Bishnois - The Early Environmentalist

5:06 pm

"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed". Today, Gandhi's insight is being put to the test as never before. Now when world is raising concern about degrading environment and want everyone's contribution to make this planet safe for upcoming generations.This particular community is doing this from last two centuries. For Bishnoi, they don't want to protect environment, they want to create a world where environment doesn't need protection. 

Driving straight on NH 62 for 22 Km, one can easily spot Blackbuck Deers, Neel Gai (Blue Bulls), Peacocks etc roaming freely around countryside villages without any fear.  It is the indication that you are in the Bishnoi village, famous for their nature loving attitude. 

The open air jeep safari is an excellent way to see interiors of Rajasthan, learn about the rural and hard way of life and support beautiful handcrafts.

Bishnoi's, the tribal hindus, are the hardcore worshipers of nature. The word Bisnoi  derived from the Bish means numeric 20 and Noi means number 9 in local dialect, thus Bishnoi stands for 29, which indicates the 29 principles laid down by Guru Jambheshwar, the founder of Bishnoi sect. One of these principles is to protect animals, birds and trees.
It is said that in early 18th century, 363 villagers sacrificed their lives for protecting Khejari trees which were sought to be cut by the soldiers of the Maharaja of Jodhpur for being used for burning the lime required for construction of his new royal palace. The motto of the villagers was that it was cheap to sacrifice a head then cut a tree. Soon Maharaja Abhay Singh realised his mistake and ordered stoppage of felling Khejari trees. This later inspired people's for famous  Chipko movement.

The Bishnoi's are such an extraordinary nature lover who unlike most Hindu communities, bury their dead bodies instead of cremating them. This is because of the strict prohibition on the felling of trees, the wood of which is required for cremation.

Different communities reside here in the group of small hamlets such as Salavas-weavers village,  Singhasani- Muslim religion potters village, Shepherd's village.
One of the interesting facts about this village is the opium drink, which these people offers to the guest as their gestures, despite banned by government.
Bishnoi's are very adamant regarding protection of flora and fauna and may get a little aggressive if they found someone violating the laws.

From the opium ceremony at the locals to the old mud houses & their mud fridge, everything brought us close to the old rustic living.  The stories of bishnoi, the craftsmen at pottery, block printing & durry weaving, they all gave the highlights of the rich culture & heritage.

Thanking you!!!

You Might Also Like


Created with flickr slideshow.