temple of Khandoba built on the hill called Jaya, ( in legends, has several
unique features that are attracting huge crowds of devotees round the year.
There are several awesome traditions which brought dishonor to the authorities
in charge of maintenance of the temple. Though some of them seemingly barbarous
to the modern eye, they were introduced in the dim past under conditions
justifiable and spirit of time demanding. In modern times, thanks to the
reformers, practices like awful and revolting janthubali has gone out of
existence through exhortation by apostles of non-violence and also by
legislation. Offering cocks. goats. bison are still going in a clandestine
manner. The deities who fulfil desires on offering of such creatures are not
really blood thirsty or meat hungry, but only some deranged and decomposed
brains started the practices to gain self glorification. The gullible masses
caught in the meshes of the priests of Kshudra devatas followed blindly and
adhered to their injunctions much against their will. When reasoning is
enthroned and authority stretched its long strong hand holding scepter the
Balipriyas disappeared and their promoters withdrew themselves. Yet some
seemingly less harmful traditions are practiced here and there. The disastrous
effects of a few unworthy practices are discernable in some places of worship.
The Devadasi tradition once swayed its full power now has fallen into disrepute.
A similar one, no 'doubt is almost extinct now, but its vestiges are
seen in certain areas. This temple was one among many reputed for receiving the
first child as Naves-offering. Several childless couples used to take vows to
offer their first born babies to this temple. When Khandoba fulfilled their
desires, they faithfully redeemed their debt as vowed. Such babies are called
Vaghes, if they are males and Muralis if females. Their number gradually
increased, but they were not treated properly by the temple management nor
brought up with education to stand on their own legs. Hence disaster and
dishonor; for, almost all the Muralis are forced to turn prostitutes, easy way
to live by, but the social stigma is beyond toleration. The Vaghes learnt
nothing, to eke out their living became nomads and descended to unfair ways to
plod on in this world. Another death blow on the spine of society.