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"Who are these Orange Men?" India Local Custom Tip by Waxbag

India Local Customs: 345 reviews and 394 photos

In India, you are very likely to come across men wearing an orange cloth, necklaces and earrings, long hair and a beard in a tangled mess covered with white powder, yellow and orange face paint, and carrying a brass bowl. These are sadhus or holy men who have given up all family and social responsibilities and have relinquished all possessions to purse a spiritual search by meditation, devotion, reading sacred texts, and pilgrimage. They congregate together and can be seen taking up whole sidewalks along the street where they sleep. The bronze bowl is for donations which they constantly seek as they don’t work. I haven’t actually seen any sadhus meditating or studying any sacred texts, but they make great subjects for photos and are eager to be photographed for a few rupees.

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  • Written Nov 17, 2005
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Waxbag

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