Holy Cow


Mother Cow is the queen in the pantheon of sacred Indian animals. In fact, she stands head and shoulders above the rest. There are group all over Indian demanding the government name the cow as the national animal to replace the tiger which currently holds that honor. You might wonder how this all came about.  Many years before the  pyramids were built in ancient Egypt, or written law chiseled into stone by Hammurabi,  or paper invited by the Chinese, the Indian people had given up their nomadic wanderings. They had settled down to an agricultural lifestyle. This was before coins were used as money, and wealth was determined by the number of cows owned by the farmer. Cattle became legal tender and were used as payments, presented as dowry, and even used to pay the hated taxes!  Through the ages, cow’s milk has been often the only source of nourishment for India’s vast population.

Through the SUEB SHG I became aware that I could collect milk as a business.

Another gift from the cattle is the dung which is still used in construction  of rural  homes   and as insulation on walls, and as tiles for the floors. The cow pies are burned in the cold weather and used for cooking  as the only source of fuel for the Indian village dwellers.



When the cows stop producing milk, they are abandoned by the farmers because they are of no use anymore and can not be taken to the slaughter house. This is why they are cows strolling through the the chaotic city traffic serenely ignoring the madness all around them instead of grazing in a village field.


Recent studies have concluded that Indian cows hang around on busy streets because  the prolific exhaust fumes discourage flies which torture the bovines.   Another perk for the cows are that the toxins in the fumes make them high.  They often do appear very relaxed!  So the chaos they can cause stopping traffic and generally being in the way is quite a good place for them !

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Pedestrians in India have to look right, left, right while crossing the crowded streets to avoid being hit by cars, rickshaws, camel pulled carts, motor bikes, pedal bikes, as well as glance down to avoid stepping in fresh cow dung.  We were told it was a “blessing” from the cow if we walked through the dung.  Though, we all loved getting blessings on our foreheads, we eagerly avoided the “foot blessing!”  Holy cow!



The Holy Cow by Tarun Chopra

Namaste. . . . . . .This is incredible India!

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.

44 Responses to Holy Cow

  1. Judy says:

    Up in Ludhiana in the Punjab the cows are housed in religious old age homes called “Go Shallas” which are attached to temples. On our visits we often go to these and make a monetary offering and feed the cows. These cows are treated much better than India’s poor!


    • annetbell says:

      Oh, I think we may have seen one of these homes in a temple. People were making donations, but I didn’t understand what was happening. Thanks for clarifying that! Namaste. . . . .Anne


  2. OyiaBrown says:

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown and commented:
    I have always wondered about this. Thanks.


  3. Very informative post and the photos are wonderful. Take care.


  4. Kongo says:

    Great perspective on “Holy Cow!” Love the milking lady and her smile.


  5. doncharisma says:

    Beautiful photos Annet:) warm regards Don Charisma


  6. doncharisma says:

    Reblogged this on DonCharisma.org and commented:
    Some awesome photos Annet, thanks for sending me the link:)


  7. haywardsolenoid says:

    Awesome love about the cow….i really like the post and it is heart touching view


  8. AngieG9 says:

    Love this Don. So glad you introduced me to this link. I’m now a convert and a follower. She’s amazing.


  9. I’d heard that cows roamed free in India, but I didn’t know it was because they were abandoned by farmers after they stopped giving milk. That’s pretty funny that the get high on fumes. Great post chica! Celeste 🙂


  10. Pingback: Is Cow a Boon for Us? Lets Find Out… | Shakahari Blog

  11. SAN_jeet says:

    There are many blogger (photographer) from India but no one has captured pictures like this …Amazing


  12. annetbell says:

    Reblogged this on TalesAlongTheWay and commented:

    Another favorite! What a trip to walk down the street with one or these beauties!


  13. Ha, I love the article.


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