Mehandipur Balaji Temple, Rajasthan
The Ghost Temple. The Mehandipur Balaji Temple is flocked by people in large numbers every day. Since the temple is dedicated to the most powerful of Hindu deities- Lord Hanuman, it is believed that his power can actually ward off any black magic force on Earth. Located in the Dausa district of the Indian state of Rajasthan, Mehendipur Balaji is a temple where live exorcism can be witnessed by those who dare.
Thousands of devotees flock this temple every day not just to be penitent, but to get their loved ones relived of evil spirits and ghosts. Some even say that this holy place is bestowed with such power that it could turn atheistic to a theist
This shrine has three deities who are worshipped: Balaji (Lord Hanuman), Pret Raj (The King of spirits), Bhairav. The idol inside which is over more than 1000 years old was never created by an artist, it is believed to have self appeared. But, the temple around it was built in the 20th century. Legend says that this temple was bestowed with divine powers to cure people possessed with evil spirits and contained by black magic.
It has been often shared by those who visited the shrine that they get some sort of hurdles on their way, as if a sign of warning. Once you reach the village, you will for a brief time sense cold chills, despite the place being at the center of warmest area. With the normal life taking its course in the most usual ways, you will find a total change of worlds once you step inside the temple.
Thousands stand in queue and that too at 3:30 am. Yes! It seems that the village never sleeps, even people at the local shops around the temple, work in shifts. Despite standing in queues for long hours, at the break of dawn, somehow everything goes for a toss. The crowd will push you, some would even try walking over you.
Many fearing for their lives and well-being, even drop the plan to enter the temple amid such tsunami of humans and opt for darshans from the outside. And, those who brave their way until the entrance of temple are greeted with herds of Prasad sellers, guides offering VIP route, etc. Unlike, other religious shrines in India, here, you will get black-coloured balls as Prasad; no flowers. These balls are strictly prohibited from being consumed; they are supposed to be thrown in the fire inside temple.
Once you step inside, the outside world seems totally shut. The temple is divided into four large halls, and as you enter, you will be greeted by loud shrieks and screams of those possessed by ghosts or spirits. This is unlike any other regular religious shrines, where you are greeted by chants and loud thudding of bells. Even those who do not believe in ghosts, this will be the time where even your soul would think twice before visiting.
The first two hall are of Lord Bhairav, and Hanuman, where we are supposed to throw the black balls into the ceremonial fire, only after taking it over your entire body five times. After this, you seek blessings of Lord Hanuman who relives you off any graha dashas or sankat. Next, you are taken into the third chamber (if not willingly, then by the force of people pushing you from back), and there is where the fear grips your body.
You see many crying incessantly, pounding their heads over walls and pillars, and some even pouring hot boiling water over their bodies, feeling no pain at all. Heaviness over your head and fear constant gaze by someone who might mean harm to you. As if some intangible force was holding my head and leaning over my shoulders and back. It is a haunting feeling
The last hall is the scariest. There were children, men and women tied to rocks and pillars with metal chains. Some of them were being beaten by priests. It looked as if many of them have not eaten for days. When I tried to inquire, it seemed I committed the cardinal sin, those glares is something I’ll never forget. This practice goes on daily to free these people of malignant spirits, ghosts, etc. It is all pain and negativity that surrounds you in this last hall.
Moment you are out, you pray never to be going back again especially for the reasons many having being staying inside. Following the strict protocol, to not look back, we went straight out to where other devotees were gathered. Once out, you are advised to immediately leave the area or the village without consuming anything not even water. It is believed once you step out, there is always an evil spirit waiting to cling, and those who look back fall prey. If you have wished for something to Lord Hanuman, then make it a point to visit him back once the work is done or the wish has come true; it is mandatory.
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