'Ceremony of Washing the Goddess Cali, and the Idol Jagan-Nath', 1809.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by J Chapman of the Hindu goddess Kali (the Black One) garlanded with skulls and wielding a sword in one of her many arms. Although associated with death and destruction, she is worshipped as the Divine Mother. In the cult of Juggernaut (Jagannath), a form of the Krishna incarnation of Vishnu is worshipped. Snanayatra is the ceremony of washing the idol. (Contrary to common belief, the act of hurling oneself beneath the wheels of the cart bearing the image of the Jagannath, is not part of the ritual.) Illustration from 'Encyclopaedia Londinensis, or, Universal Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Literature' published in London, 1810-1829.