Category Archives: Holy Curiosities

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Stepping on Human Skulls in Bangalore’s Black Magic Graveyard

As I stepped over the leg bone, I laughed. I'm no bone doctor, but it looked human to me. Orthopaedist, is that what it's called? I'm no orthopaedist. Must be from a cow, or maybe a dog. Do dogs get that big? Not a human. Definitely not a human. ...

by Andy Deemer / 3 Comments
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This Hindu God has 1,000 Vaginas!

indra-with-eyes

So I'm in the middle of R.K. Narayan's condensed version of the Ramayana -- one of the great Indian epics -- and I have to re-print the amazing story of Ahalya, Gautama and Indra. It's too amazing. Now Ahalya was gorgeous. Like, insanely gorgeous. Brahma had created her from the ingredients of beauty, itself. Of ...

by Dean Pickles / 1 Comment
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Another Little Bangalore Boat Church

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53 weeks ago, I posted about my first boat church. The other day -- deep in Bangalore's Austin Town -- I found another. So what does this represent? St Thomas coming to Kerala? Or Jesus and Mary coming to India? Is the boat a little Fisher of Men? Or the stormy trip ...

by Andy Deemer / 4 Comments
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So this guy walks into a bar…

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(Thanks to Julie for the lovely pic of Woo at the Kumbh Mela.)

by Andy Deemer / 1 Comment
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Hindus Are Buried…?!

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I didn't know Hindus were buried. Like, they're always cremated, right? And then we stumbled on our local Hindu graveyard. And realized how wrong we were. The Bangalore architect laughed at me when I asked him about it later. "That's the great white myth," he said. "You Westerners still like to romanticize us Indians ...

by Andy Deemer / 8 Comments
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Gorgeously Gory Paintings in a Burmese Temple

ananda-phaya-buddha

Most people visit Ananda Phaya to see the massive gold Buddha. I'm not surprised: it's remarkable. But hidden in a side-alcove, propped up in the ceiling, I couldn't help noticing a series of paintings. Gloriously gore-filled paintings of demons wreaking havoc on mortals: boulders rolling over bloody victims, body parts dangling from coatracks, quartered corpses ...

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The Ancient Roots of Swamp Thing?

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This weekend we trekked down to Shravanabelagola, to see the 57'-tall statue of a naked god, apparently carved from a single piece of rock. It was big. It was holy. It was awesome. But at the same time, something about it looked so very familiar...

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Sweet & Holy “No Pissing” Signage

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If there's a wall in India, someone's planning to treat it like a latrine or a dump. Official signs, unofficial pleas, it doesn't matter. Notice the dribbles of urinet spray below. What if you tried painting a Hindu god or two on the wall? Surely that would help. Is that spray diarrheal??? Really?!!?!? ...

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Jesus and Mary in a Little Indian Boat

It’s Good Friday, and so why not mention this delightful little boat I pass every day? It gives passage to Baby Jesus and Mama Mary, who endlessly sail the open seas of Bangalore’s Shanthinagar district. Of course, by “open seas” I mean a dirty, dusty, honking, traffic jam. And by “sail,” I mean sits on top ...

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The Cockiest Shrine in Bangkok

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At Bangkok's Goddess Tuptim Shrine, there's something prickly going down. At this veritable penis park, there are whoppers, dongers, cocks and dicks, carved-off woodies and sleek shiny johnsons in stacks. Every last one is circumcised. Even the cocks of cocks. Known locally as the Chao Mae Tuptim, this overgrown shrine is tucked--ever so discretely--behind ...

by Andy Deemer / 10 Comments
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A Good Sign

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Creepy Mianshan Devotional Statues

One of them even looks a little like Ving Rhames...

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Sweet gruesome statue asking for donations

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(Also known as "The most bad-ass 'donations please' advertisement ever conceived" - io9) Halfway between the hippie-mainstay Pondicherry and proto-Jonestown Auroville lies this incredible 15-foot-tall Indian shrine of some awful crime in progress. Evisceration, again! But this wasn't just any old gutting-for-god shrine -- it was an eye-catching call for cash. The local village was ...

by Andy Deemer / 5 Comments
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15 More Pictures from weirdoid Tiger Balm Park

AsiaObscura friend Dawn Xiana Moon (dawnxianamoon.com) sent over a pile more pix from the absolutely incredible statues and terrifying dioramas at Tiger Balm Park aka Har Paw Villa. See our original story here, or click on her pix below for full-sized versions....

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The Creepiest Amusement Park of All Time?

Friendship and Loyalty

Singapore is bland. It's a high-priced row of shopping malls and fine eateries, with a few hawker markets thrown in. "It's soooooo boring," warned my hairdresser Miss P. But then you stumble on something like this. The Tiger Balm Gardens: The most disturbing theme park of all time. There's sex, violence, bear-maulings and scabies. ...

by Andy Deemer / 11 Comments
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Giving Babies The Right Way

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Okay, okay, I've been dwelling on the dark side of Taoism for too long. Sure, 19 Incredible Taoist Gods was an awesome series of sweet court officer pix, and Terrible Moments from a Taoist Temple was a collection of terrifying dioramas, but what about the lighter, cuter side of the religion? Is there one? ...

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18 Terrible Moments from a Taoist Hell

Oh, the horror...

A few weeks ago, I posted about the Incredible Taoist Gods -- cool court officers tasked with enforcing rules of life and the afterlife. Well, to further display how far traditional Taoism strays from the mystical romance of the Tao Te Ching, here are some of the darker views of the Taoist "Way." I found ...

by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
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Beijing’s Dongyue Temple and Their 19 Incredible Taoist Gods

Egg Birth Department

So the rapture left you behind, eh? Feeling cheated? Looking for a new deity? Try Taoism. These gods will kick your ass! Okay, maybe not all of them. Some, like this swarthy fellow, will just make sure when you're reborn, you'll get your deserved rank. Fail to accomplish enough good in this ...

by Andy Deemer / 3 Comments
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The Modern Afterlife

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With Melaka being a culture mix of Indian, Malay, Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese, amongst others, local customs are very much honored and preserved. Buddhists, keeping up with modern times, offer their ancestors the very best in the afterlife. Apart from the expected cash to spend and incense to purify and keep them from ...

by The WooLand Hotel / 2 Comments
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Celebrating Easter in China…

holyfries

When you're in a country that doesn't officially celebrate Easter, like China, sometimes you get nervous.  Will the Easter Bunny get his visa yanked at the last-minute?  Are you sure those chocolate eggs are melamine-free?   Is the holiday even legal here?Well, we had those same concerns too, but finally decided China's gonna love Easter!Good ...

by Andy Deemer / 3 Comments