Millions of devotees from round the world visit this Hindu temple every year. Many men and women come here to shave of their hair as they have promised in their prayers, that if their problems will be solved, they will shave their head.
The hair is collected and sold to tenders annually ~ it's big business! The hair usually ends up in America or Europe in the form of hair extensions or wigs! this is kind of the 'underbelly' of the process and not given much importance by devotees who are more interested in the act of sacrifice. A woman's hair is symbolic of her beauty & virtue. To sacrifice years of careful oiling, combing & shampooing is usually a once in a lifetime event brought on by high demands or expectations from the gods ... typically a son, but often young children are compelled to do this in leu of good health, a good husband or good grades!
This is a practice you'll only find in Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu.
(text Clairne Prest from GrassRoutesJourneys http://grassroutesjourneys.blogspot.com/
Hair Offering in the Simhachalam Temple in Visakhapatnam,Andhra Pradesh,India.