VIZIANAGARAM: We have heard stories in the past of people living alone in forests away from mankind in quest of spirituality. However, it is unbelievable that there are such people in this modern age! If you take the case of this octogenarian woman named Padmavati you will believe in such stories. But the interesting part is not her living alone for the past seven decades in the forest area, but for the fact that she has been surviving only on camphor, smoke from the incense sticks, and drinking tea three times a day.
As per details Padmavathi, an 85-year-old woman from Pedakada village in Gajapati mandal of Vizianagaram district, has been living alone in a forest near the village for the past 70 years. She moved to the forest at a very young age of 12 as she believed she had a calling from Lord Venkateswara Swamy. Locals also vouch for her version and say that she settled there when she was a child. Padmavati’s family members and the villagers tried hard to bring her back, but she refused to state that it was her deity's calling and installed an idol on a hillock in the forest and started worshipping him.
The surrounding villagers together built a temple on the hill, where she conducts the daily rituals and lives there as well. The locals say that devotees bring milk, fruits, and gifts but she accepts none of them and gives them back after offering them to God.
Instead, she only pops the camphor in her mouth and eats that, and inhales the smoke from the incense sticks and tea offered by the devotees without taking any food. Devotees believe that Padmavathi's lifestyle is a testament to the existence of God.