Rajasthan’s obsession with the gau mata is hardly unheard of. In a controversial move, the Vasundhara Raje government recently introduced a 20 percent surcharge on liquor, so that it could be invested in the protection of cows. Like, dayum! They really weren’t playing around with that cow welfare ministry that no one else has.
Anyway, Rajasthan is now planning on making their love for cows a bit too obvious by introducing a “cow safari” scheme. Yeap! In Rajasthan, you can pay to see dem cows breathing, grazing, shitting, etc. You know… Because people in India hardly ever get to see cows.
As per the plan, people will be allowed to chill with some 15,000 cows of the Hingonia Gaushala, located on the outskirts of Jaipur. Visitors will also be able to clean, massage and milk the cattle while staying at a state-run cow rehabilitation centre.
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The only good thing is that, barring the stay at the rehab centre, the safari itself will not be charged. At least the authorities realise that people wouldn’t really be open to paying just to look at cows.
While on the safari, which will start after Janmashtami, bullock carts will traverse people through the forested areas around the gaushala. Visitors will also be able to spend time with 30 different breeds of desi cows such as the Tharparkar, Rendi, Gir, Kankrej, Red Sindhi, Rathi, etc. And if you really dig the cows, you can also adopt one.
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“Tourism development was part of our memorandum of understanding with the state government. We have started the development of huts on trees and a wall around the forest area. While the cow safari will be free for visitors, tariff will be fixed for staying in the machan huts overnight. The project will be launched on Janmashtami,” Hingonia Gaushala in-charge Radha Priya Das told The Times of India.
Earlier in 2016, the Hingonia Gaushala made headlines since the lacklustre management caused the deaths of thousands of cows at the cowshed. Ever since, the administration was handed over to an NGO, which helps develop the gaushala as a centre for domestic breeds. After multiplying the number of bulls to 10,000, the gaushala now plans to start a “bull safari” as well.