Monday 31 July 2017

Om Banna's Royal Enfield being worshipped
Om Banna's Royal Enfield

Pali is home to the Om Banna shrine where a Royal Enfield is worshipped by its followers daily

Bikers love their bikes and I'm no different. We love our motorcycles as much as anything else in the world and if you're also one such creature, you definitely must visit the village of Pali in Rajasthan.

Pali is a place where a motorcycle is worshipped literally. But there's a good reason behind it.
This image you see here is that of Om Banna's motorcycle. 

Who is Om Banna? And why are they worshipping his motorcycle?

During the December of 1991, on a cold winter night, Om Banna, a drunk villager of Pali village (Rajasthan) crashed his motorcycle on the highway and died. Police impounded the motorcycle while the case was being investigated; however, next day, the bike reached at the accident location once again. Police thought the some village kids are playing a prank and so this time they chained the motorcycle, the bike still reached the same place next morning. This kept on happening and there were stories of Om Banna's spirit roaming the highway helping distressed travellers. Eventually the villagers realized the powers of Om Banna's spirit and as a tribute to him, the motorcycle was given a permanent place next to the accident site by the highway and the place is now known as the Shri Om Banna shrine - perhaps, the only one of its kind in the world. 

Om Banna temple at Pali, Rajasthan
One-of-its-kind shrine

So, what offering (prashad) do you make at such a place?

The same stuff that consumed - Om Banna - alcohol. Yes, you will see bottles of whiskey, beer and vodka been offered as "prashad" (religious offering) at the shrine.

Thankfully, common sense has prevailed and unlike any other temple here there are strict guidelines prohibiting the consumption of the same "prashad", in this case alcohol, in and around shrine's premises.

Om Banna Temple on Pali-Jodhpur highway in Rajasthan
You can offer liquor to Om Banna's photo but can't consume it
And it doesn't end there. In fact, the tree which Om Banna hit and lost his life to is also worshipped by the followers. It's few meters from the above shrine at the side of the highway. You can see Indian as well as foreign tourists stop by to check out this one-of-its-kind place. Whenever you're travelling to Jodhpur, make sure you take out time to visit this place.

Om Banna Temple on Pali-Jodhpur Highway
The tree which cost Om Banna his life

The place is located about 20 km from the village of Pali on the Pali-Jodhpur highway. It's definitely one of the most amusing places in India.

Jai Om Banna!

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