In Mourya Kingdom,” Sthanika” held position as local authority and Tax collector for the kingdom. During that time Sthanika means Officer of the Sthana. Sthana means territory, created by the King, for administrative convenience. In “Tulunadu” Sthana also stands for Devasthana (temple) or Matta. Sthanika means Officer (Dharmadhikari) or Head of the Devasthana (Temple). Making arrangement for all religious performance of the Temple and Deity, was his prime duty. Sthanikas were very popular as Temple chief officer, Dharmadhikari, some time as Purohit or Sahiti. Sthanika means position of respect. He is Shaiva and follower of Panchayatana (Making Puja of five deities-Shiva, Durga, Ganapathi, Vishnu, and Surya) Puja Paddati (sytem) and held high position and respect in the society/village. Out of Sapta Kshetra in Tulunadu, Sri Kukke Subrmanya Kshetra is one of the important Kshetra and Sri Subramanya is worshiped by Sthanikas and in view of that they are called Subramanya Brahamins.
At Kukke Subramanya Temple, still there are Panchayatana (Five Panchaloha Deities) idols, representing Panchayatana Pooja System.
In Kadaba, near Subramanya one of the oldest temple of Shrikanta, a very rare Jatamukuta Ganapathi, facing east, is located in the main temple complex. This temple, even today is managed by Sthanika Brahmins. History says that Shri Adi Shankaracharya visited this place and that time this place was known as Ganapatyapura. During that time he has also visited Talaaki, a nearby village and established a Matta and first time preached Pachayatana Puja Paddati. Pachayatana Puja Paddati were practiced in the important temples of that time like Mangalore Kadri ManjunathaTemple, Kukke Subramanya Temple, Kasargod Maddur Shiva Temple, Puttur Mahalingeshwar Temple, Udupi Anantheshwar Temple, Koteshwar Kotinatha Temple, Basarur Nakareshwar Temple, Kollur Mookabhika Temple and Barakur Hattu keriya temples, as per Inscriptions and records.
Sthanika Brahmins also took active part in the freedom movement of India and fought against British rule. The Sthanika Brahmins who were at the helm of affairs in anti-British movement, were sacked from their traditional posts and their hereditary trusteeship of the temple was also cancelled. A large number of people from the community also have been hanged to death by British and the community became economically poor.
As time passed, due to change in the local administration, political practices, subsequent government policies, the importance of Sthanika Brahmins came down, the position and power held by them are taken away by the other powerful sections of the society. With the change in overall situation, Sthanika Brahmins, having lost their importance, concentrated on higher education to their children and choose to explore the newer possibilities, outside their main area of temple management and other Dharmic activities.
(Reference the Sthanikas and their Historical Importance (1938), by Dr. B. A. Saletore, M. A., Ph. D. (Lond.) D.Phil (Giessen) and Tulunadina Ithihasa of Prof. P. Gururaj Bhat).