Legend of Mazhoor Sri Balarama Temple (Dharmi Kulangara temple)
Ravi Kumar Ambadi
Balarama, the elder brother of Sri Krishna is regarded as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Out of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, only the Sri Krishna incarnation is the complete one, while the rests are partial ones (Amsha Avatharas). Some others believe him to be the manifestation of Serpentine Anantha (Anatha Naga) who is quite identified with Lord Vishnu. However, there are a few temples dedicated to him and there are very few devotees worship him. One such temple is there in the Kannur District of Kerala which is located about eight kilometers from Thrichambaram Sri Krishna Temple. (Near Thaliparamba town) This temple is also called Dharmi Kulangara Balarama temple .Three more temples dedicated to Balarama are there in Kerala located in Aluva ,Nenmini and Aranmula.
Balarama is the first peasant king in our world. He was a king who was very particular about the prosperous of his country and its subjects. At a time, when Vrindavan hit with severe draught, he requested River Kalindi to change her path and provide water to the farmers of Vrindavan, but she did not listen to his words. Furious Balarama, digged the sides of the river with his mighty plough and took the river water to the Vrindavan. Although he has been depicted as a savior of peasants in the epics, it is quite astonishing that there are very few devotees for him in a country which mainly depends on agriculture for revenue.
Anyway, now let us talk about Mazhoor Sri Balarama Temple. You might have read legend behind Thrichambaram Sri Krishna Temple, which has been published in this blog. We have mentioned there that Sage Narada presented two idols, one of Sri Krishna and other is of Balarama for that temple. That idol of Balarama has been brought here and consecrated in this temple.
Puthukkudi Perumthatta Illam was one of the prominent families in that area who had several rights on Thrichambaram Sri Krishna Temple. Once, a person was there in that family who was an ardent devotee of Lord Sri Krishna. He used to visit Thrichambaram Temple daily to worship god. As the time passed he became old and weak. He could not go such a long distance by walk. The fact that he had to stop his temple visit made him sad and depressed. He prayed to god for a solution.
One night in his dream, Lord Sri Krishna came and told him that the next day morning he could see the calf with the name Dharmi near his house. The place where she put cow dung should be dug and there he will get a Salagramam (a holy stone which is believed to have divine powers). Further, Sri Krishna insisted him to dig a pond at that place and keep the salagramam inside it. He asked the devotee to consecrate an idol of his elder brother near the pond and start worshipping.
The very next day, the man saw the calf Dharmi near his house and followed the instructions of Lord Krishna. He took out the Salagrama first and then dug a pond there and kept the holy rock inside it. Then he brought the idol of Balarama from Thrichambaram Temple, which has been presented by Sage Narada and consecrated near the pond after constructing a temple.
In the beginning we told you the story of Balarama, changing the route of Kalindi. That is told in Maha Bhagavatham. Almost similar incident happened at Mazhoor also. Once, Mazhoor experienced severe draught as experienced by the people at Vrindavan. There was no rain and the crops have been destroyed due to the lack of proper watering. Entire village suffered a lot due to this. Then head of the Puthukudi Perumthtta Illam family got touched with the miseries of his fellow villagers. He went to the Balarama Temple and shouted at the deity.
Can’t you see people suffering from drought? Why are you holding the plough in your hands? That is a weapon for farming and not a decorative piece. If you cannot help us, then what is the point in calling you the Peasant King?
Once the shouting is over, the man got repented. He thought that he did a wrong thing by calling the lord with such words. Then he consoled himself that the lord can understand his agony and will forgive him. Yes, the Lord Balarama not only forgave the devotee, but blessed him too with lot of showers. The very same night Mazhoor experienced heavy rain.
Balarama of this temple visits Thrichammaresan temple near by and the brothers have a walk together and this is called Pookothu Nada during an annual festival held in month of march,..A very unique dance called THidambu nrutham is held at that time (see write up of Trichamaresan temple) , The address and telephone number of the temple is
Sri dharmikulangara balabhadra swami seva samithi
Ph: 94950 04205, 0460 2203057, 0460 2203236