The Temple of Bullet Baba

The Temple of Bullet Baba is a shrine located in Pali district near Jodhpur, India, devoted to a deity Om Banna (also called Shri Om Bana and Bullet Banna)  in the form of a motorcycle. It is located 20 kilometers (12 mi) from Pali and 50 kilometers (31 mi) away from Jodphur on the Pali-Jodhpur highway, near Chotila village. The motorcycle is a 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet.Hundreds of devotees turn up every day to pray for a safe journey.

It is beilieved that on 2 December 1991, Om Banna (formerly known as Om Singh Rathore) was travelling from the town known as Bangdi near Sanderao of Pali to Chotila, when he lost control of his motorcycle and struck a tree: Om Banna was killed instantly, his motorcycle falling into a nearby ditch. The morning after the accident, local police took the motorcycle to a nearby police station. The next day it was reported to have disappeared from the station and was found back at the site of the accident. Police, once again, took the motorcycle, this time emptying its fuel tank and putting it under lock and chain to prevent its removal. Despite their efforts, the next morning it again disappeared and was found at the accident site. Legend states that the motorcycle kept returning to the same ditch. It thwarted every attempt by police to keep it at the local police station; the motorcycle always returned to the same spot before dawn.

This came to be seen as a miracle by local population, and they began to worship the “Bullet Bike.” News of the miracle motorcycle spread to nearby villages, and later they built a temple to worship it. This temple is known as “Bullet Baba’s Temple.” It is believed that Om Banna’s spirit helps distressed travelers.

Every day nearby villagers and travelers stop and pray to the bike and its late owner Om Singh. Those who pass by stop to bow their heads leave offerings in honor of the helpful spirit, and some drivers also offer small bottles of alcohol at the site. It is said that a person who does not stop to pray at the shrine is in for a dangerous journey. Devotees also apply the ’tilak’ mark and tie a red thread on the motorbike. Local people sing folk songs in the name of Om Bana.

The tree that caused Om Banna’s death remains ornamented with offering of bangles, scarves,etc. Many local people offer incense sticks, flowers, coconut and red thread meant for offering prayers.

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