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The Levitating Stone of Shivapur, a Controversial “Miracle”

Every day, hundreds of tourists and devotees visit a shrine in Shivapur, a small village about 180 km east of Mumbai, in India, to witness a controversial “miracle” known as the Levitating Stone of Shivapur.

The Shrine of Qamar Ali Darvesh, a Muslim Sufi Saint who lived about 700 years ago, features an ancient stone that reportedly weighs 154lbs (90kg). Lifting this stone off the ground would normally require a lot of strength, but according to believers in the Levitating Stone miracle, it’s possible for a set number of men to lift it up over their heads with only their index fingers, but only after shouting Qamar Ali Darvesh’s name. This phenomenon has fascinated Indian Muslims for centuries, but many believe it’s nothing more than a gimmick.

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Indian Woman Has Allegedly Spent Every Day of the Last 20 Years in a Lake Due to Strange Disease

A 65-year-old woman from a village in India’s West Bengal has allegedly spent every day for the past two decades submerged up to her neck in the waters of a nearby lake, due to an unknown disease.

Before getting into this strange story, I have to disclose the fact that it is unverified. It went viral in Russia (of all places) last month, and I’ve been trying to find a credible source ever since. Unfortunately, I’ve had no luck. Apart from dozens of Russian news sites and a few dubious English blogs, I have found no mention of this woman anywhere. Normally, I wouldn’t even have bothered writing about something like this, but what really intrigued me about this story is that it comes with a video of this woman siting idly in a lake, all by herself, as other people look on from the shore. There’s definitely a story here, I just don’t know if it’s the one I’ve found. So if you’re reading this and can provide any credible insight about this news story, I’d love to hear from you. Anyway, here’s the Russian version:

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Indian Officials Encourage Farmers to Chant Vedic Hymns to Improve Crop Yields

Authorities in the Indian state of Goa are encouraging farmers to adopt “cosmic farming” by chanting Vedic mantras to their fields for 20 days in order o improve the quality and quantity of their crops without the help of chemical fertilizers.

Promoting organic farming is definitely commendable, but the approach of Goa’s Ministry of Agriculture is questionable at least. According to several news reports, authorities in the Indian state are currently promoting cosmic farming as an alternative to conventional agriculture. This requires farmers to chant ‘Vedic mantras’ to their fields for 20 days, which is supposed to help attract the energy of the universe into the field and help the seeds sprout faster and ultimately provide better yields.

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You Can Now Pay to Attend Strangers’ Weddings in India

Weddings are generally considered personal events reserved for family and friends, but some couples in India are more than happy to have total strangers from all over the world attend their traditional weddings, for a fee.

Paying hundreds of dollars to attend the wedding of two total strangers in a foreign country may seem strange to some, but according to JoinMyWedding, a company specializing in wedding tourism, it’s “the ultimate cultural immersion” for tourists looking to experience as many elements of Indian culture in the shortest time possible. Clients get to put on traditional Indian clothing, taste exotic food, witness and take part in beautiful wedding customs, and soak up the unique atmosphere. As for the couples getting married, they get to share the happiest day of their lives not just with family and friends, “but with the world” and make some extra money in the process.

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7-Year-Old Boy Sleeps, Bathes and Plays with Deadly Snakes

Devesh Adivasi, a 7-year-old boy from rural Madhya Pradesh, in central India, has some very unusual best friends. For the past four years, he has been going into the jungle near his village and coming back with all kinds of snakes, some of them poisonous, that he plays, bathes and eats with. So far, he hasn’t been bitten once.

The boy’s family says that his fascination with snakes started when he was 3 years old, after dreaming about the slithering reptiles one night. Next morning, he told his parents about it, but they didn’t think much of it until they saw him running into the jungle near their village and later coming out with two snakes in hand. The reptiles slithered all over his body, but they didn’t bite him. Since that day, Devesh has been going into the jungle almost every day and bringing back new friends to play with. He keeps them for a few days, bathes and sleeps with them, massages them with oil and then releases them back into the jungle.

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95-Year-Old Man Wakes Up at His Own Funeral, Says He Was Just Taking a Nap

A 95-year-old man from rural Rajasthan , in India, recently stunned his family when he woke up during his pre-funeral bath after a doctor had pronounced him dead.

Budh Ram, a resident of Bhaktanwalan Ki Dhani, had fainted on Saturday afternoon, after complaining of chest pain. When his family found him, they called a private doctor, who, after inspecting the 95-year-old’s body, declared him dead. The man’s family then notified his relatives and contacted a priest to perform his last rites. The men of the family shaved their heads as per tradition, and prepared to give Budh’s body a customary last bath. But when they started poring cold water over him, something unexpected happened – the “dead man” miraculously came back to life.

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Man Rescued After Burying Himself Alive So He Could Become a God

An Indian man was recently rescued from a pit that he had voluntarily been buried in for 8 hours in order to attain salvation and be reborn as a God.

Deeraj Kharol, a tantrik who had been living in a temple in Karocho ka Kheda village, Rajasthan, for a few years, last week announced that he planned to bury himself alive as part of a bizarre ritual to attain ‘samadhi’ (salvation) and be resurrected as a God three days later. Instead of talking some sense into him, enthusiastic villagers celebrated his decision and offered to aid him in any way, even digging a pit for him near the temple where he stayed. Last Wednesday, on the first day of Navratra, they buried him in the pit, as per his instructions.

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Indian Universities To Teach Engineering Students That Batteries and Planes Were Invented in India Thousands of Years Ago

An Indian education organization recently sparked controversy by introducing an optional engineering course that teaches students that modern inventions like aeronautics, batteries, as well as knowledge of gravity existed in India during the Vedic Age, thousands of years ago.

Human Resource Development Ministry (HRD) decided to introduce into the country’s engineering curriculum a controversial book that makes all kinds of bombastic claims, from the fact that the Wright brothers didn’t really invent the airplane, to assertions that ancient Indian ‘scientists’ in the Vedic Age (1500 – 500 BCE) knew about gravity long before Isaac Newton. This book is seen as another attempt by Narendra Modi’s government to promote pseudoscience pushed by Hindu groups.

Entitled Bharatiya Vidya Saar, the controversial book is set to be introduced as part of an optional credit course in engineering colleges and universities affiliated with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). For some reason, the optional course, called Indian Knowledge Systems, will focus on Indian philosophical, linguistic and artistic traditions, as well as yoga and Indian perspective of modern scientific worldview. Those don’t sound like the kinds of things engineering courses should focus on, but wait until you hear what students will actually be taught.

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Woman Unhappy With Married Life Bites Off Husband’s Tongue During Kiss

An Indian man was recently left unable to speak after his enraged eight-month pregnant wife bit off his tongue when he tried kissing her during an argument.

If you thought a French kiss was the best way appease a woman’s wrath during a fight, this story may make you think twice the next time you want to use to end an argument. A 22-year-old man from Delhi, India, had to be rushed to the hospital and treated for heavy bleeding after his wife bit off his tongue. The woman was subsequently arrested and she told police that she was unhappy with her married life as well as her husband’s unattractive looks, so she couldn’t control her rage anymore.

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Man Makes Short Film, Plasters Neighborhoods with Thousands of Posters in Hope of Finding Girl He Saw on Train

A 29-year-old love-struck man from Kolkata, India, recently made international headlines for his efforts to get in touch with a woman he exchanged glances with on a train. He made a short film that he then posted on YouTube, plastered several neighborhoods with around 4,000 posters, and has been wearing the exact same clothes he did when he saw her, in the hopes that she will see and recognize him.

Biswajit Podder, a government from Behala, claims to have “fallen in love” with a woman he only locked eyes with on a train ride home from work, on July 23rd. The girl and her parents boarded the same train and took the seats opposite Biswajit. The man instantly mesmerized by the girl’s beauty, but she caught him looking at her and didn’t appear to like it, so he didn’t bother anymore on that train. But it just so happened that they both got off at the next station, boarded another train, and she and her parents once again took the seats opposite Biswajit.

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The Indian Village Where People Play with Live Scorpions

Most people wouldn’t dare touch a scorpion for all the money in the world, but in one small Indian village, people actually seek out the poisonous arachnids and put them on their faces, or eve in their mouths, as part of a worshiping ritual.

Every year, on Naga Panchami, when most of India worships the snake god, the people of Kandakoor, about 20 kilometers from Yadgir, in the state of Karnataka, worship their Scorpion Goddess, Kondammai. Men and women, children and the elderly, all queue to go up a nearby hill called Chellina Betta (Scorpion Hill) and reach an idol of Kondammai, to which they offer sarees, coconuts and oil, and pray for good health and prosperity. After this ritual is completed, everyone starts looking for scorpions to play with.

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India’s Great Banyan Tree Is Its Own Forest

If you were to see the Great Banyan Tree in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden from a distance, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a forest. Spanning more than 14,493 square meters, the tree is the widest in the world—so large that it covers more ground than the average Wal-Mart.

No one is quite sure exactly how old the Great Banyan Tree is due to a lack of official records, but experts estimate that the tree is at least 250 years old; the earliest references to the tree have been found in travel writing dating all the way back to the 19th century. Over the years, the tree has been through a lot. Not only has it survived 2 major cyclones in 1864 and 1867, but its main trunk was also infected with a deadly fungus. This infection meant that the main trunk of the tree needed to be removed in 1925.

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Man Puts Up 300 Billboards and Signs Overnight to Ask Girlfriend’s Forgiveness

A young Indian businessman who wanted to get back on his girlfriend’s good side after an argument put up 300 billboards and signs all over their local suburb, to let her know he wanted her forgiveness.

It’s not clear what 25-year-old Nilesh Khedekar had done to upset his girlfriend, but he clearly thought it serious enough to be worth the effort of an impressive operation to earn her forgiveness. Last week, after hearing that the girl, named Shivde, was returning from Mumbai to her home in Pimple Saudagar, a suburb of Pune, the young man decided he had to come up with a creative way of showing her just how sorry he was about their argument. He got in touch with a printer and commissioned hundreds of different-sized posters with the message “Shivde, I am Sorry!”. Then, on the night before the girl’s scheduled returned, he paid a group of boys to hang the signs and billboards all over her neighborhood.

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Wife and Daughters Hire Hitmen to Kill Husband Who Didn’t Allow Them to Wear Jeans

An Indian woman and her four daughters have confessed to hiring contract killers to have their husband/father murdered because he refused to let them wear jeans.

The lifeless body of Meharbaan Ali, a police sub-inspector, was found in a sewage canal in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, just 250 meters from his home, on Sunday. An investigation began and it didn’t take long for local police to figure out that the man’s family may have been involved in his murder. Circuit cameras installed in the area and a thorough verification of each family member’s call history helped inspectors crack the case and ultimately get a confession out of the wife and her four daughters.

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Indian Man Prays to Photo of Donald Trump Every Day

It’s no secret that Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters idolize him, but we have yet to hear about any of them worshipping him as a god. Interestingly, that’s exactly what an Indian man has been doing for the last three years, and he’s not even a Trump supporter.

Bussa Krishna, a 31-year-old farmer from the remote village of Konne, in India’s Telangana state, prays to a photo of US President Donald Trump several times a day. He makes offerings of vermilion, turmeric and flowers to the photo and carries it with him wherever he goes, openly declaring his devotion to his unusual deity. Krishna claims that being called mad by family and friends for worshipping Trump the same way as Hindu gods ha only strengthened his resolve, and he now hopes to build a temple dedicated to the US President.

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