This could happen only in India
India is a country made of different colors. Several communities who are so different call it home. We take a walk through different cultures and practices in India. Well, after a couple of months, we could say this can happen only in India.
The Motorcycle God
Near Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, Om Singh Rathore while driving under the influence of liquor, his Enfield Bullet Motorcycle crashed into a tree and died. After the preliminary investigation, the police hauled the bike away to the station.
The next day the police were flabbergasted to find the Bullet Bike is missing from the yard. Later a cab driver informed them that the bike is there at the accident site. This time the police deflated its tiers and secured it with chains. The story goes that the next day the bike was found again at the accident site and a legend was born.
Legend has it Om Banna protects the bike riders of this highway. You ask for protection to Om Banna along with your wishes and when the wish has been fulfilled, and if you are a male you should come back to the shrine and offer Om Banna a bottle of Whiskey.
The shrine is visited by women also asking for their husband’s protection while they are on the road. The site attracts many tourists.
How to get there:
The Bullet Baba Shrine rests on the highway from Pali to Jodhpur about 20 kilometers from Pali. This Place is also known as “Om Banna” Temple. This place has a very breathtaking history. You will have a look of it on google easily. You will be surprised on seeing the way of worship at this temple. In front of the temple, there is a hotel so you can plan your lunch here. Don’t miss this place to visit.
Temple for Rats
India’s range is precise. There are so many distinctive and abnormal matters about their tradition that you could by no means stop locating out thrilling facts approximately India. When I read about that temple I organized the visit to it notwithstanding my hygiene concerns.
In Deshnoke close to the rail lines, there is a little temple, dedicated to Karni Mata, a Hindu goddess that is worshiped mainly in Rajasthan and those visiting the temple from throughout India. 20.000 holy rats known as Kabbas live in the temple. According to the folklore lifestyle, there are two testimonies about the rats – the one is that each one of the children has been born as rats and the other says that the ones 20.000 rats were once soldiers.
People share food with the rats from the same plate and if you see a white rat in between the normal ones, you are in for a lucky boon.
No thanks, I may skip that boon.
Kill or get killed – Bani Festival, Andhra Pradesh
Celebrations are a manner of human life. But some are so unusual; it questions the very definition of the concept. The Bani Festival celebrated on the Devaragattu Temple in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh illustrates the point. Every Dusshera, masses of lathi -wielding devotees from Andhra and Karnataka gather at this temple to hit each other on the heads at the hours of darkness! Drenched in blood, those guys cross on with the celebration till the beak of sunrise, to commemorate the killing of a demon via Mala-Malleshwara (Shiva).
According to the temple priest, this competition has been celebrated for over a 100 years, and earlier axes and spears have been used in preference to lathis (wooden batons)! These 12 months, 56 humans were injured during Bani. Medical attendants and policemen are deployed for the duration of this competition however they generally stay spectators, in the face of this acute frenzy.
Festival of Snakes – Nag Panchami
India shares a very vintage bond with snakes. These scary beings have performed a distinguished function in the course of Indian mythology and folklore. India is understood to many nonetheless because of the Land Of Snake Charmers. Till date, the 5th day of the lunar month of Shravan is widely known as Nag Panchami throughout India and Nepal. Live Cobras, without their venomous fangs removed, are worshiped! Priests sprinkle haldi-kumkum and flower petals on their raised hoods.
Devotees feed them milk and even rats. It is popularly believed that snakes do not bite on Nag Panchami.
Play of the Tiger – Puli Kali, Kerala
Puli Kali celebrated specifically in Thrissur district of Kerala is one colorful spectacle bursting with electricity. Performed via trained artists, Puli Kali is celebrated on the fourth day of Onam.
Painted in bright yellow, pink and black, performers take to the street, dancing to standard people beats. Every year, thousands of humans acquire to look at this improbable sight.
It is fun as well as harmless.
Pushkar Camel Fair – Pushkar, Rajasthan
Held every November at the time of the Kartik Purnima, the complete moon, the Pushkar Camel Fair is a particularly dazzling sight to behold. For 5 days, over 50,000 camels are shaved, dressed up, paraded, entered into splendor contests and races, and traded. Add to that an array of musicians, dancers, acrobats, magicians and snake charmers to entertain the group!
Men worshipping God dressed like women – Kerala, India
At first look, the procession of saree-clad figures decked in heavy rings and complex makeup from the Kottankulangara Devi Temple in Kollam district of Kerala seems just like some other ritual procession of ladies from any temple throughout Kerala. Certainly, the sight of this procession lit through lamps carried within the hands of worshippers has a positive feminine appeal to it.
But a second, nearer look shows something particular: this procession of figures which have thronged here to have fun Chamayavilakku, a competition of this temple, consists of only guys.
Every Month, this extraordinary ritual draws loads of men from across the nation, who cross-get dressed to take part in it.
These men come here to desire and pray for a job, excellent fitness, a suitable life partner. Green rooms are set up inside the temple premises for devotees to dress up.
One of the myths surrounding the ritual is that after a set of a cow herd boys dressed up as ladies and presented plants to a stone nearby. Some of the lads then commenced sensing a divine power radiating out of the stone. The stone got here to be called Kottan, and around it, a temple was built. And hence the ritual of men cross-dressing started.
Another delusion says that on one event when someone threw a coconut at the stone, it started to bleed. Hence, people were taken into consideration the stone to have divine powers and started out to worship it.
The stone is now considered the temple deity, and a few say that the stone has been developing in size through the years.
Fire-Walking – Theemithi, Tamil Nadu
Fact, they are saying, is stranger than fiction. The ritual of on foot on fire proves it. Originating in Tamil Nadu, the exercise of Theemithi has unfolded to Sri Lanka, Singapore, and South Africa. Theemithi is part of a larger ceremony stretching over a -and-a-1/2 month duration in which parts of the Mahabharata is re-enacted, totaling as much as 18 distinguishable rites. The festival of Theemithi is a festival of Draupadi, wife of the Pandavas. After the Battle of Kurukshetra, Draupadi walked across a mattress of fire and emerged as sparkling as a flower. Theemithi is a re-enactment of the same and is assumed to provide a wish or blessing by the goddess.
Infant tossing from the roof for good luck
At instances, religion takes over our reasoning and makes us do matters without ever thinking them. The weird practice of baby tossing has been practiced in India for years by both, Hindus and Muslims. At Baba Umer Dargah close to Sholapur, Maharashtra, toddlers are dropped from a peak of fifty feet and stuck in a sheet held via waiting men. A similar custom is discovered on the Sri Santeswar temple near Indi, inside the nation of Karnataka. This ritual has been observed for over seven hundred years and is believed to deliver prosperity to the circle of relatives. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights is investigating those cases. According to organizers, no accidents have been mentioned thus far.
Nice, tossing your baby from the roof for luck….the infant is the one who is in need of luck.
Hooking into flesh and body Piercing – Tamil Nadu
Faith is a precious ray of mild that attracts us out of our inner darkness at instances, takes on scary proportions. Celebrated in Tamil Nadu and parts of southern India throughout the Tamil month of Thai, Thaipoosam is a festival that honors Lord Murugan (or Kartikeya, the son of Shiva and Parvati) receiving a lance to ruin the evil army of Tarakasura. Following a forty-eight day rapid, many devotees pierce their bodies with hooks, skewers and lances referred to as vel.
Some even try pulling tractors or different heavy objects with the hooks in their pores and skin; others pierce their tongue and cheek to impede speech and thereby achieve complete concentration on the Lord. They go right into a trance for the duration of such piercing due to the incessant drumming and chanting. The horrifying sight is certainly not for the faint of heart.
The raging bull and unarmed men- Tamilnadu, India
If Bull-Fighting reminds you of Spanish matadors, think again. A more rustic and perilous shape of the game has been performed in India for over a century now. Jallikattu is a part of Pongal celebrations. Jallikattu bulls are raised wild and special care is taken to feed and exercise them, so they develop into strong beasts match for fighting. Hundreds of men chase the bull, looking to take hold of the prize from its horns.
Unlike Spanish bull-combating, the bull isn’t killed in Jallikattu. It is the matador who is left prone due to the fact he can’t carry weapons and the bulls’ horns are sharpened. In the past two decades, over 200 people have died indulging in this dangerous sport. In May 2014, the Supreme Court of India banned Jallikattu but protest to resume this game is going on still.
Rolling over food leftovers – Madey Snana, Karnataka
Casteism has been one in all India’s oldest issues. While the society has changed and condemns such unwarranted discrimination, many nonetheless maintain on to it. The Kukke Subramania Temple has an unusual centuries old way of life called Madey Snana or Spit Bath. Those from decrease castes roll at the floor over meals leftovers of Brahmins on banana leaves, to rid themselves of numerous ailments. This exercise was banned in 2010, but it had to be lifted in 2011 after protests via the Malekudiya tribe. The ritual has been labeled as a blind perception within the proposed Karnataka Prevention of Superstitious Practices Bill (2013) after modern leaders and liberals in the state upped their ante in opposition to the debatable exercise.
I don’t know what to say, try rolling over on someone’s leftover to wash away your sins and ailments.
Cannibalism and Necromancy – The Aghori way of life, Banaras
The ambitious Aghori Sadhus of Banaras are recognizable of their long raveled hair and our bodies smeared in ash.
Their manner of connecting to God is, very subtly placed, off-beat. These monastic saints agree with in renouncing the sector by finding ‘ purity in the filthiest.’ This leads them to devour human stays after cremation and feature intercourse with corpses.
They are believed to possess tantrik powers of restoration.
Just as they’d shown in Lagaan, rains are a large deal in India. A lot of lives rely on it. No surprise no stone is left unturned to thrill the rain god into sending his showers of blessings. Frog weddings had been reported in villages across Assam and Maharashtra, while in Karnataka, donkeys are married. Some locations have even suggested canine weddings. These weddings are a big birthday celebration wherein all Hindu marriage rituals are observed and the marriage is conducted with the aid of a priest.
A grand reception follows…then the newlyweds are led to enjoy their first night together.
Cow Trampling Ritual – Govardhan Puja, Madhya Pradesh
Cows are sacred to the Hindus. This devotion is taken to an entirely new level at Bhiwdawad village, in Maharashtra. The Govardhan festival is widely known on the occasion of Enadakshi, an afternoon after Diwali. Villagers decorate their cattle with plant life, colorations, and henna, and lay down on the floor letting permitting cows to trample over them! This ritual takes place after a five day fast. The whole village gathers to witness this spectacle, which they agree with will pass the gods into answering their prayers.
Maybe you should lie flat on your back…..see what luck it brings
Hanging by the hooks- Garudan thookkam – Kerala
This ritual art shape done in Kerala’s Kali temples is as fascinating as it’s also stunning. Dancers get dressed up as Garuda, the automobile of Lord Vishnu who quenched the goddess Kali’s thirst for blood after slaying Darika the demon. After the dance performance, they cling like eagles (Garudan Thookam) from a shaft, by hooking the flesh at the backs! These hanging ‘ Garudas ‘ are taken around the town in a colorful procession. This ritual is finished on Makara Bharani Day and Kumbha Bharani Day.
Plucking hair out by the hand – Kesh Lochan of Jain saints
Most religions don’t forget Moksha or redemption because it is the last phase of all human endeavors. Ignorance, in line with Jains and Buddhists, is what stands within the way. In many texts, hair is often studied as a metaphor for human phantasm, attachment, and conceitedness. Upon their initiation, Jain monks and nuns surrender their worldly attachments by way of painfully pulling out every strand of hair with bare hands from their heads. The wounds are then protected in dried cow dung ash to heal.
I wouldn’t visit a saloon if that is run by a Jain, for sure
Deceptive Fun Festival – Dhinga Gavar, Jodhpur
At first, the Dhinga Gavar competition may strike you as nothing extraordinary. But then you’ll realize how a good deal a laugh it might in reality be. As a part of the Rajasthani Gangaur competition, Dhinga Gavar is celebrated in Jodhpur. Shiva’s consort, Parvati (Gangaur), had as soon as playfully teased him by dressing up as a tribal lady. Gavar is taken into consideration to be the playful facet of Gangaur. After sunset, statues of Dhinga Gavar are placed up at eleven locations, all embellished with up to 30 kgs of gold! And that is not all. Offerings of cannabis are made to the deity! Wait, there is more. Women take out processions, dressed in all varieties of costumes – Hindu gods and goddesses, police, saints, dacoits and what not – carrying lathis to hit people with and guard the status! It is a famous belief that any unmarried guy who comes close to those ladies and if is hit with the stick, he gets married quickly.
Fighting with fire – Agni Keli, Mangalore
Every year in the month of April, the Festival of Kateel Durga Parameswari Temple is conducted over 8 days. Of the various themed performances all through this time, the centuries-old sub culture of Agni Keli is the maximum interesting. Hundreds of naked-bodied devotees hurl flaming palm fronds at every point. Spectators watch as these guys attempt to set one another ablaze! Those who are suffering burns are then sprayed with water of the kumkumarchana.
Smashing coconuts on the head – Aadi Festival, Tamil Nadu
Every Year, on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Aadi, hundreds of devotees flock the Mahalakshmi Temple, Mettu Mahadhanapuram, inside the Karur District of Tamil Nadu, to willingly permit the priest to smash coconuts on their heads for luck and fitness. As the tale goes, 187 coconut shaped stones were dug out at the location of the temple. During the Raj, the British wanted to construct a railway track across the temple and villagers had been in opposition to it. To check their devotion, the British struck a deal: if they may smash these stones on their heads, the direction of the railway line could be altered. The villagers succeeded and the temple was saved. The lifestyle has been followed until date, notwithstanding warnings by medical practitioners.
Immersing in barrels of water – Varuna Yajna
The rains bring on new life. And if it turns its back on us, many turn to the Rain God. Varun is the Hindu God of water. The Varuna Yajna has been executed across Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to assuage him into bestowing rains upon humans. The yajna is carried out by using temple priests immersing themselves in barrels of water and incanting Lord Varun’s name one lakh (100,000)times.
Self-flagellation – The Mourning of Muharram
This will make you very, very uneasy. Muharram interprets into ‘forbidden.’ It is the holy month of remembrance and mourning. Mourning starts off on the first day of the month with a 10 day fast and culminates into The Day of Ashura (tenth day), while Shia Muslims perform the ritual of mass self-flogging to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. In a terrifying display of devotion, guys mercilessly whip their bodies with blades attached to chains until they are soaked in their own blood. In their state of ecstasy trance, they claim they do not experience the pain.
Worshipping weapons – Ajudh/Astra Puja
It occurs in India, right? A part of the Navratra celebrations, Ajudh or Astra Puja is an occasion to pay one’s respect to all equipment, machinery, gadgets, implements and mainly weapons. The rituals vary but this puja is observed across India.
Exorcism by marriage – Human-Animal Weddings
If you’ve watched the Exorcist, you understand how frightening it is to eliminate spirits that haunt you. But in India, we’ve got a jugaad for it: marriage. In many areas of the country, women born with a tooth or the ones born with facial deformation are believed to be possessed by ghosts. Marrying an animal, usually, a dog or a goat is believed to get rid of evil spirits and horrific omens, and at instances, Mangal dosh.
A celebration of menstruation – Ambubachi Mela, Guwahati, Assam, India
At the Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, the object of prayer is the vagina of the Mother Goddess. According to legend, when Sati, the wife of Lord Shiva, jumped into the fire, unable to undergo her father’s insult to her husband, Shiva went right into a terrible rage and did the terrible Tandav Nritya, carrying her corpse. Parts of her body fell to the earth, forming Shakti Peeths. The Kamakhya Temple formed where the Yoni (vagina) fell.
Every year around June, the Goddess is going through her menstrual cycle. The temple stays shut for 3 days and is thought to have a pink color formation. This is the time when the Ambubachi Mela is well known. This Tantrik fertility mela draws thousands of tantriks , aghoris and sadhus from the world over, showing their psychic powers. The shade red – red plants, vermillion, crimson material – sticks out at some point of the rituals. The maddening show of magic and mysticism makes an extraordinary spectacle.
When the Gods dance amongst men – Theyyam, Kerala
We’ve frequently been told that God lies in each of us. But how commonly have you visible God possess a human body? Those who have witnessed North Malabar’s Theyyam ritual worship will recognize how intimidating it could be. Dressed in complicated makeup and headdresses, dancers perform to drumbeats and incantations reciting myths and legends, of the deity of the shrine. As the beats grow to be extra extreme, the metaphysical combines with this realm and the dancer metamorphose into the deity or the Theyyam. In their ‘possessed’ kingdom, they dance on the fireplace, bless devotees and perform miracles. Sometimes, a cock sacrifice is made and a providing of blood is made to Theyyam. Once dancers are out of the fervent trance, they don’t have any recollection of what transpired in the course of the possession.
It is something magnificent we do not see often.
Wedding without a bridegroom – Puberty ceremonies
Marriage is a huge deal in India. Especially in case, you are a girl. And it really is how a girl accomplishing puberty becomes a social event celebrated with brilliant delight and exuberance throughout many Indian states. In a bid to announce the sexual maturity and readiness for marriage, the female’s circle of relatives dresses her up like a bride and conducts a ‘marriage’ ceremony sans the groom and vidaai. Friends and household are invited to bless the ‘bride’ and shower her with presents. This ceremony additionally includes different rituals that last for days, throughout which she is kept in a separate room, and now not allowed to meet any men, including her father or brothers.
The deity who likes profanity – Kodungallur and Cherthala Temple- Kerala
Temples are considered to be very sacred places. So why do we have such a strange ritual? The theripattu (Profane Songs, too intense to translate here) sung during this festival are expletives of the crudest form. Some of them go to the extent of describing the male and the female sexual organs and sex acts in very lewd forms.
In Cherthala, Kerala, The procession with the deity goes around the town with people chanting profanity. This includes the whole families consisting women, children, and elders. Funny thing is that they do not care if the children listen to this, both boys and girls.