Here’s Why These Devotees Happily Get Trampled Upon by Cows
The Govardhana puja celebrations in the village of Bhidawad in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain district involves an unusual ritual that sees devotees volunteering to be trampled upon by cows and bulls.
The Hindu tradition, observed a day after Diwali, sees devotees lining up to be trampled upon as they believe it will cleanse them of their troubles and bless them with prosperity. Despite the potential dangers, hundreds travel to the city to lie down on the ground as the sacred animals are let loose.
Local Hitesh Dubey claims that no participant sustains serious injuries during the annual event. "No one gets hurt in this ritual, the participants believe that allowing the cows to run over them will bring luck and fulfill their wishes, so that's why they do it."
Participants who do sustain injuries, including having their backs crushed, believe that the more serious the injury, the better their luck. Minor injuries are treated with cow urine and dung, which are believed to have medicinal qualities.
Over 200 cows and bulls participated in the event this year. The villagers draped garlands around the animals' necks and decorated them with paint before letting them loose.
(With inputs from Ruptly)
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman