13th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
A bath of pain

Manjal Neerattu is a ritual followed by the people of Chengannur, Kerala, at the Vandimala temple. After boiling water mixed with turmeric powder, they use palm leaves to whip their bodies with the concoction. The process is said to purify the mind and body. It’s beautiful – and messy.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 04.2014
Date Uploaded: 11.2015
Photo Location: Chengannur, India
Camera: NIKON D7000
Copyright: © Aashit Desai
Photo of the Day: 08.18.16
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