Smashing a Coconut on head – A Dangerous ritual

Coconut is one of the eatable which is rough and tough and hard. Breaking a coconut to enjoy its taste is not an easy job. But have you ever thought of breaking these coconuts on someone’s head as the person can be badly injured and it can even result in loss of life of our dears and nears. But you will be surprised to hear and know that every year in Tamil Nadu this strange and dangerous ritual is performed by thousands of devotees.

Yes, this strange ritual is performed every 18th Day according to Tamil month which is known as Aadi festival. This strange ritual is performed by thousands of disciples who gathers in Mahalakshmi Temple which is situated in Mettu Mahadhanapuram, which is further located in Karur district in Tamil Nadu state. In this ritual, the disciples according to their own will allow the priest to crash few coconuts on their heads which is known to bring good health, wealth, peace and luck into their lives.

This strange ritual has a story behind. The story follows like once upon a time in this temple around 187 stones were excavated which exactly resembled the shape of a coconut. During that time, few Britishers wanted to construct a railway track through the sacred temple, but the people living in the village were against the Britishers in constructing a railway track as they believe a lot in their God. Lot of heated arguments went on for several months and lot of people sacrificed their lives also during arguments which occurred occasionally. So, to assess their religious observance, the Britishers made a deal. They said that if they are ready to get smashed by these coconut resembling stones on their head; and if they break, the railway track will be changed. The devotees acknowledged the challenge and they make it successfully by breaking the stones on their head which ultimately bring peace and good luck in their struggling lives. The temple was saved from being broken.

So, the following tradition is still in practice by the local residents. But still a warning is given to the devotees not to try this blindly.