Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quick tidbit. We were walking down the road directly across the street from the entrance to the Taj Mahal and watched a buffalo herder bringing his flock of enormous buffalo right through the city streets (actually very narrow alleys and lanes). Now, we've seen every kind of animal imaginable wandering city streets - monkeys, camels, cows, dogs, cats, rats, goats, donkeys, etc. - but this was different. After the long line of fifty or so buffalo passed us along with their herders, several very small girls (probably around 5-8 years old) were running all over the place doing their job for the herd... scrapping the buffalo dung up off the strreets with their bare hands and putting it into a gigantic bucket. They were literally covered in it. Appearently, they collect the stuff, shape it into patties, dry it, and use/sell it as heating fuel. When we asked someone about it, they looked at us like we were from Mars, "of course they collect it, very good fuel!!"

Unbelievable, and this was right in front of the #1 toursit destination in all of India. The stuff you see here.

Tonight we head to Varanasi by overnight train. Varanasi is the holiest city for Hindus, and many travel great distances to get there in order to die in the city on the Ganges River. Legend has it, if a Hindi dies there, it stops the cycle of reincarnation (birth, death, and rebirth) that they long for. 

1 comment:

W. R. Eilers said...

Mmmmmmm. I would advise staying away from the "smoked" food.