Lord Shiva devotees observe Katebaras ritual in Maharashtra town
Devotees of Lord Shiva performed the Katebaras ritual over the weekend by jumping on a bed of thorns on the occasion of Kartik Shudhdha Dwadashi in Golunche, Maharashtra.
Thousands of people witnessed the event, with many villagers who had migrated to cities, returning for the special occasion.
On this occasion, the villagers take out a procession of Lord Shiva in a palanquin and later dive into the heap of horns one by one.
A reveller, Ramesh Kumar, said they keep jumping on the bed of thorns and are oblivious to the pain they inflict on themselves.
Many participants refuse to step out of the area , as this believe this tradition to be a divine spell.
"We feel no pain while jumping into the thorns. We are unconscious to the pain, and there is only a slight prickly feeling. People compete on how fast and how many times they can make the jump. The energy of our Lord enters us, and makes us perform this jump. Nowhere else in Maharashtra is this ritual practiced. We have very strong faith in our deity," he said.
The villagers who were pulling the devotees out had to face hardships, as revellers were believed to be under the divine spell of Lord Shiva were repetitively refusing to come out.
Gonlunche, known for its Jyotirlinga temple, has been following the ritual of Katebaras since the last century.