20th January, 1936

Went with Mac to Breach Kandy – a fine swimming place – one bath under cover and one in the open air with fine gardens surrounding it. Spent a restful two hours watching the swimming and in the afternoon drove to the Towers of Silence, where the Parsees take their dead to be devoured by vultures. We saw the Towers from a distance, owing to the danger of infection, but a model was explained by a guide. They consist of a circular tower, inside which are fixed three grid-like circles, leaving a well in the centre. The larger and outside circle is for the males and the next for the females and the inner circle for the babies. The bodies are placed there and in ten or fifteen minutes only the bone remain – the vultures have done their work. The sun soon turns the bones into powder and the monsoon or heavy rains wash the residue away through a filtration plant. A drive around the residential quarter – magnificent palaces and private residences. What wealth! No unemployment or health insurances here and no domestic servant problem. Afterwards visited the Burning Ghats but they were only preparing the piles of wood.

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