Ayodhya: In This Ancient Shiv Temple The Main Pujari Changes Every Day, People From Different Castes Are Given Turns  

Ayodhya: In This Ancient Shiv Temple The Main Pujari Changes Every Day, People From Different Castes Are Given Turns  Image Credits: Dainik Jagaran

The Rampurva village of Milkipur (tehsil and a Vidhan Sabha constituency) in Faizabad district is witnessing a unique practice at the Vighneshwar Mahadev Temple. People from across the caste spectrum conduct the rituals here in the role of main "pujari" throughout the year.

The practice started two years ago and is reportedly aimed at "defeating caste biases", reports Dainik Jagran.

People in the region wait for their turns for conducting the rituals. They come from five villages in the region to preside over their duties as pujari. People representing the different castes serve on the basis of turns each day. It is believed that the temple was built 500 years ago by people associated with the royal family of Ayodhya then.

The temple was hurtling towards apathy a decade ago, but in 2010 people took charge of its care under a temple seva samiti. A temple kalash went missing back then but was soon found. This incident turned the people towards the temple's care and maintenance. Rituals were revived at the temple and the temple land was guarded by the people of the region.

It reportedly has a flourishing life that sees several social activities being organised for the people of the region in addition to rituals.

There are seven people in charge of the temple during the week for day to day activities and rituals. They are known as the divasaadhikaris -- administrators for a day. There are five seva dals (groups that serve the temple) taking care of the cleaning and maintenance of the temple. The divasaadhikaris are trained towards carrying out the rituals and responsibilities.

The morning and evening aratees, abhishek, the offering of the Shakti Mantra and other rituals are presided over by these villagers who serve as the divasaadhikaris.