Gods Against Ghosts: The Exorcisms of India’s Mehandipur Balaji


If you want to go to the Balaji temple like a regular tourist, don’t.

When I traveled there, I did not take a camera, stayed in the shadows, and did not ask questions. Yet, although I did not record the scenes of that particular evening in any way other than with my own eyes, they remain deeply engraved in my memory. It was perhaps one of the strongest experiences in my life so far.

Although it is hidden in the plains of the Indian countryside only some 200 kilometers or so southwest from Delhi, it took me nearly an entire day to reach Mehandipur from the capital. That was perhaps because I took the cheapest, slowest, and most decrepit state buses that plied the local roads that stretch within the triangle of the Delhi-Agra, Delhi-Jaipur, and Jaipur-Agra expressways. The three major cities – Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra – form what is called the “Golden Triangle,” the shortest, most popular, and most clichéd foreign tourist route in northern India. The tour buses that cross between Agra and Jaipur actually pass not far from Mehandipur, but to my knowledge none take a short detour to that village, and I think it is better that way…..Click Here To Keep Reading


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