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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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Moments in Kathmandu
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
15 Apr 2015

A collection of moments in Kathmandu. Nepalese going about their business, taking a break, participating in events...

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People of Kathmandu 6
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
04 Apr 2015

Old woman taking part in the Hanuman Jayanti festival at the Swayambhunath temple in Kathmandu on 4 April 2015. Religious ristes and events play a significant part in a Nepalese's life. Nepal is overwhelmingly Hindu with almost 85% followed by 9% Buddhist, 4% Muslim and 1.5% Christians.

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People of Kathmandu 7
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
04 Apr 2015

A Nepalese family taking part in the Hanuman Jayanti festival at the Swayambhunath temple in Kathmandu on 4 April 2015. Despite the adherence to the traditional ways the younger generation is increasingly influenced by external (western) culture.

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People of Kathmandu 4
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
02 Apr 2015

Rickshaw driver in Kathmandu taking a rest from his job on 2 April 2015. With an unemployment rate of 46% people work long hours to earn enough their keep.

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People of Kathmandu 5
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
02 Apr 2015

Homeless man resting at a small shrine in Kathmandu on 2 April 2015. Around 2.8 million people or close to one tenth of the population is living in slum in Nepal. With a growing population and growing urbanisation this number is destined to rise leaving more people living on the streets.

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People of Kathmandu 3
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
31 Mar 2015

Rickshaw in Thamel, Kathmandu on 31 March 2015. The tourism industry blossoms creating jobs for upwards half a million people.

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People of Kathmandu 2
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
12 Mar 2015

Old homeless woman staring at the pigeons at Durbar Square in Kathmandu on 12 March 2015. Nepal ranks 145th out of 187 countries on UNDP's Development Index from 2013 with 30% living on less than half a dollar per day. The subsistence economy is widespread, but poverty is visible everywhere.

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People of Kathmandu 1
Kathmandu, Nepal
By Noe Falk Nielsen
10 Mar 2015

Nepalese woman enjoying the morning sun in Kathmandu on 10 March 2015. As the traditional family structures change increasingly replaced by western style nuclear families the elderly people experience seclusion and isolation.

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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 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.

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Thaipusam 15
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 16
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 17
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 18
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 19
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 20
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.