Balaram Temple, Malpe

Malpe is a small beach town near Udupi. Its like a suburb of Udupi, just some 6 km away. Amongst stuff to see in Malpe there is the superb beach, fishing wharf, ship cutters factory and an ancient Balaram temple. Balaram is the brother of Krishna and also a big sage/god or something.

The Balaram Temple Story:

This is one of the first Balaram Temples I have been to, in fact did not know there were any Balaram temples in the country! The story goes that a sage with a name starting from ‘M’ came to Malpe and unearthed this Balaram idol. He then created a temple here.

This same sage also built the renowned Krishna temple in Udupi. Most idols in India are placed facing East (I think) as is this Balaram idol too, but the idol in the Krishna mutt in Udupi is facing West, the opposite direction due to a legend. According to this legend a lower caste devotee came to pray at the Krishna temple. Being a lower caste fellow he could only pray from a small window at the back of the temple. In order to give darshan to this devotee the Krishna idol actually turned 180 degrees and is now facing the opposite direction. Since then everyone low as well as high caste can view the idol from the small window which was meant for the lower castes only.

As a result of this legend though the Balaram and Krishna idols face each other. It is one of the temples uniqueness.

Overall the temple is a very pleasant place and as old architecture usually is – there are huge verandas. I love these kind of structures with the verandas. It gives so much sitting space.

In the city sometimes I just want to sit but can’t find any place only.

Balaram Temple, Malpe
The temple had a lot of verandas…
Balaram Idol of Malpe
Balarama Idol of Malpe
Balaram Temple Malpe - big verandah
Big veranda inside as well as outside…

I met a very friendly fellow who was taking care of the temple. He was not the priest but part of temple care taking. He kept talking and talking giving me gyaan about the place…. in Kannada or Tulu or some such language. I couldn’t understand anything… he also realised that but he kept trying. Did he want money I don’t know but I was too mortified to give him 10 bucks cause that would hardly get him anything. Phew. Wonder whether my not giving him money was a big deal. :S