Looking for a mystery to solve? Take your shot at it!
Everyone loves a mystery! These seven places in India have unique stories to tell.
1. Kodhini, the mysterious town of twins
Located in the Mallapuam district of Kerala, Kodhini is home to not more than 2,000 people, but has still somehow managed to perplex scientists all around the world. It is believed that the twin rate globally is around 6 per 1,000 births whereas the twin rate here is around 42 per 1000 births, six times the global average rate. Out of the 2,000 people that reside in this village, 350 pairs of them are identical twins. Which means that almost every family in the village has more than one pair of twin. This is more than surprising, since India has the lowest twinning rate in Asia.
Another odd piece to the puzzle is that the phenomena of twinning is not just bound to the lands of this village. Women of Kodhini, who marry men from outside the village and move away to different places also end up delivering twins.
Local doctors believe that this phenomena is due to certain chemicals present in the Kodhini waters, but no definite evidence has been provided to back this theory. The genetic, biological, climatic and hereditary conditions of Kodhini have all been researched upon and declared as normal.
So then, what causes all the women of this village to deliver twins? Despite several studies, the cause of such a high twinning rate and answer to this question is yet to be discovered. Until then, the mystery of the ‘Twin Town of Kerala’ continues.
2. Idukki’s red rain
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What if it rained red? Blood red. Idukki is not just know for its tourism but also its red rain, a phenomena that was first recorded in the early 1800s, and was last observed in July 2012.
So, what caused this red rain? Many Hindus believed that the rain symbolised the anger of God over mankind. Some theorists say that the most likely cause of this phenomena was the dispersion of particles into the clouds from an explosion of a meteor. Some more daring ones believe that the red cells found in the rain where identical to biological cells suggesting a possible case of extra-terrestrial life form. But a 2015 report points out that the reason behind the mystery was the spores of a green micro algae transported from Austria into India, via clouds that eventually burst into red rain.
Which takes us back to the fact that, yellow, green and black rain have also been recorded previously in Kerala in 1896. No explanations for that one yet.
3. Rameswaram’s floating stones
Rameswaram, a small town located at the southern most tip of Tamil Nadu, derives its name from the Hindu god, Rama. According to mythology, this is where Rama began to build his bridge to Lanka, to rescue his wife Sita from Ravana. The bridge was believed to have been made of stones that floated on water and never really sank, once his name was engraved on them. Intriguingly, stones along Rameswaram’s coast do indeed float on water.
How to reach Rameswaram
Rameswaram travel guide
4. Kuldhara, the abandoned village
What causes over 1500 villagers, living in peace for over five centuries to abandon a village overnight?
The mystery of Kuldhara remains unsolved till this very day. Some believe that the villagers disappeared to free themselves from their oppressive landlords, others say the Paliwal community who occupied the village at that time were harassed by the local King who would demand huge amount of taxes from them. One day, the King set his eyes on the Chief’s daughter, and gave her a days time to hand herself over to him, or else he would force himself onto her. The following night the villagers and the Chief decided to leave the village out of remorse and anger. The most peculiar thing is that, nobody saw or for that matter even knows how or where did all these people disappear overnight, it was as though they were all ghosts of the night. But it is believed that before leaving, the villagers cursed the land of Kuldhara and its King. After which, the land only brought death to anyone who ever tried to inhabit it. Today, the village of Kuldhara remains abandoned and only the stories of time prevail.
5. Jatinga, where birds come to die
Situated some nine km south of Haflong in the Dima Hasao district of Assam, Jatinga is a scenic village that is famous for a curious phenomenon: bird ‘suicides’!
Between the months of August to November, ornithologists and birders visit Jatinga to observe the phenomenon of migratory birds hurtling to their imminent death. The phenomenon is credited to disorientation caused by high altitudes and fog and simple-minded folks who see these falling birds as evil spirits.
Locals switch on high power searchlights on the hilltop which in turn attracts birds flying at night. Birds swoop down towards the light and are killed upon landing with bamboo poles. Ornithologists and conservationists have been working hard to educate the locals and have achieved considerable success.
How to reach Jatinga
Disturbing fact about the Jatinga Bird Festival of Assam
6. Lepakshi’s hanging pillar
Photo Courtesy: Creative Commons
Lepakshi is famously known for its hanging pillar at the Veerabhadra temple. The temple consists of 70 pillars, out of which one is said to mysteriously hang from the ceiling, named Aakasha Sthambha. People who visit this place often pass objects beneath the pillar to check if it is true and as per the locals, passing objects beneath the pillar is considered to bring good luck. The British were so fascinated by the suspended state of the pillar, that they actually tried and pushed it to see if it was indeed attached to the ceiling.
Andha Pradesh Travel and Tourism
7. Shivapur’s mysterious stone
Shivapur, a small town on the outskirts of Mumbai has a fascinating story to narrate. In a shrine named Qamar Ali Darvesh, exists a 70 kg stone that can be lifted only and only by 11 men on their index fingers while chanting the the name of a holy saint. Confused! Aren’t you?
It is believed that the place where the shrine exists, was a gymnasium around 800 years ago and a Sufi saint, Qamar Ali was taunted repeatedly by the wrestlers of the gymnasium who believed that they were stronger than the saint due to their muscular bodies. Hence, on his death bed, he casted a spell on the rocks used for body building. Due to which, till this very date the stone at Qamar Ali Dargah can only be lifted after chanting Qamar Ali’s name.
The scientific explanation of the theory is that, when the stone is resting on the ground, any force applied on it will tend to shift its position and make it roll over the ground until and unless, there’s a counter force to balance the original force and keep it steady. When 11 men exert pressure on counter points of the stone, it is easier to balance the weight and lift the stone. As the stone rises, the angle at which each one applies pressure would change, which in turn would cause the stone to accelerate upwards.
But, the question is! Could Qamar Ali be aware of such a thing at a time when the science of physics wasn’t even discovered? We never really know.