Indian kids smeared with colors look on as they celebrate ‘Holi,’ the Indian festival of colors, in Calcutta, India, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010. The festival also marks the coming of spring.
A girl, color smeared on her face, looks on during “Holi” celebrations in Calcutta, India, Saturday, March 3, 2007. Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, also heralds the coming of spring.
An elderly woman begs for alms on a roadside in the old part of New Delhi, India
A Hindu holy man stands in the backdrop of a tent during the annual Magh Mela festival at Sangam, the confluence of rivers Ganges and Yamuna, in Allahabad, India, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011. Hundreds of thousands of Hindu pilgrims take dips in the confluence, some hoping to wash away sins and others to secure a fine spouse during the month long festival.
In this Monday, July 25, 2011 photograph, an Indian artist gets make up before a performance during a procession of “Bonalu” festival in Hyderabad, India. Bonalu is a Hindu folk festival of the Telangana region in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
Rani Verma, 40, grieves the loss of her father-in-law in a train accident as she waits for his body outside a government mortuary in Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh state, India, Monday, July 11, 2011. Rescue workers pulled more bodies Monday from the mangled wreckage of the Kalka Mail passenger train that derailed in northern India.
A Nanga Sadhu, or naked Hindu holy man with his face smeared with holy ash exhales smoke after puffing marijuana at a transit camp on the way to Gangasagar, in Calcutta, India, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010. Pilgrims started pour into the city to take a holy dip at the confluence of River Ganges and Bay of Bengal at Sagar Island, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of Calcutta, on the auspicious day of Makarsankranti on Jan. 14.
A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, smiles into the camera on the banks of the River Ganges in Allahabad, India, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009.
In this July 23, 2011 photo, an Aryan Brogpa woman in traditional outfit smiles at Darchik, in Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir state, India. The Brogpas, or Dards or Drokpas as they are also known, claim to be pure-blooded Aryans and have been subjects of study and debate of historians and researchers. Brogpas, numbering over a 1000, reportedly practice polygamy and polyandry and are prohibited from marrying outside their community to preserve their racial purity.
A young Indian rag picker looks for recyclable spare parts at an automobile yard on the outskirts of Jammu, India, Wednesday, March 26, 2008.
An leprosy infected woman waits for her turn to be treated by the volunteers of US based Arpan Global Charities (AGC), a medical volunteer organization, in Amritsar, India, Friday, Jan. 22, 2010. AGC provides free medical services to the medically underserved populations of the world.
Hindu holy man, applies Tilak, or Vermillion paste after taking a holy dip on the banks of the River Ganges on the occasion of Guru Purnima or full moon day dedicated to the Guru or masters in ones life, in Allahabad, India, Friday, July 15, 2011.
A widow waits for food at a home, in Vrindavan, 160 kilometres (100 miles) south of New Delhi India, Tuesday May 9, 2006. In India, for all of its recent modernization and openness to foreign cultures, being a widow remains one of the worst stigmas a woman can endure, and women are far from equal here. When her husband dies, the widow often becomes a pariah, excluded from family gatherings for fear the mere fall of her shadow will bring bad luck and tragedy. In the North, many journey to the holy cities of Vrindavan and Varanasi, where they beg, and are paid a pittance to recite prayers in the temple. Indian-born director Deepa Mehta’s movie “Water,” depicts the harsh treatment of Indian widows in the 1930’s. Mehta who was forced to shift the shooting of a film from an Indian town to Sri Lanka after aggressive protests by Hindu nationalists, says Indians are scared of questioning their traditions.
A relative of a member of the Gujjar community, a lower caste, who was killed when shots were filed by police looks on near the dead body, unseen, at Bayana town in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan state, India, Thursday, May 29, 2008. Gujjars blocked major roads, burned car tires, and threw stones at police in several areas around New Delhi on Thursday in a continuation of protests in the country’s north and west that left 39 people dead. Members of the Gujjar tribe threatened to shut down the capital unless the government agreed to reclassify them as members of the lowest caste so that they can benefit from government quotas.
A Kashmiri woman shelters her child from the rain by covering him with her veil during a heavy downpour in Srinagar, India, Friday, Aug. 4, 2006. Kashmir valley witnessed heavy rainfall Friday.
A Kashmiri Muslim woman, with henna on her hands, grieves during the funeral procession of Indian Army soldier Shabir Ahmed Malik in Dab, some 35 kilometers (22 miles) Northeast of Srinagar, India, Tuesday, March 24, 2009. Malik was killed in an ongoing battle which has claimed seven other army soldiers and sixteen suspected rebels, Lt. Col. J.S. Brar of the Indian Army said.
Ganesh Laal, 50, with his face painted to resemble Hindu monkey God Hanuman, looks on at Pushkar, in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2005. Pushkar, located on the banks of Pushkar Lake, is a popular Hindu pilgrimage spot that is also frequented by foreign tourists who come to the town for annual cattle fair and camel races.
A girl quenches her thirst with water droplets from a broken pipe in the eastern Indian city of Siliguri, Thursday, March 22, 2007. World Water Day is being observed across the world Thursday.
Kashmiri Ghulam Mohammed Matta looks on after he was beaten by police during a demonstration in Srinagar, India, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2006. Hundreds of Muslims shouted slogans against the government after they were denied travel permits for the annual Haj pilgrimage, reportedly because of an administrative miscommunication.
A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man reacts after a boy, only hands seen, rubs colored powder on his face during “Holi” celebrations at Kamakhya temple in Gauhati, India, Saturday, March 3, 2007. Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, also heralds the coming of spring.
A Hindu Holy man, Bal Mukund Brahmchari, 82, looks on after applying a paste of sandalwood to his face in Allahabad, India, Friday, March 30, 2007. Sandalwood paste, besides being of religious significance, helps in cooling the body temperature. With the onset of summer, different parts of India have started experiencing heat wave conditions.
An Indian girl with her face covered with colored powder looks on as she celebrates Holi, the spring festival of colors, in Calcutta, India, Saturday, March 22, 2008.
An Indian girl reacts as others throw color powder at her as part of celebrating “Holi” in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, India, Saturday, Feb .27, 2010. The festival also marks the coming of spring.
Baba Ramdas, 58, sports a turban in the colours of the Indian flag, that he claims weighs 3.5 kilograms and is made out of 81 meter long cloth at the annual cattle fair at Pushkar in Rajasthan state, India, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010. Pushkar is a popular Hindu pilgrimage spot that is also frequented by foreign tourists who come to the town for its annual cattle fair and camel races. The eight day long fair began Sunday.
An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard during curfew in central Srinagar, India, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010. Leaders of India’s main political parties debated Wednesday whether to ease harsh security laws in Indian-controlled Kashmir as the government searched for a strategy to end months of increasingly violent protests in the region.
A sadhu or Hindu holy woman paints vermilion on her face during Ambubasi festival at Kamakhya temple, in Gauhati, India, Saturday, June 21, 2008. The Ambubasi festival will start on June 22.
A Brahmin boy with his face smeared with ash smiles as he performs rituals on the banks of the River Ganges in Allahabad, India, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008. Brahmins, or Hindu upper castes, believe that performing rituals on this day will wash away their sins.
A boy dressed as Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and regeneration, looks on as he begs for alms on the banks of river Ganges in Allahabad, India, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009.
A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, reacts after an area was allowed to him for setting up his tent for the upcoming “Magh Mela” festival in Allahabad, India, Friday, Dec. 18, 2009. Thousands of people take holy dips at the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati during the month-long fair that begins later this month.
A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man prays after taking a holy dip in the River Ganges in Allahabad, India, Saturday, April 1, 2006. Hindus are observing the nine-days long Navratri festival, or festival of nine nights, dedicated to the three main Hindu Goddesses Parvati, Lakshmi and Saraswati, that began March 30.
A Kashmiri Muslim boy watches from the window of his house as protesters throw stones at Indian paramilitary soldiers during a protest in Srinagar, India, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010. Government forces fired warning shots and tear gas Wednesday to quell a third day of angry protests in Indian-controlled Kashmir stemming from the death of a teenage boy hit in the head by a police tear gas shell.
A supporter of India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party shades his eyes from the sun as he listens to a speaker at a rally against price rise in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010. India’s food price rises drove a 7.3 percent jump in the headline wholesale price index in December, and inflation has begun to spread to non-food sectors as well, according to the government
A Hindu woman looks on after taking a ritualistic dip in the Ganges River during the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar, India, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010. The Kumbh Mela, touted as the largest religious gathering in the world, is celebrated every three years, rotating among four Indian cities
A young devotee, face smeared with turmeric powder, participates in a procession towards Golconda Fort during Bonalu festival in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, July 15, 2010. Bonalu is a month-long festival celebrated in Andhra Pradesh state and is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess of power Kali.
A masked Kashmiri shouts slogans during a protest at Barthana neighborhood in Srinagar, India, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010. Relative calm prevailed in the restive Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir Wednesday after days of violent clashes between troops and Kashmiri Muslims but hundreds joined marches at many places in the region protesting Indian rule over the Himalayan region.
A child dressed as Hindu god Krishna looks on during festivities to mark Janmashtami at a school in Mumbai, India, Sept. 1, 2010. Janmashtami is the festival that marks the birth of Krishna.
A farmer takes part in a sit-in protest organised by India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against what they said were illegal land acquisitions by the government to be given to private companies at a low price, in New Delhi August 3, 2011.
Tears roll down the cheeks of a Kashmiri Muslim woman as the head priest, unseen, displays the holy relic believed to be a hair from the beard of Prophet Mohammad, during special prayers to observe the Martyr Day of Hazrat Ali, cousin of Prophet Mohammed, on the 21st day of Ramadan at the Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar, India, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010. Muslims across the world are observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan, where devout refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk.
Feroz, 30, an Indian Muslim artist dressed like Hindu god Shiva performs during a cultural event in Allahabad, India, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010.
An underprivileged boy looks out, with his face smeared with colored powder during the Holi festivities in Mumbai, India, Friday, March 18, 2011. Holi, the Hindu festival of colors is celebrated by people throwing coloured powder and coloured water at each other and will be marked across the country on March 20.
A worker smiles as he sorts mangoes at a wholesale market on the outskirts of Allahabad, India, Saturday, July 30, 2011.
An Indian Sadhu, or Hindu Holy man, prays at the confluence of Indian holy rivers, Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati on the last day of the Magh Mela festival in Allahabad, India, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. Hundreds of thousands of devout Hindus take a bath at the confluence during the astronomically auspicious period of over 30 days celebrated as “Magh Mela” to rid themselves of their sins and attain prosperity.
A tribal man takes part in a protest against land acquisition in Mumbai July 25, 2011. Dozens of demonstrators from the village of Beed came to Mumbai to protest against the acquisition of their agricultural land by the government, an organizer said.
A devotee with coloured powders smeared on his face takes part in the annual Hindu religious festival of “Bonalu” in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad July 3, 2011.The word “Bonalu” is derived from the Telugu language word “Bhojanalu”, the food offered to Goddess Kali, the Hindu goddess of power. The main ritual in the month-long festival consists of offering cooked rice, jaggery, curd, water and other dishes which are brought by women in earthen pots to be offered to Goddess Kali. Devotees believe that the offerings ward off evils and epidemics during the monsoon.
A student gets his face painted with a message to fight against AIDS during a face painting competition in Ahmadabad, India, Friday, Jan. 29, 2010. Roughly 2.5 million Indians are HIV-positive.
A devotee, with coloured powder smeared on his face, holds a piece of pumpkin as part of an offering while taking part in the annual Hindu religious festival of “Bonalu” in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad July 18, 2011. Devotees believe that the offerings ward off evils and epidemics during the monsoon period.
A priest paints religious symbols on the forehead of a Hindu devotee at Sangam, the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati during the holy month of Shravan in the northern Indian city of Allahabad, August 1, 2011. Hindu devotees fast and pray to Lord Shiva during the month of Shravan for the betterment of their family and society.
Ruwaida Usmani, center in black dress, waits to receive her husband Faiz Usmani’s body outside a hospital in Mumbai, India, Sunday, July 17, 2011. Faiz Usmani, a man picked up by police for questioning in connection with Wednesday’s blasts that killed 19 people and injured 130 others, died Sunday. Usmani’s family has alleged that he was tortured during questioning. Police have denied the charge but an investigation has been ordered.
A Hindu devotee dressed as a demon participates in a procession on the eve of Shivratri festival, in Jammu, India, Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Shivratri, a festival dedicated to the worship of Hindu God Shiva, will be marked across the country Wednesday.
A Sadhu, or Hindu Holy man, looks on after applying sandalwood and vermilion paste on his face in Allahabad, India, Friday, Aug. 25, 2006. Allahabad, on the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswathi, is one of Hinduism’s important centers.
Student Mihir Joshi, with a painted face depicting a hand grenade, participates in a peace rally in Mumbai August 6, 2011, to mark the 66th anniversary of the world’s first atomic attack on Hiroshima, Japan.
A Tibetan woman smiles under an umbrella during a downpour in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamsala August 6, 2011.
A Hindu boy looks on as he listens to the Guru, unseen, during the “janeu” rituals at the Magh Mela festival in Allahabad, India, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011. Janeu is a holy thread that is worn by the Hindu Brahmins of India. This holy thread suggests the development of a male, from a young boy to a man.
A Sadhu, or Hindu holy man, looks on during the annual cattle fair in Pushkar, in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, some 415 kilometers (257 miles) northwest of the capital New Delhi, Friday, Nov. 3, 2006. Pushkar, located on the banks of Pushkar Lake, is a popular Hindu pilgrimage spot that is also frequented by foreign tourists who come to the town for the annual cattle fair and camel races.
A folk dancer from the desert Indian state of Rajasthan lifts rings with her eyelids during a cultural program organised during the “Teej” festival in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh August 2, 2011. Hindu women fast and pray for the good health and long life of their husbands during the Teej festival as Teej falls in the Hindu month of Shravan (July-August) and welcomes the advent of the monsoon
courtesy to: Yahoo