Animal sacrifice: Kullu Dussehra may break from tradition

  • Gaurav Bisht and Dipender Manta, Hindustan Times, Shimla/Kullu
  • Updated: Oct 09, 2014 14:57 IST

In the wake of the Himachal Pradesh high Court’s ban on animal sacrifice at religious places, it is for the first time in 353 years that devotees of various deities will have to break from the old tradition of animal sacrifice on the culmination of the world-famous Kullu Dussehra.

Enforcing the high court ban is also a big challenge for the civil administration as well as the police in Kullu district.

The hopes of scion of erstwhile royal family of Kullu, Maheshwar Singh, and the Devi Devta Kardar Sangh about the Supreme Court staying the high court were dashed on Wednesday when the apex court refused to give any immediate relief to them on the matter. The court only issued notices to the state government seeking response on the special leave petition (SLP) filed by them before it to lift the ban.

A total of 228 deities have congregated for the ongoing Dussehra celebrations in Kullu. The festivities in Dhalpur ground of Kullu started in 1661 during the regime of Raja Jagat Singh. Since then hundreds of deities from different parts of Kullu region are brought here.

On September 26, these deities had univocally called on devotees to continue the age-old tradition after the high court had rejected the plea of the Devi Devta Kardar Sangh and Maheshwar Singh to review its September 1 order, banning animal sacrifice at religious places.

As per tradition, a large number of animals, particularly goats, are sacrificed to appease deities on the culmination of Kullu Dussehra that will end with burning of Lanka on Thursday.

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