Women whipped to get rid of evil spirits during Tamil Nadu festival

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Namakkal (Tami Nadu), Sep.30 (ANI): Believe it or not, thousands of women, including young and the aged, converge at Namakkal to attend the annual festival at the Sri Achappan temple of Pavitram Vellalapatti to get whipped.

The women undergo the lashing following an old belief that it would free them of evil spirits and physical ailments.

The ritual is performed on the occasion of Vijayadashmi as per the Hindu almanac. The temple priest whips the women devotees.

According Kulla Goudan, the priest at the Sri Achappan temple, the ritual has been in vogue for centuries as is evident from thousands of devotees gathering here to get rid of their problems.

Thousands of devotees converge during this festival from various places.

"Basically, this is a ghost-festival, which is followed for early marriage and to cure people with health problems such as mental retardation, mental tension and unmerciful life, etc," said Kulla Goudan, priest, Sri Achappan temple, Pavitram Vellalapatti, Tamil Nadu.

"The belief is that if one follows this ritual then all the problems will come to an end," said Goudan.

The women say the worshipping gives them relief.

"I have been following this ritual for years now. Actually, this is a ghost-festival where we get beaten up by the priest and all our problems vanish," said Radhika, one of the devotees.

This year around 10,000 devotees converged on this occasion for the festival which concluded on Tuesday by Jehovah. G(September 8).

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