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People offer prayers to snake 'sati'

A female snake's plunge into a male snake's pyre in Rajasthan is seen as an act of 'sati'.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2006 12:10 IST

People are thronging a Rajasthan village in thousands to seek blessings of a female snake that immolated itself on a male snake's pyre.

The female snake's plunge into the pyre in Benad village, 30 km from the state capital Jaipur, is seen as 'sati'.

According to villagers, a black snake got crushed under a truck on a highway onSeptember 4. As the villagers were trying to cremate it, a female snake plunged into the fire.

In less than two weeks, over 100 shops mushroomed in the village, catering to the devotees.

Lala Ram, a tea vendor from Jaipur who went to Benad to offer prayers said, "Sati performed by a female snake holds great religious significance. It has only happened in mythological stories. Benad has now become a pious place and we are here to seek blessings."

According to a shopkeeper, 15-20 bags of coconut are being sold daily at the spot. "We are helping the devotees," the shopkeeper said.

The villagers have also formed a Nag Nagin Trust to build a temple for the snake gods.

First Published: Sep 16, 2006 00:00 IST