Jamshedpur, Jharkhand: In a bizarre tradition, snake charmers in a village in Jamshedpur district get themselves bitten by the serpent with a belief that it will make them immune to its venom.
Claiming it to be a 100-year-old 'cure ritual' dedicated to serpent divinity and traditional methods, a large number of people take part in the trial. Over generations, this tribe has thrived on catching venomous snakes and displaying them for a living.
These residents of Shankarda village, located 50 kilometres from Jamshedpur, have been performing this ritual to please deity Manasa Devi, whom they believe to be the goddess of snakes.
In this ritual observed once in a year, snake charmers ride on a chariot where snakes bite them.
"Every year, we worship Manasa Devi, who is considered as goddess of snakes. This pooja is being performed for the last 100 years. Snake charmers sit on a chariot and perform the pooja to please the Goddess. People wish also fulfilled during this pooja," Karunamay Mandal, a local told ANI.
Locals believe that venom will have no impact on snake charmers during the pooja if they are on the chariot.