Residents of Bokaro, Jharkhand, northern India, have started worshipping a pumpkin believing it to be a reincarnation of Hindu god Shiva.
The 87kg pumpkin has become the talk of the town with people thronging the town's biggest vegetable market Dundibagh to worship the vegetable. The pumpkin was found on Saturday by Umesh Kumar, a wholesaler, in his stock from Ara district of Bihar. Kumar said it was for the first time in his 40 years of business life that he had seen such a huge vegetable.
"Seeing it, I had an intuition that it is Lord Shiva. The pumpkin is oval in shape similar to a 'Shiva Linga'. So I worship the pumpkin and offered it garlands and sweets," Kumar said. The news about the 'Shiva' pumpkin spread like wildfire and local people rushed to get a 'darshan' of it. "The pumpkin is like a Shiva Linga and it blessed me and my family," said Guddu Singh, a devotee.
Many have tried to buy the pumpkin from Kumar offering him as much as Rs 5,001 (£60, $90) and more but Kumar refused. "How can I sell my god?," Kumar said. After consulting a priest, it has been decided the pumpkin must be worshipped till Mahashivaratri which is next Sunday. It will then be cut into pieces following religious rituals and distributed as prasad among the devotees.