History

Shri Dharma Sastha temple is a Hindu temple located at the village Sasthamcotta, Kerala, India. It is surrounded three sides by the largest fresh water lake of Kerala, Sasthamkotta lake.
The temple here is well known for the inhabitance of monkeys. The temple monkeys are believed to be the divine retinue of the prime deity. The Sasthamcotta temple is one among the five ancient Sastha temples in Kerala - AchanKoil, Aryankavu, Kulathupuzha, Sasthamcotta and Sabarimala. The concept of Dharma Sastha represents the unison of Vaishnava and Saiva beliefs.

The presiding deity of the temple is Shri Dharma Sastha, accompanied by his consort ‘Prabha’ and son ‘Sathyaka’.

The legend of this temple stretches beyond the period of the Ramayana (Treta Yug). It is believed that Shri Rama along with his wife Sita, brother Lakshmana and the whole vaanara sena, on their way back to Ayodhya after the victory over Ravana, visited Sasthamcotta to pay their reverence to Shri Dharma Sastha. Shri Rama offered pithru tharpan on the banks of the Sasthamcotta Lake, the water of which is supposed to be identical to Surya Raga Theertha of Manasa Sarovar. Lord Rama then deputed the chief architect of his vanara (monkey) team, Neelan to serve his host. Neelan is believed to be the predecessor of the prevailing monkey clan in this temple.

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