Chandigarh: At a time effigies of Ravana will be burnt on the occasion of Dussehra festival with great fervour all over the country today but a village in Ludhiana, Punjab will worship a 25-feet idol of Ravan, which they consider to be very sacred.

People of Payal village in Ludhiana district considers Ravana as a hero. About 189 years ago, the tradition of worshiping Ravana started in this village, which continues today.

On the day of Dussehra, Ravana is worshiped with a bottle of wine and goat’s blood by people. The faith of Ravana worship is associated with the birth of a son. People come here to seek blessings to get a son and offer a bottle of liquor.

The story behind Ravana Puja

Anil Dubey, a member of the Dubey family, said that his ancestor Hakim Birbal Das was childless even after two marriages. Later, a saint inspired him to worship Ravan and he blessed with a son on the day of Dussehra. He believed that child was a blessing of Ravana.

Dubey says that just as his ancestors had four sons, he also blessed with four sons with the blessings of Ravana. Now, people come here to seek blessings of Ravana to get a son. When their vow is fulfilled, they offer liquor bottles here on Dussehra.

Ravana temple in built in 1835

In 1835, Dubey family had built a statue of Ravana and installed in the Payal town of Ludhiana. Since then, this statue is worshiped every year. The Dubey family is handling Ravana’s statue and Shri Ram temple built near the site. This family is the 7th generation of Hakim Birbal Das.

He said that his family members and many other people every year reach here on Dussehra day from Pathankot, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Canada and Australia.

When Sri Lanka PM intervenes

Yashpal, a resident of the village, said that in 1968, some people had vandalised the statue overnight, calling it an obstacle in the progress of the city. Later, Dubey family sent a telegram message to then Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Sirimavo Bandaranaike.

Following this, Sri Lankan PM sent a message to then India PM Indira Gandhi and she asked the Punjab CM Giani Zail Singh to intervene. A new statue was rebuilt again.

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