Each year millions of Hindu devotees join the pilgrimage to honour the Hindu god Lord Murugan. A distinctive feature of the gruelling procession is kavadi ritual which often takes the form of mortification of the flesh – a symbol of carrying a burden and overcoming struggles. In order to rise above the pain the devotees enter a state of trance.
In the February of 2012 I had an opportunity to photograph the mystical and occasionally terrifying Thaipusam festival in Batu Caves, Malaysia. The full set of pictures and a fast-food version of photography, ie. a slideshow below. The blend of pictures and music (tabla drums that were actually used during the festival to keep the devotees in a state of trance) in this case makes it somehow more complete.