17 thoughts on “Towers of Silence”

  1. all buildings should have swarming vultures. corpses are an extra bonus, but vultures really do the trick.

  2. Isn’t it much nicer to return the dead to all the elements, as opposed to clogging up ground and spoiling the water?
    It seems to me that Zoroastrians repect our planet more than other religions.

  3. Hi,

    All buildings should be cylindrical in shape and made with clay and hay and painted russet red. Everybody gets a view from a balcony, which sits atop the dwelling below. There’s an edifice in Brazil like this.

    Regards,
    Coral

  4. Hi,

    This item of curiosity sparks more questions. Why the Tower of Silence? Do you know the context, historical research, and anthropology of such a thing?

    Also – you’ve been linked on my site as something to know about.

    Keep up the good work!
    xo
    j

  5. Leaving the bodies for the vultures is still practised in parts of the Himalayas by Buddhist monks. I don’t think they need a tower. Perhaps the tower allows the sound of birds ripping the flesh to be reduce. Hence the name “Tower of Silence”? 🙂
    Love the blog…

  6. I think that’s pretty sick leaving the bodies of beloved family and friends exposed so that it can be disrespected by vultures who aim to treat it just as a piece of flesh. Human bodies are not sources of food but holy temples of the soul.

  7. Sort of creepy if you ask me. Although it does satisfy a certain hunger for dark humour if you put a little spin on it. Can you imagine that being an viable disposal option at the funeral home? Or even better, telling your family that you want to be ‘vulched and mulched’ when your time is up? Just think of the advertisement videos! Only pure bread vulchers for you! Gentle knawing guaranteed!

  8. I am a Bombay-based writer, so I know a bit about Parsees (or Zoroastrians) since they played a huge role here in history. I tried weaving a very strange tale around the Towers Of Silence in one of my pulp-fiction comics called Special Officer Savant.

    You can read the episode here.

  9. A friend of mine lived near the towers of silence in Bombay and watching the vultures circle was fascinating. It’s a nice place to live because it’s a quieter area and they’re in the middle of a huge park. One interesting problem that has occasioned a lot of debate in the Parsi community in past years, however, has been the disappearance of the vultures. For years no one knew why Indian vultures were dying. It turns out they are affected by a drug given to livestock (mostly cows) that they ingest when they eat the bodies. Some people in the Parsi community even imported vultures from other parts of the world to try to revitalize the vultures in India. And there was a lot of discussion about how to dispose of the dead if all the vultures disappeared. It looks like things are looking up:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/31/science/31obox.html?ex=1173502800&en=e498f0a408f19ac4&ei=5070

    I think it’s so cool that this practice still operates and is debated about smack in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world. Thanks for the picture, Geoff.

  10. Why are there towers for the dead only so that we can desecrate them? It seems as though it is some sort of sacrifice the way they place the dead on the top of a tower facing the heavens.

  11. I don’t want to be buried and moulder away in isolation underground in some real estate euphemism, or be burned, which is a waste, and repulsive. I want my molecules to start traveling straight away. To the vultures would be great- or the hyenas, or the piranhas- whatever and whoever wants me for dinner is more than welcome. The sooner the better, while I’m fresh.

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