Tiny Indian Squirrel

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Though it looks like our chipmunk, this is a  squirrel found only in parts of  India.  We noticed them scooting up the trees and across the lane where we lived in Ahmedabad.  The  first significant encounter I had with this  tiny animal was in Agra.  You might remember the  most famous building in Agra is the sublimely beautiful  Taj Mahal . I was walking through the windy, narrow streets with several of the girls going  back to our hotel.  We noticed that at the nearby intersection, traffic was completely  stopped.  Several men were standing in a circle in the center of the street.  On the ground was an obviously hurt squirrel trashing around as if  tying to get up or catch its breath. It seemed  near death , as far as I could tell. No one touched the squirrel,  no on one hurried on her way, no one blew his horn, impatiently; cars just  stopped in the middle of the road.  We passed by without stopping  like the priest and the Levite in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. We did comment that in the states, the squirrel would not have gotten so much attention and probably would have been put out of its misery by being hit again with another car.  But in India, this tiny, insignificant animal’s life is treated  as a gift from God.

I was curious about the mythology so I Goggled it! There is a story in the Holy Book of Ramayana about Rama and the squirrel. The squirrel was trying to help the larger animals build a bridge, and they laughed at his effort and size. Rama blessed the tiny squirrel by stroking his back with his three fingers.   Even today , the Indian squirrel shows this blessing by wearing three stripes on is back. Indian-Palm-Squirrel-2

squirrel with rama

Images from Krishha Mohan 2010, and Creative.Sulekha.com

“The Victory of the Little Squirrel”  from Naraya Hari’s Blog

“Everyone has different gifts and capabilities. We should try to perform to the best of our ability, however difficult the task may be.” From the myth “The Victory of the Little Squirrel”

Nameste. . . . . T I  I

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in India, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Tiny Indian Squirrel

    • annetbell says:

      We all would laugh when the Indians called this a squirrel as it is so different from the squirrels we have in the States. It looks more like a chipmunk, we thought. Thanks for commenting. Namase. . . .Anne

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  1. Karolyn Cooper says:

    Anne
    Thanks for visiting my blog.
    There is a lovely photo of a palm squirrel on the Noisy Pilgrims blog of 9 July – http://noisypilgrims.com/2013/07/09/indian-palm-squirrel/.
    Like you, they show a lot of respect to the squirrel and Lord Rama.
    But for a different approach, have a look at my post from 2 May! – http://distantdrumlin.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/palm-squirrel/
    Karolyn

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  2. Theresa says:

    How sweet the story of Rama blessing the squirrel…love the last picture of him climbing.

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  3. I have always loved the legend surrounding the stripes that squirrels have. Lovely to see that you blogged about it! 🙂

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    • annetbell says:

      Being a teacher, I always try to include some information and not just my opinion, which I doubt people care about anyway…. ( I mean my opinion!) 😎 It is indeed a lovely legend!

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  4. doncharisma says:

    Lovely photographs, they have a small squirrel in Thailand similar, but doesn’t have the bridge. Also there’s a mini-pigeon that’s cute, I’ll try and get some pictures but animals often don’t like to pose for the camera as long as it takes me to fumble about with it ! warm regards DC

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  5. doncharisma says:

    Reblogged this on DonCharisma.org and commented:
    Love this squirrel, cool ! thanks Annet for sharing the link and photos:)

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  6. I loved sitting down and watching these little squirrels running down to the kitchen to steal some food and then scoot back up to the roof as quickly as they had initially arrived. They really do look like American Chipmunks and are so cute. You have really brought back some wonderful memories of my Punjabi holidays with family.

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    • annetbell says:

      Not sure where in Punjab you are from, but I have several post in and around Amritsar that you might enjoy.
      In a Garden?
      Golden Temple 1 – Sikh religion
      Golden Temple 2 -Langa
      Wagah

      If it is somewhere else you are from, let me know and we might have gone there, too! Namaste. . .

      Thanks so much for your gracious and kind comments. Made me very happy!

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      • Oh, I’m from London, born and bred, but have adoptive family from a town between Jalandhar and Ludhiana.

        Amritsar and the Harimandir Sahib (Golden Temple) was a most beautiful place. Whilst there was much noise outside, the Harimandir Sahib really was a most calm place. Funny enough, the gold leaf on the walls of the central gurdwara doesn’t have much to do with it’s beauty, but rather the white marble, the fish laden tank and it’s very serenity.

        Another extraordinary place that we had visited was the Gurdwara in Manikaran that sits opposite a smaller Hindu Mandir on the Parvati river. The valley is famous as a dwelling place of Guru Nankji for Sikhs and of Shiva and Parvati for Hindus and both the Gurdwara and temple complexes contain the famous hot springs. I couldn’t recommend enough a visit to this area of India.

        Did you visit the South? My wife’s family trace their ancestry back to Hyderabad in Andrah Pradesh (possibly soon to become part of Telangana!) and it is our dream to visit Venkateswara’s abode in Tirumala.

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      • annetbell says:

        I agree about the white marble and my architect thought so too. The students went for a dip when we were there in the evening, but we didn’t . I was just amazed at how giving they were to the hungry, and also letting the homeless sleep and bathe there. I checked both those places you mentioned and we didn’t see them. Bummer. We hope to go again in 20115 so I will give them to my architect. Problem is that there are so many amazing places. We traveled for 2 weeks in the north and 10 days in the south. Didn’t do Hyderabad but endless temples..just kidding….1 architecture students, and I can’t remember the names. Maduri….Pondicherry..loved it , blessed by the elephant stand in for Ghandesh….Chenni, Kerala and Goa so the kids could enjoy two days at the beach. Architect and I visited the Portuguese churches…amazing…just like Europe! I can’t tell you enough how we loved India!

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      • We would love to see Pudicherry as well and definitely a visit to Bangalore and Kerala.

        It was amazing to be fed by such a huge kitchen in the Harimandir Sahib and that is one of the things that makes me very fond of Sikhism. Like Hinduism, it believes that faith should include the sharing of offerings of food (or prashad) to its congregation and ensures that everyone eats together, rich or poor.

        I will love to go again in the next few years.

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      • annetbell says:

        An amazing experience! Sitting by the pool, I met a lovely young, Indian family who live in Atlanta, but who visit at least once a year! Se didn’t see Bangalore but I keep hearing how lovely it is with all the gardens. Sure would like to see it.too. Have you been to Varanasi? I have a post and an amazing video you might enjoy!

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      • As a Buddhist, Varanasi would be a very special place to visit as well as Bodgaya and the site of Kapilavastu. One day, maybe when my unborn baby is a couple of years old.

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      • annetbell says:

        During our stay at Varanasi, we also visited Sarnath which I am sure you know is one of the pilgrimage sites Buddha told his followers to make pilgrimages. When we were there , there was a group of monks and followers from the east. And some of the the students went to the far side of the Ganga where Buddha’s ashes were scattered. You would love it there, I am sure!

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      • annetbell says:

        I don’t know if I told you about the boats on the backwaters in Kerala or if you know…But we just took a lovely 4 hour boat ride but there are boats available for overnight stay complete with staff and food etc. Check into it…I am sure going to try to do that if we go again!

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      • The floating hotels are supposed to be amazing to stay in, although I’m not sure my wife would agree. For an islander, she really likes the land.

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      • annetbell says:

        well, I can understand that but the water is perfectly smooth and calm or was when we were there. If nothing else see if she would do the short tours. There is one that is 8 hours which seems long to me. Oh well, wanted to mention it just in case! 😎

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  7. I love squirrels! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Pingback: Village Boy Rescues Dog | TalesAlongTheWay

  9. Pingback: Tiny Indian Squirrel, reblog from May 2013 | TalesAlongTheWay

  10. Pingback: Tiny Indian Squirrel, reblog from May 2013 | TalesAlongTheWay

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