GUWAHATI, June 08: Even as people across India are dreading the outbreak of the Nipah virus, the people of a remote area in Assam’s Nagaon district have not given up worshipping bats which are said to be the main carriers of this disease.
The tribal and non-tribal residents of Kondoli area, about 15 km from central Assam’s Nagaon district, have been worshipping the bats at Baduli Khurung (bat cave) for a long time now, believing that the bats are their ancestors.
The mysterious cave located in Bamuni hill is home of both fruit and insect eating bats.
Local villagers believe that originally there was a kingdom under a queen named Pramila in this place.
At that time, no man was allowed in the kingdom.
The entry of an aged sage into the kingdom angered the queen who ordered him stripped naked and hung upside down.
When another sage found him hung in this position, he cursed the villagers and turned them into bats and the area took the shape of the cave.
The people of the area worship the bats and in each winter season after Shivratri, the villagers arrange a fair near the cave and people offer prayers there.
People of the neighbouring districts of Nagaon also gather here during the festive season at Baduli Khurung and offered their prayers.
Baharul Islam, a primary school teacher said that the place could emerge as a tourist place if the government takes appropriate measures.