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Bhagavati Ali Chamundi Kshetra Temple draws Hindus and Muslims alike in Mangaluru

The Hindu pilgrimage is famous for 'Bhootaraadhane' or twin spirit worship of the Hindu goddess Chamundi and her servant Ali by people of both Hindu and Muslim faith

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  • At the temple, both Hindu and Muslim devotees pray to the wish-fulfilling twin spirits of Chamundi and Ali
  • The annual Jatra Mahotsava is celebrated between March 30 and April 6
  • From August 15 to September 15, a month-long ritual is conducted during the Tulu calendar month of Sona

The Hindu pilgrimage site Bhagavati Ali Chamundi Kshetra, famous for ‘Bhootaraadhane‘ or twin spirit worship of the Hindu goddess Chamundi and her servant Ali by people of both Hindu and Muslim faith, is situated at a distance of 40 km from the city of Mengaluru, in the small town of Arikady in Kerala’s Kasargod district.

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Behind the worship of ‘Chamundi Bhoot‘ and ‘Ali Bhoot‘ is a legend which goes as such- Hailing from the Andaman and Nicobar islands, the licentious Ali who was also skilled in black magic wrecked havoc in the town of Arikady. To vanquish him, the villagers prayed to goddess Bhagavati.

 A Muslim woman narrating her grievances to Ali Bhoota and seeking his blessings during annual Jathra Mahotsava at Arikady near Mangaluru. Image source: Indian | Express
A Muslim woman narrating her grievances to Ali Bhoota and seeking his blessings during annual Jathra Mahotsava at Arikady near Mangaluru. Image source: Indian | Express

Ali wore a talisman which would not let death approach him. So, in order to slay him, Bhagavati takes the form of beautiful women and goes to bathe in the pond. Overpowered by lust, Ali follows her and agrees to her condition of removing his protective talisman so that he could sport with the goddess. As Bhagavati takes on the Chamundi avatar to kill the now powerless Ali, he repents and expresses a desire to serve her, and she obliges.

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It is to worship these wish-fulfilling twin spirits that people throng to the pilgrimage and annual Jatra Mahotsava that is celebrated between March 30 and April 6. Further, from August 15 to September 15, a month-long ritual is conducted during the Tulu calendar month of Sona. It is during the last three days that Muslims come to the site to worship ‘Ali Bhoot‘ by offering him jasmine flowers.

– by Ashee Sharma of NewsGram

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Hindus In Delhi Push For A Temple On The Ruins Of a Mosque

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

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Supporters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad gather during a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 9, 2018. The group gathered thousands of supporters to demand the construction of a Hindu temple on a site where a mosque was attacked, demolished in 1992. VOA

Tens of thousands of hardline Hindu protesters marched in New Delhi on Sunday, calling for a grand temple to be built on the ruins of a destroyed mosque in a flashpoint Indian city.

Trident-waving devotees clad in saffron filled a huge parade ground in the Indian capital under tight security, where speakers warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi they would not let up until the temple was sanctioned.

Some of Modi’s supporters feel the Hindu nationalist leader has not done enough to raise a shrine at a site in Ayodhya, a city believed by many to be the birthplace of the deity Ram.

The site was home to a medieval mosque for 460 years until Hindu zealots tore it down in 1992, kicking off riots across India that left thousands dead, most of them Muslims.

Its future has been tied up in courts for decades but some hardliners want Modi, who is seeking reelection in 2019, to push parliament to guarantee the temple by law.

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“The gathering here is telling you that Hindus won’t sit back until the temple is built, and our wishes are respected,” said Champat Rai, the leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) group that organized the protest.

Demonstrators chanting “Praise be to Ram” packed the Ramlila Maidan, a vast ground capable of holding more than 50,000 people, and filled the surrounding streets.

Some carried maces and tridents — weapons traditionally wielded by Hindu gods — and traveled great distances by train and bus to reach the rally.

“We have come here to protect our religion and Hindu pride. We want a temple for our Lord Ram,” Hitesh Bharadwaj, a teacher from Delhi’s satellite city Noida, told AFP.

The hardline VHP has applied pressure on Modi in recent weeks, staging a huge show of force in Ayodhya itself last month.

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Photo credit: theguardian.com

A close ally of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the group is spearheading a push to raise the Ram temple, and is calling for more protests as the premier prepares to go to the polls by May.

The BJP was on the margins until the 1980s when its top leaders, including Modi, backed a growing movement for the construction of the Ram temple.

Its advocates want parliament to introduce a law bypassing legal hurdles blocking the temple before Modi’s term ends.

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The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

“We don’t care about the courts. A grand temple will be constructed in 2019,” Sushil Chawdhary, a VHP leader, told AFP. (VOA)