Following the invention of the very first internal combustion, petroleum-fueled motorcycle, the Daimler Reitwagen in 1885, motorcycles have become a household item in many parts of the world. They have inspired a multitude of social activities like exclusive motorcycle clubs, rallies, and competitions.
While it is true that most avid riders view motorcycles with nothing short of reverence, nothing really surpasses the veneration one motorbike receives in Rajasthan, India. Bullet Baba, the Guardian Angel of Road Safety, is a motorcycle in Ropar, Rajasthan that is unlike any other. People of the area flock to pay tribute to this bike, at a special temple they have built for it in their hometown.
Ascent to a Holy Pedestal
It is widely known and accepted that most Indians are deeply spiritual people. They are humble enough to recognize the power that a certain object may exude and will not hesitate in elevating its stature to that of a deity. That is why when the citizens of Ropar found out that a 350cc Bullet motorcycle had been possessed by a spirit, they immediately started to revere it as more than just a bike and named it Bullet Baba.
Locals date the origin of the legend of Bullet Baba about two decades ago when Om Bana, the son of a local political leader died in a motorcycling accident. His bike was removed from the site of the accident and taken to the nearest police station. However, in a strange turn of events, the bike was reported to have mysteriously returned back to the ditch where the accident had taken place.
Dumbfounded by the incident, the police were extra cautious the next time they brought the bike in. After returning it to the police station they emptied its fuel tank before tying it up with chains to ensure that it could not get away. However, the motorcycle again turned up at the site of the accident. The story spread through word of mouth amongst the locals and it was unanimously agreed upon that the motorcycle was possessed by the spirit of Om Bana himself.
Responsible for cementing this very belief is the story of one fortunate driver, who is said to have avoided death because Om Bana’s spirit reportedly came and saved him as his vehicle toppled over a ditch. Many other stories from the locals also claim that Bullet Baba is still present on the highways and is the Guardian Angel of Road Safety.
A Fitting Home
With such unwavering faith in Bullet Baba, the locals created a temple of sorts at the site where Om Bana breathed his last. The temple contains not only the legendary Bullet 350cc but also the bust of Om Bana as well his portrait. All three items are regularly and thoroughly adorned with flowers, and alcohol is also sprinkled over them by devotees as an offering. Not only is the temple a pilgrimage site for devotees but also a very popular tourist destination. Hundreds come to the site to see the miracle of Bullet Baba, the Guardian Angel of Road Safety, while the spirit of Om Bana reportedly looks over the roads of Ropar to prevent any accidents.
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