Simla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], Nov. 1 : Thousands of devotees recently gathered in Simla district's Dhami village to appease Goddess Kali through the ancient practice of stone pelting.
The historic ritual involves devotees hitting each other with stones till they bleed. Their blood is then offered to Goddess Kali as a al symbol of victory of good over evil. The head of the organizing committee, Ranjeet Singh Kanwar, said, "There is a belief that the erstwhile queen of Dhami started this with an effort to end the tradition of human sacrifice.
Before going through Sati (an outlawed tradition of self immolation by a widow on her husband's pyre), the queen divided different tribes into two clans and started this tradition of stone pelting ending human sacrifice.
Till today, people of Dhami and nearby area celebrate this with devotion." Devotees from different tribes participate in a procession, beating drums and playing flutes.
They form teams and pelt stones at each other. Goddess Kali is the first of the ten incarnations of goddess Durga. She is regarded as more aggressive form of Goddess Durga and is known to destroy all evil for the cause of justice.