India is full of traditions and rituals. A country of diversity offers diverse rituals and different cultures. While few of them might seem quite scary, a few are jaw-dropping:
1. Cannibalism – Aghoris
The cannibalistic Aghoris are a widespread popular sect in India. They are strict followers of Lord Shiva and live on whatever nature gives them. They are one of the foremost noted cannibalistic tribes in India. Places like crematory and rivers where bodies are cremated are their home.
It is common to find an Aghori dragging a corpse from a river, meditating on it, and then ripping it apart limb by limb, devouring every limb raw. It is called Shav Putra. They also use human bones and therefore the bone as vessels – to drink from or to eat with.
2. Veni Daan – Allahabad
This is an odd ritual amongst Hindu couples living in Allahabad. During a Hindu wedding, the husband and wife promise to live 7 lifetimes together. This promise is additionally reinforced by the Veni Daan ritual.
In this ritual, a huge celebration and puja are performed at the Triveni Sangam in Allahabad where the wife prays for the long life of her husband. All the ceremonies performed throughout the wedding are repeated.
3. Tossing of Baby – Maharashtra and Karnataka
One of the scariest rituals performed in parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka is the baby tossing ritual. The ritual is performed in December, in which the father walks around the temple stairs/walls with his baby in hand or tied on the back.
Once the man reaches the top, the newborn is given to men standing at the top of the temple. The men cradle the baby once or twice and then suddenly throw it 10-15 meters towards the ground.
4. Dhinga Gavar – Jodhpur
Dhinga Gavar is a Rajasthani festival celebrated in Jodhpur. The functions start after sunset and at only 11 locations in the city.
Cannabis and dry fruits are given to deities as offerings. The Dhinga Gavar (another name for Parvati, Shiva’s consort) statues are dressed in Rajasthani attire and decorated with gold ornaments.
On this evening, the women dress up in odd attires and parade the streets with a long stick in hand. They beat every men with the stick who cross them along.
5. Baby dunked in boiling water – Bijalpur
This cruel custom is held in Bijapur district of Karnataka where 3-month-old babies are dipped in boiling hot water. The baby is lifted immediately but doesn’t get the burns. The ritual is a way to please the deities and the priest for blessing the home with a child.
6. Trampling By Cattle- Ujjain, Bhopal
Cattle Trampling is celebrated on Ekadashi, after Diwali, in Ujjain and Bhopal in a big celebration. In this, the villagers dress up their cattle and decorate them with henna and paints.
The villagers then wear garland and lie upside on the ground. The cattles are then set free to crush over the villagers.
When the cattle crush them, the villagers keep singing their wishes. This ritual is done to help fulfill their wishes and bring prosperity to the village.
7. Made Snana – South India
When you visit the temples of South India they give you Prashad on traditional leaves which is to be eaten by sitting cross-legged on the ground.
In the Made Snana tradition, the devotees after finishing the food lay on the ground and roll over the plantain leave still containing the left-overs from the food.
It is believed that it helps you get rid of health issues and help you get healthier.
8.Covering Disabled children with sand – Karnataka
Ever heard of burying disable children in sand? Yes, there is a ritual where children with physical disabilities and certain handicaps are buried in the sand to their necks on the day of the solar eclipse.
The children are placed inside the pit for between an hour to 6 hours! It is believed that it cures the disabilities of these children.
9. Lath Maar Holi – UP
Lath Mar Holi is celebrated in Barsana near Mathura. It is believed that Krishna would visit Radha in her village and the gopis or the women of the village would chase him away.
Since then, it is a tradition of the village that when men of Nandgaon visit Barsana, the women of Barsana beat them with sticks.
There is no restriction on this and men often get injured on their heads. Now, men use shields to protect themselves.
To read more such interesting blogs click here