10 Bizarre Rituals Of India That Will Give you Goosebumps
Strange rituals are nothing new in India. These communities, as well as their traditions and rituals, have mingled over the centuries, resulting in a variety of strange mixtures. Some people have invented their own rituals and festivals out of nowhere, and some traditions have remained unchanged for centuries. As a result, the country now has a number of truly bizarre traditions that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. However, their peculiarity reflects India’s incredible diversity and sheds light on the types of lives that people here lead.
India is a storybook that comes to life, full of strange and wonderful tales. You may or may not believe what you read, and you may or may not agree with what is written, but one thing is certain: it is accurate. You can’t put the book down. Because the more you read about it, the more engrossing it becomes.
We Indians frequently choose our hearts over our heads. We confidently step beyond the realm of rational thinking, clutching all that we believe in. These rituals and celebrations will elicit a slew of questions, but not all of them will be answered.
So, here is a list of 10 Bizarre Rituals Of India that will give you goosebumps but still are very fascinating.
Transgender festival of Koovagam, Tamil Nadu
In May and April, India hosts the world’s largest transgender and transvestite festival at Koovagam in Tamil Nadu for 15 days. They marry their patron deity Aravan in the temple to honor him. Aravan, according to Hindu legend, gave his life in the Kurukshetra War. However, Aravan desired to marry first, so Lord Krishna transformed into a woman named Mohini, who broke her bangles in despair after his death. In India, bangles are a significant status symbol for married women. Every year, at Aravan Temple in Tamil Nadu, this bangle-smashing tradition is carried out.
The Aghori sadhus are wandering monks who give up everything of their earthly possessions in order to achieve ultimate spiritual liberty. These austere Shaiva sadhus practice post-mortem rites including meditating on corpses, cannibalism, storing skulls as reminders of life’s impermanence, and covering their bodies with ash, the final rite is done on a material body. A morning swim in the Ganges to purify themselves of all sins is another important practice.
Madey Snana, Karnataka
One of India’s oldest concerns is casteism. While society has evolved and now condemns unjustified prejudice, many people continue to practice it. Madey Snana, or Spit Bath, is a peculiar centuries-old custom at the Kukke Subramania Temple. To get rid of numerous diseases, people from lower castes roll on the floor over Brahmins’ lunch remains on banana leaves. This practice was outlawed in 2010, but after objections from the Malekudiya tribe, it was reinstated in 2011. After progressive politicians and liberals in the state increased their opposition to the contentious practice, the proposed Karnataka Prevention of Superstitious Practices Bill (2013) classified it as a blind belief.
Garudan Thookam, Kerala
This ceremonial art form is both interesting and terrifying, and it is done at Kerala’s Kali temples. Dancers dress up like Garuda, Lord Vishnu’s chariot who, after fighting Darika the demon, filled the goddess Kali’s hunger with blood. They hang like eagles (Garudan Thookam) from a shaft after the dance performance by hooking the flesh on their backs! In a colorful parade, these hanging’ Garudas’are carried around the city. On Makara Bharani Day and Kumbha Bharani Day, this rite is performed.
Baby dunked in boiling water, Bijalapur
The barbaric practice is carried out in the Karnataka area of Bijalapur, where 3-month-old newborns are submerged in scalding hot water. The infant is promptly lifted, but he or she suffers serious burns. The purpose of the ceremony is to express gratitude to the deities and the priest for blessing the family with a child. This is one of the crazies tradition among the 10 Bizarre Rituals Of India.
Thaipoosam, Tamil Nadu
Faith is a priceless ray of light that rescues us from the depths of our own darkness. At times, the same trust takes on terrifying proportions. Thaipoosam is a Tamil celebration that honors Lord Murugan (or Kartikeya, the son of Shiva and Parvati) getting a lance to slay Tarakasura’s wicked army. It is celebrated in Tamil Nadu and areas of southern India during the Tamil month of Thai.
Many devotees pierce their bodies with hooks, skewers, and lances called vel after a 48-day fast. Some even try to pull tractors or other heavy things with the hooks in their flesh, while others cut their tongue and cheek to prevent speaking and therefore focus completely on the Lord. Because of the constant drumming and chanting, they go into a trance during such piercing. The frightening sight is not for the faint of heart.
Tossing infants, Maharashtra and Karnataka
Faith may sometimes take over our intellect and force us to do things we wouldn’t otherwise do. Both Hindus and Muslims in India have practiced the strange ritual of infant tossing for years. Babies are dropped from a height of 50 feet and caught in a sheet carried by waiting for men at Baba Umer Dargah near Sholapur, Maharashtra. A similar ritual is practiced in the Sri Santeswar temple in Karnataka’s Indi district. This rite has been practiced for over 700 years and is said to bring the family wealth. These instances are being investigated by the National Commission for the Protection of Children’s Rights. So far, no injuries have been recorded, according to the organizers.
Cattle Trampling, Bhopal
There is a major festival in Ujjain and Bhopal on the day of Ekadashi, which falls one day after Diwali. The people dress up their livestock and use henna and paints to adorn the bulls and cows as part of the custom. The people then drape themselves and lie flat on the ground, belly-side down. After that, the cattle are released loose and permitted to trample the locals. While the livestock crushes the residents, they continue to sing their desires. This rite is meant to assist them in achieving their goals and bringing wealth to the town.
Burying Ritual, Karnataka
On the day of the solar eclipse, children with physical impairments and specific handicaps are buried up to their necks in the sand in an incredibly unusual tradition. Pits are excavated deep enough to totally cover the youngsters before daylight. The youngsters can spend anything from an hour to six hours in the pit! The “therapy” is stated to be able to cure all of the children’s impairments.
Marriage with dogs and other animals- Many Parts Of India
This isn’t a celebration, but it is a strange rite that is still practiced in many places of India. The more common explanation is that certain people are born under a particularly bad astrological combination known as Mangal Dosh. These Mangliks are said to be terrible luck for anybody they marry. So, in order to save their husbands from a horrific fate, they are forced to marry an animal, generally a dog or a goat. Occasionally, even a tree.
The Manglik is now free to marry whoever he or she wishes after a brief prayer and sacrifices to the gods. Animal marriages are sometimes performed for less usual causes, such as if the female has a facial deformity or her teeth appear prematurely. Girls, of course, get the short end of the stick, although these practices are thankfully becoming less popular these days.
This is one of the common rituals among the 10 Bizarre Rituals Of India.
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