The Heggade is religious head of Sri Manjunatha Swamy Temple. After installation as the Heggade,  he becomes the representative of Lord Manjunatha and performs his religious duties of 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.

Discharging his responsibilities true to his conscience and acting on the precepts of religion, the Heggade acquires an aura of divinity which enables him to function as a representative of Lord Manjunatha and other Dharma Daivas. He executes his social responsibilities as a pious grihastha by extending the four traditional Danas – Anna Dana(Feeding), Aushadha Dana(Healthcare), Vidya Dana(Educate) and Abhaya Dana(Protect from fear). These being the gifts of food, medicine education and freedom from fear. The Heggade is regarded as the voice of Lord Manjunatha. He is expected to Dispense justice, advice and munificence to whoever approaches him with his problems and needs.


A major judiciary function of the Heggade is the settlement of Hoyulus. These are civil complaints presented at Dharmasthala by people of all creeds. When such a complaint is lodged, an intimation is sent to the opposite party who is requested to come to the temple. When both parties appear before the Heggade and present their cases, he gives his verdict which is accepted as the law. In fact, decisions given at Hoyulus are accepted by the Civil Courts of the country. The belief in Hoyulus is such that there have been instances where long standing disputes have been settled, sometimes by the posterity of the injured parties.

Aaja and Aane

“Maatubida Manjunatha”, the name of Lord Manjunatha shall not be uttered in vain. So great is the belief of the people in Lord Manjunatha, that they invoke his name when they reach the end of their tether to find a solution to a dispute without remedy. At such times the injured party literally throws up its arm and with closed eyes stops the opponent from going any further by invoking the name of Lord Manjunatha. The strange thing about this practice is that it is adopted by people of all faiths.

Once the injured party has uttered the Lord’s name, both parties cease to make any contact with each other and the dispute is settled only by the Heggade, who is the representative of Lord Shri Manjunatha. The heggade’s decision is left unquestioned and is accepted with utmost reverence.

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