The path leading to the ancient Kamakhya temple in Assam, India is a holy place that is usually strewn with sacred thoughts and impending rituals.
But peace among the locals was shattered a few days ago with a rag picker's discovery of a man's severed head found in a polythene bag.
The bag was found atop the Nilachal Hills lying near the temple nursery, and next to it was a piece of paper with religious hymns written on it.
Needless to say, locals were shocked by the discovery, as were the police, who were soon called to the scene.
Like many other ancient temples in Assam, the Kamakhya shrine has a dark history involving human sacrifice.
"The head is yet to be identified. We have…confirmed that the deceased is not a local … It could be a case of human sacrifice, but it's too early to comment. Our first job is to identify the deceased … There were no blood stains in the area, which indicates that the beheading was committed somewhere else," said one police official.
The police could not eliminate the possibility of human sacrifice as such cases have occurred in recent history. An attempt to sacrifice a young child was foiled back in 2003.
There were some clues in the writing found on the piece of paper that gave the impression that the poor man was indeed sacrificed.
The name of Goddess Kali was written on it, but it could have been put there just to divert the police from a murder committed in a premeditated manner.
Many locals believe that the motive for the killing was the defiling of the atmosphere surrounding the holy shrine.
Cadaver dogs have been employed to search the area in the hopes that they will uncover the rest of the body.
The Kamakhya Temple represents an important pilgrimage destination for Hindu worshipers, and it is dedicated to the many manifestations of the mother goddess.
Who knows what dark deeds committed by humans further investigation might reveal?