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travel street photography holy man with orange tilaka udaipur india people portrait

Holy man with orange tilaka. A holy man with an orange tilaka, a forehead religious decoration, rest near the shore of lake Pichola, Udaipur (Rajasthan, India).

The tilaka is a mark created by the application of powder or paste on the forehead. Depending on shape, a tilak denotes which Hindu religious group a person is part of.

One of the major tilaka variant is often worn by the followers of Shiva, known by the names of Rudra-tilaka and Tripundra. It consists of three horizontal lines across the forehead with a single vertical band or circle in the middle. This is traditionally done with sacred ash from fire sacrifices, sandalwood paste, turmeric, vermillion, cow dung, clay, charcoal, or red lead. This variant is the more ancient and shares many common aspects with similar markings worn across the world.

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