Art Of The Heal: Macabre Murals Of The Jain Bird Hospital

The halls of the Jain Charity Bird Hospital in New Delhi feature bizarrely graphic painted murals that depict birds suffering a variety of gruesome injuries.

Hospitable Hospital

The Jain Charity Bird Hospital is located within the Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir temple complex in New Delhi, India. Jainism, an ancient religion bearing some similarities to Hinduism and Buddhism, has roughly 5 million adherents, most of whom live in India. One of the foremost ethics of Jainism is non-violence (Ahimsa) towards all living things: devout Jains may be seen sweeping the ground in front of themselves as they walk, so as to avoid injuring any insects in their path.

Feathered Friends

The Jain Charity Bird Hospital epitomizes Jainism in action. The low-rise structure features a fenced-off rooftop boasting more roosting avians than a certain Alfred Hitchcock movie. “We release them, but many of the birds hang around… some indefinitely,” stated one of the hospital’s veterinarians. And why wouldn’t they? Even birds of prey are treated here, though the staff is reluctant to accept them due to feeding issues: they get fed grain, not grain-fed.

Big Bird Fans

On the lower floors it’s cages, cages and more cages. Most house an astonishing variety of birds (one floor is completely devoted to pigeons) but even the regularly-spaced ceiling fans are boxed in chicken wire. The hospital’s hallways are the real jaw-droppers, however, due to the copious and colorful murals painted along the upper portions of the walls.

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