On my previous post, I shared a little research I did on the Tibetan Sky Burial, HERE, whereby bodies are cut up, so it could be fed to the vultures hence, sky burial. Further research on articles have led me to another form of "burial" that is "out of this world" as well known as The Towers of Silence. The Towers of Silence, also known as dakhma or dokhma or doongerwadi are Zoroastrian funerary towers, the majority of which are located in Mumbai, India, belonging to Parsi Zoroastrians, and in Yazd and Kerman, Iran, belonging to the Iranian Zoroastrians.
|The center of the circular pit known as the ossuary.|
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Persia, Iran. Zoroastrians consider the dead body to be unclean, and their religion prohibits allowing corpses to pollute the pure elements of earth and fire. They believe that a demon known as, Ahriman would possess the corpse and as the corpse decomposes, it would contaminate the lands. Corpses are therefore placed atop the Towers of Silence for their flesh to be consumed by vultures. Once the bones have been bleached by the sun and wind, they are thrown into the ossuary pit at the center of the tower.
|Aerial view of an ancient tower on the outskirts of Yazd, Iran, currently in disuse. For health reasons, in the seventies of last century, was banned in the country funeral rites practiced Zoroastrianism.|
The Towers of Silence are circular-shaped buildings that have funeral customs and symbols for adherents of Zoroastrianism. They find the body of a corpse impure, and not to violate the sacredness of the land, refuse to bury or cremate a body. Instead, lay the corpse on top of a building in the mountains, where vultures come and eat your meat, just after the bones are in contact with lime, so they can disintegrate and thereafter be thrown into the water where the cursor continue on to the sea, not touching the ground as well. Today, most Zoroastrians, or members of the Zoroastrian community of Iran, Pakistan, U.S., UK, Australia and other countries, are cremated and the ashes thrown into the sea.
|Tower in Yazd, Iran.|
The photos below were taken from a Tower of Silence located in India, in late 1990's:
|Laid out under the sun, as food for vultures.|
|Mostly decomposed corpses placed in the center.|
Check out the Google map/3D-360 degrees view of The Two Towers of Silence in Iran: