Hindus tantric fertility festival going on

As the monsoon clouds roll into the northeastern part of India, devotees to a fierce Indian goddess line up to celebrate the annual fertility festival, where hundreds of holy men gather to perform tantric rituals at the Kamakhya temple in Gauhati in the state of Assam.

The four-day festival which began on June 22 is called the Ambubachi or Ambubasi fair where followers pray to a phallic-shaped stone and celebrate the menstrual cycle of the Hindu goddess Kali.

In the picture above, a woman posed with two children dressed as Hindu gods Shiva and the girl dressed like Shiva’s wife, Parvati, who is believed to be an avatar of the goddess at whose alter worshipers gather. Legends associated with the fair include the husband-and-wife Hindu gods Shiva and Parvati.

The temple where the statues of the goddess are housed remains closed during the festival but believers gather in and around the 16th century temple to offer prayers.

In the picture above, a boy dressed like the Hindu god Shiva stood to attract alms as holy men sitting behind him smoked marijuana. The fair attracts hundreds of recluses, mostly holy men who come to meditate, smoke, sing, dance and pray in celebration.

In the picture above, a Hindu holy woman sat in front of plates of uncooked rice as they waited for the festival to begin on Sunday.

In the picture above, Hindu holy women meditated outside the closed doors of the temple amid statues covered in red vermilion dust.

Pictured above, an Indian man stood dressed like the female goddess Kali at the Kamakhya Hindu temple in Gauhati in the northeastern state of Assam.

The holy men who gather like to perform stunts, often standing on their heads or on one leg for hours.

In the picture above, an holy man used sandalwood paste on his forehead to draw out the third eye. The mystical mind’s eye Hindus believe provide insight into a higher consciousness.

In the picture above, a young devotee dressed up as the Hindu god Shiva.

In the picture above, a holy man smoked from a chillum or pipe on the grounds of the Kamakhya temple in Gauhati.

In the picture above,  a Hindu holy man, balanced a ball on his head as others watched at the Kamakhya temple in Gauhati.

Source: India Real Time