Thousands of people flocked to temples across India on Monday following
reports that idols of Hindu gods were drinking milk given by devotees as
Teenagers, adults and the aged stood in long lines with garlands and
bowls of milk to feed the idols of Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna and the
elephant-headed Lord Ganesha.
Hundreds chanted hymns in the northern city of Lucknow and the eastern
city of Kolkata and went into
hysterics when the milk held against the idols
"It is amazing, Lord Ganesha drank milk from my hands. Now he will
answer all my prayers," said Surama Dasgupta, a middle-aged woman in
The frenzy began late on Sunday in some northern cities and soon spread
across the country, including the capital New Delhi, even as rationalists
and non-believers called it mass hysteria.
A similar mania gripped the country in 1995 when thousands of Hindus
fed milk in spoons to marble idols of Lord Ganesha.
That rumour spread across the globe and there were reports of Hindu
deities drinking milk in London, New York and Italy.
"It is very natural for any stone idol to absorb any liquid and the
older the stone the more it absorbs," M.P. Singh, a geology professor at
Lucknow University, said.
The "milk miracle" came days after thousands of people in the financial
hub of Mumbai drank water from a murky Arabian Sea creek as they thought
it had miraculously turned sweet and could cure illnesses.
But police stepped in and stopped people after Mumbai's civic officials
said the water could have temporarily lost its salinity due to pollution and inflow
of freshwater from a nearby