RadioBDC Logo
| Listen Live
September 7, 2009 Permalink

Recent Hindu festivals and rituals

Many Hindus throughout India recently celebrated Ganesha Chaturthi, a 10-day festival celebrating the birth of Ganesh, their supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Hinduism, the predominant religion in India, is rich with traditional festivals and rituals, celebrated in many ways and locations around the world. Collected here are a few photographs from recent Hindu festivals and of Hindu devotees worshipping and practicing ritual ceremonies in India, England, Nepal and Indonesia. (36 photos total)

Hindu devotees carry a statue of the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh on a bullock cart during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, India, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009. The idols are immersed into oceans or rivers at the end of the ten day long festival that celebrates the birth of Ganesh. (AP Photo/Dhiraj Singh)
more photos
This page lists only comments and the first photo for the entry.
To see the entire entry, with all photographs, click here.

171 comments so far...

in picture no 8 the referral to the boy dressed as Lord Ganesh is in fact the kumari herself , the living goddess and she is a girl not a boy. i hope the citations posted along with the photographs are accurate, anyway nice to see pictures from nepal

Posted by dr sanjeeb September 7, 09 01:06 PM

Why are they able to retrieve the animals after they have been tossed by worshipers? Do they reuse the animals for other worshipers?

Posted by Jack September 7, 09 01:11 PM

Amazing pictures as always. really beautiful. the ones of mumbai are awesome, brought back memories of the ganpati festival there.

Big picture rocks!

Posted by armeen kapadia September 7, 09 01:13 PM

I can't believe that learned , educated people still believe in idol worshiping. It is kind of shocking !!

Posted by indian September 7, 09 01:25 PM

Incredible pics, love all of them. In picture no 8 the referral to the boy dressed as Lord Ganesh is in fact the kumari herself-living Goddess of Nepal. Thanks for posting these incredible pictures.

Posted by Manav September 7, 09 01:31 PM

#14? Cringe!

Posted by Pam September 7, 09 01:45 PM

I think the typical person might look at this and make a pleasant comment about diversity and culture, but all I see is a bunch of people led blindly by some sort of faith that leads them to sit in barrels of water, shove needles through their cheeks for no other reason but to induce pain, and throw living, breathing animals off of a cliff.... what a beautiful culture!


Posted by stephen September 7, 09 01:45 PM

no less shocking than the thousands of educated people who believe in an invisible man in the sky.

Posted by will September 7, 09 01:56 PM

Yeah I think the caption is just off on #8 @sanjeeb is correct

Posted by AF September 7, 09 01:57 PM

Wow @ pic # 25.....!!!

Posted by Jason September 7, 09 01:59 PM

What a wonderfully diverse world we live in.

Posted by medaholic September 7, 09 02:17 PM

Every idol ever raised falls.

Posted by Dubya Bee September 7, 09 02:20 PM

Lovely pics! Would love to see Hindu Festivals form Singapore and Malaysia as well!

Posted by Alan September 7, 09 02:39 PM

@commenter 2 : For personal use. It's why many of them wear masks to conceal their identity. The worshipers doing the tossing try to regard the poor folks taking the offerings home to eat as god-sent.

@commenter 4: As opposed to what?

Posted by Lesley G September 7, 09 02:49 PM

never knew that Indonesia had Hindus too

Posted by HP September 7, 09 03:00 PM

#7: Try to appreciate life without judging other people. You must be
an incredibly unhappy, lonely and dysfunctional person (the irony
of making this comment is not lost on me, but it drives home
a point).

Beautiful pictures.

Posted by whisperwizard September 7, 09 03:25 PM

Wow, Beautiful Pictures!!

i'd love to go there someday, and have a culture shock!

Posted by Ben Posey September 7, 09 03:28 PM

yes, #1 is correct. Dressed as kumari herself.

Posted by Venkatesh Nandakumar September 7, 09 03:29 PM

#8 - Will you are so right. At least people that believe in cows can see and touch their god.

Posted by Darwin September 7, 09 03:31 PM

get off your high-horse.

beautiful pictures.

Posted by evan September 7, 09 03:33 PM

The caption writer of #20 gets the "dry humour" award of the day.

Posted by Victor Eijkhout September 7, 09 03:39 PM

While this is a beautiful set, I wish they would make biodegradable idols out of clay instead of plaster or plastic. This practice will at least deter some pollution...

Posted by Anon September 7, 09 03:52 PM

@ stephen

I have to say, all that sounds a hell of lot more fun than sitting in a Church.

But hey, stick to living a 'civilised' life. You might just end up with a nice couch to sit on when you retire.

Posted by Matt September 7, 09 03:56 PM

I don't think the beauty of these pictures comes from the fact that a whole lot of people believe in an invisible person in the sky but from the fact that a belief in this man brings them all together and makes them feel linked to one another. I have been an atheist myself, almost all of my life, but even though i don't think god exists, I do understand that religion is a powerful thing and that a belief in this god keeps most people going. So just because I am an atheist doesn't mean everyone else should also be one. An absence of religion will only lead to a chaos much bigger than the chaos caused by religion. If you think about it, most people can get away with law in certain places of the world. The only thing that makes them do the right thing is religion!!
Think about it.

Posted by Abhin September 7, 09 03:56 PM

@ Comment4: "I can't believe that learned , educated people still believe in idol worshiping. It is kind of shocking !!"

Wow, I'm not a so-called "idol-worshipper", but I cannot believe that people like you have such a closed and arrogant mind.

One day, you'll reach a different level (of humanity, let alone spirituality) and you'll wish you could take these words back.

Posted by Dude September 7, 09 04:39 PM

And how can The God have mercy on them! Unless of course they turn to The God (not Trinity) alone in Worship.

Posted by Believer September 7, 09 05:03 PM


Posted by rufrank2 September 7, 09 06:21 PM

I can't believe "learned, educated" people find a need to chastise what others choose to believe in.

Posted by Jason Bleistein September 7, 09 06:34 PM

@ Comment4: "I can't believe that learned , educated people still believe in idol worshiping. It is kind of shocking !!"

me too, this is the worst shocking religious pics, I've seen ever

I thought before the worst is when I saw people pray for wooden statue or idol for what they called jesus or mary but this is worsen

people pray to cow !!!!!

Posted by csqljava September 7, 09 06:34 PM

Hindus and Muslims - hmm.

I sense a trend line with this site lately.

Christians? No way. Muslims - oh yeah, can't get enough of them.

I've had enough of this once interesting web site.

Posted by Jake September 7, 09 06:39 PM

These are wonderful pics.

I think we all need to respect diversity rather than making comments based on our own beleifs and thinking.

Posted by Friend September 7, 09 06:50 PM

@Comment #25: Humanity and spirituality is not a privilege of religious people only... If you believe that, maybe you have a closed and arrogant mind. Yes, faith can help a man achieve many things, but that's his faith, nothing more. Others might call it self-confidence, optimism, character strength... Label it as you want. Someone was justified to worship fire as a god 4-5 thousands years ago... no excuses now. Comment #24 says it all as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by Apoelistas September 7, 09 07:14 PM

Very bright and colorful pictures. They do depict how Ganesh Chaturti is celebrated in some parts of India. However, I think it might be nice to show aspects of Ganesh chaturti celebrations other than mass activities - for example how people in south India celebrate Ganesh chaturti, where it is one of the major festivals. We eat kozhakattai, decorate our homes, visit temples, visit each others' houses and do a whole lot more than what is shown here. That might depict a more complete picture of the way we celebrate festivals in India.

Posted by Uma September 7, 09 08:19 PM

OMG! They are so beautifull!!

Posted by Miss India September 7, 09 09:32 PM

Nice pictures. I somehow feel the urge to clarify the misconceptions of certain commentators.I know its pointless but nevertheless. Hindu's do not prey to Cows. Cows are considered sacred due to the association with Lord Krishna. Self-Mutilation is not a trademark "Hindu Ritual". Christians have it and so do Muslims. The piercings are far less gory than flaying or nailing.

The culture shock that many who visit take back is actually how a country with such diversity is moving forward without shunning the culture and religious beliefs. May it be Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Jew, Buddhism.

Posted by Manoj September 7, 09 10:12 PM

Mr. Stephen at @7,

You are right. From the name I take it that you are born in a christian family. But you might be an atheist. Talking abt cruel practices in Christianity might fall on your deaf ears. But lets talk abt you talking abt throwing living and breathing animals off the cliff.. Sounds cruel to you, huh?? Well, the chicken, pork, beef that you ppl so voraciously eat dont die voluntarily. They are chopped off for statisfying your pervert hunger. But I bet you dont care a damn while consuming them, its only when they are thrown off the cliff, does your sympathy take birth from within the deep layers of your otherwise wrethed heart

Posted by abhijeet September 7, 09 11:27 PM

Hey Jake, #30, settle down. It's just the high season of these religions. Go back in the archives of this sight to April and you'll see some beautiful Easter shots...and December...Christmas shots...same with Jewish high seasons. Relax as it takes a full year of holy days around the world to truly get a sense of how this sight responds to religions and their followers.
Be well my friend...oh, and say your prayers.

Posted by franknbeans September 7, 09 11:37 PM

^well said manoj

Posted by saurabh September 7, 09 11:40 PM

@ 4 - (Shoking Ideal Worship) - Do you even know the concept of Idol worship or you just have negative fixation to the term?

Posted by Abhijit Sahay September 7, 09 11:52 PM
Posted by Ismael September 7, 09 11:57 PM

"La religion c'est l'opium du peuple" Karl Marx

Posted by Alizé September 8, 09 12:22 AM

These are such beautiful images with so much to teach us - thank you for publishing them! I'm a mehndi/henna artist in Boston ( and a fellow artist all the way in Washington state saw these and shared the link! That is some really gorgeous henna being done in the photo here...

Posted by Heather September 8, 09 12:23 AM

great country, great people, great pictures.....

Posted by andresv September 8, 09 12:38 AM

I think a few of you need to take a step back and look at the picture in a broader sense. The body piercing, the sacrifices, and building of idols despite your opinion on their appropriateness are part of a culture that, like any other culture, has it's beauties and it's vices. In America, teenagers pierce every body part they can muster trying to one-up each others pain tolerances. That's a game to them. And instead of pushing your religious perspective on another culture and accusing them of "idol worshiping" perhaps your time would be better spent appreciating the intricacy of it's formation and writing it off as a piece of artwork. As for the picture of the sacrificial lamb, perhaps the beauty lies not in the sacrifice, but rather in the rescue. Every image, person, culture, life, and even death can become beauty when put into the proper perspective.

Posted by Voice of Reason September 8, 09 01:41 AM

Relly nice pics

Posted by Nirmal Murmu September 8, 09 01:42 AM

These are very nice pics....And yes we should not fight over religions, or the believers and Atheist...The fact is these all help us to understand the collective core or our self...!

Posted by zamir gori September 8, 09 01:47 AM

Чурки млять

Posted by AAAAA September 8, 09 02:48 AM

Alan!! mindblasting pictures (As Russel Peters says)

We Indians find god in all the living beings on this planet, because they all are created by that higher supreme power. We worship everything, started from animals, trees, rocks, water and food. We find god in everything that surrounds us.
I dont think there is something bad in that.

Welcome to India!!

Posted by Brahmin September 8, 09 02:55 AM

Amazing pictures... Really wonderful... Thanks..

Posted by Ruble September 8, 09 03:07 AM

They all like they are having fun. More power to them. I have never read about a Hindu trying to blow up a plane, punishing a woman for reading a book/ wearing trousers or going on a crusade and killing thousands for their beliefs. If throwing a sheep down a mountain is the worst they do, I am all for it.
Besides, there probably is not god, so make your own choices and enjoy your own life. ;)

Posted by Andy September 8, 09 03:20 AM

I am a hindu and i dont see anything wrong when one prays before Jesus statue. Even I have given bow to Jesus with respect. I believe in Allah. I visit mosques regulerly and i believe in all those clay gods and cows.
there is nothing wrong if one has faith. People who are criticising here dont know this golden feeling of being safe in gods hands. Whoever wants to feel this just go to any church , mosque or a temple and sit clam for 5 mins. u will definetly feel the sefty if you want to believe. otherwise no issues. u can still live here. But try to respect others feelings. god bless u.

Posted by kiran patil September 8, 09 03:30 AM

@ #30

Haha, go back to watching FOX News...

Posted by Sytrus September 8, 09 04:06 AM

Lovely pictures again!! Was expecting to see some masked worshipers (what with the swine flu scare in Mumbai, etc) but these weren't disappointing either. Wonderful captures.
I agree with Franknbeans - this is the BostonGlobe, the "globe" not restricted to somebody's backyard.

Posted by Ranjit Arvind September 8, 09 04:13 AM

As i see from comments, some images can be shocking for western-minded people. But so-called civilisation knows nothing about inner space of these people and their religion. Dont judge them and their gods.

Posted by Denis September 8, 09 04:15 AM


I guess you guys are being judgmental, although not asked by anyone.
Religion is not defined by lord and tangible by idol it's self government.

Posted by rebel September 8, 09 04:53 AM

beauty is rare in India..!! not a single good looking face.

Posted by arif September 8, 09 05:02 AM

comme elles sont belles ces photos, j'ai envie d'y aller...en Inde!

Posted by lory September 8, 09 05:32 AM

very well said manoj...its amazing how few people turn out to be so judgmental and conveniently forget practices like flailing and nailing in their own religions. Its also baffling how the same people who indiscriminately eat all kinds of animals suddenly develop this undying sympathy for animals when they see an animal being thrown off the cliff and being retrieved hale and hearty. Alan could you please do a photo series on abattoirs in USA to show how cows are slaughtered to create the love beef patties. Its even more baffling when people complain that they are seeing too much of other cultures. No wonder people like these sow the seeds for hatred, discord and the ultimate World War IV. Bring it on !!

Posted by rahul sood September 8, 09 06:06 AM

I don't feel good about the "support diversity" argument, mentioned here multiple times by multiple readers. I realize that diversity matters, but I don't think that religion is the best type of diversity we can employ (as well as sustain).

How about being diverse in the types of problems that we're tackling? How about being diverse in the ways in which we help civilization develop? How about being diverse in the languages we speak?

For example, let's look at comment #25
Wow, I'm not a so-called "idol-worshipper", but I cannot believe that people like you have such a closed and arrogant mind.

One day, you'll reach a different level (of humanity, let alone spirituality) and you'll wish you could take these words back.

Why would the original poster have a closed and arrogant mind? Because he thinks that religion is redundant and is being direct in expressing his idea? Just because it contradicts your views, it doesn't mean it is wrong.

The appeal to "spirituality" is not helping at all - it only shifts the blame on one's inability to move to a "different level"; what kind of a level? Can you describe accurately how to reach that level and how to verify whether someone is at that level? Do you have a reliable way to _prove_ that you are at the right level of spirituality, other than assuring us that it is so? (to get a better idea of what I am saying, read about 'qualia')

I think people today should be more exposed to the modus operandi of the scientific method - that would be a step towards a truly open mind.

Discussions about religions are no different from discussions about who is going to win the Terminator vs Robocop epic struggle; the only distinction is that in one case everyone acknowledges they're dealing with fiction.

Posted by Alex the Neobrumian September 8, 09 06:14 AM

The pictures 2 and 3 are very good i took me directly to bombay

great pictures and wonderful collections

Posted by balaji September 8, 09 06:40 AM

Wonderful as it always. Bravo big picture. We live in such a diverse and beautiful world.

Let us not set what is right or wrong, just enjoy the beauty.

Posted by Sreee September 8, 09 06:58 AM

#8, thanks for this answer, you made my day!

Posted by JMora September 8, 09 07:06 AM

Barath Matha ki Jai....

Posted by ramuks September 8, 09 07:56 AM

Phenomenal photographs. Thank you!
Seems religion will always be a fighting point.
Ironic isn't it...

Posted by Stuart - South Africa September 8, 09 08:15 AM

The pictures are very nice indeed. But picture no 8 is not Ganesha. Its the Kumari- Living Goddess of Nepal, housed in a Hanuman Dhoka. I hope the others are authentically tagged.

Posted by Sarmishtha Ghosh September 8, 09 08:49 AM

Some traditions are universal and know no borders.

I am from Catalonia, a small country in the Western coast of the Mediterranean, part of Spain. I belong to a group of Castellers, a very Catalan tradition which is very popular. I propose you an exercise: please have a look again at pictures #18 to #20, and then check these ones:

If you are curious and want to see more, you can visit my web, but please bear in mind that I'm not a professional photographer and therefore the pics are not as good as the ones shown here.

Posted by Tirs Abril September 8, 09 08:56 AM

Awesome pictures, especially #8

And my girlfriend got one of those tattoos (#15) as well. You can't believe how fast they do that.

Posted by Dezorian September 8, 09 09:52 AM

the western world doesnt know how to party like this

Posted by hilton lohan September 8, 09 09:58 AM

La religion...opium du peuple...tout à fait vrai......mais c'est aussi un remède contre la désespérance.

Posted by seanco September 8, 09 10:47 AM

religious fanatics by any name that pray to any god(s) are a problem... to pierce your face like the fanatic did with the large needle is simply insanity. What god would demand you endure pain like that?

Posted by Buhati September 8, 09 11:43 AM

It very much makes me happy to see a region and culture that still follows its TRADITIONAL, aboriginal faith and customs.

Beautiful photos, and any traditional customs are, IMO, a beautiful thing.

Posted by Ulfsark September 8, 09 12:16 PM

Vibrant pictures for sure.

Posted by Anonymous September 8, 09 12:45 PM

Very nice pictures, makes me want to visit one day.

Posted by LifeIsDeath September 8, 09 01:11 PM

Very interesting pictures - I can only wish for fewer occurrences of the word 'Hindu' in the captions.

I agree that Ganesha is a Hindu god, however, the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi is done across the country. Being Hindu myself, I proudly share in Iftaar parties with Muslim friends and sweets on Christmas.

Posted by CW September 8, 09 01:17 PM

These are just another section of people who believe in something as God and do something which they follow. We are ultimately no one to criticize their beliefs and followings.

That said, the collection is pretty good.

Posted by Vaidy September 8, 09 01:20 PM

Wow...These people are so lost.

Posted by Vlad September 8, 09 01:23 PM

Anyone else think #32 is kinda creepy?

Posted by Alex Costa September 8, 09 01:36 PM

as someone who is involved with various piercings... sure, it hurts, but it isn't as bad as some of you make it out to be. Breaking a bone or tearing a ligament in a sporting event is much more painful. And my personal opinion is that inflicting pain in reverence to a god is much more meaningful than inflicting pain to win a game.

I really enjoy seeing the different people that inhabit our planet. thank you for showing them to us.

Posted by abigsliceofpie September 8, 09 01:38 PM

The pictures are beautiful. For those who may have uncharitable comments to say, please know that unless you take the time to understand culture you will never be able to appreciate the symbolism behind peoples seemingly strange actions.

While we may all disagree - we have to learn to respect diversity. Yes, I agree , live sacrifice like chucking animals in volcanos etc is really going too far - but thats not the norm - its the exception.

Most Hindus are vegetarians so Animal sacrifice and things like that are repugnant to them. To just pass judgements is not the right thing to do
remember the American group EN VOGUE
"Free your mind .... and the Rest will follow ..."
P E A C E to one and all

Posted by Nadir H Karanjia September 8, 09 01:42 PM

Wonderful, vivid pictures that really take your mind to a different world!

I do agree with some of the above comments that religion can be a little scary when you see mass indoctrinations that shape people's values and orientations... I can't help but think of the new watch-word for critics of Religion: Kool-Aid!

Posted by Sebastian K. September 8, 09 02:15 PM

These are some very beautiful pictures.It is just amazing to see the number of people who are connected together by the belief in the idol,even if it is commercial to a certain extent and also maybe a bit of lack of education but you still do bow your head with respect and faith,that I believe is the essence of the practice of idol worship.If you can bow down to the earth you are humble:)

Posted by rachna September 8, 09 02:31 PM

Wow, this is awesome. I have never seen this festival being celebrated even though I am an Indian, myself. LOL. This is so cool. I wish I were there. I love the pics where the womena are getting their hands painted by henna, and the one in which the ladies dancing in beautiful red saris.

Posted by Avneet Deo September 8, 09 02:52 PM

I would like to echo the comments of #11 & #44, among others: Beautiful world, beautiful people, beautiful country. Many, many ways to seek and see our creator. Please God bless us all and please forgive us.

Posted by Chris September 8, 09 02:55 PM
85. is rare in India..!! not a single good looking face.

From your seems Pakistani.
Educate your self, India has won more beauty contest and Pak has none. LOL !
This is Holy festival not a beauty contest.

Posted by A.Shah September 8, 09 03:14 PM

These are snapshots
Instants in time

Snapshots are appreciated

Posted by Teresa September 8, 09 03:27 PM

It is amazing the diversity of the beliefs of our world. It also amazes me at the ignorance of the peoplpe that belive their way of thinking and beliveing is the only correct one. To question the beliefs of one group or another, seems a bit pretentious to me. Especially when no one religion can actually prove the existence of any of their chosen deities.

The core beliefs of almost every religion, and indeed the main religions, is the respect of life, to do unto others as you would be treated (the Golden Rule). While there are fanatics of all walks of religions, that pervert their beliefs to fit their own ends, this is one rule is relatively true. Religion is the one of the few things that keep overall society from falling dreadly off the cliff into anarchy, lawlessness, decay, misery, and disaster. Without religion, the world may be a cruel, dark world that we might not be able to fathom.

Death comes to us all. The more important part is how you spend the time the you have been given, what impact you imprint on the world around you.

Posted by Flogging Murphy September 8, 09 04:16 PM

@arif(57) "not a single good looking face" - see pic #16. This blog is always sure to include at least one!

Posted by ech September 8, 09 04:28 PM

Amazing pictures.

They should've shown pics from USA too where this festival was celebrated in several parts of the country.

There is a considerable number of hindu temples in USA as of today.

Posted by Sanket September 8, 09 04:46 PM

Fotografias lindíssimas!

Seja o ritual Hindú, Mulçumano, Cristão, Indígena ou o que for, sempre rende curiosidade, espanto e belíssimas imagens. Louvada seja a diversidade, independente do fator religião.

Posted by Dijáz Irini September 8, 09 05:20 PM

beautiful images!

Posted by ancelis September 8, 09 05:41 PM

India is so colorful!!! I'd love to see this festival someday!

Posted by hendrixharlow September 8, 09 05:52 PM

The depiction of Jesus on a cross and the statue of Mary with open arms are no less "idols" than a statue of Ganesh. Think before you comment. Who's "blind" now? Do the world a favor and open your mind or else your kids will be as ignorant as you.

Posted by MM September 8, 09 05:57 PM

Hindus and Muslims don't get along. Two different religions. Hindus don't kill people if the don't convert.

Posted by ???? September 8, 09 05:59 PM

Thought you would enjoy....Bharat India. Enjoy!!!

Posted by sal September 8, 09 06:48 PM

For those of you in Boston, the Museum of Science is currently showing "Mystic India" at the Omni IMAX theater. It's a wonderful film that shows many of these celebrations, and it is breathtaking in the Imax format.

Posted by DME September 8, 09 07:50 PM



Posted by SARA September 8, 09 08:13 PM

Here are some images from Venice Beach CA that are similar to those from pic 31 - Here known as the "Festival of the Chariots"

Posted by bh September 8, 09 08:36 PM

Just a simple checklist for you...
(a) Is your God omnipresent, omniscient and eternal? (b) Is your God ever present in every molecule of this universe or localized to a place called heaven? (c) Is your God present in the earth, the wind, the water, the ether?If your answer to any of the above is 'no', your god is limited.
(d) Is your God, by association, present in the 'idols'?
If your answer to (d) is 'no', you are in denial.
Seeing God in idols, humans and any life-form, including cows is a natural outcome of your belief. Hope this clarifies the unity that Hindus see across the entire creation.

Posted by Mks September 8, 09 08:59 PM

India is probably the only place where Jews were not persecuted because they chose to believe something else.... India is the only place where muslim rulers ruled over Hindus for thousand years and still saved their religion.... India is a land of 1 Billion people with a lot of history theres space for every kind of belief...I am not worried when people pray to idols... but I worry when they paint idols with toxics and immerse them in fresh water.... I am worried when rowdies masquerading as devotees coerce donations for their festivals and other infringement of rights...

Posted by srinath September 8, 09 09:05 PM

"religious fanatics by any name that pray to any god(s) are a problem... to pierce your face like the fanatic did with the large needle is simply insanity. What god would demand you endure pain like that?"


No. Insanity is eating meat that's raised in the most appalling conditions in CAFOs where animals stand in their sh*t, are fed corn and soybeans - unnatural diet - to fatten them up, and are given antibiotics and hormones. Insanity is labeling such a system as progress and civilization and doing nothing about it.

Insanity is coming up with the idea to feed dead, pulverized animals to cows - and executing it - because it would save some money and increase profits.

Insanity is coming up with all kinds of chemical + sugar concoctions in shiny plastic bottles which generate waste, putting out multi-million dollar ads for the faithful around the globe and to get more people included in the blind faith and into drinking sugar water which causes obesity, and labeling it as "being cool", when simple water fulfills the same need.

Insanity is when getting sh*t-faced ("Woo hoo!!") every weekend and puking on the streets outside a bar is a religious rite of passage, to be celebrated and promoted.

I could go on, but you should get the idea, sitting on your high horse.

Posted by bostondude September 8, 09 10:51 PM

No matter what background, religiously or culturally, there is no limit to human stupidity.

Posted by Shahbol September 9, 09 12:34 AM

wish you

Posted by Vinay Upadhyay September 9, 09 01:19 AM

Abhin said, "I don't think the beauty of these pictures comes from the fact that a whole lot of people believe in an invisible person in the sky but from the fact that a belief in this man brings them all together and makes them feel linked to one another."

I feel it should be pointed out that Hinduism has something in the order of a million or so gods, devas, and avatars, and that people in different parts of the country (and wider world) worship different ones in different ways. Though having said that, perhaps it's even more impressive that a religion with so many disparate parts can still bring so many people together under one (very large) roof.

Posted by Matt September 9, 09 02:58 AM

Jake (post #30): So far this year we've had five religious-themed photo sets - two Christian, two Hindu, and one Muslim. So, instead of marching off in a huff over perceived bias, why not use the simple search feature at the top of the page? After that, you might also consider thinking about why you're so quick to jump to unfounded conclusions.

Posted by Matt September 9, 09 03:05 AM

Andy said, "I have never read about a Hindu trying to blow up a plane, punishing a woman for reading a book/ wearing trousers or going on a crusade and killing thousands for their beliefs."

Then you need to look harder and take off the rose-colored glasses. Regrettably, Hindus are indeed represented in acts such as this, e.g. the Malegaon bombings and other attacks on Muslims, women getting beaten up in the street by Hindu men for going out to have a drink in a bar, etc. etc.

Posted by Matt September 9, 09 03:16 AM

See how colorful we some foolish people even try to think that they can make our life "Black & White"..

Posted by Trina September 9, 09 05:17 AM

Nice nice nice pics.. incredible!

Posted by gruncho September 9, 09 11:11 AM

I know.......I was there....

Posted by Mukul September 9, 09 11:23 AM

awesome only

Posted by sawan September 9, 09 11:49 AM

they made it and then worshiped it? creepy! :)

I love the colors of the photos, I dream of visiting India one day.. a culture-rich country.

Posted by someone September 9, 09 11:55 AM

Hindu festivals are so much colorful, full of faith and enthusiasm.
But the material of idols for immersion should be biodegradable with organic colors so that water is not polluted. Social awareness needs to be enhanced to save the precious element of nature

Posted by Rekha Rao September 9, 09 12:29 PM

People relax! Enjoy the beauty of the pictures. As for India and its religions, we don't try to judge others till they cause us any major problems. Atleast most Indians. That is the reason we can still live with each other happily. There are many in India (belonging to all religions) who do all despicable acts, but thankfully we are still much more in number. Remember this is the only country that has survived quite well inspite of so much diversity and differences, and that too in a region where no democracy has survived. The pictures here depict only a little bit of India, its much much more than this (obviously the aim here was not to show off India!).

Posted by Nishant September 9, 09 02:19 PM

It always amazes me that people feel the need to go out of their way to denigrate someone else's way of life. If you're a Christian or an atheist and you don't experience as Hindus experience, what drives you to come to this site then and look at these photos? Why the need to put them down? Why not just ignore it? It's not as if the people in these photos or these photos themselves are in some way belittling you or your beliefs. And if you think they are, then that says more about your own insecurities about your "certainty about what is the truth" than anything else.

As a Hindu, I don't identify with Western atheism or with the three Semitic religions of the middle east, but I don't feel the need to go to sites merely showing photos of their beautiful celebrations and act like an uptight killjoy and ruin the fun/beliefs of others. Are your Gods or lack of Gods that insecure and jealous of someone else's Gods?

As for commenter #60, these lines can be found in the Hindu Rig Veda:

"Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it? Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation? The gods came afterwards, with the creation of the universe. Who then knows whence it has arisen?

Whence this creation has arisen - perhaps it has formed itself, or perhaps it did not - the one who looks down on it, in the highest heaven, only he knows - or perhaps he does not know."

In addition to this skepticism, nastik or "atheist" viewpoints have been part of important Hindu schools of philosophy. Nastik Hindus are still considered Hindu, so you see we've all the angles covered:)

"Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudha Vadanti": The truth is one, the sages call it by different names.

So one can arrive at the truth - whatever that is - via God, via no God, via "intellectual, scholarly" religion such as just reading the Vedas or the scriptures of any religion or via the ordinary, everyday rituals that people take comfort in and that make life that much more colourful and enjoyable for the most part. Traditions often have to change with the times, and should change when necessary. Religious customs also vary according to where they are taking place, so there are differences between what Indonesian Hindus and Indian Hindus do, although there are also many similarities.

This would be a very dour, sour world without all the diversity we have in it.

Posted by K.S. September 9, 09 04:30 PM

Please people for the love of god... Understand why a cow is sacred to Hindus.

To my humble knowledge,

1) No where in the Hindu "holy books" does it "explicitly" state that cow meat should not be consumed or that cows should be worshiped.

2) Before the advent of modern farming techniques, cows were used to till the land. Cow's milk provided milk, and from it, all its derivatives (butter, cheese, yogurt.....).

3)It provided the much needed sustenance, that your entire family could depend on.

4) A cow is considered holy because of what it is. A provider of life.

5) Also, in the Hindu mythology, the cow plays an important role in the story of Krishna, and this gives it some more "holiness".

6) And, So we "chose" not to eat cow meat. And Over the centuries that became a custom.

Posted by Raj September 9, 09 04:54 PM

@114 Excellent summarization of the core principles of Hinduism.

Hinduism does not punish you for asking questions. It is believed that knowledge is the ultimate goal. Hinduism never says do this or do that, or else burn in hell for all eternity. It gives you choice to do as you wish, at the same time suggests that you are responsible for your actions or "Karma". This is the core principle.

I believe Hinduism is a very mature religion. It gives you freedom to think and question any thing that you find is not reasonable or fair. The Hindu mythology are a collection of several stories. No one is required to believe they are true. Instead readers are urged to find the moral in that story.

Hinduism as I see it is more a way of life than a religion. Because there are no rules. There are only suggestions. You can choose to follow them or not.

And I believe, the reason why "most" Indians are tolerant and knowledgeable about other religions is because we live in a truly integrated society. Indians celebrate all major festivals, and in turn learn about its customs and traditions from our friends. I am truly blessed to have grown up in such I society where I was allowed to experience all this variety, and from it choose the best of what I believed were the good and reject the bad.

Posted by Raj September 9, 09 05:15 PM

I agree with #7

Posted by Bark September 9, 09 05:31 PM

Nice pictures.
Comment #24 is the best comment in this whole lot of noise and clamor

Posted by Nandan September 9, 09 05:46 PM

Hinduism is the only major religion in the world that does not claim to be the only true religion.

Hinduism is uniquely a religion without fundamentals. We have, after all, an extraordinary diversity of religious practices within Hinduism which have no single sacred book but many. Hinduism is, in many ways, predicated on the idea that the eternal wisdom of the ages and of divinity cannot be confined to a single sacred book and we have no compulsory injunctions or obligations. We don't even have a Hindu Sunday, let alone an injunction to pray at specific times and frequencies.

I'm Proud to Be a Hindu

Posted by swagat September 9, 09 09:48 PM

Hey all,

Beautiful pictures, as always. 9, 25, and 30 especially resonate with me. The colors and movement of these festivals make for some amazing shots.

Anyways, I've been reading this photoblog for quite a while and it inspired me and one of my close friends to start our own. We're both seniors in high school and both have been doing amateur photography for quite a while. We both travelled to Fiji this summer so many of the pictures are from there. I know everyone in this community shares a love for photography and hope some of you will check us out.

I realize the URL may be deemed irrelevant but I assure the moderators I'm posting with no ill intent, I just want to share our pictures :)

The URL is:

Thanks, I hope some of you take the time to have a look :)

Posted by Walter Gordon September 10, 09 12:54 AM

i love da guy in da yellow dip, dats my hubby

Posted by amira September 10, 09 08:30 AM

Ganpati Bappa Morya, Pudhachya warshi lavkar ya.

Posted by Sameer September 10, 09 09:23 AM

To all the people who detest a few of the pictures I humbly suggest you to expand your thinking,
You seem to be going thru the "Frog in the well" phase.
You may be right in pointing out a few things like piercing and other stuff ..
But if something good comes out of it .. without inflicting pain to others.. I don't anything is wrong in it. :)

Posted by Rajesh September 10, 09 09:28 AM

Hindu civilisation is the oldest in the world dating back to thousands of years.Christianity and Muslims came much later.Who ever is born in this world is first a Hindu and then converted to christanity thro baptism and Muslims thro circumcision.As Hindu religion is much older it has passed on the beliefs which are true and diverse in nature.Hindus have three Gods which are supreme Brahma,Vishnu and Mahesh.All the three Gods have left their footprints on the sands of time.There are evidences which prove that they are still there.Hindus also believe in the five elements earth,wind,water,sky and the sun.Therefore you see the diversity and the idol worship of the gods.It is easy for the non believer to downgrade Hinduism but the Hindus have given to this world because of their religion and beliefs YOGA,AYURVEDA,taught Mathematics and gave ZERO to this world,most intelligent race by giving brilliant DOCTORS,ENGINEERS
and Mathamaticians.DO I Have to say more ???I can write pages on contribution by Hindus to this world


Posted by Y.Ashar September 10, 09 11:01 AM

Wow, remarkable that a posting of these beautiful photos of devotion and spiritual celebration can turn into an inane debate of the virtues and evils of various religious beliefs. Apparently, for some ignorance is god.

Posted by David September 10, 09 12:14 PM

A Hindu can worship any God irrespective of religion. The scriptures say that "like rain falling anywhere ultimately reaches the sea, whoever you worship will eventually reach the ultimate God". But for Christianity liberation will be obtained only for those who believe in the "only God". Hinduism should not be measured seeing one fanatic piercing his body for suffering. Hindus do not count Christianity by watching these pictures. Just go out and enjoy the heterogeneous world. Any religion is OK, as long as it does not disturb the peace of the society. And try not to judge others with a narrow minded view. See an article here, narrow mindedness can have no limits.

Posted by Treelover September 10, 09 12:17 PM

if religion is the opium for the masses, then fundamentalists, evidenced by some of the comments above, are on crack

p.s. hinduism is so universal and encompassing that even an atheistic philosophical school of thought - charvaka - finds space within the religion.

Posted by epicurean September 10, 09 12:58 PM

Yup, idol worship is stupid. But believing that god and his off spring jesus will come back to earth and resurrect every last Christian who died over the last two thousand years and take them to heaven, is worthy of mensa membership.

p.s. i never understood why bowing before jesus' statue is not idol worship?

Posted by epicurean September 10, 09 01:07 PM

Fantastic pictures as always. 31 is so eerily real that I thought it was for a moment!

Posted by Dave September 10, 09 05:30 PM

I am from India,i we welcome your comments but please study our culture first.

Posted by Raju Tyagi September 10, 09 05:40 PM

"Live simply so that others may simply live." -M.K. Gandhi

Posted by Bapu September 10, 09 07:38 PM

relegion is a great comfort.But that doesnt make it true.

Posted by mohsin September 10, 09 10:51 PM

good photo

Posted by shital.lende September 11, 09 04:01 AM

As far as worshiping idols goes. Isn't the point that you don't worship things besides god? I am sure all these idols are not what the people are praying to, but the symbolism that they represent. This is the same as having pictures of the saints in churches, or praying under statues of Jesus on the cross. I believe in one god, but it is my belief. I will not try to force anyone against their will to change what they believe.

Great pictures, and wonderful blog.

Posted by Josh September 11, 09 09:08 AM

I am proud to be a ancestors were brought from India in 1845 to the Caribbean and although so much time has passed, and so many attempts have been made to convert us Hindus have, as always, persevered even here so far away from India. To those who live in glass houses its not a remarkably bright idea to throw stones. All religions have symbols, all religions seek an image of God that looks like us,all religions have fanatics, all religious have festivals. Most importantly for me though , whilst other religions have at one time or the other sought to convert others to their side of the fence, Hinduism has never done this and has survived for so long. The pictures were great , its that simple.

Posted by Nancy September 11, 09 01:14 PM

Thanks for the lovely collection of photos. Bringing these images to those who find them startling is a great way to crack open a few shells.

Posted by Carolynne September 11, 09 03:38 PM

Great Photography, Pictures very interesting and informative.
I believe that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and religion,whatever it might be? It is their right and we should not interfere.
Over my 70 plus years, living in Canada, I have watched as Canada has become a very multi-cultural society, with people from all over the world moving here. To me, the main thing that matters is, that we all get along together, "AND LIVE IN PEACE", as human beings to make Canada and the world as a whole, a better place to live in.

Posted by e.s..Ontario, Canada September 11, 09 04:01 PM

The Hindu gods and mini gods are no different than Catholic Saints, they basically believe in one God, but different manifestations...sort of like the many Jewish names for God, the various Catholic Saints for special causes, it's no different...but a lot more colorful. As for the sheep, in the old testament animals were sacrificed all the time. I do not agree with it but at least this one was rescued. I'd like to be Hindu but my husband says I cannot becuase you have to be born Hindu, is that true?

Posted by yellowfang September 12, 09 02:12 PM

We are all One and we learn what it is to be human through each other. These beautiful pictures convey some of the tremendous energy and diversity of expression of joy and gratitude to the unseen forces that hold sway in the universe. Communion with the Absolute takes so many forms, colored by the land, the climate, and the culture of each people, but coming from the same impulse to give worship. These religious rituals are some of the great wonders in this world. Thank you for sharing them.

Posted by BCrane September 12, 09 03:43 PM


Posted by Ana Lúcia September 13, 09 04:37 PM

i'm speechless.. & ofcourse proud to be an indian ..

Posted by ashish sompura September 14, 09 05:51 AM

Beauty of the picture is in eyes of beholder !
These are the amazing pictures and photographer is very good ! every shots is fabulous !
That's the Real India !

Posted by kailash September 14, 09 07:04 AM

wonder full
says a ganesha addicted woman

Posted by foto-h September 15, 09 04:11 AM


Posted by Anderson Zeg September 15, 09 01:28 PM

wonderful pictures.. people nned to visit india to understand indians..

God bless all.. Bhadresh. kenya.

Posted by Bhadresh Shah, September 15, 09 03:46 PM

thank you for correcting the mistake pointed out by me in picture no 8.

Posted by dr sanjeeb September 16, 09 12:49 PM

Small typo in #24: the god's name is Bhairav.

Beautiful pictures.

Posted by DN September 16, 09 03:38 PM

Out of all of those, I love that you told the story behind the last two photos. Worshipers "sacrifice" their animals to a volcano every year... and practical minded locals have dinner and livestock the next day. Awesome.

Posted by Isha September 18, 09 04:27 PM



Posted by PARVEEN SHARMA September 19, 09 08:55 AM

Ah my view of Ganesh as I imagine (

The best part is that India has so much to give to the world, especially to the west.

Posted by Pranav September 19, 09 08:57 AM

6.5+ billion people on this small planet now, 9 billion by 2050. After looking at all of this, is it hard to see how over crowed we are? Chant the matra: "Too Many People."

Posted by Karl Toth September 19, 09 02:30 PM

And these pictures are only like 10% of festivals. The biggest like Diwali, Holi are not represented here. So are sothern India festivals like Onum or Punjabi lohri.

Posted by Rajeev September 20, 09 06:03 PM

i am humbled and amazed by these beautiful photographs. thank you.

Posted by doghed September 21, 09 07:49 PM

nice snaps

Posted by Megha September 22, 09 05:27 AM

This is so wonderful to see people celebrate. instead of fighting and
hurting inncent people.

It was mesmarizing to see all the events and goodness happiness on
people's faces.

Posted by sara usa September 22, 09 06:36 PM

SIr u r great..... excellent composition.

Posted by amit misal September 24, 09 01:11 AM


Posted by akash September 24, 09 04:08 AM

nice cultuer

Posted by Ali Al-Modayan -State Of Kuwait September 24, 09 11:35 PM

Oh my goodness, what a beautiful pics.

Posted by Maroon September 25, 09 04:18 AM

WOW - India n Hindus embrace all faiths which reflects in these colors, enthusiasm, celebrations and joyfulness. No wonder, Hindu's are able to enjoy all festival with so much gusto. I love my India !

Posted by emokshaa September 27, 09 07:53 AM

There's enough picture here from Nepal and some Indonesia as well... not only India.
Great shots.

Posted by Shubbha September 29, 09 07:21 PM

Breath taking collection

Posted by Murali Alagar September 30, 09 02:54 AM

Some of finest pictures of real India and its festivities.

Posted by Sham October 2, 09 08:57 AM


Posted by JAYANT PATEL October 8, 09 09:23 PM

THE GREAT HINDOO NATION WHERE VARIETY AND BELIEF IN GOD EXIST IN ALL HINDOOS IN INDIA AND ELSEWHERE WHERE INDIANS LIVE.It is not the rituals only it is one-ness of hindoos and will remain same as long as hindoos live.

Posted by PRAFUL K MAKWANA October 10, 09 10:16 AM

nice images

Posted by mithun narayana devanga December 8, 09 05:22 AM

#161 : ok, then what is your planned solution ? Poison everyone with deadly and fake vaccines (check : A/H1N1) ? Turn people into Serial Killers (check : Columbine & US's weapon addiction) ? Pollution of Air through Sulfur Dioxide (check : proposed climate change scenario) ? Satan Invocation (check : In progress) ? ... To sum it all : BRING ABOUT THE APOCALYPSE (Christian version; Kali Yuga for Hindus, Al-Dajjal for Muslims, ...) !!

Hopefully, for those of us that are still human, one can rejoice at the beautiful display of FAITH blooming in every country, of which those pictures are only a glimpse, and despites the current western world leader's desperate atheistic indoctrination ...

Posted by Revelation February 3, 10 10:32 AM

Very nice photographs. Picture #8 intrigued me and the caption inspired me to find out more about this. I found that there is a documentary called "Living Goddess" that is about these young girls that are worshiped. We know so much about other religions in the world but it seems that Hinduism confuses most people.

Posted by Me August 24, 10 06:00 PM

very nice..............

Posted by Anonymous September 8, 10 05:51 AM


Posted by L PRAMOD September 11, 10 08:58 AM

Well, I suppose since I've read the comments I should put in my two cents too. For the record, I'm fifteen, American, female, and have never been a member of any church of any kind, though I have been to Babtist, Catholic, and Presbetarian services, as well as to serivce in a Mosque. My mother is Catholic, my father is Jewish, my boyfriend is an atheist. This may fall on deaf ears- or blind eyes, I am typing here- because people disregard what they see on the internet as some quiet, shy, oppressed, and/or lonely person venting in ways they never would in life, but those who know me would testify that I speak openly when I don't need to walk on eggshells. Religion is mental. People who believe certain ways use that to get through their everyday lives, and usually follow what makes the most sense to them based on WHAT THEY ARE EXPOSED TO. Think of a map. What do you picture? If you grew up in America, you probably see North America center-left, Russia and Asia upper-right, Africa in the middle, and so on. North is up, South is down. But my geography teacher showed us a new map at the beginning of our Russia unit.
South was up, North was down. Murmers went through the class about how Mr. Parks must have flipped it for his slideshow, but then people started noticing that the words weren't up-side-down. By the end of that class, we accepted that the map was different, not wrong. That is what religion is: Different. Not wrong. If something you believe in your heart gets you through the day, then it is YOUR right. I like my maps North-side-up, but a map is still a map. Belief is still a belief in something, even if you believe nothing is out there. People are different. We come from different backgrounds and different experiences and we believe different things. We also accept different things. Some people will never accept "different" as an option, it always has to be right or wrong. Convincing them otherwise is often a pointless endevor, but hey, so is trying to tell a five year old that chocolate ISN'T the best flavor of ice cream, and it doesn't HAVE to come with rainbow sprinkles on top. You just sit back and lick your vanilla cone friend, I'll share my mint chocolate chip with you. (I swear, the first person to comment that they were/know a five year old who hates chocolate ice cream gets a virtual vanilla cone shoved in there face. You missed my metephor, and I was gettin' deep, too.)
There. Now that I've posted a comment too long for most people to read, I'll get off my righteous soap box. (If you care: I'm "unitheistic"- my own word. "I believe in all gods." Have you ever talked to two people about a third person, and the opinions contradict each other? Same thing. Religion is different views of the same person(s). I thought I was agnostic for a while, then atheist, then I realized "No, there has to be someone or something in charge; They/It gets bored every once in a while and decides to mess with us. [Or it's a "test of faith". Call it what you will, I still think whoevers in chaarge isn't THAT high and mighty, per se.)

Oh, and Brahmin, commentor 49, I think: Nice

Posted by Hush World, Listen January 19, 11 09:46 PM
  • Pin It
  • E-mail
  • E-mail this article

    Invalid E-mail address
    Invalid E-mail address

    Sending your article

    Your article has been sent.