Meet devout Sikh Avtar Singh Mauni – the proud owner of the world’s largest turban.
The holy man says his extra large headgear weighs a hefty 100lb and measures a staggering 645m (2,115 feet) when unwrapped – the same length as 13 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The 60-year-old has been regularly adding to it for the past 16 years and it now takes him up to six hours to get it on.
‘I just keep putting on the cloth from top to bottom one layer at a time just like you would lay the storeys of a building.
‘On the rare times I don’t have my turban on I keep getting this feeling of being incomplete, that some part of me is missing. I get afraid that I may fall and I keep wondering “have I lost something, where is my turban?”‘
He added: ‘Until the time I have no more have strength in my limbs I will carry this turban on my head.’
Most other Sikhs wear turbans that measure between five and seven metres, but Mr Mauni, from Patiala, in the Punjab, has decided to take it to a whole new level.
The length of the cloth is yet to be officially verified but if proved correct it would overtake current Guinness World Record holder, Major Singh, whose turban measured 400m.
To break the record, Mr Mauni says he took the length up in stages from 150m to 250m, 365m and finally a shocking 645m.
He says the purple and orange cloth alone weighs 66lb but with the addition of decorative ornaments tips the scales at a whopping 100lb.
In full attire, Mr Mauni also carries a sword and heavy bangles, which weigh an additional 87lb.
The height and width of his bulbous headgear makes entering doorways extremely difficult and getting into a car is impossible.
So Mr Mauni rides a motorcycle on his regular pilgrimages across the Punjab.
Not surprisingly he has become something of a celebrity – but the attention is not always welcome.
‘When I go out a huge crowd gathers around me. Some are amazed beyond belief and tell me “you are great for carrying such a large turban. You must have been blessed with lots of energy”,’ said Mr Mauni, who belongs to the prestigious warrior order of Sikhs, known as Nihangs.
‘But sometimes all they want is to take a picture, so I loudly tell them to stop. After all it takes me hours to put on my turban and all they want is to take a quick picture and then run away.’
However, his efforts are impressing many in the Sikh community.
Gurpreet Singh, who affectionately refers to Mr Mauni as Babaji – which means grandfather – says the giant turban has helped reawaken love for their religion among younger people.
He said: ‘These days many Sikh children choose to cut their hair and have forgotten to wear turbans. But Babaji remind us of its importance, which is very good.
‘The Sikh community can learn a lot from him and our children can learn that they should grow their hair and wear a turban.’
~ Source: TED THORNHILL FOR MAILONLINE