Project Detail: The Holy Bike


LuganoPhotoDays 2017






Project Info

The Holy Bike

In Rajasthan, one of the most traditional states of the Indian Union, there is a very singular Hindu temple. Unique indeed, because it is not dedicated to a god or a holy man, but to a motorbike, a Royal Enfield, not a relic, nor the object of a reflective devotion: is the motorcycle the object of worship.

This unusual temple, known as the "Om Banna Temple" or "Bullet Temple", stands on State Highway 62 where a young man, travelling on a motorcycle in 1991, crashed against a big tree and died instantly.

The police seized the bike and took it to the nearest police station. The next morning the bike was mysteriously gone and it was found on the scene of the accident. The police took it back to the station again, emptied the tank and chained the bike. The next morning the bike was back on the scene of the accident. In the same way, twice more, the police brought it back to the station, but every time the bike came back, nobody knowns how, on the scene of the accident.

The news of the "miracle" spread and people began to bring offers on the scene of the accident. The place and the motorbike became a subject of worship and a small temple was built.

Nowadays the tree, the young man had crashed against, is covered with garlands. Nearby the bike is kept in one side open glass box to allow offers of flowers and money. Not far, a brahmin celebrates devotion rites, on an altar, where he keeps a permanently lit on fire.

It is said that those who visit the temple and leave an offer are protected from the risk of road accidents