Creepy bats are lucky mascots for this village in Nellore district
It's a common perception for the people to consider bats as the most evil creatures in the civilized society and its arrival in the houses as an inauspicious sign
NELLORE: It's a common perception for the people to consider bats as the most evil creatures in the civilized society and its arrival in the houses as an inauspicious sign, according to spiritual beliefs. But in a village in Andhra Pradesh, these bats are not only revered and worshipped but even protected by the local populace.
Most people not only find the winged creatures very nauseating but even run miles away from them at their very first sight. In fact, as per Hindu beliefs, it is an ominous sign and signifies an impending evil effect. It is common to see bats in abandoned dwellings or uninhabited places. (Strangely, they have taken up the tree in the heart of this special village in Andhra Pradesh.
The villagers of Gunapadu in SPSR Nellore district worshipping and protecting these bats may make for a bizarre spectacle. But it is a tradition that has been going on in the village for many generations now. The villagers consider these bats, nestled atop a tree at the heart of the village, as creatures sent by God and hence protect them. In case anyone harms them by mistake, they will have to face severe consequences from the villagers.
According to P Sankaraiah, a retired teacher, these creatures used to live on a tree near the house of a farmer. However, the farmer felled the tree because he could not bear their screams. After that, the bats converted this tree into their habitat. The entire family of the farmer, who felled the tree, died of a strange disease within a few years. Since then, the villagers believed that anyone causing harm to them would be doomed. They have never caused any inconvenience to these creatures.
Once a few hunters, who came to trap them were captured and severely punished by the head of this village. ‘’We don’t have any problem with these creatures. During the dark, they leave the tree for food and return during the early hours. Bats sense natural calamities first and signal to us and also even before the rains, they fly in groups on top of the tree and scream loudly. We consider them as lucky mascots for the village and worship them,’’ Sankaraiah said.