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Kumbh Mela 2019: Transgenders Leave An Indelible Impact With Their Impressive Debut

Feb 19, 2019 08:06 PM IST India India

The Kumbh - or pitcher festival - is one of the biggest spiritual spectacles in the Hindu religious calendar. Ash smeared Naga Sadhus, or naked holy men, and other pilgrims participate in ritualistic baths where the River Ganges merges with the River Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati river. And the popularity of the festival and spiritual origins of Hinduism have spread far beyond the bord ers of India. Devotees from all around the world have pitched their tents at Prayagraj and are performing traditional rituals like this 'Maha Yagya,' or grand fire ceremony. Transgender people have found a place at the festival this year. Although hijras - the term Indians use to describe eunuchs, androgynous and transgender people - were an integral part of the ancient Hindu society described in the religion's Vedas scriptures, they have been marginalized in modern India, forced out of their family homes as children and often sold into sex trafficking.