Bishnoi is a religious group found in the Western Thar Desert. Their belief emphasizes on protection of trees and wildlife, that harming the environment means harming oneself. The most famous Bishnoi is Amrita Devi. Along with more than 363 other Bishnois, she died saving trees in Khejarli nearly two centuries ago, when the Maharajah of Jodhpur required wood for the construction of his new palace and sent his soldiers to cut trees in Khejarli. Amrita Devi and local villagers opposed the king’s men, and they were killed because of that. In contrast with Hindus, the Bishnois won’t cremate a dead body, as cremation requires wood and it means cutting trees, which is against their principles of protection of the nature.

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, 2005

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