The Battle of the Stones, a wild and painful tradition in India that only few dare to carry out

It seems that throwing stones is very common, either into the water, from the heights, to scare an animal or kick them when walking. In the early stages of human civilization, this was the main form of defense, because the damage that a rock thrown at high speed can cause is great, even killing a person.

In these times, throwing a stone at someone may seem a bit savage, but in the Uttarakhand region of India, it is a tradition in which the objective is to throw stones to cause wounds, the more bleeding, the better, in the rival group. As you can imagine, this "party" turns into a real pitched battle in which the winner will be the one who gets the least hit.

In this tradition, four clans (Walik, Chamyal, Lamgaria, and Gaherwal) meet in the Champawat district of Uttarakhand, and divide into two groups. First, the participants must collect as many stones as they can and, of course, if they are large, it is better, since these will be the ammunition they will use during the Bagwell, as this tradition is called and its translation is "Battle of the stones". In addition, one of the groups uses huge shields to protect itself from attack, although this is insufficient.

This battle has been a seer for centuries and, according to tradition, Barahi, a Hindu deity, manages to defeat demons and promises humans to protect them from any demonic presence, as long as they comply with a sacrifice in which there is blood and what better way to do it than throwing rocks. As you can imagine, the injured number is in the dozens. For example, there were 77 wounded in just seven minutes of fighting in the most recent edition.



At first, it was not so easy because every year, one of the clans had to sacrifice one of its members, which was even more savage than throwing stones, but when a child had to be sacrificed, his grandmother implored Barahi to forgive him. The deity agreed to end the sacrifices, but told them that all clans had to face each other with stones, and this tradition was born. Without a doubt, this deity has a slightly eccentric taste.


While for some gods a prayer, a bit of fruit, and incense are enough, Barahi likes blood, and that is why the inhabitants of this area continue with the tradition of the Battle of the Stones every year, thus managing to protect themselves also have the opportunity to legally throw a few rocks at someone they don't like very much.