Dharmasthala is an important temple town located on the banks of River Nethravati in Belthangadi taluk, Dakshin Kannada district in Karnataka. The village is famous for its Dharmashtala temple, which houses the shrines of Manjunatha, Ammanavaru, Chandranath and the Dharma Daivas.
The temple is quite famous in the region and sees tourists and pilgrims flocking from all over the world. The temple sees a minimum of about 10,000 people a day. The speciality of the temple is the fully mechanized kitchens which are capable of cooking food for all the pilgrims who visit the temple. Yes, every devotee is fed a hearty meal in the temple premises every single day, for free!
The temple has a rich heritage and is atleast eight centuries old! Apart from religious significance, the temple is also known for its social services that have taken place for years on end. Dharmasthala witnesses special events such as mass marriages, where people can get married without having to bear extraneous expenses. The anna dana, where people of all cast, creed and ethnicity are fed on a daily basis. The temple also hosts a variety of educational institutes, where students are provided education at a concession.
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