Chandre Oraon, Indian Born With Tail, Worshipped as Hindu Monkey God Hanuman
An Indian tea picker born with a tail is gaining an increasing number of followers who worship him as a living god possessed with supernatural healing powers.
Huffington Post reports 35-year-old Chandre Oraon from Alipurduar, West Bengal has a 14.5 inch (36.8 cm) tail protruding from the small of his back. He was born with the unusual appendage as a result of spina bifida, which occurs when a fetus is in its mother’s womb and its spinal column does not fully close.
The fact that Oraon is a tea picker, an occupation that requires him to scramble up tea trees just like a monkey, has only increased the mystique surrounding him. Devout worshippers from across India have been making pilgrimages to Alipurduar to see Oraon at his small makeshift shrine, hoping he can cure loved ones’ ailments with his purported supernatural healing powers.
“We gave him medicine but it did not work,” Monika Lakda, who undertook a harrowing overnight journey to visit Oraon so he might cure her nephew’s fever, told the Daily Mail. “We believe that Chandre is an incarnation of Hanuman. They say he was born on the Holy Hanuman day. So we have faith in him.”
But not everyone believes Oraon is a god.
“He climbs up trees, behaves like a monkey and is a strict vegetarian, but he is no god, and his condition is just a congenital defect,” local medical officer Bhushan Chakraborty told Express India.
Oraon’s wife Maino said she isn’t thrilled to be married to a ‘god.’
“He doesn’t look good,” she said. “My mother and father passed away when I was young. So my brothers wanted me to get married. So I had to compromise.”
Oraon was reportedly turned down by more than 20 women before marrying Maino.
He also experienced difficulties growing up.
“Once my mother chopped off my tail when I was young,” Oraon is quoted by Britain’s Mirror. “Soon after, I got a high fever and I was very sick. My mother told me that I almost died. After that, everyone said I must keep my tail. My family said they felt me getting sick was a sign that my tail was divine.”
Huffington Post reports Oraon isn’t the only Indian with a tail who is worshipped as an incarnation of Hanuman. Twelve-year-old Arshid Ali Khan from Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana has a 7-inch (17.8 cm) tail and is also worshipped by faithful followers, who call him ‘Balaji.’