• Short Summary

    Every year in July thousands of Hindu pilgrims of Ceylon and many from Southern India converge on the holy place of Kathirkamam on the east coast of Ceylon to do penance at the shrine of Subramanya, Hindu God of valour and wisdom.

  • Description

    Every year in July thousands of Hindu pilgrims of Ceylon and many from Southern India converge on the holy place of Kathirkamam on the east coast of Ceylon to do penance at the shrine of Subramanya, Hindu God of valour and wisdom.

    The shrine of Subramanya is deep in a jungle. Pilgrims walk nearly 10 miles crossing mountain rivers to reach it and use the rivers for bathing.

    After nearly half a day's tracking through the jungles the pilgrims prepare for their penance. One of the commonest is piercing the body with sharp steel spears, three to six inches long.

    Rhythmic beats from the drums, sonorous chanting of holy verses, heavy scented incence fumes and above all faith in God make it so easy for the devotees to bear any number of spears in their bodies without batting an eyelid. No blood and no pain.

    From a central assembling place, the pilgrims make a dance-like procession to the shrine, with semi-circular "Kavadi" balanced on their shoulders. Kavadi is a palm leaf arch on a stout pole, decorated with flowers, and peacock feather.

    The pilgrimage is as much by women and sometimes children as the men. Though they carry the Kavadi they do not pierce their bodies with spears.

    The ritual of penance includes scorching the body by rolling on hot send or walking barefoot on hot charcoal.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA820WCC8O6I6E5ROKODNVJNANR
    Media URN:
    VLVA820WCC8O6I6E5ROKODNVJNANR
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    25/07/1959
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:52:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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