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Woman Barber at Bhadrachalam Temple

Fate made 30-year-old Saidamma a barber at the tonsure center in the famous Bhadrachalam Temple in Andhra Pradesh. She took up the job when her husband died. If Endowment Commission Department of the state makes her a permanent employee, Bhadrachalam Temple will follow Tirupati to become the second temple in Andhra Pradesh to have Women barbers.

Head tonsuring at Hindu temples is symbolic surrendering of one’s ego before the Supreme Being.

Tonsuring was a male prerogative in Hindu temples and earlier there were objections from several quarters for permitting women to tonsure head. But things are slowly changing and several women are coming forward to take up the job. Especially, when large number of Hindu women devotees are tonsuring at many famous temples including Tirupati, Palani and Bhadrachalam. Women devotees have opinioned that they feel comfortable with women performing the tonsuring.

And Tirupati Trust is earning thousands of dollars by selling women’s hair which is in high demand in international market.