In Mourya Kingdom Sthanikas were local authority and Tax collector for the kingdom. During that time Sthanika means Officer of the Sthana. Sthana means Province which made according to administrative convenience. In Tulunadu Sthana means Devasthana (temple) or matta, Sthanika means Officer (Dharmadhikari) or Head of the Devasthana (Temple). Making arrangement for all religious performance of the Temple and diety, 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 diets-Shiva, Durga, Ganapathi, Vishnu, and Surya) Puja Paddati (sytem) and most respected person in the village. Out of Sapta Kshetra in Tulunadu Sri Subrmanya of Kukke Subrmanya Kshetra was Sthanikas main diety, that is why Sthanika's are called Subramanya Brahamins. In Kukke Subramanya at Sri Subramanya Temple still there are Panchalohas Panchayatana (Five deities) idols. In Kadaba, near Subramanya one of oldest temple of Shrikanta and very rare Jatamukuta Ganapathi both different temples facing east, in one main temple complex, even today managed by Stanika Brahamin. It was reported that Shri Adi Shankaracharya visited that place and that time this place was known as Ganapatyapura, then he visited Talaaki, a near by village and established a matta and first time preached pachayatana puja paddati. That Time Temple management in Tulunadu was as follows
Most of the Famous temples of that time were follows, Which were managed like above system as per Inscriptions and records. They are 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 keri ya temples.
One of the famous historian Prof. K. A. Neelakanta Shastri says, with the large increase in gifts of land, cash etc. to the temples both from the state and devotees, temple management became a complicated and responsible duty, and we begin to hear more and more in the inscriptions and records of the time of the Sthanikas either acting singly or boards, though the exact manner of their appointment is not easy to ascertain. The regular cultivation of temple lands including the regulation of tenancies and leases and investment of temple monies as well as the control of the temple staff, which included a considerable number in large temples vested in the Sthanikas. Sthanikas are Shiva Brahamins or called Tulu Brahamins were working as senabhova, padamooli, apartment Sthanadhipati of temple. Some of them were working as Senabhova or Treasurer at palace of King/Local chieftain. In the history of Temples of Tulunadu Sthanika, Shanty, Tantri and Padamooli all were Brahamins.
It was the history and glory of the past. Once Sthanika Brahamins were highly respected by the public, for their character, knowledge, proficiency, and efficiency, lost their image because of their proud, lack of learning of Veda and other Dharmica puja. They became more of Loukika than Paraloukika. Gradually they lost chief executive post of the temple, due to failure in their duty, or lack of priority or dispute in Shiva and Vaisnava / Madhva Matha. Some of them to changed and followed Madhva Matha. Remaining continued to follow Advaitha Matha and continued as Shisyas of Sringeri Jagatguru. During the British Raj Kingdom/local chieftain lost their power and it directly affected the Sthanika Brahamins, who lost their administrative position. By land reform they lost land also. By that most of the people became educatiobnally/economically poor.
(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).