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Mahashivaratri Festival in Kathmandu
Kathmandu
By vincenzo floramo
07 Mar 2016

Around a million devotees visited Pashupatinath temple on Monday March 7, 2016 in the occasion of the Mahashivaratri Festival in Kathmandu. The gate of the temple opened at 3 a.m. allowing people to queue from the early morning. Mahashivaratri literally means the greatest night for devotion to Lord Shiva.

The festival falls on the 13th day in the dark fortnight in Falgun on the Hindu calendar. Pashupatinath Temple is regarded as one of the holiest Shiva shrines in the world. The festival consists of ‘warming’ Shiva in the belief that the lord also feels cold on this day. People start bonfires at public squares, houses, temples and shrines and perform prayers.

According to the authorities, 3,000 personnel from Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force were deployed to provide security. More than 5000 Shadus (holy men) arrived for Nepal and India, camping in the temporary shelters set up by the organization.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 01
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
07 Mar 2016

Crowd of devotees in the area around Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu during the Mahashivaratri festival.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 02
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
07 Mar 2016

Devotees chanting holy songs and prayer in the early morning at Pashupatinath temple.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 03
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
07 Mar 2016

A Sadhu, holy man, sitting in his shelter during the Mahashivaratri festival in Kathmandu.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 04
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
07 Mar 2016

Sadhu giving speeches to people along the hill of Pashupatinath temple where he is camping.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 05
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
07 Mar 2016

A Sadhu, holy man, stands near the Pashupatinath temple during the Mahashivaratri festival in Kathmandu.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 06
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
07 Mar 2016

Devotees pray on the banks of Bagmati river at the crematory besides Pashupatinath temple during the Mahashivaratri festival.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 07
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
07 Mar 2016

Female sadhus, known as sadhvis, sitting at Pashupatinath temple during the Mahashivaratri festival.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 08
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
07 Mar 2016

A Naga (naked) Sadhu sanding on the terrace of a temple facing the crematory inside Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 09
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
07 Mar 2016

A foreign tourist is trapped in the crowd during the Mahashivaratri festival in Kathmandu.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 10
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
07 Mar 2016

Beggers surround a devotee holding some amount of money.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 11
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
07 Mar 2016

A TV journalist from a local channel broadcasting live from Pashupatinath temple during the Mahashivaratri festival.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 12
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
07 Mar 2016

Devotees praying to Lord Shiva at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 13
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
06 Mar 2016

An elder Sadhu woman performing a prayer in front of a small shrine at the gate of the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 14
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
06 Mar 2016

A Nepali devotee coming out from the Pashupatinath temple after his prayer on the occasion of the Mahashivaratri festival.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 15
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
06 Mar 2016

Sadhu, holy man, touches a devotee as a sign of blessing during the night of Shivaratri at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu.

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Mahashivaratri Festival in Nepal 16
Khatmandu
By vincenzo floramo
06 Mar 2016

Devotees walking inside a temple during the night of the Mahashivaratri festival in Kathmandu.

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Tending the Funeral Pyres of Nepal
Kathmandu
By Rajan Zaveri
09 May 2015

Gyan Prasad Acharya has tended funeral pyres at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu for 30 years. Since a massive earthquake devastated Nepal, the Ghats, traditional spaces reserved for cremating the dead, at Pashupatinath Temple have been overwhelmed. The Ghats have gone from seeing 30 bodies cremated a day to hundreds. Every open space along the river has been taken up by survivors trying to bid their loved ones a final farewell.

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Nepal portfolio final 23
Patan
By Taylor Weidman
04 May 2015

Carvings and other artwork from destroyed temples are stored in a secure location in Patan, Nepal on May 4, 2015. On April 25, 2015, Nepal suffered a magnitude 7.8 earthquake killing over 7,000 people and injuring thousands more.

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Hinduism in Nepal
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
14 Apr 2015

More than 80% of the population in Nepal is Hindu and the rites and rituals influence all aspects of people's lives. This photo collection provides a brief glimpse into a few of the defining moments in Hindu life from the rite of passage of the boy, through an example of one of the numerous festivals to death and cremation.

ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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Hinduism in Nepal 01
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
02 Apr 2015

Young Hindu boy supported by his family goes through the rite of passage at the Golden Temple in Kathmandu on 2 April 2015.

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Hinduism in Nepal 02
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
02 Apr 2015

Young Hindu boy goes through the rite of passage at the Golden Temple in Kathmandu on 2 April 2015.

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Hinduism in Nepal 03
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
02 Apr 2015

Grandmother and grandchild at rite of passage ceremony for brother/grandson at the Golden Temple in Kathmandu on 2 April 2015.

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Hinduism in Nepal 04
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
02 Apr 2015

Woman stirs a fire pot at a Hindu religious festival in Kathamandu on 2 April 2015. Fire plays an important role in the worship of deities through sacrifices and offerings.

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Hinduism in Nepal 05
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
02 Apr 2015

Two Hindu men stir the fire pots at a Hindu religious festival in Kathamandu on 2 April 2015. Fire plays a role in the worship of important deities through sacrifices and offerings.

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Hinduism in Nepal 06
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
02 Apr 2015

A man from the Brahmin caste taking part in a Hindu festival in Kathmandu on 2 April 2015. Despite a move from the traditional caste system towards a more economically based class system, the Bramins are still well represented in the top layer of the Nepalese society.

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Hinduism in Nepal 07
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
11 Mar 2015

Burial rites performed at the Hindu Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu on 11 March 2015. A nearby hospice located on the temple grounds represent for many Hindus in Kathmandu the last stop. The body is then wrapped in cloth and brought to the river to be ritually washed before it is brought to the funeral pyre and burned.

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Hinduism in Nepal 08
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
11 Mar 2015

The wealthier Hindus have their deceased family members cremated on the piedestals along the river bank at the Hindu Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu. The body is placed on a funeral pyre and cremated. The remains are unceremoniously swept into the river, once the family is gone and the fire is out. Kathmandu 11 March 2015.

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Hindu Pilgrims Reach for Katasraj in ...
Chakwal
By Malik Ayub Sumbal
15 Feb 2015

Every year a large number of Hindu visit Katasraj temples. Katasraj is a Hindu temple complex situated in Katas village near Choa Saidanshah in the Chakwal district of Punjab in Pakistan. Dedicated to Shiva, the temple has, according to Hindu legend, existed since the days of Mahābhārata and the Pandava brothers spent a substantial part of their exile at the site. The Pakistan Government is considering nominating the temple complex for World Heritage Site status. In 2007, it also proposed to restore the temple complex. In 2012, the temple pond is drying up due to heavy use of ground water for industrial purposes. But this year there are only 26 pilgrims visited for the performance of their religious rituals.

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Two Religions, One Passion in Women's...
Calcutta, India
By Francesco Pistilli
05 Feb 2015

Video story by : Francesco Pistilli & Alice Sassu

In India, young women are beginning to see boxing as a way to advance in life. This is the story of two female boxers, one Muslim and one Hindu, and how boxing has had an impact on their personal lives, their self-worth, and their aspirations for their communities and society.

In 2011 there were around 200 female boxers in India, and the Muslim communities of West Bengal contribute about 55 per cent of the total. This would have been unthinkable 10 years ago.

Asit Banerjee, the president of the South Calcutta Physical Cultural Association began a campaign for women's participation in the sport at a meeting of the Indian Boxing Federation in 1998. Now, women boxers have already made an impact on India, and light-flyweight Mary Kom won a world boxing championship in 2003. In recent years, Banerjee has carried out a social experiment in Ekbalpore, and its neighboring Muslim ghettos by bringing together men and women, Hindus and Muslims, to box.

The result: social and religious prejudices appear to crumble.

The Ekbalpore women were drawn to boxing after watching local young men in action at the neighboring Kidderpore School of Physical Culture. Their interest grew after Mohammed Ali Qamar, a local youth, won a gold medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, and after the case of Razia Shabnam. Despite stiff family opposition, Shabnam was one of the first from her neighborhood to take up boxing. She is now a coach and an international referee.

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Thaipusam - 272 steps
Batu caves
By Ahmad Yusni Mohammad Said
01 Feb 2015

This is a set of pictures showing Hindu devotee at the hardest part of pilgrimage, the 272 steps to reach the sacred Batu Caves temple to place their kavadi at the feet of the deity statue.

 

Hindu devotees climb the stairs to reach the temple cave during Thaipusam festival at Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Thousands of Hindus gather to participate in the annual Thaipusam festival of penance honouring Lord Murugan. During Thaipusam day, devotees will fulfilled their vows by carrying 'kavadi' (burden) to Lord Murugan.  They will make an arduous climbing up the 272 steps leading up to the temple cave and deposited at the feet of the Lord Murugan to purify themselves.

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Malaysia: Hindus Observe Thaipusam Pi...
Batu Caves, Malaysia
By Ahmad Yusni Mohammad Said
01 Feb 2015

Hindu devotees climb the stairs to reach the temple cave during Thaipusam festival at Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Thousands of Hindus gather to participate in the annual Thaipusam festival of penance honouring Lord Murugan. During Thaipusam day, devotees will fulfill their vows by carrying 'kavadi' (burdens) to Lord Murugan.  They make an arduous climb up the 272 steps leading up to the temple cave and deposit their 'kavadi' at the feet of the Lord Murugan to purify themselves.

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Thaipusam 02
Batu Caves, Malaysia
By Ahmad Yusni Mohammad Said
31 Jan 2015

Thousands of Hindus gather to participate in the annual Thaipusam festival of penance honouring Lord Murugan. During Thaipusam day, devotees will fulfill their vows by carrying 'kavadi' (burdens) to Lord Murugan. They make an arduous climb up the 272 steps leading up to the temple cave and deposit their 'kavadi' at the feet of the Lord Murugan to purify themselves.

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Thaipusam 05
Batu Caves, Malaysia
By Ahmad Yusni Mohammad Said
31 Jan 2015

Thousands of Hindus gather to participate in the annual Thaipusam festival of penance honouring Lord Murugan. During Thaipusam day, devotees will fulfill their vows by carrying 'kavadi' (burdens) to Lord Murugan. They make an arduous climb up the 272 steps leading up to the temple cave and deposit their 'kavadi' at the feet of the Lord Murugan to purify themselves.

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Thaipusam 09
Batu Caves, Malaysia
By Ahmad Yusni Mohammad Said
29 Jan 2015

Thousands of Hindus gather to participate in the annual Thaipusam festival of penance honouring Lord Murugan. During Thaipusam day, devotees will fulfill their vows by carrying 'kavadi' (burdens) to Lord Murugan. They make an arduous climb up the 272 steps leading up to the temple cave and deposit their 'kavadi' at the feet of the Lord Murugan to purify themselves.

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Thaipusam 10
Batu Caves, Malaysia
By Ahmad Yusni Mohammad Said
29 Jan 2015

Thousands of Hindus gather to participate in the annual Thaipusam festival of penance honouring Lord Murugan. During Thaipusam day, devotees will fulfill their vows by carrying 'kavadi' (burdens) to Lord Murugan. They make an arduous climb up the 272 steps leading up to the temple cave and deposit their 'kavadi' at the feet of the Lord Murugan to purify themselves.

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Thaipusam 11
Batu Caves, Malaysia
By Ahmad Yusni Mohammad Said
29 Jan 2015

Thousands of Hindus gather to participate in the annual Thaipusam festival of penance honouring Lord Murugan. During Thaipusam day, devotees will fulfill their vows by carrying 'kavadi' (burdens) to Lord Murugan. They make an arduous climb up the 272 steps leading up to the temple cave and deposit their 'kavadi' at the feet of the Lord Murugan to purify themselves.

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Thaipusam 12
Batu Caves, Malaysia
By Ahmad Yusni Mohammad Said
29 Jan 2015

Thousands of Hindus gather to participate in the annual Thaipusam festival of penance honouring Lord Murugan. During Thaipusam day, devotees will fulfill their vows by carrying 'kavadi' (burdens) to Lord Murugan. They make an arduous climb up the 272 steps leading up to the temple cave and deposit their 'kavadi' at the feet of the Lord Murugan to purify themselves.

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Thaipusam 13
Batu Caves, Malaysia
By Ahmad Yusni Mohammad Said
29 Jan 2015

Thousands of Hindus gather to participate in the annual Thaipusam festival of penance honouring Lord Murugan. During Thaipusam day, devotees will fulfill their vows by carrying 'kavadi' (burdens) to Lord Murugan. They make an arduous climb up the 272 steps leading up to the temple cave and deposit their 'kavadi' at the feet of the Lord Murugan to purify themselves.

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Thaipusam 14
Batu Caves, Malaysia
By Ahmad Yusni Mohammad Said
29 Jan 2015

Thousands of Hindus gather to participate in the annual Thaipusam festival of penance honouring Lord Murugan. During Thaipusam day, devotees will fulfill their vows by carrying 'kavadi' (burdens) to Lord Murugan. They make an arduous climb up the 272 steps leading up to the temple cave and deposit their 'kavadi' at the feet of the Lord Murugan to purify themselves.