India is a land of mystics and mysteries. There are as many stories as there are people. Those who believe that India is all snake-charmers definitely need to brush up their knowledge of the country. There are not just snake-charmers, we have ghosts, avatars, strange phenomenon and stranger beliefs too.
Here are 20 places that stand out for being unusual and mysterious.
20. KARNI MATA MANDIR – TEMPLE OF RATS IN RAJASTHAN
The Karni Mata temple is located in a small town called Deshnoke in Rajasthan. Its claim to fame is the huge number of rats that are revered here. The temple has about 20,000 rats roaming its premises.
Quirk factor: Food nibbled by the rats is considered exceptionally holy. If a rat is killed, it has to be replaced by a rat of gold!
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19. MASS BIRD SUICIDES AT JATINGA, ASSAM
Every night, after sunset, hundreds of birds fly towards buildings and crash themselves to death! This is a recent phenonmenon and has puzzled scientists and ornithologists, inculding India’s most famous ornithologist, Dr Salim Ali. Some theories say that the birds fly towards light, some attribute it to magnetic powers of the region, but none of these hold true.
Apparently, this phenonemenon so freaked out the Nagas who had settled here that they sold the land to the Jaintis, who consider this mass suicide as a blessing, and collect the dead birds for consumption.
18. FLOATING ISLANDS OF LOKTAK IN MANIPUR
The Loktak Lake in Manipur, also known as the only Floating Lake in the world, poses a strange sight with large masses of vegetation, perfectly circular in shape, floating on the surface. These are called Phumdis and areclusters of vegetation, soil and other organic matter. Some of these floating ‘island’ are so large that resorts have been built on them.
17. SKELETON LAKE IN ROOPKUND
The Roopkund Lake or the Mystery Lake OR the Skeleton Lake is a stunning glacial lake in Uttarakhand, and is called so because of the scores of human skeletons that were found in it. Yes, somewhere at 1600-feet above sea level, in a lake that remains frozen for most part of the year, mass deaths happened. These skeletons, which were discovered by a forest ranger in 1942 (the horror!), have been dated back to the 9th century. Local legend believes that the skeletons belong to the troupe of a king from Kannauj who was travelling with his pregnant wife and servants, and died in a hailstorm at Roopkund.