A Hindu prays in a holy pond on the auspicious day of Mahalaya in Mumbai. Hindus offer prayers with holy water after taking a dip in the river to honour the souls of their departed ancestors during Mahalaya, which is also called Shraadh or Pitra Paksha
A man gestures to attract alms from devotees at the Kamakhya Hindu temple during the Ambubasi festival in Gauhati, India. The annual festival where hundreds of holy men from an esoteric form of Hinduism gather to perform rituals ends on Thursday.
Erik De Castro/Reuters
A man whips a devotee during a Maundy Thursday ritual by penitents to atone for sins in Angeles, Pampanga north of Manila. Flagellation is a form of religious discipline observed every lenten season by Catholic devotees in the Philippines
A Hindu devotee’s tongue is pierced before making his way towards the Hill Top Murugan temple during the colourful annual Thaipusam festival, one of the world’s most extreme displays of religious devotion, in Georgetown on the Malaysian island of Penang.
A Nepalese Hindu devotee, dressed as a deity, prepares to participate in festivities at the Shikali Temple during celebrations for the Shikali Jatra festival in the village of Khokana, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, on Thursday
A truck carries a Sri Lankan Hindu devotee hanging from iron hooks pierced into his back for a ritual during a Hindu temple festival in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Friday.
Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP
A Hindu holy man watches devotees at Sangam, in Allahabad, India. Allahabad, on the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswathi, is one of the religion’s important centers.
A Hindu devotee gets her tongue pierced with a trident as she takes part in an annual religious procession called Shitla Mata in Ahmedabad, India.
An Indian Hindu devotee dressed as a monkey takes part in a procession outside the Hanuman temple in New Delhi. It is the birthday of Hanuman Jayanti, the the Hindu monkey-god. Hanuman, known for his strength, is worshipped for his unyielding devotion to Lord Rama and is remembered for his selfless dedication to the deity.