The News (Pakistan), Aug. 23, 2002

MADRAS: More than 100 children were buried alive for about a minute as part of a ritual to appease two Hindu goddesses in a village in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a Hindu priest said Thursday. The ritual, organised once every five years, was held Wednesday at Perayur village, about 500 kilometres (310 miles) from Madras, Tamil Nadu’s provincial capital.

Local lore has it that the festival has been organised regularly for the past 400 years to propitiate two ferocious female deities, Muthukuzhi Mariamman and Kaliamman, both incarnations of the Hindu goddess of destruction, Kali.

According to Kali Raj, secretary of the ritual’s organising committee, all 106 children who took part in Wednesday’s ceremony, known as “Kuzhi Maatru Thiruvizha” or “Festival of emerging from the pit”, were fine but exhausted by their experience. “More than 8,000 girls and young men have gone through this ritual of live burial at this temple in the last 400 years and we have not had a single mishap recorded,” Raj said.


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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday August 23, 2002.
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