February 2, 2023 1:23 am

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Rajasthan’s Bhawal Mata Temple: Where The Divine Feminine ‘Accepts’ A Unique Offering

India is home to traditions that sometimes leave you amazed, one of such is the temple where the Devi accepts madira (Alcohol) as an offering. Though some other temples follow a similar tradition, this one is special.

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Bhawal Mata

Navratri isn’t just a festival for millions of devotees, it’s an expression of devotion towards the Divine Feminine – the Goddess, the Mother who is believed to protect, nurture and help you travel through this mortal world. ‘Aadishakti’ is the power, the ardhangini who guides Lord Shiva through the creation and destruction of the world. Navratri simply translates to the celebration for the victory of good over evil carried out during nine nights of Sharad month when Devi Kali fought the devil Mahishasura.

India is home to traditions that sometimes leave you amazed, one of such is the temple where the Devi accepts madira (Alcohol) as an offering. Though some other temples follow a similar tradition, this one is special. Situated in Nagaur district, Rajasthan in Bhawal village resides the Bhawal Devi, a form of Devi Kali. The garbhagriha (sanctum) has two incarnations of Aadishakti blessing the devotees, Maa Kali and Maa Brahmani where devotees offer madira and sweets as prasad.

The Centuries Old Tradition

Legends say that for about 800 years, the temple was built by none other than a group of bandits. According to folklore, a group of bandits were surrounded by the king’s guards and had nowhere to escape. By the tree of ‘Khejdi’, there was an idol of Devi Kali, to whom the bandits requested to have mercy. It is said that the Devi transformed these bandits into sheep as the soldiers arrived and returned to human form once they were safe. The bandits then built the glorious temple of Bhawal maa and left the notorious path of looting. 

After being saved from the kingsmen the bandits wanted to offer something to the Devi as a prasad. Despite searching for a while they were unable to find anything. One of the bandits offered a bottle of madira to Devi Kali. The Devi accepted the prasad and drank about two and a half cups of madira. That moment, as the belief goes, a tradition of offering madira as prasad to the Devi, began. 

The Devi Might Not accept your Offering

It is true that the Devi Kali still accepts the offering of madira in the Bhawal temple but not from everyone. There are several rules and steps one needs to follow when offering prasad to the Devi. First, a devotee can’t wear leather inside the temple premises, including purses and belts. Second, your conscience must be clean and pure while offering prasad to the Devi. There are several cases when Devi accepted prasad from someone and refused from others within the same family. It’s all about your clear conscience, the belief goes. 

Devotees tend to visit the temple twice, once before they wish for something and the next time when the wish is fulfilled by the grace of Maa Kali. The Prasad is offered by the priest in a silver cup (pyaali) to the Devi thrice. The Devi accepts only two and a half cups of madira, while it is said that she leaves the third half for Lord Kaal Bhairav. While offering prasad, after the priest puts the cup in front of Devi’s mouth, he and the devotees must compulsorily lower their eyes so that Devi can consume the prasad. Once the ritual is complete, the bottle is returned to devotees. 

Temples Where This Is Practiced

In different parts of India, there are several places where the ritual of offering ‘madira’ as prasad to Devi maa is common. Among the 52 shaktipeeths of Devi Shakti, Tarapith is the one where madira is offered to the Devi including meat and fish as Prasad. The crucial power center for Tantra Sadhna, the temple is situated in Birghum, West Bengal. 

The most fearsome form of Devi Shakti is Devi Kali. Built before Independence in the year 1936 by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, stands gloriously the Kali temple of Patiala. People from all over north India visit to please the Devi and offer madira with goats and hens to the Devi. 

Beliefs that amaze are often seen in different parts of India. They heal you and give hope which keeps him going in the mortal world.

Bhawal Mata Temple in Rajasthan is the epitome of miracles that restores faith and leaves you amazed. 

Simran sharma
Simran sharma

Left handed, Right Minded, Aspiring Journalist!

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