India has always been a mysterious place that has been luring people from all parts of the world to explore this unfathomable wonderland. There is so much hidden and occult that is practiced in India and is hard to believe. Some traditions are so bizarre that it will give you goose bumps. So, if you are up for some adventure and thrill packed experience on your holidays to India there are some offbeat destinations that you would have to explore. So, book your tickets to India and get going.
The Solapur region in Maharashtra, India has this awkward custom to give long and healthy life to their children. Parents throw their babies off the top of a tower, around 50 feet tall. The falling babies are caught in a sheet by the people standing below. It is a common belief that such a practice will cure their children of ailments if any today and in future too. This is mostly done by Muslims and few of Hindu families too. The security services are also provided by the local authorities of the area during the performance of this weird practice.
The Aghori Sadhu Sect
The Aghoris are members of Hindu sect that have always been of great interest and suspicion in people. These Aghoris worship Lord Shiva, remain naked, reside on the cremation grounds, drink alcohol and eat flesh from dead bodies. They often coat themselves in ash and do strange rituals and meditation using dead bodies.
Shoe Stealing Ritual (Juta Churai Rasam)
This is a fun filled ritual in Hindus, which is often shown in Bollywood movies too. It is indeed an amusing activity that allows the sisters of the bride to steal the shoes of the bridegroom while he is involved in performing the traditional rituals of marriage. The cousins and friends of the groom try to protect the shoes from the robbery but if the girls succeed in their mission then they give the custody of the shoes when they are given a desired amount of ransom.
Dhinga Gavar Festival
It is a festival celebrated in Jodhpur, in Rajasthan state of India. Dhinga in literal form means fetching fun from deception. Dhingar Gavar is a folk deity. The legend goes that once Lord Shiva dressed up as a cobbler and came to tease his consort Parvati. Parvati too disguised a ‘bhil’, tribal women and came before Shiva to engage in that fun. The function of Dhinga gawar starts in the evening on the next day of Holi, every year. The statues of Dhinga gawar are put at 11 vital locations. The statues are decorated in tradition Rajasthani attire and decorated with gold jewellery weighing 5 to 30 kg.
Mourning of Muharram
To honour the death of Husayn ibn Ali(grandson of Muhammad), certain groups of Shiya sect of Muslims saunter on streets in groups and whip themselves with chains having knives and razors attached. Some of them even slit their heads open with knives. This peculiar ritual is called ‘matam’ and even children are encouraged to do so by certain families. Not all Muslims endorse this practice. Some condemn it too.
It is believed in some parts of India that ghosts capture the bodies of some people. The girls who are born with a tooth already erupted or girls with facial deformities are believed to have been possessed by the ghosts. The exorcism of the victims is done by getting them married to an animal like a goat or a dog. The wedding takes place with full pomp and show, though the good part is that copulation is exempted and the girl is allowed to remarry after the ghost relieves her. I wonder on which parameter they make that analysis.
Lath mar Holi
Holi is the second largest festival of India after Diwali. Lath Mar Holi is a local celebration that takes place before actual Holi in Barsana, a town near Mathura, which is a birth place of Lord Krishna. As the local legend goes, Krishna visited the village Barsana of her beloved Radha where he and his friends teased her and her friends. To retaliate, the ladies invited Krishna and his friends to Barsana on Holi and hit them with sticks explaining that it is a ritual that is mandatory. Since then, the ritual is carried on in the same places and Lath Mar Holi is played by the people in Mathura and Vrindavan shouting Jai Shree Radha and jai Shree Krishna.
Weapon Worship in Navratri
Navratri is a famous festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity, Durga. Navratri literally means nine nights which symbolize nine forms of Shakti/Devi/Goddess which are worshipped with great reverence and rituals in various parts of India and in some parts the weapons and tools are worshipped.
Varuna Yajna (Hindu God of rain)
Agriculture is the major sector in India on which the economy of India depends and agriculture directly depends on the monsoon rains. If monsoon fails the farmers and the economy of the country suffers to a great extent. Sometimes scanty or no rainfall is the reason of farmers committing suicide. Such is the importance of rains for India. As we know India has 330 million Gods and Goddesses, there is also a God of rains, Lord Varuna. Whenever the monsoon fails or falls weak, Varun Yajna is performed to please the God of rains. During the performance of such Yajna, the Hindu priests sit inside the barrels filled with water and perform special prayers in order to gratify the rain God.