B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) online

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The following is the process of cultivation in the east. At the
commencement of the rains, plough three times in the course of a few
days. As soon as the heavy rains begin, sow the seed broad-cast, and
cover it by a third ploughing. It requires no manure, and here the
pulse called togari is never sown with haraka. At the end of a
month weed it with the implement called woravdri. It requires six
months to ripen, and is cut near the root, stacked on the field for five
or six days, and then dried in the sun, and trodden out. The grain is
commonly preserved in pits, and does not keep longer than one year.
It is never made into flour. The straw is bad forage, and is used
chiefly for manure. The produce in a good crop is twenty-fold ; in a
middling crop fifteen-fold.

Haraka at Madgiri is sown in low soft places, where, in the rainy
season, water is found near the surface. The soil is of different kinds.
In Vais'akha, Jyeshtha and Ashadha, or three months following the
middle of April, plough three times in the course of thirty days. After
the next rain that happens, harrow with the rake drawn by oxen, sow
broad-cast, and then repeat the harrowing. It ripens in six months with-
out farther trouble. As fodder for cattle, the straw is reckoned equal
to that of ragi, or of hurali. The produce in a good crop is forty-fold.

Alsandi. — Of this grain there is but one kind, and it is cultivated
in the south only as a kdr crop, which is performed exactly in the
same manner with that of the kdr icddii. The green pods, and ripe
grain, are both made into curries, by frying them in oil with tamarinds,
turmeric, onions, capsicum, and salt. Horses eat the grain ; but the
straw is only useful as manure.'

' According to Professor Church loo parts of the husked bean contain — water,
I2'5 parts; albuminoids, 24"I ; starch, 56'S ; oil, i "3 ; fibre, fS; and ash, 3-5, of
\\hicli I "o consists of phosphoric acid.

HURALl 119

Hurali or horsc-gra»i is of two kinds, black and while or red ; both
are sown intermixed. The worst quahtics of soil are those commonly
used for this grain in the east ; and on the same fields, same, haraka
and huchchellu are cultivated, without one crop injuring the other, or
without a rotation being considered as of the smallest benefit. For
horse-gram plough twice, in the course of a few days, any time in
Kartika. Then after a shower sow broad-cast ; or, if none happen,
steep the seed for three hours in water. Plough in the seed. It has
no manure, and in three months ripens without farther trouble. Cut
it down early in the morning, stack it for one day, and then dry it five
days in the sun. Tread it out, and clean it with a fan. It preserves
best in a store-house, but does not keep longer than one year. The
forage is here reckoned inferior to ragi straw. The produce in a good
crop is fifteen-fold ; and in a middling one ten-fold.

In the south the two varieties, the red and the black, are always
sown intermixed. In the last half of Srdvana, plough three times.
Sow broad-cast with the first rain of Bhadrapada. It requires no
manure, and the seed is covered by a fourth ploughing. In three
months it ripens without farther trouble, and is then pulled up by the
roots, and stacked for eight days : after which it is spread in the sun to
dry, and next day is trodden out by oxen. The seed for sowing must
be well dried in the sun, and preserved in mudcs ; the remainder is
kept in pots, or in the kcmaja. It is used for human food, either
dressed as curry, or parched ; but the chief consumption of it is for
cattle, both horses and bullocks. The straw is an excellent fodder, and is
preferred even to that of ragi. It is generally sown on the two worst
soils, in fields that are never used for anythingelse; but it also follows as a
second crop after jola ; or, when from want of rain the crop of ragi has
failed, the field is ploughed up and sown with horse-gram. In this
case, the next crop of ragi will be very poor, unless it be allowed a
great quantity of manure. In i)laces where the red and black horse-
grams are kept separate, the black kind is sown from twehe to twenty
days later than the other.

The only kind cultivated towards the north-east is the white.
Except after kdr e/he, or upon new ground, it never succeeds. The
longer the ground has been waste, especially if it has been overgrown
with small bushes of the taiigadi, or banddri (cassia auriculata and
dodonea viscosa), so much the better for /ii/ra/i. It grows best upon ash-
coloured soil, and next to that i)refers a red soil, in which there is
much sand. In Srdvana, burn the bushes ; and either then, or in the
course of the next month, plough once. After the next good rain sow
the seed broad-cast, and plough the field across the former furrows.


'l"hc hiirali aL Sira is black and white mixed. It grows better on
Stony than on sandy soils ; and gives the greatest crops when cultivated
on land that has been waste, and over-run with bushes ; but it also
thrives tolerably on land that is alternately cultivated with it and same,
or sajje. In the month which precedes and that which follows the
autumnal equinox, sow the seed broad-cast, and then cover it with the
plough. In four months it ripens without farther trouble. Both straw
and husks are reckoned good for labouring cattle ; but they are .said
to be bad for milch cows.'

Uddu — is of two kinds ; chik lufdu, and dod uddu. The chik uddii
seems to be a variety, with black seeds. It is cultivated in Mysore
District as follows : — The ploughing commences ten days after the feast
Sivardiri, in February. Previous to the first ploughing, if there has
not recently been any rain, the field must have a little water, and then
it is three times ploughed. The seed is sown immediately before the
third ploughing, by which it is covered. This crop obtains neither
water, manure, nor weeding. The straw, when ripe, is pulled up by
the roots, stacked for three days, dried two days in the sun, and then
trodden out by bullocks. The flour, made into cakes, and fried in oil,
is here a common article of diet. It is also mixed with rice flour, and
made into w^hite cakes called dose, which are also fried in oil, and are
a favourite food. The straw is reckoned pernicious to cattle. It is
thrown on the dunghill, and serves to increase the quantity of manure.
The grain is always preserved in the miide, or straw bag.

Dod uddu is also called hatti uddu. It is cultivated and managed
exactly like the other kind ; but the first ploughing is on the eighth
day after the Swarna Gauri vrata, in August. The sowing season is
fifteen days afterwards. The straw is equally pernicious to cattle, but
the grain is reckoned better than that of the chik uddu.

About Madgiri it grows best on a black soil, which it does not
injure for the succeeding crop of j6]a. Plough twice in Ashadha or
Sravana, the fourth and fifth months after the vernal equinox. After
the next rain sow broad-cast, and plough in the seed. In three and a

' The following is the result of Professor Church's analysis of horse-gram : —

In loo parts In i lb

unhiisked oz grs

Water ii-o ... i t,t,t,

Albuminoids ... ... 22*5 ... 3 262

Starch ... ... ... 56"o ... 8 420

Oil 1-9 ... o 133

Fibre 5"4 ... o 37S

Ash 3-2 ... o 224

The nutrient ratio is i : 27, and the nutrient co-efficient S3. The ash contains

nearly one-third its weight of phosphoric acid.

UDDU 121

half months it ripens without farther trouble. The straw is only useful
as fodder for camels.

Dod uddti is cultivated in the west on good ragi soils, and is taken
as an alternate crop with that grain. After cutting the ragi the field is
ploughed once a month for a year. At the last ploughing some people
sow the seed broad-cast, and cover it with the plough ; others drop it
into the furrow after the plough. In this last case, the young plants
are always too thick ; and when they are a month old, part of them
must be destroyed by the hoe drawn by oxen. If sown broad-cast, the
weeds at the end of a month must be removed by the hand. The
broad-cast sowing gives least trouble. The drill iiddu produces a little
more. It ripens in three months.

The chiffi/, or lesser uddii, is cultivated at the same season with the
kdr ragi, and requires four months to ripen. Owing to a more
luxuriant growth, even when sown broad-cast, it requires the use of the
hoe drawn by oxen. It is not, however, so productive as the great
uddu. Cattle eat the straw of uddu when mixed with the husks, and
with those of hurali, kadale, avare, and togari, and \vith the spikes of
ragi, after these have been cleared of grain. This fodder is reckoned
superior to even the straw of rdgi.

Hesaru. — It is of one kind only, but is cultivated in the south both
as a hain and as a /'(/rcrop ; in both of which the manner of cultivation
is exactly the same as that of the uddus. The straw, being equally
unfit for cattle, is reserved for manure. The grain is dressed as curry.

In the east it is commonly raised on dry field. It requires a black
clay ; and, although it have no manure, it does not injure the following
crop of ragi. In the course of a few days in Vaisakha, plough twice,
sow broad-cast, plough the seed, and harrow. In three months it
ripens without farther trouble. It is then cut by the ground, stacked
for six days, dried in the sun for four, and trodden out by oxen as
usual. The grain, for use, is preserved in store-houses, and does not
keep good more than two months, even although it be occasionally
dried. The straw is totally useless, and will not even answer for

The hesaru cultivated at Sira is called kari, or l)lack, and requires
a black soil, to which it is said to add much strength. It is therefore
taken alternately with itavaijc, or with //uc/ii/ic//i/, both of which are
considered as exhausting crops. It is cultivated exactly in the same
manner as hurali is, and ripens in three months. Except for feeding
camels, its straw or husks are of no use.

In a few i)laces in Shimoga where there is a moist black soil, the
rice-ground produces a second crop of kadale, and of hesaru. For the


hcsaru, the field after the rice harvest must he ploughed twice. In the
month following the shortest day, it must be watered from a reservoir,
and smoothed with the implement called koradu. As a mark for the
sower, furrows are then drawn through the whole field, at the distance
of four cubits ; and the seed having been sown broadcast is covered
by the plough. The field is then smoothed with the koradu, and in
four months the crop ripens.

Wollellu — is cultivated near Seringapatam, and in some places is
q:\\\c^ pJiulagana e/Ju. It is raised exactly like the kdr uddit, cut down
when ripe, and stacked for seven days. It is then exposed to the sun
for three days, but at night is collected again into a heap ; and,
between every two days drying in the sun, it is kept a day in the heap.
By this process the capsules burst of themselves, and the seed falls
down on the ground. The cultivators sell the greater part of the seed
to the oil-makers. This oil is here in common use with the natives,
both for the table and for unction. The seed is also made into flour,
which is mixed with jaggory, and formed into a variety of sweet cakes.
The straw is used for fuel and for manure.

In Kolar it is more commonly called achchellu, and is cultivated as
follows. In Vais'akha plough twice, without manure, sow broad-cast,
and plough in the seed. In three months it ripens without farther
trouble, is cut down by the ground, and is afterwards managed exactly
like the uddu. The seed is preserved in the same manner. The
produce in a good crop is twenty seeds, and in a middling one twelve.
The straw is used for fuel.

North of the Tumkiir District are cultivated two kinds of sesamum,
the karti or wollellu, and the gur-ellit. The last forms part of the
watered crops ; the kar-e]]u is cultivated on dry field. The soil best
fitted for it is da^-e, or stony land, which answers also for same
and hurali. The ground on which kar-e]lu has been cultivated will
answer for the last-mentioned grain, but not so well as that which has
been uncultivated. After it, even without dung, same thrives well.
The same ground will every year produce a good crop of this cllu. If
a crop of ellu is taken one year, and a crop of same the next, and so on
successively, the crops of eHu will be poor, but those of same will be
good. After the first rain that happens in Vais'akha, which begins
about the middle of April, plough three times. With the next rain sow
broad-cast, and plough in the seed. In between four and five months,
it ripens without farther trouble. The produce in a good crop is

In the west the kar-elju is sown on ragi fields that consist of a red
soil, and does not exhaust them. The field is ploughed as for ragi,


but it is not allowed manure. The seed is mixed with sand, sown broad-
cast, and harrowed with the rake drawn by oxen. It r![)ens in four
months without farther trouble. The seed is equal to half of the rigi
that would be sown on the same field. The produce is about twenty
seeds. The straw is burned, and the ashes are used for manure.

Huchchellu — or the foolish-oil-plaut, is near Seringapatam most
common])- sown after j61a as a second crop. When that has been
reaped, plough four times in the course of eight days. Toward the end
of Sravana, or about the middle of August, after a good rain, sow
broad-cast, and plough in the seed. It requires neither manure nor
weeding, and ripens in three months. It is cut near the root and
stacked for eight days. Then, having been for two or three days
exposed to the sun, the seed is beaten out with a stick, and separated
from fragments of the plant by a fan. The seed is kept in pots. Part
of it is parched and made into sweetmeats with jaggory ; but the
greater part is sold to the oil-maker for expression. This oil is used in
cookery, but is reckoned inferior to that of ivone/Ju. The stems are a
favourite food of the camel ; but are disliked by the bullock, though
want often forces this animal to eat them, ^^'hen not used as a second
crop after j6]a, it is always sown on the two poorer soils.

The hiicJichenu near Bangalore is managed exactly in the same
manner as the wolleUu The 70 seers measure require a little more
water than the other ehu, and gives 65 seers of oil (or a little more
than 4^ gallons). This also is used for the table. The cake is never
used for curry, but is commonly given to milch cattle.

Huchchel/u is never sown at Kolar as a second crop. After the male,
or heavy rains are over, plough once, sow broad-cast, and plough in the
seed. It gets no manure, and in three months ripens without farther
trouble. It is then cut down near the root, stacked for six days, dried
in the sun for three, and trodden out. The seed is preserved in store-
houses ; the straw is used only as manure.

In IMadgiri liuchchelju is sown in places called Javi/gu, or sticking-
land, which are situated at the bottom of rocks ; from whence in the
rainy season the water filters, and renders the soil very moist. In such
places nothing else will thrive. When the rain has set in so late as to
prevent the cultivation of anything else, the huchchellu is sown also on
any land, especially on ragi fields. On such soiks, however, it does not
succeed. In Bhadrapada or Asvi'ja (from about the middle of August till
about that of October), plough once, sow broad-cast, and plough in the
seed, which rifjcns in four months.

Haralu.- — Two varieties of it are common ; the c/iikka, or little
haralu, cultivated in gardens ; and the dodda, or great haralu, that is


cultivated in the ncld.s. To grow the latter : — In the •''pring, plough
five times before the 15th of \'ai.s'akha. ^^'ith the first good rain that
happens afterwards, draw furrows all over the field at a cubit's distance ;
and having put the seeds into these at a similar distance, cover them by
drawing furrows close to the former. ^Vhen the plants are eight inches
high, hoe the intervals by drawing the kunte first longitudinally, and
then transversely. When the plants are a cubit and a half high, give
the intervals a double ploughing. The plant requires no manure, and
in eight months begins to produce ripe fruit. A bunch is known to be
ripe by one or two of the capsules bursting ; and then all those which
are ripe are collected by breaking them off with the hand. They are
afterwards put into a heap or large basket ; and the bunches, as they
ripen, are collected once a week, till the commencement of the next
rainy season, when the plant dies. Once in three weeks or a month,
when the heap collected is sufficiently large, the capsules are for three
or four days spread out to the sun, and then beaten with a stick to
make them burst. The seed is then picked out from the husks, and
either made by the family into oil for domestic use, or sold to the oil-
makers. It is cultivated on the two best qualities of land, and on the
better kinds of inaralu. When the same piece of ground is reserved
always for the cultivation of this plant, the succeeding crops are better
than the first ; when cultivated alternately with ragi, it seems neither to
improve nor injure the soil for that grain.

In Kolar District both the great and small kinds are cultivated ; but,
although the mode of cultivation is the same for both, they are always
kept separate. In the beginning of the female or slight rains plough
twice. When the rains become heavy, plough again ; and then, at the
distance of three-quarters of a cubit from each other in all directions,
place the seeds in the furrows. When the plants are a span high, weed
with the plough, throwing the earth up in ridges at the roots of the
plants. At the end of the first and second months from the former
weeding, repeat this operation. In four months it begins to give ripe
fruit ; and once in four days the bunches that are ripe are collected in
a pit until a sufficient quantity is procured. It is then exposed to the
sun, and the husks are beaten off with a stick. In the May following,
the plant dries up, and is cut for fuel. It is only cultivated in the good
ragi soils, which it rather improves for that grain, although it gets no
dung. The small kind is reckoned the best, and most productive.

Haralu is cultivated in the north-east on a particular soil, which is
reserved for the purpose, and consists of ash-coloured clay mixed with
sand. There are here in common use three kinds of haralu ; the
pJiola or field ; and the docMt, and chittu, which are cultivated in


gardens. A red kind is also to be seen in gardens, where it is raised
as an ornament. The chit haralu produces the best oil. Next to it is
the phola that is cultivated in the fields. In the course of a few days,
any time in the three months following the vernal equinox, plough
three times. With the next rain that happens, plough again, and at
the same time drop the seeds in one furrow at the distance of one
cubit and a half, and then cover them with the next furrow. A month
afterwards hoe with the kiotte, so as to kill the weeds, and to throw the
earth in ridges toward the roots of the plant. It ripens without farther
trouble. At the time the haralu is planted, seeds of the jiulses called
avare and togari are commonly scattered through the field. In four
months after this, the haralu begins to produce ripe fruit, and for three
months continues in full crop. For two months more it produces
small quantities.

Haralu, of the kind called phola, is cultivated at Sira. For this a
sandy soil is reckoned best ; and as it is thought to improve the soil,
the little ragi that is sown on dry field generally follows it. In the first
month after the vernal equinox, plough twice ; then, with the first rain
in the next month, at every cubit's distance throughout the field, draw
furrows intersecting each other at right angles. At every intersection
drop a seed, and cover them with another furrow. After two months
weed with the plough ; and with the kunte, or hoe drawn by oxen,
throw the earth in ridges toward the young plants. In six months it
begins to give ripe fruit, which for three months is gathered once a

Sanabu. — For the cultivation of this plant as pursued in the
Bangalore District, the soil ought to be red or black, like the best kind
used for cutlivation of ragi. It is allowed no manure ; and the seed is
sown broad-cast on the ground, without any previous cultivation, at the
season when the rains become what the natives call male, that is to say,
when they become heavy. After being sown, the field is ploughed
twice, once lengthwise, and once across ; but receives no farther cultiva-
tion. At other times the sanabu is cultivated on rice-ground in the
dry season ; but it must then be watered from a canal or reservoir. It
requires four months to ripen, which is known by the seeds having
come to full maturity. After being cut down, it is spread out to the
sun, and dried. The seed is then beaten out by striking the pods
with a stick. After this, the stems are tied up in large bundles, about
two fathoms in circumference, and are preserved in stacks or under

Cotton. — The soil on which it is sown at Sira is a black clay con-
taining nodules of limestone. In the two months following the vernal


equinox, plougli three times. At any convenient time, in the two next
months, mix the seed witli dung, and drop it in the furrows after the
plough, forming Hnes about nine inches apart. A month afterwards
plough again between the lines ; and in order to destroy the super-
fluous plants and weeds, use the hoe drawn by oxen three times, cross-
ing these furrows at right angles. The second and third times that this
hoe is used, it must follow the same track as at first , otherwise too
many of the plants would be destroyed. Between each hoeing three
or four days should intervene. In six months the cotton begins to
produce ripe capsules, and continues in crop four more. The plants
are then cut close to the ground ; and after the next rainy season the
field is ploughed twice in contrary directions. A month afterwards it
is hoed once or twice with the same implement, and it produces a crop
twice as great as it did in the first year. In the third year a crop of
same or navaJje must be taken, and in the fourth year cotton is again
sown as at first.

The principal crop in the fine country towards Narsipur and Talkad
is cotton, which there is never raised in soil that contains calcareous
nodules. The black soil that is free from lime is divided into three
qualities. The first gives annually two crops, one of jola and one of
cotton ; the two inferior qualities produce cotton only.

Cotton is raised towards Harihar entirely on black soil, and is either
sown as a crop by itself, or drilled in the rows of a navane field. In
the former case, two crops of cotton cannot follow each other, but one
crop of j61a at least must intervene. In the second month after the
vernal equinox, the field is ploughed once, then manured, then hoed
with the heg kuiite ; and the grass is kept down by occasional hoeings
with the /wilt kinife, until the sowing season in the month preceding
the autumnal equinox. The seed is sown by a drill having only
two bills, behind each of which is fixed a sharp-pointed bamboo,
through which a man drops the seed ; so that each drill requires the
attendance of three men and two oxen. The seed, in order to allow
it to run through the bamboo, is first dipped in cow-dung and water,
and then mixed with some earth. Twenty days after sowing, and also
on the thirty-fifth and fiftieth days, the field is hoed with the edik kunte.
The crop season is during the month before and that after the vernal

Tobacco is sown in Banavar in the dry field cultivated for ragi and
other similar grains, of which a crop must intervene between every two
crops of tobacco. A\'hen the season proves very wet, it cannot be
cultivated, and it requires a good ragi soil. A few small stones do no
harm, but it will not grow on the hard soil called dare ; and, in fact.


the soil of the first quahty is that usually employed, though sometimes
the tobacco is planted on the best fields of the second quality. In the
three months following the vernal equinox, the field ought, if possible,
to be ploughed ten times ; but some of these ploughings are often
neglected. After the fourth or fifth time, sheep and cattle must for some

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 16 of 98)