Hinduism In Tamil Nadu India

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A busy street scene unfolds at one of the colorful and elaborately carved main entrance gates of the Rock Fort temple in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India.
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Ramaw, 66 poses for a portrait at Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Tiruchirapalli, India. Being a Hindu priest, Ramaw wears on his forehead a tilak mark made from ash and turmeric to indicate his sectarian affiliation.
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Priests can often be found performing rituals for donations to visitors at Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, India.
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Laminated cards depicting various Hindu gods and statues are for sale at Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Tiruchirapalli, India.
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Prayer beads, small statues and various religious souvenirs are sold at one of the main entrance gates of the Rock Fort temple in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India.
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Built in 1010, the UNESCO World Heritage Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, India recently celebrated its 1000-year anniversary. The bulbous structure at the top, known as a kumbam, was carved from a single piece of granite and weighs about 80 tons.
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A woman whispers prayers into the ear of Nandi the bull at Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, India. Nandi is the mount of the god Shiva and temples venerating Shiva display stone images of a seated Nandi, generally facing the main shrine.
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Arumugam, 86 poses for a portrait at Pazhamudhir Cholai Temple near Madurai, India. Arumugam is a Hindu Sadhu, a wandering monk who is solely dedicated to achieve spiritual liberation through meditation. His face is covered in ash taken from a ritualistic fire ceremony.
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Visitors stroll past Hindu deities carved into a stone pillar smeared with turmeric infused ash inside Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, India.
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Visitors stop to pray facing a decorative flagstaff inside Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, India.
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A visitor descends the hand carved stairs of the Rock Fort temple in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India. Two of the three main shrines at the temple are dedicated to Ganesha, one of the best known and most widely worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon.
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A fortune-teller works with a small caged parrot and cards depicting the Meenakshi deity outside Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, India.
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Rangasree, 2 poses for a portrait at Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Tiruchirapalli, India. Her forehead and face are decorated with traditional Hindu bindi marks, which are believed to help retain energy, strengthen concentration, and protect against demons or bad luck.
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A mahout dismounts from his elephant at Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, India. Usually, a mahout starts working as a boy in the 'family profession' when he is assigned an elephant early in its life. They remain bonded to each other throughout their lives.
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A statue of Ganesha greets travelers at a bus stop in Madurai, India. Although he is known by many other attributes, Ganesha's elephant head makes him particularly easy to identify. Ganesha is widely revered as the remover of obstacles, patron of arts and sciences, and the deity of intellect and wisdom.
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Visitors rush past a carving on the floor depicting prostrating worshippers at Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Tiruchirapalli, India.
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A devout woman who recently shaved her head for a Hindu ceremony poses for a portrait at the Rock Fort temple in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India.
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A woman places flowers and oil lamps at a Hindu statue of Karuvur Devar inside Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, India.
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Four friends enjoy the evening at Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, India. The large tower in the background is known as a gopuram, a multi-storied structure covered with thousands of stone figures of animals, gods and demons all painted in bright hues.
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A young girl chastises her brother while their mother joins a meeting inside Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, India.
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A young girl poses for a portrait at Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, India.
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A Visitor whisper prayers into the ear of Nandi the bull at Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, India. Most often, the opposite facing ears of small Nandi statues are covered to prevent prayers from escaping.
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A Hindu priest administers alms at Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Tiruchirapalli, India.
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A Hindu statue is kept behind jail-like doors inside Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, India.
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Men pray in the evening inside Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, India.
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The Hindu god Nandi the bull, greets visitors outside Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, India.
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