|Photo © Mark Coughlan-All Rights Reserved|
Well, I'll be on my way to India in about 24 hours...and what better way to start the trip than by featuring Mark Coughlan's Maha Shivatri's photo gallery?!
A warning though...and perhaps in time of breakfast for my US-based readers. If you have no stomach for viewing ash-smeared sadhus with their testicles lifting piles of stones. look elsewhere. For instance, Mark's Portraits Of A Saint photo gallery, which is much tamer in comparison and consists of the sadhus' portraits. Not a testicle in sight there.
Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival celebrated every year in reverence of Lord Shiva, and in common with many Hindu religious festivals, sees pilgrims and devotees bathe at sunrise, preferably in the Ganges, and carry pots of water to the temples to bathe the Shiva "linga", and offer prayers to the sun, Vishnu and Shiva. Unmarried women pray for a husband like Shiva, considered to be the ideal husband.
Mark Coughlan is a documentary travel photographer specializing in global social issues and world events/festivals, who traveled diverse countries such as Myanmar (Burma), Mongolia, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, China, Cambodia and Bolivia amongst others. He photographed some of the world’s greatest festivals and events including two Maha Kumbh Mela festivals (India), Maha Shivaratri (India & Nepal), and Nadam (Mongolia).