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Updated December 21st, 2023 at 14:40 IST

Om Banna Shrine: A Tribute to the Royal Enfield Bullet in Rajasthan

Unraveling the Mystique: The Origin Story of a Roadside Temple Dedicated to a Motorcycle.

Reported by: Garvit Parashar
Edited by: Garvit Parashar
 Bullet Baba temple in Rajasthan
Bullet Baba temple in Rajasthan | Image:Twitter: @aditya_kondawar
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In the expanse of National Highway 62, connecting Jodhpur and Ahmedabad, lies an extraordinary shrine that deviates from the conventional. Located 20 kilometers before Pali and 53 kilometers before Jodhpur in Chotila village, the Om Banna shrine, also known as the “Bullet Baba temple”, pays homage to a 350 cc Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle. The registration number of the motorcycle is     RNJ 7773.

The shrine's origin story is rooted in a tragic event from 1988 when Om Singh Rathod, the son of a local village leader, lost his life in a Bullet accident. The shrine stands at the very spot of the incident, marking the transition of the Bullet into a revered symbol.

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Locals said that, after the accident police took the bike to the nearest police station but next day it was found at the accident spot, ““The police took it back but again it went back to the accident site. This went on for a few days till the villagers decided to build a shrine and he became the patron saint of NH 62, protecting people from accidents.”

Aditya Kondawar, an author intrigued by the shrine, shared insights, stating, "There is also a tree near the shrine, around which people tie a red thread, symbolizing their faith in Bullet Baba." Visitors, often young men with new bikes or women praying for their husbands' safety, engage in these unique rituals.

Despite resembling a traditional temple in many aspects, the Om Banna shrine diverges in its practices. Instead of holy water, worshippers bring whiskey bottles, adding an unconventional touch to the spiritual experience.

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Commenting on the cultural significance, a visitor expressed, "There are many temples regarding 'Om Banna' in Rajasthan. The larger picture is that Indian people, understanding the social and logical dimensions, require a compelling narrative, such as 'Road Safety.' P.S. I donated two helmets here when I bought a new vehicle!"

Acknowledging the cultural impact, another individual noted, "There is a fabulous Royal Enfield print ad on this story." Such sentiments underscore the unique respect riders have for the Om Banna shrine and its symbolic veneration of the Royal Enfield Bullet

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Published December 21st, 2023 at 14:40 IST

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