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Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade

Holy Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Parama poojya Shri Shri D.Veerendra Heggadeji achieved remarkable service to mankind and became angel of mercy to the needy. The 21st in succession to the Dharmadhikari Peetha, has carried his ancestral heritage and tradition to a greater height.

Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade - Dharmadhikari, Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala In three decades his holiness, he emerged as a Guru, social reformer by forming a influence of faiths that harmonise in belief of the Omnipotent. Dharmasthala represents religious tolerance wherein the caste, creed and faith of pilgrims are no bars.

God wish and his father's (Param Poojya Shri Shri Ratnavarma Heggade) dream, He installed the beautiful Statue of Bahubali, 39 feet high and weighs over 210 tones and is the third biggest in the country. Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Dharmothana Trust has been established for the preservation of temples.

Dakshina Kannada rural people are blessed by the spiritual leader Shri Heggadeji extend a helping hand. For those who come in need Dharmasthala is an kalpavruksha. Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRP), the poverty eradication programme conceived by Shri Veerendra Heggade Ecompassed 100 of villages of covering 18,000 families. The Beneficiaries are the poorest among the poor. The SKDRP has spent more than Rs.10 Crore in developmental projects. This has generated more than Rs.90 Crore besides creating rural employment improving the living standards of the people. In 1995 the SKDRP bagged the FICCI award for its outstanding achievements.

In 1972 Shri Heggadeji introduced the holy concept of 'mass marriage'. The wedlock couples are blessed by wedding dress, mangalsutra and wedding feast for a limited number of couple's guests . Since then 500 couples being joined in wedlock on every year. Annapoorna Choultry, the beautiful dining hall has been constructed to feed 3000 guests comfortably at one time.

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 to the masses and teachers are trained in Yoga every year, who in turn teach at least 100 students each.

Shri Heggade contribution towards health care is unlimited. Fully equipped mobile hospital to deal with emergencies and provide medical treatment to the rural people, A modern T.B.Sanitorium is built by Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Medical Trust to give relief to the patients of tuberculosis and initiated number of Ayurvedic Hospitals, Nature Cure Hospital and Eye Hospitals.

Shri Heggadeji established Shri Manjunatheshwara Cultural and Research Foundation and through this foundation conducts research on religion, literature, arts and crafts and ancient scripts are being deciphered by scholars and experts and translated into modern language so that the gems of ancient literature may once again find their true place in Indian literature. He has started a school for Yakshagana (great ethnic dance-drama) for budding artists to teach intricacies of this highly demanding art form.

Manjusha, the museum established by Shri Heggade displays the cultural artifacts of the past. Ancient manuscripts and paintings have been painstakingly restored and preserved for posterity. A museum of beautiful antique objects, which is both educative and fascinating, has been established. A car museum houses a rare collection of vintage cars. The ancient ethnic crafts, Navalgund Carpets and Kasuti Embroidery have been revived on a non-profit basis. Shri Heggadeji has established many educational institutions such as 4 Higher Primary Schools, 4 High Schools, 12 Colleges and 12 Other Institutions. The Rathna Manasa free hostel provides free boarding and lodging for students of the 8th, 9th and 10th standards. More than 25 institutions from primary schools to professional colleges are run.

Considering the magnanimous service rendered by Dr.D.Veerendra Heggade to mankind, several organizations, Universities, Government Bodies have honoured him with awards. In April 1993 he was honoured with the title 'Rajarshi' by Dr.Shankar Dayal Sharma, President of India. For his social work in 1985, the Government of Karnataka honoured him with 'Rajyotsava Award'. Several Religious Mutts have conferred honourific titles such as 'Dharmarathna', 'Dharmabhushana', 'Paropakara Dhurandara' and 'Abhinava Chavundaraya'. Public Relation Society of India, Bangalore honoured Shree Heggade 'Man of the Year'. In 1994 he was conferred with 'Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award'. Mangalore University honoured him with a Doctorate causa honoris.

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