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Transgenders wed Lord Shiva on Sri Rama Navami

Transgenders wed Lord Shiva on Sri Rama Navami
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Highlights

While rest of the country celebrates the celestial wedding of Lord Rama with His Consort Sita, in what could be termed as a strange practice, the devotees of Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy marry Lord Shiva on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami.

Vemulawada (Karimnagar): While rest of the country celebrates the celestial wedding of Lord Rama with His Consort Sita, in what could be termed as a strange practice, the devotees of Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy marry Lord Shiva on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami.

The devotees celebrate Sri Rama Navami, the second biggest festivity after the Maha Shivaratri, in a unique style in this temple that no other shrine in the country witnesses such a ritual. Devotees, especially the transgenders, in large numbers turn to Vemulawada at least a day before the Navami.

Dressed themselves as brides of Lord Shiva, the devotees wearing new clothes, bangles, turmeric and kumkum, offer prayers in the temple. These devotees also carry trishul (trident) and a bell as per the tradition of Vaidic Smartha Agama Sastra.

The devotees then marry Lord Shiva placing jeera-jaggery (jeelakarra and bellam) on their head and tying flowers to the trishul. They also wear a yellow thread around their neck. The ritual goes on parallel while the priests in Raja Rajeshwara Swamy temple perform the celestial wedding of Lord Rama.

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