Every Thursday, devotees line up outside the Dadhichi Rishi ashram on the banks of Sabharmati in Ahmedabad to pray and make offerings with the hope of getting their wishes fulfilled. However, the nature of the offerings is quite unique.
Devotees offer cigarettes and roses at the shrine,which happens to be the ‘samadhi of Aghori Dada’, every Thursday. The unique custom has continued even during the coronavirus pandemic, reported The Times of India.
Devotees come with offerings of cigarettes and flowers every Thursday. However, here is a catch. Neither the cigarettes nor the roses have to be of expensive brands.
The trustees of ashram say that it was set up much before the Ahmedabad city was founded. Hitesh Sevak, the managing trustee of the Didhadhari Mahadev Trust, was quoted as saying by the TOI that devotees are ordered to offer cheap cigarettes irrespective of their financial position.
“Whether a person comes in a luxurious car or by foot, the same cheap brand of cigarette is offered to Aghori Dada. People cannot offer expensive cigarettes here," he was quoted as saying. The trustees of the shrine said that the footfall has taken a hit during the pandemic.
Offerings like Charas and Ganja were made to the Aghoris, but was stopped as it is prohibited under the law, Sevak said. On Thursdays, devotees can be seen lighting up cigarettes from a flame before placing it on a rack located next to the shrine.