Died: 15th Century
Balarama Das is famous as the poet of Jagamohan Ramayana also known as Dandi Ramayana, the first and greatest complete Ramayana in Odia literature. This Ramayana, because of its immense popularity in Odisha, had influenced almost all the later poets of Rama-kavyas. He is credited with the writing of the following: Kanta Koili, Baramasi Koili, Hanumana Chautisa, Kamalalochana Chautisa, Srimad Bhagavat Gita, Gupta Gita, Vedantasara Gupta Gita,. Uddhaba Gita, Brahma Gita (Prose), Pralambasara Gita (Prose), Amarakosha Gita, Brahmanda Bhugola, Bata Abakasha, Bedha· Parikrama, Bhabasamudra and Kama Dana.
All these works are well known and popular in Odisha, because of their philosophical discussions on the subjects like kaya yoga, Jnana-bhakti marga, and prema-bhakti marga. The poet’s devotion to Lord Jagannatha is also to be seen in most of these works, specially in Bhaba-samudra and Bata-Abakasa. A child in Odisha starts his education from a book of Balarama like Kamalaloehana Chautisa, makes his life meaningful when he grows up by reading the works like Jagamohan Ramayana, Uddhaba Gita, etc. and meets his death in the old age after listening to Srimad Bhagavat Gita of Balarama.
According to a local tradition reported by Jagabandhu Singh in his Prachina Utkal, in the early part of the present century, Balarama died at a ripe old age, on his way to Puri, at Begunia, near Konarka, on the Akshaya Tritiya day (early April). There is a samadhi of Balarama in this village and every year a festival (mela) takes place on the Akashaya Tritia Day honouring Balarama. In the nearby village, Erabanga, there is a Jagannatha temple, which it is believed was built by Balarama, who used to offer his daily prayers to Lord Jagannatha in this temple, as it was impossible for him to go to Puri due to his debilitating old age. The people, in grateful remembrance of the builder, call this Jagannatha temple the Balarama temple.