~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Holy Enfield!

image courtesy of Prateek Sadhukhan

And you thought Harley guys worshiped their motorcycles?  They've got nothing on some people in a village in India.

I received an e-mail the other day from Prateek Sadhukhan, AKA "Drifter" over in India.  He's one of the twelve regular readers here and I always pay attention when I hear from one of you.   Prateek wanders around his part of India on his redoubtable Royal Enfield seeing the remarkable sites of his country.   Prateek writes:

"I thought I will send you a photo of a temple in India where the deity is actually a Royal Enfield Motorcycle. This February I was on a 2000km ride through the deserts of India mainly in a state called Rajasthan. I came across this roadside temple.  And since I ride a Royal Enfield I had to take a look.

The story goes like this:

A person called "Om Bana" was riding his bike one night and hit a tree on the highway and died. The police confiscated the bike.  Legend has it that the next day the bike was found near the tree. The police of-course thought that it was some prank and so came and took the bike again and drained the petrol and kept it in their yard. The bike was again found near the tree next day. And soon people started worshiping the bike and soon it happened that most travelers on this road pay homage here before continuing.

Well this gives a whole new meaning to the term 'worshiping ones motorcycle'."

I was tempted at first to laugh at the absurdity of those poor villagers in far off India, what rubes!  Worshiping a motorcycle?  They could have at least chosen an MV Agusta or Moto Guzzi V8.  But then I remembered that in America we have the Shrine of the Miracle Tortilla  so we've got no room to talk in this country.


Unknown said...


reader #2: checking in.

You worship what you can afford. Royal enfields are proably simple, easy to fix, and parts probably common as they make the bike there (I think)

Riding the Wet Coast

Trobairitz said...

Great post. And here I thought men just put women on pedestals. No wonder our riding friends call their bikes 'the mistress'.

All kidding aside, it is an interesting legend. I am sure if I was ever through that way, I too would stop and pay homage.

mq01 said...

now im confused because bob calls me mistress. hmmm... ;)

Canajun said...

Compared to what some people worship (miracle tortillas and faces on sticky buns among others) this isn't so crazy. Besides it probably brings a fair number of US dollars into the community as folks visit the shrine. Like Trobairitz said, if I was ever in the neighbourhood I'd sure stop by.

Webster World said...

Differant for sure.

Jac Brown said...

So Doug.... You've never owned an Indian motorcycle, have you? Not the kind with the faired in fenders and feather headress, nor the Bangalor kind. Inexpensive, lots of character, classic. Hmmmnnn....

Squeaky Nesbitt said...

My comment doesn't pertain to this post but I thought since it was most active that I would share here rather than seek elsewhere in your blog.

I happen to have a couple pix that you might like to post in your blog.

I was present at the 1972 Phoenix TransAm, which is where the first pix comes from - it's precious. I only wish it wasn't so blurry.

The second one I posted I got from one of the racers at work, I think it was Burgett that gave it to me.

Go Ahead and take them if you wish.

I just moved to Indiana and am unpacked - but, I have much more that I acquired from working at Yamaha. I just have to find the time to get into my storage and dig. I have to find a job first.

Here is the addy I'm using to post them for you to look at. It's a blank blog, I use to send my daughter pictures and things while she's in college.



Doug Klassen said...

Some interesting comments, guys, especially Bob's notion that we worship what we can afford.

Jac, I've never owned and Indian made motorcycle although I've always thought the Indian made RE bikes were pretty neat. Goodness knows they must be stout to survive the rugged life in India.

Squeaky, thanks for the link to your old pics. You'll find my e-mail address at the bottom of the page here if you want to send more stuff to share.

Camilla Jessop said...

Dear Douglas,

What a thought-provoking and interesting blog. I have a small shrine to my wonderful Grandfather, Edgar, with a one-third model of his Spagthorpe Lightning. Of course, a REAL Spagthorpe would be too rare and far too valuable - but then, perhaps to many Indian people, that's how a Royal Enfield would be.
Motorcycle racing is beginning to take off in India - and of course Danny Webb races a Mahindra in GP125 - but a woman racing in any country is still too rare. So watch out for Alisha Abdullah from Chennai!


VStar Lady said...

Very interesting legend - I think I'd have to stop too (if I were ever in the neighborhood.)

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