Sthānika Tuḷu Brāhmins are the original Brahmins of ancient tulunadu also known as Parasurama Kshetra. Sthanika’s are one of the oldest Shatkarmi brahmins of South India and are referred in many ancient historical inscriptions as Sthānādhipathi, Sthānādhyaksha or Tuḷu brahmins. Sthānika Brāhmins are followers of Advaita Philosophy and practice the Panchayatana form of worship. They are disciples of the Sri Sringeri Jagadguru Samsthanam from the time of Sri Adi Shankara.
The word Sthānika is a sanskrit word and has meanings such as ‘Fixed worshiper’,’Chief priest of a temple’, ‘Manager or Administrator of temple’ ‘One who holds managerial position’,’Governor of a place’, ‘Tax collector’, ‘People of local place’ etc. Sthānika Brahmins acquired their name owing to their managerial positions such as ‘Chief priest of a temples’, Temple administrators, tax collectors etc.
Sthānika Brāhmins history in Tulunadu dates back even before 380BC. From Historical records (stone, copper plate inscriptions and literature) ranging over a period of more than twenty centuries till the end of the 18th century, we can deduce and establish the facts, the origin, the history and the importance of the Sthānika brāhmins in the history of Tulunadu.
They were the founders of almost all temples of tulunadu and were the chief priests until 1845. Sthanikas of south canara are also called as Subrahmanya sthanikas as Kukke Subrahmanya was their main center till the end of 16th century.
Sthānika Brāhmins were highly respected by, for their character, knowledge, proficiency, and efficiency. During the first quarter of the seventeenth century A.D., the Sthanikas in tulu speaking region of coastal Karnataka lost their reputed position because of the acute Saiva-Vaisnava rivalry, the changed political set up, the British revenue policies and as they joined their hands in freedom fights supporting the local rulers of that time.
Today sthanikas being well educated and economically well positioned joining their hands establishing unity among the different subsects of Dravida Brahmins and continues to be disciples of Sringeri Sharada Peetham.