In This Madhya Pradesh Village, Infants Left In Flowing River As Part Of Tradition. Here’s Why

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In This Madhya Pradesh Village, Infants Left In Flowing River As Part Of Tradition. Here's Why

This unique tradition takes place on the banks of the Purna River.

Every year in Betul, Madhya Pradesh, there’s a special but somewhat strange tradition that is followed and captures the attention of many in the region. Villagers there, who strongly adhere to their customs, put their babies in cradles and let them float in the Purna River at the Purna Mai temple. Even though this may make some onlookers uneasy, around 1000 children participate in this event every year, according to the temple priest, Hariram Dadore.

This ceremony holds significance for childless couples who believe in its traditional practice. It is a ritual where couples without children visit the Purna Mai temple with hopes and wishes. After their prayers are answered and they become parents, they follow this unique tradition by placing their newborns in cradles and gently releasing them into the flowing stream of the Purna River.

This practice is part of a 15-day fair held on the banks of the Purna River in Bhainsdehi, starting with Kartik Purnima. People not only from Madhya Pradesh but also from neighboring Maharashtra participate, submitting their petitions to local priests for the blessing of having a child.

Upon the birth of a child, devotees express their gratitude through prayers, and the local priest, known as Bhagat, places the infants in wooden cradles, letting them float in the river for a brief period.

According to the villagers, this age-old tradition has been practiced for many years without any mishaps. During Kartik Purnima and the two subsequent days, an additional 500 children participate in the ritual, being released into the Purna River, yet, remarkably, no accidents have been reported to date. Devotees from not only Madhya Pradesh but also from Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh gather to participate in this ceremony. The belief is that Mother Purna Mai has the power to fulfill the wishes of those who take part in this unique tradition.

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