Over the years, the RE badged bikes have garnered tremendous love and adulation from the bikers. The brand’s following is such that the Royal Enfield owners treat their fellow RE owners as family. Let it be the Bullet, Classic, or the Thunderbird, their owners love them to bits. But a certain Bullet 350 is worshipped, not the normal-like, but worshipped as a deity. Lay back, relax, and brace for some mystery and magic – it’s story time!
This one is a bit oldie, but incredibly interesting. Read on to know more.
Once upon a time in Chotila Village, Rajasthan, there was a young lad named Om Singh Rathore. He was a newly-wed groom so as per the local tradition for a newly-wed groom, he was called ‘Banna’, Om Banna. Om Banna was a proud owner of a 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet and rode it with pride. One night in a twist of tragedy, while riding from the town known as Bangdi near Sanderao of Pali to Chotila, Om Banna lost control of his Bullet and rammed into a tree. The ill fated Banna died on the spot and his bike slipped into a nearby ditch. The local police arrived at the spot in the morning for investigation and took the bike to the police station in a routine manner.
A day later the bike went missing from the police station and after further investigation it was spotted near the ditch where the accident took place. The cops brought the motorcycle back to the police station and emptied the fuel tank, locked it and chained it so that it could not leave the premises or be robbed. But their efforts went in vain, at dawn the bullet still went missing from the station and was found at the ditch. This phenomenon of the bike returning to the spot went on for days.
The occurrence was so mysterious that visitors started to believe that bike is blessed with magical powers and Om Banna’s spirit still embraces the bike.The news spread like fire, in a matter of time the incident garnered spiritual value and the bike earned the saintly title – Bullet Baba! The news did not just stay in the village it spread to the nearby villages and town. Further a shrine was built at the accident site in order to honour and worship the Royal Enfield and its owner. The temple is called the Om Banna temple or the Bullet Baba Temple.
Due to the incident’s outlandish nature, the tragic incident was spiritualised by the beliefs of the locals and constructing the temple commercialized it. Now the temple has Banna’s Royal Enfield encased in a glass box, a bust sculpture of Banna and a full-time priest. There are stalls near the temple selling flowers, sweets, incense sticks, holy scarves and Banna’s photo frames. Both, the bike and Banna are worshipped just like in any other temple. Interestingly visitors offer alcohol too, they keep little bottles of alcohol near the bust of Banna and pray. The locals claim that anybody passing by should visit the temple and offer things to the bike-deity in order to have a safe journey. The temple has been in place for the past 20years. Locals sing songs to worship the ride and the rider, they have created weird songs and an Om Banna Aarti
How much of it is true, and what all is made up, We have no idea and won’t put our hands to it. The story is weird and tests human abilities of logical thinking, illogical rather and is easy to strike this story out of our belief list. But what stays true until now is the love for Royal Enfields.