Mehandipur Balaji Temple
Rajasthan , Dausa
Situated in a small rustic village of Mehandipur, in Rajasthan is the Balaji temple, one of the few temples where exorcism is still practiced. The ritualistic practices here, sees thousands of devotees thronging the shrine to get rid of the evil spirits and black magic that has taken over them. The superstitions associated with the shrine are many as is the eeriness surrounding it. The temple is believed to have built by Sri Mahantji about a thousand years back. Teams of scientist, scholars and psychiatrists have visited the temple to study the practices here.
The legend states that Sri Mahanti, an ardent devotee of Lord Hanuman, had a dream in which the Lord gave him an indication of the existence of three deities and a temple. Mahanti, did regular puja and prayers to Lord Hanuman, pleased by which the Lord showed him the place of their existence. Three divine forms of Mehandipur Balaji, Sri Bhairava and Sri Pret Raj were found. The successors of Sri Mahanti still perform the rituals in the temple.
The entrance of the temple, filled with devotees gives way to four chambers. The first two chambers have idols of Lord Hanuman and Lord Bhairav. There is a ceremonial fire flaming in these chambers. The other two chambers are where some of the ritualistic practices for warding off evil takes place. Screams and wails fill these chambers as the priests perform the rituals.
Timings : Temple is closed on the days of eclipse. Please note that on Tuesdays, Saturdays and other important days, there will be a 3-4 hours of wait period in the queue to enter the shrine. It is advisable not to take children/infants to this Temple.
Devotees are advised to wear clean and conservative clothing
The small village of Mehandipur is inextricably tied to the temple, its practices and superstitions. The place sees activity right from the crack of dawn as people start standing in line to enter the temple from 3.00 AM onwards. Most of the shops around the shrine are open thorough out the night catering to a huge flow of devotees.
Agra Dausa Rd, Dausa District, Mehandipur, Rajasthan 303303
The temple has specific rituals regarding exorcism and warding off evil spirits. The prasad should not be consumed, but thrown in the fire. The priests perform aarti and will smear the devotees with the holy water which is believed to ward off any evil spirits. Inside the temple ritualistic practices like caning, banging the heads on walls, pouring hot water etc are practised.
The temple is one of the few temples in India where exorcism is still practised. Hence locals ask the devotees to adhere to strict rules like not to talk to anyone, not to carry back home any prasad from the temple, not to turn back as you leave the temple etc.