Kurnool: We have heard of people offering flowers, fruits and in some cases milk and various other offerings in Temples across India. However, there are some places where you witness unique rituals and customs dating back to the earliest centuries of Indian civilization.

In one such instance, which is very different from any custom seen in the country, in a temple of Kondalarayudu devotees offer scorpions as prasadam for the lord. The temple is located on the hillocks at Kodumur mandal in Kurnool district.

The practise of offering live scorpions to the deity on every third Saturday of holy Shravana masam is a tradition for the locals since the past five decades. The villagers catch the scorpions in the hilly area by lifting the small rocks and carefully take them and place them on the deity. The interesting part is that everyone participates in this ritual without fear and it is more like a competition as to who can carry as many scorpions till the temple. It is believed that if the scorpions bite them, circumambulation around the temple three times would keep them from any harm.

The locals of Kodumur and surrounding areas also believe that the reptiles would not harm them while they work in their fields and at their homes if they offer poojas to the deity by catching these scorpions live.

Now the question that arises is to why the scorpion sting does not hurt. Apparently, it is believed that the sting of scorpions, which is poisonous on other days, does no harm to people on this day. The devotees including childless couples believe that if they visit the Kondalarayudu temple and seek his blessings all their wished would be fulfilled.

The temple management committee president Ram Manohar Reddy provided drinking water and prasadam to the devotees, who come once a year to witness this unique ritual of placing scorpions on the deity. More than 7000 people had come to participate in this only one- of- its- kind ritual where a garland made of scorpions is offered to the Lord.

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