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Stones pelting fairs to appease Goddess

Posted on Nov 15, 12:34PM | UNI

Immediately after Diwali festival is over, a unique stone pelting fair was organised today as part of an annual ritual in the former princely state of Dhami in Himachal Pradesh to appease clan goddess.

Dhami Police post in-charge ASI Kundan Lal told UNI 'Fair of Stones' being called " Pattharon ka mella" in local parlance, was ended peacefully this time as two people got minor stones injuries, including a camera person of a news agency.

He said despite time has changed a lot but local people still believe in old taboo continuing this ceremony.

During the fair, male adults gathered in a ground and pelted each other with small stones in Dhami village, some 40 km from Himachal Pradesh's capital Shimla.

The stone pelting started this afternoon and lasted for about 30 minutes. As per the belief, a devotee who gets injured in stone pelting is considered a devout of Goddess ASI added.

He said everyone took part in the fair on his own risk considered their auspicious duty being born in the clan and after getting stone injured considered himself the blessed one for divine duty.

The injured have been given first aids on the spot but no casualty ever took place and administration allow this fair keeping in mind the local faith for it.

Stone-pelting took place between residents of Halog village, once the capital of Dhami estate, and Jamog village. People, dressed in new attire, lined the grassy slopes.

Members of the royal family of the erstwhile princely state stood on one side, facing the villagers on the other.

People pelted stones at the royal family members after the arrival of the deity of Narsingh temple, housed in Dhami's palace, at the Kali Devi temple in the village.

The origin of the fair dates back to the 18th century when a human sacrifice was done to appease Goddess Kali.

Later, this practice was stopped and the goddess was appeased by putting a 'tilak' of human blood on her forehead.