In villages around the Ujain region, in India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh, men lay down on the ground and have their cattle trample all over them, as part of a bizarre centuries-old ritual.
There are a many things people will do in order to have their prayers answered by their gods, but until today, I didn’t know getting trampled by cattle was one of them. In a weird example of blind faith, dozens of villagers from Bhidawad village and neighboring settlements decorate their cattle with colours and henna in different patterns, then lay down on the ground and get trampled by the confused animals. The ritual takes place on the occasion of Ekadashi, a day after Diwali, the popular Hindu festival of lights, which was celebrated around the world on November 13. The whole village gathers in the streets to witness the painful event that they believe will make Hindu gods answer their prayers. “This is a traditional festival observed during Ekadashi fast after which the entire village’s cows are made to run over men lying on the ground, ” local Rekha Dubey told reporters. “We worship the cows before the ritual and also fast for five days and sing hymns during the festival.”
Photo: california cowgirl 1
But what’s most shocking about this ritual is that villagers claim that in the centuries since it’s been taking place on a yearly basis, no one has ever been injured, or even scratched. “None get injured, not even scratches, also wishes of villagers are fulfilled,” Rekha said. In the video below, some of the cows do walk around the human rug laid in front of them, others jump over it, but a lot of them actually trample all over it, and I’d hate to think about what would happen if one of them stepped on one of the men’s head…