There is a famous saying in Tulunadu –” Go and beat dolu at Bappanadu”. It specifies that the person concerned is good for nothing and does useless work. Bappanadu’s drum is said to be fairly oversized and has been displayed at Karavali Utsav exhibition in Mangalore as one of the heritage pieces of Tulunadu. Beyond the drum, the Bappanadu temple itself has a history of about 800 years. Its main deity is Durga Parameshwari and the sub divinity is Ganesh. How the temple is founded and built with the help of a Muslim trader is described in legend and folklore. with very involved episodes.
It all starts with the devastations of a demon by name Darigasura. He was destroyed by Durga Parameshwari who, along with her sisters, started on a northward journey from Kanyakumari. When they reached Mulki they decided to rest in a groove 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 ostracized 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 Shambhavi and Nandini rivers.
A Muslim trader named Bappa Beary from Kerala 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 shore in the north. As he was sailing in the Shambhavi River near Mulki, the boat stopped in the center of the river. As he looked out, he observed the surrounding river water had turned blood-red. With fear and fret, he did his namaz and went to sleep in the mired boat. A luminous Durgambike appeared in his dream and said: “There is only one God for the entire world.
There are different names for him. You build a temple for me and your name will be remembered forever”. Bappa Beary received the demand.
He went to far-off places, sold his wares and returned. Again Devi reminded him of her demand and his pledge. He went to the local Jain ruler, Dugganna Samanta, and explained his dream. Samanta, with material assist from Bappa Beary, constructed the temple. Bappa Beary also set up his home close by. Thus, the place came to be known as Bappanadu.
In this temple, the idols of Lord Ganesha and Lord Narasimha are also worshipped. As per tradition, navaratri pooja, moodeavalu, deepotsava, anantachaturdashi, dhanurmasa and a yearly fair for 21 days take place religiously.