Bizarre Indian practices to attract rain

Two frogs were married in Udupi to attract rain. DH Photo

The year 2019 is expected to record the second-lowest pre-monsoon rains in India in 65 years. Temperatures are soaring with no respite from the rain gods. As DH reported earlier, a marriage of two frogs was organised in Udupi to invite the rains.

Over time, people have taken up several practices in a bid to attract rain.

DH brings you a list of bizarre rituals practiced across the country to appease the rain deities:

Varuna Yajna
Priests come together for the Varuna Yajna or Parjanya Yajna by immersing themselves in barrels of water and chanting the name of Lord Varuna (the water god in Hindu mythology) 1,000 times as a prayer for rain. This was conducted recently in Karnataka where temple priests performed a special puja for rainfall.

Kappa Talli
The Kappa Talli dance is practiced in parts of Andhra Pradesh to please the rain god, Varuna, into blessing the people. The folk dance requires two men to shoulder a pole horizontally with a frog tied in the middle. They then go home to home, singing a folk song and collecting uncooked rice, which is later cooked and eaten by the community.

Mud-caked children
In Nari Bari, near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, young boys are made to lie in sludge with their backs caked in mud, nearly naked with folded hands. They ask the deities to have mercy with the hope of inducing rain.

Exile to the forest
There is a belief in certain villages in Telangana that the gods will heed penance and make it rain if people leave their homes and spend the day in the forest as part of an exile, Vanavasam. The people of Talivela Village, including the wife of a senior minister, participated in one such ritual.

Women ploughing the fields naked
Dozens of women, who have probably never stepped out of the home without a pallu covering their faces, have to venture naked to plough fields at night in Uttar Pradesh as part of a custom to bring rain. Before they head out, an elaborate all-woman Indra puja is generally performed.

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