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THE STRANGE INDIA


Many of the old institutions, beliefs and practices are dying but their memory lingers on still.

Some of the Indian customs mentioned here are strange. Their intrinsic peculiarities were inspired by a variety of circumstances, which with the passing of time, have either vanished or become inexplicable.

Deshnoke, a tiny village in the Rajasthan desert boasts a strange temple dedicated to the glory and the protection of RATS. Thousands of them crown the ornate white marble and silver temple of the Goddess Karni Devi. Temple devotees take care not to injure them, believing that they house the lives of their ancestors, and feed them a sumptuous meal daily. Vast has been the range of rituals and worships. In the Mahabharata, Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas represents evil. But in Uttarkashi in Uttarpradesh, a tribe inhabiting the western portion of the Jammu valley worships DURYODHANA.


In the banks of the Jamuna, near Delhi, live a few men, who when they need money, make a dive into the river and come out with a handful of coins! When a train passes over the river many passengers throw coins into the river as a tribute to her. Once in a while the diver might emerge with a bit of gold in his hand.

In Sholapur district of Maharastra, there is a village called Shetpal where each house has a resting place for live COBRAS in the rafters of their ceilings. There is a temple with a copper image of a seven-hooded cobra over a Shiva idol. In spite of a live cobra moving about the house daily, there has been no case of a cobra bite in that village till date.

At TIRUVANNAMALAI in Tamilnadu and in certain parts of South India there is the strange feat of FIRE-WALKING for the gods, which is also a stranger face of India.