Ghost fair in Jharkhand witnesses a sea of humanity

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Palamu (Jharkhand), March 27 (ANI): Though people all over the world visit religious places to seek blessings for happiness and a good fortune for themselves, an annual fair held in Jharkhand's Palamu district attracts people who wish to free themselves of the suspected evil spirits' influence.

Hundreds of devotees of tribal and non-tribal families participated in a unique the 'Ghost fair' hosted in the vicinity of Sheetala Mata temple here recently.

The large presence of believers during the annual fair felt like a literal sea of humanity near the temple located in the Haider Nagar. It is held during the nine days of Navratri festival here.

Devotees camped in tents in front of the temple and persons 'possessed' by ghosts were escorted to the temple where the priests and Tantriks (sorcerers) would perform various rituals and offer prayers before the Goddess.

During these rituals, the persons who are in trance, are believed to have been influenced by the divine power of the presiding deity.

People at the fair said that they arrived here after being unsatisfied by doctors for their respective medical problems.

"This is an age-old mystic temple. People have been visiting this temple for 50 to 60 years. They come here to fulfill their wishes, get rid of the evil spirits or any problem they are facing. The presiding deity of temple goddess relieves them of all the problems," said Surendra Nath Tyagi, priest of Sheetala Mata temple, Hairderpur.

It is believed besides obviation from evil spirits, the devout visitors also have a belief that their all wishes will be realized after praying here by a pure heart and deep faith.

"After noticing such a sea of devotees at this temple, one can make out that there has to be some reality in this ritual, otherwise people would not visit this temple. I feel that this temple has some powers, that is why people come here to get rid of their problems," said Meera Devi, one of the devotee.

This fair has been a popular event for several decades. By Girija Shankar OjhaANI)

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