September 18, 2009
The temple of Gadhi Mai, located in Bara district of central Terai region, is visited by millions of Hindus. It is a temple where the largest numbers of animal sacrifices are offered. A month –long fair is held in the month of Mangsir (November / December) once in every five years to worship the goddess. During this fair the devotees first take a holy dip in the sacred pond and offer homage to the goddess with animal sacrifices. The sacrifices of animals to the goddess Gadhi Mai are believed to fulfill the wishes of her devotees.
Yearly, around 200,000 animals are slaughtered at this temple. The sacrifice is meant to placate Gadhimai a Hindu Goddess of power. But, animal sacrifice is totally out of keeping with the teachings and beliefs of Hinduism.
He who injures harmless creatures from a wish to give himself pleasure, never finds happiness in this life or the next. Manu-smriti 5.45
Most of the adherents of this cult travelled long distances to take part, about 60 percent of those who attended came from neighboring India. They come for many reasons most of which are superstitious in nature, or at least appear so from the perspective of the modern world where most of us have consigned such backward thinking to the past.
The Gadhimai festival has its origins in the 18th century with a feudal landlord Bhagwan Chaudhary and a village healer adept in the Hindu occult, Dukha Kachadiya. Bhagwan Chaudhary was imprisoned at Makwanpur fort prison 260 years ago. While imprisoned he dreamed a dream that his problems would be solved if he made a blood sacrifice to Gadhimai, in other words if he sacrificed an animal. After leaving prison Chaudhary took advice from Kachadiya. According to tradition at the time of Chaudhary’s sacrifice a light appeared in an earthenware jar and from than onwards the grotesquely cruel sacrifice has continued every five years for the last 260 years. For two and a half centuries living breathing beings have been brutally slain because of that dream.