When you are in a war or in a conflict zone, your best friend, usually, is god. At the heights of the Siachen Glacier, known as the highest battlefield in the world (at a height of 22,000 feet), Indian soldiers’ faith in a legendary soldier as their “guardian deity” gives them the strength to brave all odds.
In the late 1980s, Om Prakash, an artillery soldier was sent on a patrol on Malaun Post in Bila Complex in Northen Glacier, where he single-handedly beat back the enemy, bet never returned back after that.
No one saw him or his body, but troops were forewarned in their dreams about impending dangers on the Glacier, after which the faith in OP Baba increased and temples were built in his name.
The belief in the soldier saint is so strong that a formal report is given to O.P. Baba before the induction of a soldier party on the glacier and after the successful accomplishment of any mission. While giving the report, the troop in-charge treats O.P. Baba as a senior officer and seeks his blessings. Following that, the soldiers shout “O.P. Baba ki jai”.
OP Baba not only protects the personnel on the Glacier from the enemy, but also from the hostile nature and terrain. Troops talk about getting dreams whenever a warning is to be issued from the Baba.
The shrine of OP Baba was renovated in 2003 and renamed OP Baba – Sarva Dharma Sthal (which means an all religions place) to reflect the secular tradition of the Indian Army.