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Devotion |

The Bharani festival at the Kodungallur Bhagawati temple is one of the major festivals of Kerala. During this ritual, Vellichapads, (oracles of the goddess), dressed as the goddess and said to be possessed by her, run around the temple in a frenzied trance state, waving their sickle-shaped swords in the air while the members of their retinue offer reverence over the inner quadrangle of the temple. Many devotees repeatedly hit their foreheads with these sword or bamboo sticks until they start bleeding. They yell out lewd, bawdy, abusive cries at the goddess, which is said to please her. This is followed by a purification ceremony the next day. Photo by: udayansankarpal © 2020 All Rights Reserved by Photographer | Jul


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