From The Caves And Jungles Of Hindostan Translated From The Russian Of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

 -   N. Bayranji, a chief official of the tower, invited
us to his house to be present at the burial of - Page 30
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N. Bayranji, A Chief Official Of The Tower, Invited Us To His House To Be Present At The Burial Of Some Rich Woman. So We Witnessed All That Was Going On At A Distance Of About Forty Paces, Sitting Quietly On Our Obliging Host's Verandah.

While the dog was staring into the dead woman's face, we were gazing, as intently, but with much more disgust, at the huge flock of vultures above the dakhma, that kept entering the tower, and flying out again with pieces of human flesh in their beaks.

These birds, that build their nests in thousands round the Tower of Silence, have been purposely imported from Persia. Indian vultures proved to be too weak, and not sufficiently bloodthirsty, to perform the process of stripping the bones with the despatch prescribed by Zoroaster. We were told that the entire operation of denuding the bones occupies no more than a few minutes. As soon as the ceremony was over, we were led into another building, where a model of the dakhma was to be seen. We could now very easily imagine what was to take place presently inside the tower. In the centre there is a deep waterless well, covered with a grating like the opening into a drain. Around it are three broad circles, gradually sloping downwards. In each of them are coffin-like receptacles for the bodies. There are three hundred and sixty-five such places. The first and smallest row is destined for children, the second for women, and the third for men.

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