These Temples in India Say Yay to Intoxication


For a religious person, a usual day in India comprises of waking up early, taking a shower, visiting the nearest place of worship without having eaten anything, and then consuming the prasad before you start off with your daily routine. People are not supposed to consume anything non-vegetarian or intoxicating before offering the prayers, and sometimes even after it. But our country comes with its own uniqueness and diversity. There are many religious places in India where intoxicants are not prohibited, but in fact, are celebrated.

Temples in India where intoxicants are offered as prasad:

1. Kal Bhairav Temple

Kal Bhairav is the protecting deity of the city of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. The deity accepts tantric offerings called Panchamakra which included Madira (liquor), Maans (flesh), Meen (fish), Mudra (grain) and Maithun (sexual intercourse). However, in the current times the offering has been restricted to alcohol while the other rituals are performed symbolically. It is believed that the deity absorbs the alcohol offered to the idol.

Prasad Platter for Kal Bhairav \ (C) Garima

Photo of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India by Kanj Saurav

2. Khabees Baba Temple

Khabees Baba, a spiritual healer, was known for his ability to treat injured people with his touch. The saint was known for his love for whisky, and hence, the devotees offer alcohol to his memorial temple in Sitapur near Lucknow, which is distributed to them later.

3. Parassinikkadavu Temple

Sree Mutthappan, the reigning deity of the temple is a vagabond form of Lord Shiva. Many interesting rituals happen in this temple that include Mutthappan Theyyam dance, and an offering of fish, meat and toddy (liquor made of palm) during the auspicious month of Kumbham (early March).

Theyyam Performers (C) Sajith

Photo of Kannur, Kerala, India by Kanj Saurav

4. Uttershwari Temple

Located in an obscure town of Odisha, the temple of goddess Uttershwari is known for miracles like treatment of epilepsy. The goddess is offered wine and fish, which is later distributed to people suffering from epilepsy.

5. Kashi Ke Kotwal

Kal Bhairav is the God of security and surveillance, and as such Kal Bhairav popularly known as Kashi Ke Kotwal, holds an authority over who enters and can reside in the city of Varanasi. Amongst the many things offered to please the protecting deity of the city, chocolate, alcohol and meat are much dear to him.

Kashi Ke Kotwal (C) brijkedeewane

Photo of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India by Kanj Saurav

6. Kal Bhairav Temple

In the capital city of Delhi, devotees whether elderly or children can be seen enjoying alcohol as prasad obtained from the Kal Bhairav temple, near Purana Qila.

7. Jiva Mama Temple

Jiva Mama was not a religious or spiritual leader, but a temple was dedicated to him as a token of gratitude, after he saved an entire village from the threat of dacoits, and sacrificed his life in the process. Since Jiva Mama was fond of meat, alcohol and cigarettes, these are offered in the temple here in the dry state of Gujarat.

8. Bhanwal Mata Temple

Bhanwal Mata offers nothing else but the offer of 2.5 cups of alcohol from a silver goblet, only from the devotee she decides to fulfil the wish of. The priest closes his ask and asks the goddess to accept the offer, and the goddess drinks two full cups, and leaves the third half way. People from all over the world come to witness this spectacle.

Bhanwal Mata Temple (C) Narendra Rathore

Photo of Merta, Rajasthan, India by Kanj Saurav

9. Bhadrakali Temple

Every year during the month of May, Bhadrakali Temple in Old Amritsar observes a grand mela. During this period the goddess is offered meat and alcohol which is later distributed to the devotees.

Did we miss out any temple? Tell us in the comments below.

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