14 April, 2021

Care For A Cow ­Safari In Jaipur?

How a cow shelter in Jaipur plans to attract tourists

Illustration by Sajith Kumar
Care For A Cow ­Safari In Jaipur?

The idyll in his head has been painted with great clarity and definite brushstrokes. There will be exactly 300 cows, 10 each of 30 indigenous breeds. Ten bullock carts will ferry tourists through the 2-km safari track. Along the route would be wooden boards, inscribed with information about various breeds. The tourists will get down to pet, clean and feed the cows during the two-to-three-hour excursion. There will be restaurants serving ‘butter, coriander chutney and chapatis’, cooked on ‘mitti ka tawa’ (mud pan) over ‘lakdi ka chulha’ (wood stove). For overnight tourists, there will be dung-­coated bamboo huts on trees, ideal to ‘keep them cool in summers and warm in winters’.

The management of the 500-acre shelter has decided to turn 22 acres into a forest-like enclosure for a cow safari, which would be thrown open to tourists by mid-September. Temp­ora­rily suspend the absurd­ity—this ‘safari’, after all, is for an animal that is plentifully ubiquitous—and one could actually fall for...

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