Sunday, December 4, 2016

Hathi Kheda Mandir

Hathi Kheda Mandir 

BORAM (East Singhbhum): In a state where elephants have claimed 900 lives since 2000, Lawjora village in Singhbhum forest area stands as an exception. Here, people worship the animals which, as a reciprocal gesture, have never killed any human being nor damaged any house till date. Situated in the Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, the village is surrounded by wild elephants all through the year. But it's nothing short of a miracle that when other surrounding villages have been witness to elephant rampages, Lawjora has been spared of the horror.

The Lawjora villagers believe that this has been possible because of the intervention of "Haathi Kheda Baba". Every household at the village has an idol and a photo of an elephant (Haathi Kheda Baba). The locality also boasts of a temple, which has been there since time immemorial.

"The elephants frequent the village but have never caused any damage to life or property here. Unlike other villages in the Dalma sanctuary, people in Lawjora do not have to spend sleepless nights. Villagers do not chase elephants. They simply start invoking Haathi Kheda Baba at homes and the elephants go away,
Folklore has it that hundreds of years ago elephants used to wreak havoc in Lawjora. To put an end to this, a saint installed a clay idol and initiated the ritual of elephant worship here. Thereafter, the jumbo menace stopped in Lawjora.

The "Haathi Kheda Mandir" at Lawjora doesn't house idols of any god. All that it has are a couple of elephant idols. Tribals have immense faith in them. The baba helps ailing tribals recover soon, the jobless get jobs, the unmarried get married and so on. Those who buy vehicles write 'Jai Haathi Kheda Baba' at the dashboard to avert accidents.

 The locals claimed that elephants turned affectionate to the villagers once they stepped within a radius of 15 km of Lawjora.The animals have wrecked havoc in the past but Lawjora is always safe," said Sardar.

Hathi Kheda Mandir
Hathi Kheda Mandir 

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