The drums banged to a frenzied beat and the horns blew crazily as the noisy parade turned into our street. We stood spellbound by the sight before us. If you look closely at this set of photos you can see why we were so amazed. There were men with hooks through their backs pulling heavy carts behind them. Men swinging on trucks while hanging by hooks from the framework above. Finally a man a with a huge pitchfork piercing through both cheeks.
Theses amazing feats of bravery and mortification of the skin are all part of the Tamil Hindu festival of Thaipusam. During this ceremony the devotees show their devotion to the Tamil God of war, Murugan, by carrying different types of kavadi (burdens). The kavadi range from simple burdens such as carrying a heavy jar on your head right through to the severe kavadi demonstrated in my photos.
The kavadi is said to appease Murugan and avert any great mishaps from happening in the future. After witnessing these feats of devotion we were sure these men would be safe for years to come.