Om Banna Temple

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Om Banna Temple, Jodhpur Overview

Om Banna temple, better known as 'Bullet Baba Temple', is a temple with an unusual backstory which may be found on NH65 between Pali and Jodhpur, near the Chotila village. This is the shrine dedicated to Om Banna, a traveller who passed away at his site, and his bike, a 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet. Located 50 km from Jodhpur and 20 km from Pali, this shrine is religiously visited by nearby villagers and devotees to pray for a safe journey and is a hotbed for tourists and travellers due to its origins. This temple is especially popular among Royal Enfield enthusiasts.

Om Banna's bullet is encased in a glass case within the Om Banna temple, which stands at the site of the accident. There is also a bust of Om Banna inside the temple. The tree that Om Banna crashed into still remains at the site, with devotees praying to it along with the statue and the motorcycle to ensure safe travel across the highway. There are hundreds of devotees from nearby villages who come here every day to ensure that they are protected, and it is believed that travellers who do not stop by this temple to pay their respects are doomed to have a perilous journey. Offerings in the form of flowers, prayer strings, and alcohol are presented to the bike.

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Om Banna Temple is dedicated to the spirit of Om Singh Rathore who met with an accident on the Pali – Jodhpur Highway, near Jodhpur. He was on his way to Chotila village from Bangdi on his Royal Enfield 350cc Bullet, RNJ 7773, when he lost control of the bike, knocked a tree, fell in a trench and lost his life. The accident occurred on 2nd December 1991. The Bullet was taken to the local Police Station the next day but the day after that, it was reported missing. Some locals found the bike at the accident spot. The Police took it back to the police station, emptied the fuel tank and used chains and locks to prevent theft but, that night too, the bike went missing and was later found at the same spot.

The reasons behind the disappearance of the bike are unknown and baffling. The villagers connected this instance to spirits and Gods. They thought it to be a miracle that the bullet kept returning to the trench and started worshipping the bike. Some also believe that the spirit of Om Singh Rathore helps distressed travellers on the route. Villagers apply vermillion powder, offer flowers, coconuts, incense sticks, sweets, tie a red thread on the bike as a mark of respect while some leave bottles of alcohol as an offering to Om Singh. Some also believe that those who do not stop by at the Om Banna Temple to offer prayers to Om Singh Rathore have an unsafe journey ahead.

Om Banna Temple is a modest little shrine made of cane and wood over a raised platform. Most of the structure is an outdoor setting with only a roof. The shrine has a photograph and a bust of Late Om Singh Rathore on a stone platform, about three feet high. A number of temple bells are hung all around the shrine. Beyond the photograph on another raised stone platform, the Royal Enfield 350cc Bullet is placed. It is protected with a glass casing and has a makeshift roof made of cane and bamboo. The casing has a sliding door through which the bike can be removed and cleaned every day.

Om Banna Temple is located on the Pali – Jodhpur Highway (NH 62), near a hamlet named Chotila, about 53 kilometres away from Jodhpur. Self-owned vehicles, rental cabs and state transport buses are the best options to reach the attraction from Jodhpur. The route is easy, goes via Residency Road and NH 62 and it takes about an hour to reach the temple. The nearest landmark is Hotel Rajputana Heights on Pali – Jodhpur Highway.

If people are coming in from other cities, towns etc. they have to follow the same route via NH 62. The Rajasthan State Transport buses connect the state by roadways. If one wants to take a train journey, Jodhpur Junction Railway Station is just about 52 kilometres away. If they want to take a flight instead, Jodhpur has its own airport too. From there, a taxi would work just fine to reach the attraction which is located 54 kilometres away.  

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