About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier, birder and amateur arachnologist. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a wildlife conservationist working in the tiger reserves of central India with Satpuda Foundation.

This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah) and INDog-mix mongrels are featured here. The two are NOT the same, do please read the text on the right to understand the difference. Our aim: to create awareness about the primitive natural breed called the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

INDogs beside the Ganga and Varuna

These photos were clicked by Kiran in a rural area outside Varanasi, at the place where the Ganga and Varuna rivers meet. 

In his book 'The Indian Dog', Major Soman mentions a group of pariah dogs on the banks of the Ganges who 'live in holes and feed on bodies floating down the river'. I don't know whether these dogs Kiran clicked ever eat the half-burned corpses that are sometimes put in the river. Kiran says he has seen some dogs eating something in the river near the burning ghats. But he doesn't know for sure whether they were eating human corpses. If such a food source is easily available, I would imagine the local free-ranging dogs would definitely exploit it. 

You can see the Ganga and Varuna rivers here

Two dogs sitting in the shade of the thatch fence
A closer look at the dogs in the shade of the thatch fence

Dogs often make sand pits or mud pits and sit in them to keep cool

Sitting in mud

Village dogs are a common sight all around India

Near the entrance to the bridge

Tricolour INDogs are not common in Western India.
One sees more of them in the east and north
Quite a normal scene near village and highway stalls: an INDog waiting for handouts,
a curious villager wondering why you are clicking dogs, a goat or two...

Two dogs snooze beside a fishnet

Photos: Kiran Khalap

Ganga-Varuna confluence,
Uttar Pradesh

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georgia little pea said...

I love the matter-of-fact way you write about dogs possibly eating half-burnt corpses LOL. And I love the pictures of the dogs (and goats) enjoying their siestas and freedom. Some people (especially from the West where dogs live a much more restrained life) might be startled (horrified?) but I actually think the Indogs are having a good time being dogs. They might not get to eat a full meal every day and may have fleas, but at least they don't have to wear polka dotted jammies and Easter bonnets.

Or am I seeing it though rose coloured glasses? ;)

Rajashree Khalap said...

Hi GLP's human! Those corpses are creepy I must admit :) If you ever take a boat ride on the Ganga at Varanasi you might see something like that. People there don't seem to notice.

You're right when you say village INDogs have a good time. If they are pets of villagers they really have it all, assured food and home as well as freedom to roam. Who cares about a few fleas ;) It's dangerous if they live near highways but otherwise they're very happy. They may not live as long as urban pets because there's no medical care, but their quality of life is higher. I try to imagine my dogs are real village dogs when I leave them off-leash on Nagaon beach - but that's only for a few hours. Urban street dogs live a horrible life though.

Loved GLP's headgear <3