India! The country with amazing diversity and wonders has many champions. All these are real facts and real records. Most of them are certified by authentic record books like Guiness Book of Records & Limca Book of Records. I am trying to tabulate as many as I can. Please help me in my efforts by adding more facts and records.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Pilgrims to the Tirupathi Temple in Andhra Pradesh, India, which attracts an average of 30,000 visitors per day, donate their hair as a form of sacrifice. They have their hair shaved off and offer it to the deity in the hope that their troubles will disappear along with their hair. This has for long been a tradition at the temple (and has also led to a booming business in hair export for wigs etc.).The 600 barbers employed by the temple shave the pilgrims' heads 24 hours a day and more than $2.2 million (1.4 million pounds) a year is raised through the auction of the hair.

Tonsuring, the act of shaving your head to propitiate God - is a long standing ritual associated with Tirumala. As per the Vaishavite tradition, devotees offer their hair to the Lord which symbolizes effacing of the ego. Tonsuring used to be done at cottages itself in the past where a barber could be summoned, but new addition is a centralized system which has been put in place at Kalyana Katta, a huge building near the temple. Now, all the barbers sit there in along side each other once you enter the complex. The devotees can pay as per their discretion to the barbers after tonsuring.
The historic shrine of Sri Venkateswara is located on a hill at Tirumala, Chittor district. The temple attracts pilgrims from across the world who are known to stand in serpentine queues for long hours to get a glimpse of the chief deity.

Women devotees who come to Tirupati to tonsure their hair - there are around 4,000 out of the 50,000 who visit the temple every day - had been demanding female barbers for a long time. Women devotees felt uncomfortable sitting close to male barbers. The male barbers, around 400 of them, have been appointed by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) board, which runs the temple. Some women even complained that male barbers touched them (sometimes in the face) or misbehaved with them while shaving their hair off.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) will soon leverage the power of the Internet to sell hair collected from tonsured devotees. TTD has sought the help of online auctioneer Matex Net Pvt Ltd to sell 80 tonne of hair worth Rs 60 crore, accumulated between May and October this year. After Tirupati, other temple boards including those of Samayapuram and Palani. with a similar tradition of tonsuring, have also shown an interest in using the online platform to sell collected hair, a company official said. According to the TTD website, on an average, at least 50,000 devotees visit the main temple. The hair collected from the tonsuring centre is reportedly separated into five different varieties. Exporters say hair from men is usually used for coat linings and to extract L-Cystein, a protein used as raw material for a range of products including baby food and doughnuts.



stories like these are why i love india!

Anonymous said...

Genial brief and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you for your information.

Kiss Extensions said...

I'm taking a trip to India and in interested in buying hair. Do you have any information on doing this?