It’s Janmashtami (Lord Krishna’s birthday) and it’s time to celebrate. Today’s blog post pays tribute Lord Krishna on his birthday with some cows facts, some cow fiction and a some cow and bull photographs.
Lord Krishna, the Lord of Love and an avatar of Lord Vishnu, frequently depicted playing a flute with a herd of cows in the agricultural community of Goloka (“cow planet”), is one of the most widely revered and worshiped of all the Hindu deities.
Like Lord Krishna, I love cows. I also like bulls. I love how they hang around city. Not in ones or two, but herds of fifteen or twenty. They own the urban environment. Cars and trucks can wait. The cows and bulls of this city are in control.
Fed cucumbers and rotis by locals (and foreigners like me), cows and bulls can also be found foraging around vegetable and fruit markets. At this time of year, when it is hot and sticky, a mango from the mandi goes down a treat. Sadly, many city cows, can also be found searching for food scraps at local refuse sites and amongst rubbish dumps.
So, on Lord krishna’s birthday why not share a cucumber with a cow? The cow will smile. And so will you.
Want to find a very happy herd? Head to Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi temple
Devotees will be flocking to Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi, a temple in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, a couple of hours drive from Delhi today. It’s said that the temple was built where Lord Krishna was born. I bet that the cows will be well fed here.
I can’t keep a cow in my house without written permission because I live in the New Delhi Municipal Area
No one is allowed to keep cows in the NDMC area without written permission. The law states that, the, “General public may bring to the notice of NDMC if someone has been keeping animals in their houses/premises/yards in an unauthorised manner.”
I don’t know if residents outside the NDMC can keeps cows in the house, but it may be time for me to investigate.
The mystery of the Magnetic Cows.
Is it true that cows face either north or south when grazing or resting? In 2008 this story was doing the rounds. Hynek Burda, from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, studied over 8,500 cows in over 300 pastures, and found that cows face north or south when grazing or resting.
He suggested that cows could sense the Earth’s magnetic field and lined themselves accordingly. Sadly, follow up studies, by both Burda and other scientists, disproved the findings.
Cows chew the cud facing north, south, east and west. They really don’t care.
There are over 80 million cows and buffaloes in milk in India
Without milk and milk based products I reckon India would grind to a halt. There would be no chai. No sweets. No dahi. No ghee laden curries. An India without chai, curry and sweets isn’t worth contemplating, is it?
Cow urine contains gold. Yes, you read that right.
According to researchers at Junagadh Agricultural University (JAU), India’s Gur cow produces urine that has tested positive for the presence of gold. The research, led by Dr BA Golakia, head of JAU’s biotechnology department, found 3 to 10 mg of gold per litre of urine.
If you don’t believe me, read the article in the Indian Express, which was published in June this year.
India has the largest bovine population in the world and has been the number one milk producing nation since 1998
Milk production rose from 17 million tonnes in 1950-51 to over 145 million tonnes in 2014-15. Most of the milk is produced by animals owned by small, marginal farmers and landless labourers. Over 15 million farmers have come together to work with over 150,000 village level dairy corporative.
Is that a yak in Ladakh?
No, the photograph below is of a nak. The male of the species is called a yak, whilst the female is called a nak
Living high in Himalyan Region of Ladakh, yaks and naks have been domesticated for thousands of years. These woolly beasts are famed for their warm woolly fleece and rich, fatty, milk that’s said to make prized cheese. I’ve not worn the fleece, but it sure looks snug.
Here’s wishing every a happy Janmashtami. It’s going to be a late night. Krishna was born at midnight, so enjoy the evenings celebrations. Eat ghee laden curries, drink milky chai and eat as many milk based sweets as you can.