(Also known as “The most bad-ass ‘donations please’ advertisement ever conceived” – io9)
Halfway between the hippie-mainstay Pondicherry and proto-Jonestown Auroville lies this incredible 15-foot-tall Indian shrine of some awful crime in progress.
Evisceration, again! But this wasn’t just any old gutting-for-god shrine — it was an eye-catching call for cash. The local village was working hard to reconstruct the Sri Angalaparameswariamman Temple.
Angalaamman is a ferocious, bloodthirsty god, so what better way to raise finds in her honor than a greasy handful of intestines?
“People worship her to avoid falling victims to her unquenchable anger,” Rev. Henry Whitehead, the longtime Bishop of Madras, wrote in 1903. “Her main object is believed to be to devour and consume everything that comes in her way. She is said especially to have a great relish for bones!”
I pulled a crumpled one hundred rupee note from my pocket and dropped it in the donation box. I like my bones!
“When a pig is sacrificed to Angalaamman,” continues Whitehead, “its neck is first cut slightly at the top and the blood allowed to flow on to some boiled rice placed on a plantain leaf… then the rice soaked in its own blood is given to the pig to eat. If the pig eats it, the omen is good; if not, the omen is bad; but in any case, the pig has its head cut off.”
Fantastic! Unfortunately, there were no pigs around… the only wandering animals were a pair of goats. One dozed beneath the statue while the other munched at the garlands left in someone else’s prayer.