India is a land of diversity, home to many great religions of the world. This diversity has made people believe and worship different kinds of deities. They vary from trees to rivers and snakes to cows. However a small village in Pali district of Rajasthan has the distinction one of the rarest and weirdest temples ever known or seen.
Having heard a lot from fellow travelers visiting the famous Om Banna temple aka Bullet temple was indeed a must for me. On Pali – Jodhpur highway in a small village called Chotila lies a temple of Royal Enfield 350 cc Bullet Motorcycle.
I crossed the mountains of Aravali region in Rajsamand and reached the jodhpur highway. The Sun has gone down the horizon when I reached the temple. The temple is situated just on the highway. While I was boarding off the bus, the conductor gave me a twenty rupees note and asked me to give it inside the temple.
The temple or shrine whatever you may call it is an open space where Royal Enfield bike is kept inside a glass box and a Dias is made where a pandit sits.Besside him lies a photograph of Om banna. Banna is a term coined in the local dialect for older brother and often referred to sons of village Thakur or landlord.Inside the temple premises I saw two guys serving country liquor to the priest. I put my twenty rupees in a box kept there for offerings.
A man was sitting there with a harmonium. I went to him to get a insight about the place and its history.. The story goes:
Om banna was the son of local village chief. One day he was riding his Royal enfield when he met with an accident just outside the present temple complex. He died on the spot. Police seized the bike and took it to police station however to their horror next morning the bike was found at the same place near the tree. Police again took the bike to police station but again it was found at the same accident spot the next morning. This went on for quite few days and villagers started to feel the bike has spirit of Om Banna. They built a shrine at the same spot and since then he is considered a good omen for all drivers on that highway. They say if you offer praying to Om Banna, you won’t be harmed by anything on the highway.
These places make me understand as to why India is considered to be a land of stories and how each story may have a history behind it. It depends on each of us that how much we believe it but it helps me get motivated and find more fascinating stories.