Goats: Indian Sheep.
Second only to cows, Goats are ubiquitous. They are in the streets, sleeping under cars, the are garving cricket pitches, standing in flocks on concrete, they are in Mumbai they are in the Thar desert. Every mutton dish in India, isn't mutton (tender Southdown or Merino leg offcuts), no its goat. Sinewy, grissly goat. They are simply everywhere. But why when they aren't as delicious and not as yeilding as Sheep (Mutton)?
Well it seems that our friend the goat is a pretty hardy and handy chap.
India's livestock is comfortable with 206 million cows, 123 million Goats, 88 million buffaloes, and 51 million sheep. Goats constitute a very important species of livestock in India, mainly on account of their short generation intervals, higher rates of prolificacy, and the ease with which the goats as also their products can be marketed.
Goats are the main meat animals in India; their meat is the most preferred and hence the costliest of all meats and represented almost 37 percent of total meat produced in the country. Goat milk constitutes a little of all milk produced in India; the majority of milk coming from buffaloes. The skins produced by Indian goats are considered of very high quality on account of their relatively larger sizes, minimal blemishes, and perhaps high quality processing. The production of pashmina and shatoosh shawls from goats is already a very lucrative and exports oriented industry.
This is why goats are ubiquitous. By the way, before I do sign off on India's Goats. A wee tidbit about pashmina and shatoosh shawls.
Pashmina is cheap, and lovely. And produced from domestic goats. people love it, and thus should buy it. SHATOOSH on the other hand should be boycotted. It is expensive (so only for foreign buyers) and is made from a Gaot endemic to the Himalaya called the chiru.
Actually I heard its against the law to sell shatoosh now. So if you see it on sale, Report it. Don't buy it.
Here I provide you with a map....
Here I provide you with a map. The small map on the bottom shows the old city. Here are the most things to see and do you will need this map often. Varanasi has so many streets and alleys that getting lost is a big problem here.
Between the rich and the poor
As you could see. the children who took photo with me all look clever and active. I asked nothing about photo taking but they did to me. There dresses, hair style, the light of the face and the innocent smile tells they are from rich family. On the contrary, the girls are very different.... their born family decide what they are now.
Bathing the Water Buffalo
It isn't only people who bathe in the river Ganges - walking along the ghats we saw lots of water buffalo, and frequently their owners were leading them into the water for a good wash! The buff seemed to enjoy the attention, and the little children helped out too.
Shiva: IThe Venerated.
Often I see Shiva depicted blue and serene. In a constant Meditation. Yet All who know Shiva is that is Serenity is because he is in a state of Meditation, his rage will come when he sees the way of the world.
So Who is Shiva?
Shiva is the third deity of the Hindu triad of great gods, the Trimurti. Shiva is the destroyer of the world (but has also the aspect of regeneration), following Brahma the creator and Vishnu the preserver, after which Brahma again creates the world and so on. Shiva is responsible for change both in the form of death and destruction and in the positive sense of the shedding of old habits. In Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram or Truth, Goodness and Beauty, Shiva also represents the most essential goodness. Shiva is the god of the yogis, self-controlled and celibate, while at the same time a lover of his spouse (shakti). Shiva's first wife was Sati and his second wife was Parvati, also known as Uma, Gauri, Durga, Kali and Shakti. His sons are Ganesha and Kartikeya. Shiva lives on Mount Kailasa in the Himalayas. Shiva is also the Keeper of Poison. He is the Provider of marijuana. Hence you'll often hear 'Boom Shiva' when Sadhu partake of it.
Actually they say that Varanasi, every piece of it, is Shiva.
Actually one of my fondest memories of India is when my good friend Madhu would tell me stories of the Hindu Patheon of Deities. Maddhu really appreciated Shiva because he knew that one shoudl definately be on the right side of him.