For sure, after reading this header of the article, you are wondering if there is a mistake. Well no! Yes, indeed there is a temple in India where the broom is considered as special an offering as sweets, flowers, etc are considered in other temples.
They say that Gods do not discriminate. Whatever the devotees offer them with love and respect, they accept happily. Perhaps this is exactly what makes them greater than mortals. Yes indeed, the Gods in their ever accepting avatar constantly bring forth to us the need for tolerance. Keeping with this tradition, we have a temple in India where the Almighty, God of all Gods, Shiva accepts brooms too along with flowers, fruits, milk and other expensive gifts.
This Shiva temple is popularly called, the Pataleshwar Temple. Situated in a small village on the Agra Highway, it is close to the town of Muradabad and the village is known by the name, Sadatbdi. The presiding deity in this temple is Lord Shiva and brooms are offered to him as gifts from devotees who come from far and wide to seek his blessings and get rid of any type of skin ailment. Every Monday thousands of devotees throng this temple looking for security from their maladies.
The popular belief at this 150-year old Pataleshwar temple is that if a broom is offered to the Shivalinga that is kept right at the centre of the temple’s sanctum sanctorum, devotes will be relieved from their skin ailments and will be able to get the Great God’s blessings. This ritual has been there for centuries now and devotees feel there are super-natural elements in the temple’s environment which help them get cured. Of course, as with most of our religious beliefs, there is a story that led to the origination of this belief and its continuation till date.
It is said that once upon time there lived a man called Bhikhari Das in a nearby village. He was a trader and among the richest in the village. But as luck would have it, he was once affected by a skin disease. Black spots developed over his entire body and he had to suffer excruciating pain. Once as he was going to an ayurvedic doctor in a village closely, he was very thirsty. He saw an ashram in the distance and headed towards it seeking water. Just as he entered the Ashram, the Mahant who was sweeping the premises mistakenly touched him with the broom. Almost magically his skin got healed and the pain vanished.
Surprised Bhikhari Das asked the Mahant the secret and he said that he was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and this must be his blessings. In return, the trader offered the Mahant a bag full of gold coins. However, the simple ashram Mahant refused to accept and asked the rich trader to build a Shiva temple in return. Bhikhari Das built it and gradually the belief gained momentum that if a broom is offered to Shiva in this temple, one can get rid of their skin problems. Surprisingly people till date have seen instances of getting cured after offering the broom at this temple.
No wonder millions of devotees visit this temple seeking redressal of their skin disease and other such problems.