India is a mystery in itself, the more you delve deeper the wider it gets. People here are extremely superstitious and believe in bling faiths and century old traditions as the way forward to make things happen. Here are some of the most bizarre and shocking rituals that Indians practice, and the extremities undertaken knows no bounds.

1. Kill or get killed in the Bani festival, Andhra Pradesh

 

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This festival is celebrated at the Devaragattu Temple in Kurnool in which hundreds of devotees gather every Dusshera with sticks and hit on each other heads at midnight. This is done to celebrate the killing of a demon by Lord Shiva and is going on for more than a 100 years. Many people are injured, soaked in blood during this frenzy and the policemen and doctors which are on guard during this remain as mere spectators.

2. Snake Worship on Nag Panchami

Women offer prayers to a cobra snake on the occasion of the Hindu festival of "Naag Panchami" in the central Indian city of Bhopal August 6, 2008. Naag Panchami is a unique festival dedicated to honour the snake god. The snake is one of the most revered animals in Hinduism. REUTERS/Raj Patidar (INDIA)

India isn’t known as the land of snake charmers just for nothing. On the month of Shravan, according to the Hindu calendar the festival of Nag Panchami is celebrated across India. In this ritual cobras with their fangs removed in which priests sprinkle flowers petals on their hoods are worshipped and fed with milk and rats.

3. Walking on Fire in Theemethi, Tamil Nadu

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The festival in Theemethi celebrates the re-enactments of the Indian epic Mahabharata and one such activity involves walking on burning coals. It is said that Draupadi, the queen of the Pandavas had so in after the Battle of Kurukshetra and emerged pure. She grants a wish or a blessing to whoever performs this ritual.

4. Tossing Infants of the roof for good Luck, Maharashtra

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This bizarre ritual of tossing a baby from the roof is practiced among both Hindus and Muslims in India. The babies are dropped from a height of 50 feet and are caught in a sheet by waiting men underneath. This ritual is said to be in practice for more than 500 years and is believed to bring prosperity to the baby’s family.

5. Honor Killing

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Another shocking ritual among the rural people of India is the concept of Honor Killing. There are strict rules and norms to be followed by a girl when she is married to a family and there are rules as not to talk to unknown men, dressing as told to and not marrying anyone outside their own caste, community etc. If someone disobeys them they may be disowned or worse even killed for allegedly bringing ‘dishonor’ to the family.

6. Piecing one’s body with flesh in Thaipossom, Tamil Nadu

 

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Faith in the divine is good, but somehow to prove their worth the devotees can go to extreme proportions. One such festival known as Thaipossom is celebrated in Southern India especially at Tamil Nadu in which people undertake a 48 day fast, after which man pierce their body with hooks and skewers o their tongues and skin. These activities may impede speech and the devotes believe that it helps them connect with God.

7. Rolling over Leftover food in Karnataka

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Discrimination the basis of caste and creed is one of India’s perennial problems. Some take them to the extreme level for example at the Kukke Subramania Temple the people who are considered to be inferior in caste roll over leftover food from the palates of Brahmins to rid themselves of curses and ailments. The practice has been banned In the past, but still do putting in blind faith to it.

8. Wedding among animals to appease the rain God

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Rains are a big deal for farming and proper crop production and people are known to go to extreme levels to make it happen. Marriages among frogs, donkeys, dogs and even goats are said to be married to appease the rain God in different parts of India to appease the rain god and make rain fall. So no rain dances happen here, just marriages- so no big deal!

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