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Gadhimai Temple
Gadhimai Temple is located in Nepal
Gadhimai Temple
Gadhimai Temple
Location in Nepal
Coordinates 26°59′35.7″N 85°02′47.8″E / 26.993250°N 85.046611°E / 26.993250; 85.046611Coordinates: 26°59′35.7″N 85°02′47.8″E / 26.993250°N 85.046611°E / 26.993250; 85.046611
Country Nepal
District Bara
Location Bariyapur
Primary deity Gadhimai (Goddesses of power)
Important festivals Gadhimai Mela

Gadhimai Temple is a temple of the sacred goddesses of power, in Hindu religion. The temple is situated in Gadhimai Municipality in Bara District of south central Nepal,[1] though the term usually refers to Gadhimai festival, the world's biggest animal sacrifice conducted at the Gadhimai temple area in central Madhesh of Nepal.

Animals are sacrificed as part of the Hindu festival, with the hope that the sacrifice will lead to the fulfillment of wishes by the goddess.[2] The ritual began at dawn with a ceremonial "pancha bali" or the sacrifice of five animals, comprising a rat, a goat, a rooster, a pig and a pigeon. [3] It is estimated that 300,000 - 500,000 animals were killed during the period of sacrifice in 2009[4] while 5 million people visited Gadhimai during the festival.[3] This centuries-old tradition is observed every five years in Gadhimai premises located in the village of Bariyapur of Bara District of Nepal near the border with India.

Male domestic Asian water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis)(locally called "PaaDa") are the preferred species to offer to the goddess. Several other species including male goats (Khassi/Boka), chickens (Murga/Kukhura), Pigeons (Parewa), Ducks (Haans) and some rats (Moos), are also killed.[1]

Several animal-rights activists protest against this event before and during every Gadhimai festival. The 2009 event drew the attention of celebrities like Maneka Gandhi and Brigitte Bardot, who raised their voices against the killings.[2] Nepal government officials say they cannot stop the centuries-old tradition, despite opposition from animal-rights activists from Nepal and India. Animal rights activists say they are not looking for the practice to end overnight.[3] [5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Devotees flock to Nepal animal sacrifice festival". BBC News. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Indians throng Nepal's Gadhimai fair for animal sacrifice". Times of India. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "Nepal's Gadhimai festival: Hindu devotees sacrifice thousands of animals in ritual". dna india. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Hindu sacrifice of 250,000 animals begins". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  5. ^ "In pictures: Hindu animal sacrifice festival in Nepal". BBC News. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 

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