In Gujarat – The Hijras or Eunuchs


The Hijras

In India, Eunuchs or Hijras often describe themselves as a third sex, and refer to themselves as “she. They are tolerated when they show up uninvited at special ceremonies such as births and weddings where they cash in for performing dances and blessings.

They are largely left to their own devices to sustain themselves – which include, dancing, singing and sexual embarrassments of various kinds.

It was not always that way for the Hijras.They used to have a place at court and were generally valued by society.

We were staying at the wonderful Rann Riders resort in Dasada, and its owner Muzahid Malik, suggested we visited Becharaji where hijras frequented its temple.”

I had read William Dalrymple’s City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi, in which he tells the stories of a few hijras in Delhi. I knew of their existence but didn’t know I would get to meet them.They live in a secret world and do not share their stories easily.

We visited the temple and they suggestively and playfully danced for our cameras amidst some wonderful old broken temple statuary.

Hijras - members of the ‘3rd gender’ in India

Hijras dancing at the Temple

Dancing Hijras