In a religious procession dedicated to the Hindu goddess of rain, Mariamman, a group of worshippers underwent an extreme body modification ritual by having their cheeks pierced with a 10ft iron rod.
The worshippers, whose names remain unknown, participated in the ritual as a means of seeking blessings and prosperity.
Mariamman is revered for bringing protection and prosperity to villagers and their land.
Video footage captured the moment when the worshippers, one by one, had the iron rod inserted through one side of their cheek and pulled out through the mouth. As the rod emerged from the other side, the crowd erupted in cheers in the Punjab region of India.
The devotees engage in this form of body piercing as an act of worship and to seek the goddess’s blessings. In addition to cheek piercings, worshippers have been known to pierce their tongues, backs, and other body parts.
Individuals who partake in these rituals often hope to receive specific blessings, such as the ability to have children.