The Muslim man who helped build a Hindu Temple
Legend has it that, centuries ago, a Muslim man who was referred to by the people as Bappa Beary played a crucial role in the construction of the Bappanadu Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple in Mulki situated near Mangalore. It is assumed that, ages ago, Bappa Beary, who was said to be a merchant, spotted a linga which was submerged in water around his locality. This discovery is said to have led to the establishment of the Bappanadu Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple. From time immemorial India has had a history of being secular and respecting every religion. The fact that even to this day the temple offers prasad to the descendants of Bappa Beary is enough to prove that even during times of communal tensions and uncertainties, people belonging to different communities can believe in each other and live in harmony.
Furthermore a Christian family that resides abroad also strongly believes in the temple as a result of which the temple authorities send them prasad without fail every year. Jasmine vendors from the Christian community are the ones responsible for providing the jasmine flowers needed by the temple especially during Hagalu Rathotsava and Shayanotsava days during the annual festivals. Even though the sellers get demands from others, they courteously keep the flowers reserved for the temple.
On the chariot festival day called Maha Rathotsava the deity is taken on a Pete Savari which is to take the deity around the town. On this auspicious day, the family that resides in the town of Mulki and is said to be related to Bappa Beary is offered prasad as a token of gratitude by the temple. Centuries down the line, this tradition stands strong even amidst communal feuds thereby always giving hope of being able to live in harmony with people that don’t share your personal beliefs in life.
Apart from this, other Muslim families also get several pujas done in the temple like Paravathi Swayamvara (which is said to help in marriage) Durga Namaskara and Naga Sevas. And on Fridays, the temple provides food for the masses and people from any religion or community are invited to take food.
During perilous times like these, stories about people in the town of Mulki belonging to different religions getting along with one another all while respecting and humoring one another’s religion and the set of beliefs that come with it provide people with the hope that someday, everyone can live together and be accepted by the society for who they are and for what they chose to believe in without it leading to fights.