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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Who are Bisnois?

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Bisnois are the people of Bikaner of Rajasthan state of India who believe in 29 principles of conduct. Bis or Bees in Hindi means twenty, and Noi means nine. Thus Bisnoi means twenty nine. These people afford strict protection to wildlife and to one particular tree Khejri (the Prosopis cineraria).The Bisnois are known to have protected the Khejri at the cost of their lives at several occasions. The major incident of Bisnoi- sacrifice took place in 1730, when about 363 Bisnoi- people permitted themselves to be killed in an attempt to prevent the soldiers of the local king from cutting down the Khejri trees for a lime- kiln for the king’s palace in Jodhpur village.

Prosopis cineraria, the whole tree

A bird sitting on a blooming Prosopis cineraria tree

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