Tower of Silence

Posted: September 23, 2014 in Cemetery, Theology, Unusual Findings
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

A Dakhma in Persian, a Cheel Ghar in Hindi and in English it is known as Tower of Silence. They are circular raised structures that are used to expose the dead, for the scavenging birds it makes the dead easy pickings. It sounds strange to many but in Zoroastrian tradition a dead body is considered to be unclean.

The corpse demon, Avestan, are thought to rush in to the body and contaminate everything it comes into contact with. There are therefore strict rules for the disposal of the dead to ensure the safety of the living.

In Greater Iran the structures were used until 1970’s when they were shut down by law. Located at Diu, India one of them as been listed as a ‘monument of national importance’. It is one of the 17 in Daman and Diu, the Parsi cemetery may well be one of those persevered for a tradition that is dying out.

BombayTempleOfSilenceEngraving

 

BombayTempleOfSilenceEngraving” by Cornelius Brown – Engraving from 1886 book “True Stories of the Reign of Queen Victoria” by Cornelius Brown. Scanned from original copy by Infrogmation (talk).. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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