Tirumala temple barbers tonsure 20,000 pilgrims’ heads daily
They come in thousands to pray at one of India’s most popular
pilgrimage destinations at the town of Tirumala in the South Indian
Seshachalam Hills, Each year religious fervour is at a high point when
the Hindu pilgrims display their devotion to Sri Venkateswara, the deity
at this temple, by completely tonsuring their heads.
Originally the temple was a Tamil Holy site to Sri Venkateswara
identified as another incarnation of Lord Vishnu.Tonsuring one’s head is
a traditional ritual to show one’s love for the Gods and to wash away
one’s past and start anew. The hair is a symbolic offering of one’s
beauty and in return one expects blessings.
According to the scriptures, all Hindus are advised to shave their
heads at least once during their lifetime. This is usually done shortly
after birth, and staunch devotees continue to donate their hair multiple
times during their lifetime. Tonsuring is viewed as a kind of sacrifice,
and also a way of shedding the ego.
Going by ancient lore there’s actually a rather interesting story
behind this unusual practice., Sri Venkateswara is believed to have
taken a loan to fund his own wedding celebrations. The debt was so huge
that he continues to pay it off to this day, and requires assistance in
doing so. And his devotees are more than happy to help by donating their
hair to the cause.
The local temple receives donations from at least 20,000 devotees
each day, so they’ve employed a whopping 600 barbers to get the job
done. The tonsuring takes place in a specially designated building
that’s separate from the main temple, and also at 16 smaller locations
around town. Thousands of pilgrims sit cross-legged on the floor with
their heads bent forward, as the barbers work their scissors and razors
at lighting speed.
Although unbelievable, the Tirumala temple collects 500 tons of human
hair each year, which they auction off to hair extension makers across
the world. According to several experts, Indian hair is considered one
of the most valuable in the world, owing to its naturally silky texture
and also because it is unblemished by artificial hair products. This has
placed the temple at the centre of a very lucrative, high-paying market.
Last year alone, they raked in an annual revenue of 200 million rupees
Surprisingly, the pilgrims (most of whom are poor), are unaware that
their donated hair is sold at such exorbitant rates. In fact, many of
them don’t even know what hair extensions are. But even if they did
know, they most likely wouldn’t be fazed.
“They don’t mind their hair being sold because the Tirumala Tirupati
Devastanam (the temple’s governing body) is doing free tonsuring, free
accommodation, free food, free marriages,” said Patheti Srinivasarao,
who is in charge of the collection, categorisation and sale of the
SnookBall - A crazy sport
You may wonder what sort of a whaky sport this is - to play snooker
with your feet.
It is a combination of snooker and football and played on a giant
billiards table that multiple players can walk on.It’s crazy fun because
you actually get to kick the balls into pockets instead of using a cue
stick. All the rules are the same as snooker, except that you use your
feet instead of a cue and the balls are replaced by footballs.
A couple of French entrepreneurs - Aurélien and Samuel - who are well
known for their weird ideas are responsible for this crazy sport. It is
generally a two player game, but the table can accommodate up to four
players. All the footballs retain the look of standard billiards balls,
but are obviously larger and lighter. The white striker ball is slightly
heavier than the rest, just to make the game more interesting.
SnookBall has two different variations - Game of eight and Game of
nine. In the Game of eight, the player who pockets the first ball gets
to make his choice between the solid and striped balls.
Then, the balls (either nine or 15) are arranged in a triangle, with
ball number one at the top and number eight in the middle of the third
line. The game commences and each player tries to pocket all the balls
in his group. The game is lost when the number eight is either pocketed
before all the other balls or leaves the playing surface, or when the
white ball is pocketed or leaves the table after pocketing the #8 ball.
If you’ve played billiards before, you already know these are standard
In the Game of nine, players need to aim for the number nine ball.
But this does not indicate an immediate victory - players need to go
through a predetermined number of rounds and the one who wins the
maximum number of rounds wins the game. Again, the balls are placed in a
triangle with number one at the top and number nine in the centre.
An hourglass figure or a health hazard?
To possess an hourglass figure may be one of the assets a woman would
always dream of. That means 32-24-32 inches. But if the 22 inch waist
shrinks to 16 what would be the result?
You can figure it out while observing the photograph of fetish model
Kelly Lee Dekay. She created a sensation with her 16-inch waist – an
incredible measurement she achieved by constricting her ribcage and
stomach using corsets. This is a technique known as “waist training.”
Waist training is the process through which you slim your waist down
using corsets. You start with a corset that's bigger than your actual
waist, and gradually takes months and months to waist train, using
different sized corsets to further constrict your ribs. The effect is
astounding, but it's actually quite dangerous.
There are a multitude of potential health problems when you have such
a tiny waist.
Firstly, you don't have as much room for your organs. Your organs
will gradually move as the rib cage gets tighter and tighter.
Along with this, you might find it difficult to breathe as your lungs
will not be able to expand to their full capacity. It could also cause
damage to your ribs.Although waist training can cause health issues it
has become the latest fashion trend at present.
Waist training seems to have come back into fashion since Kim
Kardashian instagrammed a photo of herself wearing one. According to
news reports other celebrity fans of waist training include burlesque
dancer Dita Von Teese and Jessica Alba.
But the Guinness world record for the smallest waist is held by
Cathie Jung, who has a waist of 15 inches in a corset, and 21 inches
More remarkably, the.average waist of a woman in the UK is 34 inches,
an increase of 7 inches since the 1950s.