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Carnage in Gadhimai Festival.

Held every 5 years at the Gadhimai temple of Bariyarpur, in Bara District of Nepal, the Gadhimai festival is considered to be world’s largest animal sacrifice event. Started about 300 years ago this festival has claimed the lives of billions of innocent animals such as water buffalo, goats, pigs, pigeons, rats and roosters all in the name of religion. Many animal rights organization such as Humane Society International have tried desperately to end this massive bloodshed but all their efforts has garner little to no success. In 2009 the death toll of the animals was 500,000. Due to various efforts the number was reduced to 30,000. It is estimated that 7,000 buffaloes were brought for beheading at this year Gadhimai festival. This shows that we still have a long way to go to stop this cruel practice. The origin of this festival is rather peculiar. It is said that the founder of the Gadhimai temple, Bhagwan Chowdhary had a dream where the goddess Gadhimai wanted a blood sacrifice in return for freeing him from prison. Following the goddess’s order Chowdhary offered an animal sacrifice. In return he got what he was promised. And ever since that every five years animals are brought from different parts of Nepal and India for sacrifice in return for blessing of prosperity and power. The festival is lasted for a month where thousands of creatures are set to be killed over two days time. The way these animals are treated is even worse. Many of these animals are smuggled to Nepal from different parts of India. They are brought by being stuffed in confined spaces like roof and trunks of busses with little to no air space. During their journey they are deprived of food and water and are even mistreated. Many of these animals collapse from exhaustion, sickness and stress as devotees try to drag them to their death. The site of baby calves bellowing for their mother as they watch them being beheaded is truly gut wrenching. At the crack of dawn on Tuesday morning the festival began with the Pancha Bali, the sacrifices of a rat, a goat, a rooster, a pig and a pigeon. By 9am, about 200 butchers began to take their khukuris, a type of Nepalese blade to the necks of the buffaloes. The air was filled with the cries of the animals. By the end of the day, between 3,000 to 6,500 buffalo had been beheaded. At the end of the festival a large field approximately a size of a football field is filled with bloody corpses of the animals. A large number of animal rights organizations have tried despretly to stop this evil practice. Many steps are taken against the animal killing. Many people have come forward against it. Some members of the Dalit community, the lowest social group in the Hindu caste system who traditionally have the grim task of slaughtering animals, and removing and skinning the carcasses, refused to provide their services by way of protest. The Humane Society International/Nepal supported a joint initiative by animal welfare groups and the Mahagadhimai municipality to stop the sacrifice of pigeons brought to Gadhimai. Permanent pigeon houses were built to which devotees were urged to bring their pigeons for release and lifetime care. The government of Nepal has even gone on to issue a ban against animal killing during gadhimai festival. Indian border authorities and volunteers have in recent days seized scores of animals being brought across the frontier by unlicensed traders and pilgrims but this has failed to stop the flow. All these efforts have been able to reduce the number of animal killings during these last few years but we still have a long way to go.

Date:2019-12-06 08:36:33
Location: kathmandu, Nepal.
Contact:, 9851214726.

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