"Where is that Parsee tower of silence? Eaten by birds. Earth, fire, water. Drowning they say is the pleasantest." (U6.987)

The towers of silence (dakhma, dokhma, or doongerwadi) are circular raised structures used by Zoroastrians for exposure of the dead, as they consider a dead body to be nasu (= unclean). Corpses are thus exposed to the sun and to birds of prey, precluding the pollution of earth or fire. Bodies are arranged in 3 rings: men on the outside, women in the second circle, and children innermost. (Image courtesy of the ZJJF)