The position of the Heggade of Dharmasthala is a unique one, unknown in any other religious center in India. In the tradition of this Kshetra, he represents Lord Manjunatha. He is a pious grihastha or householder with numerous religious, social and cultural responsibilities towards the society.
The Heggade is religious and installed head of Shri Manjunatha Swamy Temple, he becomes the representative of Lord Manjunatha and performs all his responsibilities accordingly as per tradition. After installation as the Heggade, his religious duties include propagating the tradition of Dharma in accordance with the command of the Daivas, who accept him as their foster son and ensure that the traditional rituals are observed regularly in the temple of Lord Manjunatha.