Dung Cakes (Punjabi: ਪਾਥੀਆਂ, Hindi: उपले Up-le, कंडे Kande गोस्से Gosse ), made from the by-products of animal husbandry, are traditionally used as fuel in India for making food in a domestic hearth called a Chulha. They are made by hand by village women and are traditionally made from cow or buffalo dung. One dung cake of an average Punjabi size gives 2100 kJ worth of energy. It is still used within the Punjab region. Nowadays it is available for trade.
These are the cakes of Cow dung molded by bare hands with a curvature to be able to keep stuck to the walls. Once dried they are put in a pile and covered with thatch called BITAUDA बिटौड़ा . These BITAUDAs are visible in North India all over Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.
This bio-fuel has been used since long times primarily of two reasons 1. for easy disposal of cow dung 2. easily available and cheap fuel. After burning the residue ash RAAKH राख is used to wash hands since it becomes germs free as bi-product of burning and sprinkled also on crops to get rid of certain pests ie LAALDI लालड़ी.
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