Champawat, August 15: A town in Uttarakhand follows a unique tradition to celebrate Raksha Bandhan. Revellers pelt stone at each other as part of a ritual called “Bagwal” which means to fight. On this Raksha Bandhan, the Bagwal fair, also known as the stone-pelting festival, was held at Maa Varahi Devi Temple in Devidhura in Champawat district of Uttarakhand on Thursday.
According to news agency ANI, more than 120 people were injured during the Bagwal fair. Bagwal is played between four different groups of people. These groups are called “Khams”. These Khams are- Lamgariya Kham, Valig Kham, Chamyal Kham and Garahwal Kham. The priest allots each Kham a corner of in the temple compound. Happy Raksha Bandhan 2019 Wishes For Brothers & Sisters: WhatsApp Stickers, GIF Image Messages, SMS and Rakhi Greetings to Send on Hindu Festival.
Pictures of Bagwal, stone pelting festival:
Uttarakhand: ‘Bagwal’ stone pelting festival held in Champawat, part of a ritual to appease a local deity. More than 120 people injured. The festival is held every year at the temple of goddess Barahi on the occasion of #RakshaBandhan. pic.twitter.com/bU0lKODXt3
— ANI (@ANI) August 15, 2019
Members of these four groups then start pelting stones at one another while trying to shield themselves from the onslaught with bamboo shields or Farras. This continues until the priest is satisfied that enough blood has been shed to please Goddess Barahi. Goddess Barahi Devi is held in great reverence by the people of Champawat district’s Devidhura and other places nearby.
The Bagwal festival is celebrated on Raksha Bandhan as it is an auspicious day when the Hindus change their janeu (sacred thread). The Uttarakhand High Court had asked devotees to replace the use of stones with fruits.