Muslim Tryst with Hindu Temples in Mulki has Ancient Roots

April 7, 2021

The unique thing about our country is that we have Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, and people of all other religions. We have temples and mosques, gurdwaras and churches. But we do not bring all this into politics.” - Lal Bahadur Shastri (1904- 1966), second Prime Minister of India.

Things have changed since Lal Bahadur Shastri made this optimistic statement. Today inter-religious, inter-communal harmony makes headlines like this one below which was widely covered in the print and electronic media: “Muslim man builds Koragajja temple, performs rituals as a priest.”


Shree Durgaparameshwari Temple, Bappanadu (file photo)

The scene is near Mulki on the Mangaluru-Udipi National Highway. It is not the first time that Mulki comes into focus for such reason. The Bappanadu temple, close to Mulky, off the Highway has long inter-religious roots. The temple itself has a history of about 800 years and a Hindu-Muslim harmony angle. Its main deity is Durgaparameshwari and the sub divinity is Ganesh. The story of the temple’s founding, how Durga reached the spot and how the temple came to be built with the help of a Muslim trader is embedded in legend and folklore with very involved episodes.

It all started with the depredations of a demon by name Darigasura. He was destroyed by Durgaparameshwari who, along with her sisters, started on a northward journey from Kanyakumari.

When the party reached Mulki, they decided to rest in a grove of coconut trees. They saw a toddy tapper collecting toddy and requested him to give them seven tender coconuts. As he was shaving off the coconut husk, one coconut got opened which Bhagavati accepted and drank the water. Since he was a Shudra, others in the group ostracised her and proceeded on their northward journey, leaving her behind. She declared that the toddy tapper was her devotee and stayed put there. She transformed herself into a linga and embedded in Mulki between the Shambavi and Nandini rivers.

Enters Bappa Beary, a Muslim trader from Kerala. He was a God-fearing, religious person with tolerance and respect for all religions. He loaded his boat with provisions for sale in far off places along the coast in the north. As he was sailing in the Shambavi River near Mulki, the boat stopped in the middle of the river. As he looked out, he observed the surrounding river water had turned blood-red. With fear and worry, he did his namaz and went to sleep in the stalled boat. A luminescent Durgambike appeared in his dream and said: “There is only one God for the whole world. There are different names for him. You build a temple for me and your name will be remembered forever”. Bappa Beary accepted the demand.

He went to far off places, sold his wares and returned. Again Devi reminded him of her demand and his promise. He went to the local Jain ruler, Dugganna Samantha, and explained his dream. Samantha, with material help from Bappa Beary, constructed the temple. Bappa Beary also set up his home nearby. Thus, the place came to be known as Bappanadu.

Bappa Beary’s descendants lived in an ancient house about one Km from the temple, in a side street off the National Highway in Mulki town. Only the front portion of the heritage house is now remaining and hosts commercial establishments. When the Bappanadu temple Devi is taken in ceremonial procession, Bappa’s descendants are offered prasadam on priority and they, in turn, offer fruits and flowers to the deity. This ritual is adhered to even to this day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By John B Monteiro
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to news@daijiworld.com mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • Mohan Prabhu, Mangalore/Kankanady, Ottawa/Canada

    Wed, Apr 07 2021

    A very interesting and uplifting example of religious harmony which demonstrates to believers in all faiths that there is ONLY ONE almighty god who bears many different names according to practitioners' denominations. By the same token, believers in one faith should not dismiss as fanciful the various avatars in which god appears from time to time in human history - whether it is Rama, Krishna, Christ or Parasurama (though none in Islam) - they have walked with us for a brief period in history until they vanished, or crucified by fundamentalists of other religions.

  • Roshan, Mangaluru

    Wed, Apr 07 2021

    There may be million such miracles and stories in India. Yes, they used to happen all throughout our glorious history. That was the beauty of our culture and traditions. They are happening in silence even today. Unfortunately, times have changed and unfortunately, it immediately becomes religion issue and eventuality of communal clashes are more. So, the miracles now happen, they happen in TV studios or mass congregation. Largely they seem to be theatric for those who don't believe and those who believe it reaffirms their faith. Today every religion have digital platform and in platform there are too many things happening with testimonies. How much real it is? None knows. We need more such stories of the past, to make our digital generation open their eyes and mind, beyond what is politically motivated religious belief and traditions.

  • Avinash, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 07 2021

    Hence there is a close link between Shashihitlu Bhagavathi Temple and Bappanadu Durgaparmeshwari Temple. Then then comes the story of bappa beary, which is mentioned above.

  • Avinash, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 07 2021

    There is small change in the story. The Godess disembarked at Shashihitlu, Bhagavathi Godess drank tender coconut from Malyali Billava(Thiya), Hence other sister's were not happy with this . Looking at this Bhagavathi Godess decided to Stay at Shashihitlu, and we, Malyali Billava (Thiya) from who Bhagavathi godess drank tender coconut began to Worship her. Other sister moved ahead with forward journey, and settled @ , bappanadu, ...etc. other 5 places.. And that way we Thiya community got Bhagavathi Godess. ... There is a meeting between Bhagavathi and DurgaParmeshwari at bappnadu. Its called "BETI". This happens during Bappanadu festival. Hence Bhagavathi Godess became Aradhya Godess of Thiya Community. Then Again Bhagavathi Godess wanted place in Mangalore, So approached Shiva present in Kadri Temple, for which Shiva Told that, there is no place in Kadri Temple but Thiya Community (Malyali Billava) will build you a temple in Kudroli. And you(Bhagavathi) can visit me (SHIVA) from South Door of Kadri temple. Hence South Door of Kadri Temple is closed even today, and opened when Kaliyata festival happen in Kudroli Bhagavathi Temple. During this time Bhagavati Godess from Kudroli Temple will visit Shiva Godess from South Door, which will be opened for Bhagavathi.

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Wed, Apr 07 2021

    Ancient Temples in Uttar Pradesh were maintained by Muslims ...

  • James P DSouza, Mulki / Abu Dhabi

    Wed, Apr 07 2021

    Nice article Mr. Monterio. Should be read by many. This is not just with Hindu / Muslims but the Christian Community at Mulki. We all grew up with hearing about the help of Hindu brothers during Tippu's time. Also the current Immaculate Conception Church premise Mulki also comes from other community God bless this unity and strengthen the bondage thanks again Mr John Monterio

  • Patrick Fernandes, Mulki/Bangalore

    Wed, Apr 07 2021

    Nice article and good narrative historical information shared by Mr. John Monterio. All the best.

  • Kuchan, Kudla

    Wed, Apr 07 2021

    By John B Monteiro.. Thank you for sharing.. Please keep sharing such historical article in this forum.

  • Rohan, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 07 2021

    This is the reason I love my tulunadu, thank you for sharing the story, I had heard it partly from my paternal grandmother who was from mulky but today I know the whole story thanks to you sir. Bappa was a really lucky man to have witnessed the divine mother in person. As the mother said there is one and only one divine and we all have a part of it in all of us... Hence we all should respect and bow to the divinity in each other...


Leave a Comment

Title: Muslim Tryst with Hindu Temples in Mulki has Ancient Roots



You have 2000 characters left.

Disclaimer:

Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. Daijiworld.com will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will Daijiworld.com be held responsible.


Security Validation

Enter the characters in the image