I’m sure that you’ve noticed those iron bars with hollow spaces in between, at the entrances of hospitals, government offices and colleges? As a kid, I remember the excitement whenever I had to cross these bars, because unlike flat roads, it felt like an adventure to walk on them, and I feared falling through the gap. I’m sure most of us must have had pretty much the same feeling, no?  

But have you ever wondered what these bars are actually meant for? Well, here’s your answer! 


These bars are called cattle grids or cattle guards, and are meant to prevent livestock and other animals from entering the premises. The space between the rounded bars is narrow enough for people and vehicles to pass, but wide enough to act as a hurdle when cows, goats and sheep try to walk on them, as their narrow legs would be caught between the gaps.

And since cows can’t jump, there’s no chance they can cross.


Let’s be honest here, India has a serious stray cow problem. They are everywhere! Imagine cows mooing and chewing and dropping their dung in gated communities! Another reason for installing these metal bars at the entrance of buildings is so that the gate can be kept open for people to move in and out. 

In some places, equally-spaced stripes are painted on roads and work as a fake cattle guards. It fools the animal into believing that there’s a hollow space between the lines!

Quite interesting, right?