India is a land of many mysteries, and some of them are slightly too haunted to be spoken of regularly. Indians’ trademark characteristic of believing deeply in something, whether or not it may be religious, leads to some rather peculiar happenings.
A great example is the village of Mayong in Assam, which is also known as India’s black magic capital. There has been a history here of old folk narrating tales of haunted events –– people disappearing, men taking up other life forms, and more. Perhaps, this is why practices of black magic and ‘supernatural’ activities began. To worship Goddess Shakti, human sacrifices were done. These were called Narbali. Mayong also finds itself featured in the Mahabharata which states that Chief Ghatotkacha received powers from this village.
One of the most peculiar disappearances that are spoken of even today is that of the army of Muhammad Shah in the 1330s. Made of 1,00,000 soldiers, this entire group vanished in the forests with not a single body being found.
In Alamgir Nama, a chronicle of Aurangzeb’s rule, court historian Mirza Muhammad Kazim states that when the Ahom kingdom was to be defeated in Assam, the leader Ram Singh was more scared of the black magic of Mayong than the Ahom army.
Palm readers and fortune tellers are the least of what Mayong has to offer - doctors here known as bez or ojaa, ‘treat’ patients without using medicine. They are apparently assisted by ghosts, and they use copper plates pressed against injuries and wounds to take away the pain. Unnatural movements of inanimate objects are considered signs of a larger message, whether that be communication from a being or confirmation of a thought.
While the people who practice black magic may be fading from the village, the belief in it remains strong. Tourism to Mayong has also increased as an increasing number of people take interest in spooky crafts. Mayong is also home to a museum, the Mayong Central Museum and Emporium, that displays weapons, tools, scripts, and more.
If the supernatural and eerie tales are up your alley, then Mayong should definitely be on your must-visit list. Apart from the spook, Mayong also offers the Northeast’s wonder and beauty, food, and kindhearted people.
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