India Through the Eyes of Ellen Churchill Semple



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A Tower of Silence is a circular, raised structure built by Zoroastrians for exposing dead bodies to carrion birds (known as excarnation). In Parsi Zoroastrian tradition, exposure of the dead is considered to be an individual's final act of charity, providing the birds with food from what would otherwise be destroyed. This funeral practice is now in jeopardy with the disappearance of vultures from some parts of India.

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