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Himachal

Posted at: Nov 9, 2018, 12:43 AM; last updated: Nov 9, 2018, 12:43 AM (IST)

Shimla village celebrates annual ‘Pathron Ka Mela’

Lasted 30 minutes

  • The festival continues till blood starts oozing from the wound of an injured person
  • The villagers smear “tilak” of blood on the forehead of the goddess Kali
  • The “rain of stones” lasted only 30 minutes this time and the mela was stopped after Jamogi of Khund village was injured and started bleeding
Shimla village celebrates annual ‘Pathron Ka Mela’
Villagers participate in ‘Pathron Ka Mela’ at Dhami, 30 km from Shimla, on Thursday. Tribune photo

Bhanu P Lohumi

Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 8

Residents of Dhami, a village on the periphery of Shimla, celebrated the annual “Pathron Ka Mela”, a unique festival held a day after Diwali to uphold the centuries-old tradition.

The festival, marked by throwing of stones between two groups of villagers, started around 4 pm in the presence of the former ruler of Dhami, known as Halog.

As per traditions, the festival continues till blood starts oozing from the wound of an injured person. The villagers smear “tilak” of blood on the forehead of Goddess Kali.

People from adjoining villages from Shimla and other places assembled in a large number on the Sports Ground. Former ruler of Dhami Jagdeep Singh arrived at the venue in a royal style and the festival started.

However, the “rain of stones” lasted only 30 minutes and the mela was stopped after Jamogi of Khund village was injured and started bleeding.

Members of the Mela Committee and the Raja performed worship at the Kali temple and applied “tilak” on the forehead of the goddess with blood and sought her blessings.

There are many legends behind the celebration of the event. According to one legend, “Narbali” (human sacrifice) was offered to appease the goddess. The queen of Dhami put an end to this cruel custom by starting a new tradition of throwing stones at each other.

As per tradition, the stone pelting takes place between residents of Halog and Jamog. They line up on either side of the circular structure and shower stones at each other. The fair begins when the priest of Narsingh Devta temple walks to the Kali temple accompanied by a team of musicians. Being injured is considered auspicious and one who bleeds during the pelting of stones is considered an honoured devotee of the goddess and his blood is smeared on the forehead of the goddess.

The local administration and human rights activists have been discouraging the villagers from participating in the ritual but they are not ready to give it up and celebrate the fair.

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