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Temple in UP ‘purified with holy water’ after woman BJP lawmaker’s visit

The BJP’s MLA Manisha Anuragi visited the ashram on July 12 for a “darshan”, where women are allowed to pray only from the outside.

india Updated: Jul 31, 2018 11:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
Hamirpur,Woman devotee,UP
The devotees believe the temple idol, Rishi Dhroom, gets angry with the presence of women and his anger causes drought-like conditions in the area.(Video screengrab)

A temple and ashram in Uttar Pradesh’s Hamirpur district were “purified” with the waters of the Ganges after a woman leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party broke a tradition and entered the campus to pray.

The BJP’s MLA Manisha Anuragi visited the ashram on July 12 for a “darshan”, where women are allowed to pray only from the outside.

“I was not around that day or I would have told her not to go inside. She went inside due to ignorance and prayed. To uphold our tradition, we had to undertake the purification process,” Swami Dayanand, a priest at the Rishi Dhroom Ashram at Muskura Khurd, said.

“We had to purify the whole place with Ganga water and carry the idol of Rishi Dhroom in a small palanquin all the way to Allahabad for a holy bath,” he added.

The devotees believe Rishi Dhroom gets angry with the presence of women and his anger causes drought-like conditions in the area.

They said the heavy rainfall currently lashing the state is a result of the “purification” of the ashram and the idol.

“The day she stepped inside, black clouds encircled (the area) but it did not rain. See, the purification has satisfied the seer and it is raining,” Sanjay Raj Singh and Om Prakash said.

“Next day, we gave Rishi Dhroom a bath at the Sangam. It (the rain) hasn’t stopped since then,” they added.

Some devotees said the region faced a drought four decades ago when a group of women performed some rituals inside the temple.

Om Prakash said since then devotees have ensured that the practice is not repeated and if a woman has to offer prayers, she can do so from a fair distance from the temple.

Anuragi, an MLA from Rath assembly segment in Hamirpur, was near Muskura Khurd to distribute uniforms to schoolchildren on July 12 when she visited the ashram.

“People were saying so much about this temple so I became curious and wanted to pay obeisance. I was not aware of the tradition and local people were with me at that time,” Anuragi said.

“It’s an insult to women if such things have happened. These are deeds of half-witted people,” she was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The ashram is said to date back to the Mahabharata period and devotees believe the Pandavas had stayed at the place.

First Published: Jul 31, 2018 11:12 IST