Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Blood for the Goddess. Self-mutilation Rituals at Vajreshwari Mandir, Kangra

Alejandro Jiménez Cid


Several 17th century sources (European travel literature and Mughal historiography) record the practice of self-mutilation, and possibly ritual suicide, at the Hindu temple of Vajreśvarī (Kāngṛā, HP), an important place of pilgrimage related to the Śakti cult. Blood-spilling, symbolizing fertility, played a central role in these sacrifices, which were discontinued in the 18th century as they entered in conflict with the non-violent view of Hinduism supported by urban elites.

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