Darjeeling police gives special collars to vaccinated stray dogs

Darjeeling: If "Every dog has its day" Tuesday was that day, at least in the Darjeeling Hills.

The day was celebrated as "Kukur Tihar" or festival in honour of man's best friend. The Darjeeling police provided special collars for vaccinated stray dogs with the inscription "I am vaccinated," to mark the day .

At present, "Tihar" or the "Yamapanchak" - 5 days in honor of "Yamaraj" – the mythological Lord of Death, is being celebrated in the Hills.

The first day is called the "Kak-tihar." On this day, food on rooftops and open spaces is left for the crows. The next day is commemorated as the 'Kukur Tihar.'

On this day, marigold garlands are put on dogs along with vermillion applied on its forehead.

After a round of worshipping, the dog is offered a sumptuous meal. Even stray dogs are not left out and people offer food to them.

A sizable number of stray dogs have made the Darjeeling Mall- a public promenade, their home. They have been sterilised and vaccinated by Darjeeling Animal Goodwill Shelter, an NGO-based in Lebong.

The Darjeeling police led by Dr. Santosh Nimbalkar, superintendent, garlanded the dogs at the Mall and tied the collars, as part of the Kukur Tihar celebrations on Tuesday.

There is mythology attached to Kukur Tihar. It is believed that the gates of Yamaraj's palace are guarded by dogs. It is also believed that when King Yudhistira (the eldest of the Pandavas as narrated in the epic Mahabharata) managed to reach the gates of heaven in his human form, Yamaraj had accompanied him taking the guise of a dog.

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