Bishnoi Village Trip : A rural tribal group, are a Hindu sect founded in the Punjab, who follow the teaching of Jambeshwar, a 15th-century sage & religious reformer who left a legacy of 29 (bis noi) tenets. The countryside around Jodhpur is home to many tidy Bishnoi villages & family compounds. These gentle communities of potters, weavers, leather embroiderers & camel herders have achieved world acclaim for their religious conservationist beliefs. They are vegetarians, follow the principles of non-violence, & above all, reverently protect all flora & fauna. They do not allow felling of trees or hunting on their lands. This area is home to the rare blackbuck antelope with remarkable spiral horns. (We saw quite a few of the graceful creatures.) They freely graze, fully aware, it seems, that no one here will harm them. The history & customs of the Bishnoi are legendary. In fact, one infamous incident in 1730 involved the massacre of 363 Bishnois who sacrificed their lives to save their trees. They were felled indiscriminately by the raja’s troops along with the trees they were hugging to protect them. (I can't help but wonder if this is where the term "tree hugger" came from?)
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