The annual Koovagam Transgender Festival is a celebration for a sexual minority in Tamil Nadu, India. The festival takes place every year between April-May in the Tamil month of Chitrai. Crowds come to the Koothandavar Temple in Villupuram by the hundreds, decked in jewels and flowers and draped in colourful sarees. The ritual at this temple is for the attendees to marry the Lord Koothandavar in a reenactment of the Mahabharata. On the following day, the attendees mourn the death of Lord Koothandavar by severing the Thali, breaking their bangles and wearing a plain white saree as widows do in India.

We were so mesmerised when we saw the Koovagam Transgender Festival through the lenses of Tamil Nadu based photographer, Vasanth Maddhan.

Here are 20 photos Of The Koovagam Transgender Festival:

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A transwoman dancing in celebration
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A selection of sacred Thali
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A bride awaiting to be married to Lord Koothandavar
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Holy ash (Vibuthi) for blessings
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How do I look?

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A dance of celebration

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The widowers mourning the death of Lord Koothandavar
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The thali being severed to mark the death of a husband

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