Extreme piercing to hot coal walking: Glimpses of Charak festival

Charak Puja is an important day on the Hindu calendar, when followers worship their deity - Lord Shiva - and welcome in the new year. People believe that the festival, popular in parts of Bangladesh and West Bengal, will carry prosperity by eliminating the sorrow and sufferings of the year before.

PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2017 02:01 PM IST 12 Photos
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A Hindu devotee reacts as his tongue is pierced with a steel rod during Charak festival in Hooghly village on the outskirts of Kolkata, India. (Bikas Das / AP)

A Hindu devotee reacts as his tongue is pierced with a steel rod during Charak festival in Hooghly village on the outskirts of Kolkata, India. (Bikas Das / AP)

PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2017 02:01 PM IST
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Faithful Hindu devotees offer various such rituals each year in the hope of winning the favor of Hindu god Shiva and ensuring the fulfillment of their wishes.

Faithful Hindu devotees offer various such rituals each year in the hope of winning the favor of Hindu god Shiva and ensuring the fulfillment of their wishes.

PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2017 02:01 PM IST
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Hindu devotees swing with ropes during an acrobatic performance on the occasion of ‘Charak festival’ at Kedarchandpur in Murshidabad, West Bengal. (PTI)

Hindu devotees swing with ropes during an acrobatic performance on the occasion of ‘Charak festival’ at Kedarchandpur in Murshidabad, West Bengal. (PTI)

PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2017 02:01 PM IST
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Hindu devotees dance with steel rods pierced through their tongue during a procession. (Bikas Das / AP)

Hindu devotees dance with steel rods pierced through their tongue during a procession. (Bikas Das / AP)

PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2017 02:01 PM IST
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Charak Puja is an important day on the Hindu calendar, when followers worship their deity - Lord Shiva - and welcome in the new year. (PTI)

Charak Puja is an important day on the Hindu calendar, when followers worship their deity - Lord Shiva - and welcome in the new year. (PTI)

PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2017 02:01 PM IST
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Hindu worshippers walk on hot embers and pierce their body to show their devotion to Lord Shiva. (PTI)

Hindu worshippers walk on hot embers and pierce their body to show their devotion to Lord Shiva. (PTI)

PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2017 02:01 PM IST
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People believe that the festival, popular in parts of Bangladesh and West Bengal, will carry prosperity by eliminating the sorrow and sufferings of the year before. (Bikas Das / AP)

People believe that the festival, popular in parts of Bangladesh and West Bengal, will carry prosperity by eliminating the sorrow and sufferings of the year before. (Bikas Das / AP)

PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2017 02:01 PM IST
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Hindu devotees hold steel rods pierced through their tongue and dance in a procession during Charak festival. (Bikas Das / AP)

Hindu devotees hold steel rods pierced through their tongue and dance in a procession during Charak festival. (Bikas Das / AP)

PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2017 02:01 PM IST
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The festival takes place each year on April 14, which is the last day of the Bengali calendar, preparations start around one month before. (PTI)

The festival takes place each year on April 14, which is the last day of the Bengali calendar, preparations start around one month before. (PTI)

PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2017 02:01 PM IST
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A Hindu devotee stands with nails pierced through his skin during Charak festival procession in Hooghly village, on the outskirts of Kolkata. (Bikas Das / AP)

A Hindu devotee stands with nails pierced through his skin during Charak festival procession in Hooghly village, on the outskirts of Kolkata. (Bikas Das / AP)

PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2017 02:01 PM IST
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Worshippers, who believe they are blessed and protected by the Lord as they perform a dance, walk on hot embers and pierce their body with iron rods, known as a ‘trishul’, to show their devotion. (PTI)

Worshippers, who believe they are blessed and protected by the Lord as they perform a dance, walk on hot embers and pierce their body with iron rods, known as a ‘trishul’, to show their devotion. (PTI)

PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2017 02:01 PM IST
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Children lie on the Road as Hindu devotees bless them by touching with feet during Charak or Shiva Gajan festival in Kolkata. (PTI)

Children lie on the Road as Hindu devotees bless them by touching with feet during Charak or Shiva Gajan festival in Kolkata. (PTI)

PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2017 02:01 PM IST
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