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A Hindu holy man waves to attract tourists as he stands seeking alms at the Pashupatinath Hindu temple premises in Katmandu, Nepal. The Pashupatinath temple on the banks of the Bagmati River is one of the most revered temples of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of death and destruction.
Sixty-five-year old Indian widow Urmila Tiwari poses at the Meerasahabhagini Ashram in Vrindavan, some 135 kilometres south of New Delhi, ahead of International Women’s Day. Ms Tiwari has lived at the ashram for over a year and says, “I love to live here, among good people”. Banished by families who see them as a financial drain, or believe they bring bad fortune, desperately poor widows have for centuries travelled to the northern city of Vrindavan, where the Hindu god Krishna is said to have grown up, to pray and wait to die. The Meerasahabhagini Ashram run by the Sulabh International NGO offers a place where some of Vrindavans estimated 15,000 widows can live together, providing support and friendship that bind them into a community. International Women’s Day falls on Saturday Read more
Monks dressed as Tibetan Buddhist characters attend a religious ceremony, known as Da Gui, or beating ghost, to celebrate the Tibetan New Year which starts on March 1 at Yonghegong Lama Temple. The ceremony is held annually at the end of the first lunar month with mask dancing to expel ghosts
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.