Uttarakhand Tunnel Rescuers Prayed To Baba Baukh Nag Before The Rescue Mission; Here’s Why

Locals in Uttarkashi worship Baba Baukh Nag, they believe this deity needed to be pacified to safely evacuate the 41 workers.

by Sanjana Shenoy
Uttarakhand Tunnel Rescuers Prayed To Baba Baukh Nag Before The Rescue Mission; Here’s Why

“When I go to the tunnel, I do a small prayer because I need help. If the mountain doesn’t want to release these men, they are not going to be released”, says tunnelling expert, Arnold Dix to Punah Gao ki Or. The Australia-based tunnelling expert flew down to Uttarkashi for the safe evacuation of the 41 workers trapped in the Silkyara tunnel. After 17 days of tireless efforts, the 41 workers were safely rescued on Tuesday evening. But what aided them, believed the locals, was a higher power— the local deity, Baba Baukh Nag. In fact, the Uttarakhand tunnel rescuers prayed to Baba Baukh Nag before the rescue mission; here’s why.

Tunnelling Expert Arnold Dix Believes In The Power Of Deities In Mining

A video of an interview with the tunnelling expert, Arnold Dix, brought to light two things for me — the exemplary efforts made by the Uttarakhand tunnel rescuers over the past 17 days and most importantly, the belief in deities, Gods or even the Universe amongst the mining community.

The Australian tunnelling expert revealed that as someone who works underground, he is completely humbled by the Universe. He goes on to say to a news agency that everyone who works underground across the world have small temples. Dedicated to different Gods, these temples are believed to protect miners and those working underground. Arnold Dix gives examples of temples dedicated to Saint Barbara in the Western world and ones dedicated to native aboriginal Gods in Australia.

Also Read: I Tasted Uttarakhand In A Bottle Of ‘Kumaon & I’ At Its First Gin Distillery At Himmaleh Spirits And It Was…

Wrath Of Baba Baukh Nag Led To Tunnel Collapse; Pacificing Him Led To Successful Rescue

In Uttarkashi, the locals pray to Baba Baukh Naag, a local deity. The locals believe this powerful deity protects the region surrounding the Silkyara side. Madan Bhandari, a local revealed to THE WEEK that there was once a temple dedicated to Baba Baukh Naag in the forest, just above the tunnel. This serpent God’s temple was dismantled without proper rituals due to construction work. While the company promised to build a temple for the deity, they didn’t do anything since 2019.

God’s wrath trapped the 41 workers in the Silkyara tunnel, believed locals. And unless they pacified Baba Baukh Naag, they can’t rescue the 41 workers. After facing many obstacles during the rescue mission, the international tunnelling expert, Arnold Dix and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami offered prayers to Baba Baukh Nath and did a special puja for the safe evacuation of the workers trapped in the tunnel for 17 days.

Also Read: Uttarakhand Tunnel Collapse: 41 Workers Rescued After 17 Days; How Did It Happen? Obstacles Faced & More

A report by India Today, reveals that locals spotted a water-like figure behind the Baba Baukh Naag temple. Some locals claim it was Lord Shiva who had emerged in energetic form to bless the rescuers. On November 28, at 7:56 pm, the first worker emerged from the trapped tunnel. Soon after, they rescued others. A rescue mission spanning 17 days, 400 hours and a billion prayers resulted in fruition.

The story of Baba Baukh Naag the protector of Uttarkashi’s Silkayara is a testimony to what can happen when faith means science.

Cover Image Courtesy: @KiranKS/ X

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