Life | Verve’s Believe It Or Not

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Verve’s Believe It Or Not
Text by Shreya Shah and Illustrations by Wyanet Vaz
Published: Volume 21, Issue 8, August, 2013

India conceals places that defy reason and logic. They embrace sensibility in quite a different way, and sparkle with magic and adventure – just waiting to be found out

India is a veritable treasure-house. Just peep inside for some very, very strange sights – sometimes dazzling, sometimes baffling but always mesmerising. We present a few...

Mohammadpur Umri, a unique hamlet close to the Air Force base at Bamrauli, near Allahabad has a twinkling tale to flaunt. The total population of this tiny village is nearly 900. And interestingly there are almost sixty pairs of twins here! Going by scientific knowledge, even two pairs in a population of 600 is considered high. The identical twin birth rate in this village is 300 times the national average population and probably the highest in the world. The most fascinating trivia about Umri is that this village is even believed to possess a pair of twin cows and buffaloes. Even the hens here lay eggs with double yolks!

In Maharashtra, there is a place called Shani Shignapur. Known for its famous Shanidev temple, this village is indeed unique. None of the houses, commercial buildings or schools here have doors or even a door frame. Taking into account the near zero crime-rate, the United Commercial Bank (UCO) even opened a branch here. Looks like they are living out their own modern Ram-Rajya...

Shetpal in Sholapur district of Maharashtra, has a frightful custom where each house has a resting place for live cobras in the rafters of their ceilings. The village also has a temple with a seven-hooded cobra made of copper over the idol of Lord Shiva. The truly incredible part is that no cases of cobra bites have been recorded in the village till date, in spite of live cobras moving around the houses daily.

And far off in the icy heights of the Himalayas, there is a tale that will send shivers down your spine. Roopkund Lake, better known as Skeleton Lake, is a secluded place. This extremely eerie area is known for the hundreds of corpses, anything between 300-600 skeletons, which date back to the 15th century AD. What would have killed these people and why were so many of them on such a gruelling journey in the middle of nowhere? Did they die in ritualistic suicide or in an epidemic? According to local folklore, the entourage earned the fury of the local deity, Latu. They were caught in a dreadful hailstorm and were thrown into the Roopkund Lake.

And for all those dreaming of faraway lands, the land of the Gods provides you with a deity for the same. Visit the Visa God Of India! Chilkur Balaji Temple – popularly known as Visa Balaji Temple or Visa God – is an ancient Hindu temple of Lord Balaji near Hyderabad, India. It is one of the oldest temples in the Telangana region built about half a millennium ago. The shrine is instrumental for the temple’s popularity as Visa God. It is also the only temple in India that does not accept any money, does not have a hundi from the devotees, no green channel or privileges for VVIPs, and it fought and won the right to stay out of government control. The only other such temple is Ramanuj Kot, a temple in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.


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