chaitra Shudha chathurdashi (May month) at which thousands of people gather and many pendals are built to serve then with summer drinks like Panakam, buttermilk, phalamruth and free feeding is done to all devotees coming for the darshan of lord.

Namada Chilume (Chilume means spring)

At the base of the hill on the road leading to Tumkur, is a place called Namada Chilume (chilume means spring). Myth has it that Sri Rama on his way to Lanka halted here. As he did not find water anywhere around to wet the "Nama" (a kind of paste Hindus apply on their forehead), he shot an arrow into the ground, and a spring sprang and thus the name (Rama)-Namada chilume. The spring can be still seen, and there is a foot impression of Lord Sri Rama near that.
Namada Chilume is a natural spring situated by Devarayanadurga, near Tumkur in the state of Karnataka in India  The spring issues from the surface of the rock. It is believed that Lord Shri Rama, along with Sitha and Laxman, stayed here during their Vanavas. Lord Shri Rama searched for water to apply nāma/tilak on his forehead. When he couldn't find any water, he shot an arrow aiming at the rock. The arrow penetrated the rock, made a hole, and the water came out. Henceforth, this place was called Namada Chilume, meaning "Spring of Tilak". As shown in the picture, the water comes out from a small hole throughout the year and never dries up. The water that comes out is considered as sacred water (Theertha). It is approximately 14 km from Tumkur and 80 km from Bengaluru
Little away from the current government guest house, just facing the spring is an old, dilapidated guest house constructed in 1931. Dr. Salim Ali was said to have stayed in this guest house during his Ornithological visits to this place, around 1938. Interestingly enough there is a moist deciduous patch behind the old guest house, adjoining the huge rock face and Dr. Salim Ali had collected moist-deciduous bird species in this area, which are no longer to be seen now


The karnataka forest department has developed a nursery of medicinal plants near Namada Chilume picnic spot on Devarayanadurga hills. There are about 300 varieties of rare ayurvedic plants in this nursery. Only particular species of plants are cultivated on specified plots for easy identification of the plant varieties. The nursery is located at a forest spot beside Tumkur-Devarayanadurga bus route. The nursery, known as the mini forest of medicinal plants, has been developed with the objective of conserving endangered species of plants on Devarayanadurga hills.
Devarayanadurga – Mythology
  • Legend is that God Brahma Deva performed great penance to please lord Vishnu for thousands of years and lord Vishnu pleased revealed himself in the form of Yoga Narasimha Swamy, a variation of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu.
  • Also this place is also famous as Karigiri. Legend associated with this name tells that sage Bhirgu cursed Gandharva brothers, Devadatta and Dhanunjaya to take shape of a mountain and one as an elephant. Kari – Means elephant in local language and Giri – means mountain, so the name Karigiri. Also according to another popular legend this place is also known as Kusumadri. It is said that gods showered flowers on Sri Maha Vishnu when he killed a demon named Pundarika, thus the name Kusumadri.
  • The temple of Yoga Narasimha Swamy has a sacred pond named by Kalyani Theertham. It is believed that a sacred stream of water runs through the idol and one can experience this at the “Sri Padha Theertha” entrance.
  • Legend has it that the devotees of Hindu temples used to perform the ritual of circling the hills on which the temples were situated. As an effort to revive the practice, a large number of devotees perform the Giri-Pradakshina, organized by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).
Devarayanadurga – Facts
You can visit this temple during two festivals.
  • Sri Bhoganarasimhaswamy Jathra: This is an annual festival, is held during somewhere in the month of March/April in Devarayanadurga.
  • On this day the chariot/Ratha of Sri Bhoganarasimhaswamy is pulled, and on this festival devotees from all over Bangalore, Tumkur and surrounding areas flock to see the beautifully adorned god.
  • Narasimha Jayanthi: An annual celebration of Narasimha incarnation takes place during the month of May when thousands of devotees gather and many shelters are built to serve them with summer drinks like Panakam, buttermilk and free food is given to all devotees coming to get a glimpse of the lord.
How to Get to Devarayanadurga
  • Devarayanadurga is around 75 km from Bangalore and 15 km from Tumkur. There are three routes available:
  • Bangalore –> Nelamangala –> Dabaspet –> Urdigere –> Devarayanadurga
  • Bangalore –>Tumkur –> Devarayanadurga
  • Bangalore –> Nelamangala –> Kyatsandra (Siddha Ganga cross) –> Devarayanadurga hills
There are KSRTC buses plying from Majestic bus station every fifteen minutes to Tumkur. From Tumkur you have to take another bus to Devarayanadurga.


KSTDC operates a hotel in Devarayanadurga called Hotel Mayura Meghadoota


Dharmaraya Swamy Temple, Bangalore

Dharmaraya Swamy Temple is a famous temple situated in Bangalore city. It is unique as it is dedicated to the Pandavas and not found anywhere else in India.


The exact historical background of the city and the history of the temple like the name of the builder, date of construction is not clear.
When we look at the history of the temple, it is believed that the temple was constructed by the Ganga Arasu people. These people also known as Vanniya Kula Kshatriyas had migrated from north Tamil Nadu i.e. the present Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, and Neelagiri areas to the southern Mysore area.
The Archeology survey department which has undertaken a study of the stone and masonry has concluded that this temple is about 800 years old. It is also learnt that when Bangalore city was built by Kempe Gowda in 16th century, the Kempegowda Gopuras (towers) were built in the four corners of the city keeping the Sri Dharmarayaswamy Temple vimanagopura kalasa as a centre point. The four towers are the Ulsoor tower in the North-East, The Bellary Road Tower in the North-West, The Lalbagh Tower in the South-East, The Gavipura Tower in the South-West.
The Gonga Arasu or Ganga Arasu kings used to build their towns near lakes or river beds and also, built their temples at a lower level to the ground with a further lower level pradakshina patha. Sri Dharmaraya Swamy temple was built in the Sidhikatte lake bed area & it is below the land level that existed prior to current Bangalore. It is also learnt that this old town was called as Kalyanapuri, a Town of Temples, Ponds & Religious centres. Later, it was named as "Bendhakaluru" and then as "Bengaluru".

Karaga festival

Bangalore Karaga is a famous festival celebrated in honour of Goddess Draupadi amma. It celebrates the triumph of good over evil and is also symbolic of the power of women.
Karaga begins with the flag raising ceremony (Dhwajarohana) and on the first day, the Veerakumaras and the priest wear janivara (sacred thread worn as a band over the left shoulder) and kankana(sacred thread tied on the wrist). Prayers are offered by the priest, the Veerakumaras and the Chakridaararu. From 2nd to 6th day, aarthi is performed in the evenings at the Cubbon Park shakti peeta and then at eight sources of water used in the festivities. On the 6th day, ladies pray to Draupadi Devi and perform an elaborate aarti. This ritual is also called as the festival of lights  The 7th day is known as Hasi karaga when symbolically the goddess is readied for her marriage. She emerges from the lake, decorated as a bride and carries the kalasha(pot). The Veerakumaras pay their obeisances to her and escort her to the Sri Dharmarayaswamy Temple. On the 8th day, Pongal prepared by the wives of the Veerakumaras is offered to the goddess.
On the full moon day, the marriage of the goddess is performed and the utsav murthis are taken in a procession. This procession is performed in the night and this is the famous Karaga procession. The procession does not stop anywhere and is always in a dynamic state. The Prasada of lime received from the goddess is said to bring relief from ailments and misfortunes. The 10th day is Shanthi pooje to Potha raja, a guardian deity and the brother in law of the Pandavas. The 11th day is Vasanta utsava and finally, the flag is brought down signalling the end of festivities 
Interestingly, the Karaga priest has to perform austerities for six months before the Karaga and during this period, he wears his wife’s Mangala sutra. It is returned to the wife during a symbolic marriage ceremony on the 10th day of Karaga. She will not be seeing her husband from the time of Vijayadashami as he will reside in the temple till the Karaga is over. So when the Karaga procession stops in front of her house, unlike the other devotees, she cannot come out to be blessed.
Gowdas, Ganacharyas, Chakridaararu are the ordained sects among the Vahnikula Kshatriyas to carry the tradition of conducting the Karaga. Chakridararu are those who perform the various pooja activities at the time of Karaga. These include the ghante poojaris, who are the gurus and carry out the temple rituals, the family of the Karaga priest, the descendants from the clan of Potaraja, Banka dasayya (announcers of the Karaga) and Kolkararu (messengers). These five families have a Kula purohita(clan priest), who is a Brahmin. He performs rituals as per the shastras (sacred texts). All the rituals are steeped in secrecy. Overall management and supervision of the festivities is done by Ganacharyas. All these categories of functionaries are supervised by the Gowdas, who ensure smooth functioning

Architecture and styles

 The temple resembles the architectural features of the Gangas, the Pallavas and the Vijayanagara styles. The garbhagruha is in Ganga style, the vimanagopura is in Pallava style and the mukhamantapa is in Vijayanagar style, which shows the development of this temple in three different ages. The fourth stage of development of rajagopura and sabhangana was taken up in 20th century.
The earlier rajagopura was built well before Kempe gowda founded Bangalore in the year 1530 A.D. Kempe Gowda was an ardent devotee of this temple. Bangalore city was designed keeping this temple as its reference. The temple area was developed as Halasuru pete. This area is also known as Kalyanapuri. The temple had vast area around with a Kalyani & Dharmachatra, which however are not found today.
There were Pallavas style carved chambers between prangana & the newly built sabhangana, these carved chambers were removed and replaced by Ashtalakshmi Idols. The study quotes that the vimanagopura which is in the Pallava style matches with that of the Magadi temples & Halasuru temples built by Kempe Gowda.

Historical records

The temple records reveal that Sri Immadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar of Mysore visited the temple in 1811 A.D. to confirm for himself the fame and real truth of Karaga Shakthyotsava since it was as famous as the Mysore Dasara even during those days. The king brought two sharpened swords (Alagu) as presents to the temple, to perform the Aluguseva with these alagus and to test whether the Alaguseva was true of not. The Veerakumaras of the temple accepted the alagu and performed the Alaguseva. The two swords broke into pieces when the Veerakumaras offered alaguseva to the Goddess. The king was overwhelmed and became an ardent devotee of the goddess Adhishakthi Draupadi. After this incident, it is said that the king’s sick mother recovered from a fatal disease and the king also had a peaceful and prosperous life. The king was happy and donated huge properties in the form of land and jewels to the temple.
The administration of the temple was taken up by the Mysore royal family. The Dharmadarshi committee managed the temple in the name of the Maharaja of Mysore. After independence, the temple was taken to Muzrai department with special community privileges. Presently this temple is the oldest temple in the Muzrai records and is maintained by the Muzrai department.
More than the Historical references and its backgrounds, the practices followed by the temple serve as a proof of its antiquity. The sthothras recited during the Karaga Shaktyotsava are in the aravu language, spoken prior to the historical period

Dharmasthala Temple, Dharmasthala, Karnataka

Dharmasthala Temple (Sanskrit: श्री क्षेत्र धर्मस्थल) is an 800-year-old   religious institution in the temple town of Dharmasthala in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka, India. The deities of the temple are Shiva who is referred to as Manjunatha, Ammanavaru, Chandranath and the Dharma Daivas (guardian spirits of Dharma) namely Kalarahu, Kalarkayi, Kumaraswamy and Kanyakumari. The temple is considered unique   since it belongs to the Shaivite sect of Hinduism. The priests are Shivalli Brahmins who belong to the Vaishnava sect of Hinduism and the administration is run by a Jain Bunt family called the Pergades.

The village is known for its Dharmasthala Temple which houses the shrine of Shiva,Manjunatha, Ammanavaru, Chandranath and the Dharma Daivas (Guardian Spirits of Dharma) namely Kalarahu, Kalarkayi, Kumaraswamy and Kanyakumari.The temple is unusual in that it is run by a Jain administration and poojas are conducted by Hindu priests of Madhva order. Lakshadeepa- the festival of lights is the annual festival of Dharmasthala comes off in November–December.[2] On an average the flow of pilgrims is about 10,000 people a day. A mechanised kitchen provides free food for all pilgrims and there are guest houses with modern amenities

Dharmastala represents religious tolerance. A Jain Tirthankara is worshipped beside Daivas and Lord Manjunatha (Shiva). The priests are Vaishnavite Brahmins and the guardian of the temple a Heggade (Jain).

Legend and origin

TIME:6.30 A.M TO 2 P.M & 6.30 P.M TO 8.30 P.M TEL:08256-277121 800 years ago, Dharmasthala was known as Kuduma in Mallarmadi, then a village in Belthangady. Here lived the Jain Bunt chieftain Birmanna Pergade and his wife Ammu Ballalthi in a house called Nelliadi Beedu. According to the legend, the guardian angels of Dharma assumed human forms and arrived at Pergade's abode in search of a place where Dharma was being practised and could be continued and propagated. As was their habit, the couple hosted these illustrious visitors with all their wherewithal and great respect. Pleased by their sincerity and generosity, that night the Dharma Daivas appeared in the dreams of Pergade. They explained the purpose of their visit to him and instructed him to vacate his house for the worship of the Daivas and dedicate his life to the propagation of Dharma. Asking no questions, the Pergade built himself another house and began worshiping the Daivas at Nelliadi Beedu.
This worship of daivas continues. The Dharma Daivas again appeared before Pergade to build separate shrines to consecrate the four Daivas — Kalarahu, Kalarkayi, Kumaraswamy and Kanyakumari. Also, Pergade was instructed to choose two persons of noble birth to act as the Daivas' oracles and four worthy persons to assist Pergade in his duties as the executive head of the shrines. In return, the Daivas promised Pergade protection for his family, abundance of charity and renowned for the 'Kshetra'. Pergade, as desired, built the shrines and invited Brahmin priests to perform the rituals. These priests requested Pergade to install a Shivalinga beside the native Daivas. The Daivas then sent their vassal Annappa Swamy to procure the lingam of Shiva from Kadri Sri Manjunatha Temple, near Mangalore. Subsequently, the Manjunatha temple was built around the linga.

Pergade family

The Pergade family is a Jain Bunt family who descend from the creator of the temple. Birmanna Pergade and his wife Ammu Ballalthi and are the hereditary trustees of the temple. The eldest male member assumes the position of Dharma Adhikari (chief administrator) and uses the title Heggade. The Heggade was the feudal lord of the temple town and solved civil or criminal disputes. This was a judicial function and continues even to this day: The Heggade sits in judgement on hundreds of civil complaints, known as hoyulu, each day  About nearly twenty generations of the Pergade family have assumed the position of Dharma Adhikari. The present Dharma Adhikari is Veerendra Heggade.

Anna dānā

The average flow of pilgrims is about 10,000 people everyday.Every one of the thousands of pilgrims who daily visit shri Kshetra Dharmasthala is an honored guest irrespective of caste, creed, culture or status.The "Anna Daana"(free food) is perhaps one of the most impressive events that takes place at the holy temple.Free food is provided to devotees who come in thousands every day.The temple has modern machinery and makes quality food continuously throughout the day.Temple does not differentiate between the rich and the poor for the Anna Dhaana.The dining hall is known as "Annapoorna" .

Vidya dānā

Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala by the SDMCET Society manages a 25 institutions ranging from primary schools, Gurukula to teach yoga, Sanskrit, and professional courses in Engineering, Medicine, and Dental Sciences in Dharmasthala, Ujire, Mangalore, Udupi, Dharwad, Hassan, Mysore and other places of Karnataka state.
The Siddavana gurukula started by the Late Manjayya Heggade has become a model educational institution. Over 250 students are provided free lodging and boarding and learn yoga, Sanskrit in addition to basic school curriculum. The specialty of this institution is its endeavor to teach values based on Indian Culture.

Aushada dānā

In the field of health care, the medical trust also provides services to eradicate and prevent many diseases in local villages. The mobile hospital established by poojya shri Heggade is fully equipped to deal with emergencies and to provide medical treatment to the rural folk in remote parts of the Malnad area. A modern tuberculosis sanitorium was built by Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Medical Trust to give relief to the patients of tuberculosis. It has since been converted into a general hospital. The Ayurvedic Hospitals at Udupi and Hassan provide Ayurvedic medicines as per the ancient text. The Nature Cure Hospital, built on the banks of the Netravathi River, uses a system based on the five elements of Air, Earth, Ether, Water and Light.
SDM Eye Hospital at Mangalore, is a modern scientific eye treatment centre. The SDM Dental Hospital serves regular dental needs and provides specialised treatments such as oral implants, surgery for cleft lip and other orthodontic surgeries.
Shri Heggade has been actively involved in propagating the practice of Yoga, the ancient system of fitness. Surya Namaskara Camps are regularly organised where Yoga is taught. Further 250 high school teachers are trained in Yoga every year, who in turn teach at least 100 students each.

Abhaya dānā

Free mass weddings which were started in 1972 have gained popularity. Every year hundreds of couples are getting married (Saamoohika Vivaha Mahotsava) here. Following the tradition of the Kshetra where all religions and castes are welcome, hundreds of couples are married in accordance with their personal religious rite. The expenses of the wedding dress, Mangalsutra and Wedding feast for a limited number of the couple's guests are borne by the Kshetra

Netravati River

The Netravati River (Tulu: ನೇತ್ರಾವತಿ ತುದೆ )(Kannada: ನೇತ್ರಾವತಿ) (or Nethravathi River) has its origins at Gangamoola in Kudremukh in Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka, India. One of the longest bridge in India, Kanyakumari-Panavel Bridge is the Bridge of this River. This river flows through the famous pilgrimage place Dharmasthala and considered as one of the Holy rivers of India. It merges with the Kumaradhara River at Uppinangadi before flowing to the Arabian Sea, south of Mangalore city. This river is the main source of water to Bantwal and Mangalore. The Netravathi railway bridge is one of the known bridges which serve as the gateway to Mangalore.
Earlier in the last century it was known as the Buntwal River; the important town of Bantwal is seen on its banks. A reference to the River Nettrawutti, as unfordable during the South-West Monsoon, can be seen in the Gazetteer of Southern India,, published in 1855. It has an apparent breadth of about 200 yards with a bed encumbered by large rocky masses, chiefly of hornblende rock, containing spangles of mica and small garnets. Sienites also occur, as fragments of a beautiful pegmatite with flesh coloured feldspar are seen in the beds of rivulets. The Netravati River is navigable by small country craft for many miles.
Often Bantwal has been submerged in bygone years during the monsoon by overflowing river Netravati. Many residents left the town, settled elsewhere, and prospered. The major floods remembered by the elders of the town occurred in 1928 and 1974


Seva Chart

Devotees may avail Darshan, Pooja & Prasadam from 6-30 a.m. to 2-00 p.m.

Abhisheka, Archane will be held from 8-30 a.m. to 11-00 a.m.

At night Darshan, Pooja will be held from 7-00 p.m. to 8-30 p.m.

Thulabhara Seva can be offered at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 Noon on any day. 
  (Materials supplied by Temple only)

Special Functions

Special Functions Held at Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala

Ganesha Festival
  Ganesha Chowthi
  Car festival
 Worship of Lord Ganapathi in the Temple and the storehouse.
 Night-long Bhajan and special poojas.
 Immersion of Ganapathi in the tank near the Beedu with pomp and Ceremony.

Annual Jathre
A nine-day festival.
A nine-day Festival (April)
Special worship at the Sri Ammanavaru Shrine.
Starts from Hindu New Year day (Solar New Year). - Souramana Ugadi
Entertainment programmes of music, folk dances, harikathas and bhajan.
Car festival and other rituals.
Distribution of sarees.

Festival of lights and commencement of special annual ceremonies
Last festival of the Year (May 24th)
Ceremonial idol of the Lord Manjunatha Swamy is taken out in procession.

Ranga pooja and car festival start.

Laksha Deepotsava

Festival of lights and grand illumination celebrated for five days in the month of Kartika (November - December)

Sarva-Dharma & Sahithya Sammelana

Seminar on fine arts on the third day

Seminar on religions of the world, on the fourth day

Seminar on literature on the fifth day

Special poojas to Chandranatha Swamy


With the Flow of  Pilgrims rising exponentially over the years, the Old Dharmasthalas Ganga, Kaveri and Narmada have been augmented by seven moderen guest houses. . . -Gayathri, Netravathi, Vaishali, Sharavathi, Saketha, Gangothri and Rajathadri which have increased the capacity manifold. Sri D.Harshendra Kumar has been managing the affairs of the various departments of Dharmasthala by rendoring yeoman service


Mangalore to Dharmasthala
79 km
Bangalore to Dharmasthala
314 km
Chennai to Dharmasthala
659 km
Hyderabad to Dharmasthala
764 km
Pune to Dharmasthala
788 km

Om Tat Sat

(My humble  salutations to the great devotees ,  wikisources  and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )


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