B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

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

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nights be kept on the field for manure. During the last fifteen days of
the second month after midsummer, small holes are made throughout
the field. They are formed with the hand, and disposed in rows distant
from each other \\ cubit ; and in every hole a young tobacco plant is
set. This being the rainy season, the tobacco requires no watering,
unless during the first ten days from its having been transplanted there
should happen to be two successive fair days. In this case, on the
second fair day, water must be given with a pot. On the fifteenth day a
little dung is put into each hole, and the field is hoed with the kunte.
Every fourth or fifth day, until the tobacco is cut, this is repeated, so as
to keep the soil open and well pulverized. At the end of a month and
a half, the top shoots of the plants are pinched off, and every eight or
ten days this is repeated ; so that si.\ or seven leaves only are permitted
to remain on each stem. In the month preceding the shortest day, it
is fit for cutting.

The stems are cut about four or five inches from the ground, and
are then split lengthwise ; so that each portion has three or four leaves.
These half stems are strung upon a line, which is passed through their
root ends ; and then for twenty days they are spread out to the sun and
air. Every third day they are turned, and they must be covered with
mats should there happen to be rain ; but at this season that seldom
comes. The tobacco is then taken into the house, put into a heap, and
turned four or five times, with an interval of three days between each
time. It is then fit for sale, and by the merchants is made up into
bundles which include the stems.

In order to prepare the seedlings, a plot of ground must be dug in
the month which precedes the longest day. It must be then cleared
from stones, and separated by little banks into squares for watering, in
the same manner as in this country is done to kitchen gardens. The
tobacco seed is then mixed with dung, and sown in the squares, which
are smoothed with the hand, sprinkled with water, and then covered
with branches of the wild date. Every third day it must be watered.
On the eighth day the plants come up, and then the palm branches must
be removed. If the plants be wanted soon, they ought to have more dung,
and to be kept clear from weeds, ^^'ith this management, they are fit
for transplanting in from a month to six weeks. If they are not wanted
for two months, or ten weeks, the second dunging is omitted, and the


growth of tlic plants is checked by giving them no water for eight days
after they come up.

Sasive is a mustard which is always sown, in the east, mixed with
ragi. It ripens sooner than that grain ; and, when dry, the branches
are broken with the hand, exposed two days to the sun, and then
beaten out with a stick. In this country, oil is never made from the
seed, as is usual in Bengal ; it is employed as a seasoning in curries and

Kadale always requires a black mould ; and is cultivated, in the
west, partly as a second crop after ragi, and partly on fields that ha^•e
given no other crop in the year. In this case, the produce is much
greater, and the manner of cultivation is as follows: — In the two months
preceding the autumnal equinox, the ragi having been cut, the field
is ploughed once a month for fourteen or fifteen months. Then in the
course of four or five days plough twice. After the last ploughing, drop
the seed in the furrows at six inches distance from each other, and it
ripens withoi'.t farther trouble. The seed is sown as thick as that of

It is a considerable crop in the south-east of the Mysore District, but
so exhausts the soil of even the richest fields that it is seldom taken
from the same ground oftener than once in seven years. It is generally
sown after jola in place of cotton, and must be followed by wheat,
wollellu or ragi. The two former may be followed by cotton, the ragi
cannot. In the third year, when ragi has been used, the field is sown
with navane or jola, succeeded as usual by cotton. Immediately after
the jola has been cut, which is about the autumnal equinox, the field is
ploughed once, then dunged, and then ploughed three times, all in the
course of a month. In the beginning of the second month after the
autumnal equinox, the kadale is sown in drills like the cotton ; but the
drills are only half a cubit distant. Between the drills, on the fifteenth
day, the hoe drawn by oxen is used. On the thirtieth the weeds are
removed by the kale kudagolu. If the soil be rather hard, about the
thirt3'-third day the hoe drawn by oxen must be again used. In four
months the kadale ripens. Kadale is sometimes sown after a fallow ; in
which case the ground is prepared in a similar manner as for cotton in
the two poorer soils.

Towards Harihar, a few rich spots are reserved solely for the cultiva-
tion of kadale, and these are cultivated in the following manner : — In
the month following the vernal equinox the field is ploughed once, then
manured, and in the following month is hoed with the keg kunfe.
Between that period and the month preceding the shortest day, the
grass is ploughed down twice, and the seed is sown with the sharp


bamboo following the plough, and covered with the hegkunte. It ripens
in three months.'

Wheat. — There are two kinds cultivated, Jave gbdhi {triticum
mofiococxiii/i) and hotte godhi {triticum spelta). For the former, in Kolar,
the ground is sometimes ploughed five times ; and sometimes dug with
the hoe called kol gudali to the depth of one cubit, which is reckoned
preferable. In Jye'shtha (May — June) the seed is sown broad-cast, and
covered with the hoe. Channels and squares are then formed, and the
ground is smoothed with the hand and dunged ; while such of the seed
as may happen to be above the ground is pushed down with the finger.
In forty-five days the field must be watered nine times. It is then
weeded with the instrument called woravari; after which one watering
in six days suffices. It ripens in three months, is cut, tied up in small
sheaves, and stacked for four days. It is then dried one day in the sun,
and thrashed out by beating the sheaves against a log of timber. To
separate the awns, the grain is then beaten with a stick. In the fields
of wheat, radishes are planted on the mounds which divide the

In the black clay in Madgiri, wheat of the kind called jave godhi
is the most common crop. It is but a poor grain, and five-twelfths
of it consist of husks. Any time in Pushya (Dec. — Jan.) plough once;
next day, if there be no rain, water the field, and plough again across,
dropping the seed in the same manner as in sowing jola. The plots
must be formed in the same manner. It gets no manure nor weeding,
and requires only three waterings, on the fortieth, sixtieth and eightieth
days. It is much subject to disease, and not above one crop in four
is good. After reaping the wheat, the field, in order to expose the soil
to the rain, must be immediately ploughed.

In Sira, in place of the Vais'dkha crop, when there is a scarcity of
water, wheat, both jave and hotte, are sown on rice-lands. These grains
may be followed by a Kdrtika crop of ragi ; but by this process the
ground is as much exhausted as if it had been sown with navanc. If

' Professor Church gives the following analysis of the composition of chick pea, or

15engal gram : —

In 100 parts In i lb

Husked with husk husked

1 1 '2 ... I oz 367 grs
19-5 ... 3 „ 207 ,,
53"8 • •• 9 ,. 192 ,,
4-6 ... o ,, 294 ,,
7-8 ... o ,, 70 ,,
3'i .•■ o ,, 182 ,,
The ash of husked contains l*l, and of unhiisked O'S of phosphoric acid. The
nutrient ratio of the unhusked peas is i : 3*3 ; the nutrient value 84.



... II-5


... 217


... 59-0


... 4-2


I 'O


... 2-6


the Kdrtika crop be altogether left out, the Vais'dkha crop of rice follow-
ing wheat will be as good as if the ground had been regularly cultivated
for rice alone ; and in India it is a commonly received opinion, that
where a supply of water admits of it, ground can never be in such good
heart as when regularly cultivated by a succession of rice crops. Wheat
requires a clay soil, and the manner of cultivating both kinds is the
same. In the two months preceding, and the one following the autumnal
equinox, plough five times. In the following month, after a rain, or
after having watered the field, plough again, and drop the seed into the
furrows. Then divide it into squares, as for j6la, and water it once a
month. The straw is only used for fire. If given to cattle for fodder,
it is supposed capable of producing the distemper.

A very small quantity of the wheat called jave godhl is raised near
Periyapatna on fields of a very rich soil, from which alternate crops of
kadale and of it are taken. The manure is given to the kadale ; but
wheat requires none. From the winter to the summer solstice plough
once a month. Then in the following month plough twice, sow broad-
cast, and cover the seed with the plough. It ripens in four months
without farther trouble.

The wheat raised near Narsipur in the Mysore District is of the kind
called hotte gbdhi, and there are two seasons for its cultivation, the hain
and kdr. It is sown on the best soil only, and always after a crop of
kadale. The kar season, when the rains set in early, is always pre-
ferred, not only as the wheat is then more productive, but as in the
same year it may be followed by a crop of cotton, which is not the case
with the hain wheat. In the two months following the vernal equinox,
the field for kar wheat is dunged, ploughed two or three times, and
then hoed with the hmte, which is drawn by oxen. The seed is then
sown, in drills one cubit distant, by dropping it in the furrow after a
plough. On the fifteenth, twenty-eighth and thirty-fifth days the hoe is
again used, and two or three days afterwards the weeds are removed by
the kale kudagolii. This wheat ripens in three months and a half, and is
immediately followed by a crop of cotton. The wheat is liable to be
spoiled by a disease called arsina mdri ; owing to which, in the course
of one day, it becomes yellow and dies.

When the rains are late in coming, the hain crop of wheat is taken
after kadale. Cotton cannot be taken in the same year. The manner
of cultivation is the same as for the kar crop, only the season is
difi"erent. The ploughings are performed in the month which pre-
cedes the autumnal equinox, or in the beginning of that which follows.
At the end of this month the seed is sown. The produce is about
one-half only of that of the kar crop.

RICE 131

Rice. — Of the varieties of this grain 108 specimens have been
collected in the Government Museum, each bearing its appropriate
vernacular name. There are three modes of sowing the seed, from
whence arise three kinds of cultivation. In the first mode the seed is
sown dry on the fields that are to rear it to maturity : this is called the
hara batta ox puuaji. In the second mode the seed is made to vegetate
before it is sown ; and the field when fitted to receive it is reduced to a
puddle : this is called mole batta. In the third kind of cultivation the
seed is sown very thick in a small plot of ground ; and when it has
shot up to about a foot high, the young rice is transplanted into the
fields where it is to ripen : this is called iidti.

The kinds of rice cultivated at Seringapatam are as follow -.—dodda
batta., hotte kembatti, arsina kembatti, sukadds, imirarjila, ydlakki raja,
konavali, bill sauna batta, putta batta, kari kallu. With the exception
of the first, which takes seven months, all the other kinds ripen in five
and a half months.

In the hain crop the following is the management of the dry-seed
cultivation. During the months Phalguna, Chaitra and Vais'akha, that
is from February till May, plough twice a month ; having, three days
previous to the first ploughing in Phdlguna, softened the soil by giving
the field water. After the fourth ploughing the field must be manured
with dung, procured either from the city or cow-house. After the fifth
ploughing the fields must be watered either by rain or from the canal ;
and three days afterwards the seed must be sown broad-cast and then
covered by the sixth ploughing. Any rain that happens to fall for the
first thirty days after sowing the seed must be allowed to run off by a
breach in the bank which surrounds the fields ; and should much rain
fall at this season, the crop is considerably injured. Should there have
been no rain for the first thirty days, the field must be kept constantly
inundated till the crop be ripe ; but if there have been occasional
showers the inundation should not commence till the forty-fifth day.
AWeding and loosening the soil about the roots of the young plants
with the hand, and placing them at proper distances, where sown too
close or too far apart, must be performed three times ; first on the
forty-fifth or fiftieth day ; secondly twenty days afterwards ; and thirdly
fifteen days after the second weeding. These periods refer to the crops
that require seven months to ripen. For rice which ripens in five and
a half months, the field must be inundated on the twentieth day ; and
the weedings are on the twentieth, thirtieth and fortieth days.

In the hain crop the following is the manner of conducting the
sprouted-seed cultivation. The ploughing season occupies the month
.of Ashadha (June — July). During the whole of this time the field is

K 2


inundated and is ploughed four times ; while at each ploughing it is
turned over twice in two different directions, which cross each other at
right angles. This may be called double ploughing. About the ist
of Sravana the field is manured, immediately gets a fifth ploughing, and
the mud is smoothed by the labourers' feet. All the water except one
inch in depth must then be let off, and the prepared seed must be sown
broad-cast. As it sinks in the mud it requires no labour to cover it.
For the first twenty-four days the field must once every other day have
some water, and must afterwards, until ripe, be kept constantly inun-
dated. The weedings are on the twenty-fifth, thirty-fifth and fiftieth
days. In order to prepare the seed it must be put into a pot, and kept
for three days covered with water. It is then mixed with an equal
quantity of rotten cow-dung, and laid on a heap in some part of the
house, entirely sheltered from the wind. The heap is well covered
with straw and mats ; and at the end of three days the seed, having
shot out sprouts about an inch in length, is found fit for sowing. This
manner of cultivation is much more troublesome than that called dry-
seed : and the produce from the same extent of ground is in both nearly
equal ; but the sprouted-seed cultivation gives time for a preceding
crop of pulse on the same field, and saves a quarter of the seed.

Two distinctions are made in the manner of cultivating transplanted
rice ; the one called baravdgi or by dry plants : and the other called
nirdgi or by wet pla?ifs. For both kinds low land is required.

The manner of raising the dry-seedHngs for the hain crop is as
follows : — Labour the ground at the same season, and in the same
manner as for the dry -seed crop. On the ist of Jyeshtha, or in May,
give the manure, sow the seed very thick and cover it with the plough.
If no rain fall before the eighth day, then water the field, and again
on the twenty-second ; but if there are any showers these waterings
are unnecessary. From the forty-fifth till the sixtieth day the plants
continue fit to be removed. In order to be able to raise them for
transplanting, the field must be inundated for five days before they are
plucked. The ground on which the dry-seedlings are to be ripened is
ploughed four times in the course of eight weeks, commencing about
the 15th of Jyeshtha; but must all the while be inundated. The
manure is given before the fourth ploughing. After this, the mud
having been smoothed by the feet, the seedlings are transplanted into
it, and from three to five plants are stuck together into the mud at
about a span distance from the other little bunches. The water is then
let off for a day : afterwards the field, till the grain is ripe, is kept
constantly inundated. The weedings are performed on the twentieth^
thirty-fifth and forty-fifth days after transplanting.

RICE 133

The manner of raising the wet-seedHngs for the transplanted crop in
the hain season is as follows : — In the month Phalguna (Feb. — Mar.)
plough the ground three times, while it is dry. On the ist of
Jyeshtha inundate the field ; and in the course of fifteen days plough it
four times. After the fourth ploughing smooth the mud with the feet,
sow the seed very thick and sprinkle dung over it : then let off the
water. On the third, sixth and ninth days water again ; but the water
must be let off and not allowed to stagnate on the field. After the
twelfth day inundate until the seedlings be fit for transplantation,
which will be on the thirtieth day from sowing. The cultivation of the
field into which the seedlings are transplanted is exactly the same as
that for the dry-seedlings. The plot on which the seedlings are raised
produces no crop of pulse ; but various kinds of these grains are sown
on the fields that are to ripen the transplanted crop, and are cut down
immediately before the ploughing for the rice commences. The pro-
duce of the transplanted crop is nearly equal to that of the dry-seed
cultivation ; and on a good soil, properly cultivated, twenty times the
seed sown is an average crop.

The kar crops, according to the time of sowing, are divided into three
kinds. When the farm is properly stocked, the seed is sown at the
most favourable season, and the crop is then called the Kumba kdr ;
but if there be a want of hands or cattle, part of the seed is sown
earlier, and part later than the proper season ; and then it produces
from thirty to fifty per cent, less than the full crop. When sown too
early the crop is called Tu/a kdr ; when too late it is called Mesha kdr.
The produce of the hain and Kuviba kdr crops is nearly the same.^

No Tula kar dry seed is ever sown. The ploughing season for the
Kumba kar dry seed is in Bhddrapada (August), and the seed is sown
about the end of r^Iargasira (December). In the :SIesha kar dry-seed
the ploughing commences on the ist of Chaitra (March), and the seed
is sown at the feast of Chitra Paurnami in April. The Tula kdr
sprouted seed is sown on the ist Kartika (October), the ploughing
having commenced wath the feast Navaratri, in September. The
Kumba kdr sprouted seed is sown in Pushya, about the ist of January.
The ploughing season occupies a month. The ploughing for the
Mesha kdr sprouted seed commences about the 15th of Chaitra. The
seed is sown about the i6th of Vais'akha (May). The Kumba kar
transplanted rice is cultivated only as watered seedlings. The ground
for the seedlings begins to be ploughed in the end of Kartika or
middle of November, and the seed is sown on the 15th Pushya or
end of December. The fields on which this crop is ripened are begun
1 Kumba or Kumbha is the sign Aquarius ; Tula is Libra ; and M,!sha is Aries.


to be ploughed in the middle (jf Margasira (ist December). The
transplanting lakes place about the 15th of Magha or end of
January. The Tula kar transplanted rice also is sown nirdi^i about the
30th of Asvi'ja or middle of October, and in a month afterwards is
transplanted. The Mesha kdr transplanted rice is also sown as watered
seedlings, about the 15th of Vais'akha (May), and about a month
afterwards is transplanted. The regular kar crop of the transplanted
cultivation docs not interfere with a preceding crop of pulse ; but this
is lost, when from want of stock sufficient to cultivate it at the proper
time the early or late seasons are adopted. The various modes of
cultivating the rice give a great advantage to the farmer ; as by
dividing the labour over great part of the year fewer hands and less
stock are required to cultivate the same extent of ground than if there
was only one seed-time, and one harvest.

The manner of reaping and preserving all the kinds of rice is nearly
the same. About a week before the corn is fit for reaping, the water is
let off, that the ground may dry. The corn is cut down about four
inches from the ground with a reaping-hook called kudagohi or kudagu.
Without being bound up in sheaves it is put into small stacks, about
twelve feet high ; in which the stalks are placed outwards and the ears
inwards. Here the corn remains a week, or if it rains, fourteen days.
It is then spread out on a threshing-floor made smooth with clay, cow-
dung and water, and is trodden out by driving bullocks over it. If
there has been rain, the corn, after having been threshed, must be dried
in the sun ; but in dry weather this trouble is unnecessary. It is then
put up in heaps called rds/ii, which contain about 60 kandagas, or 334
bushels. The heaps are marked with clay and carefully covered with
straw. A trench is then dug round it to keep off the water. For
twenty or thirty days (formerly, till the division of the crop between
the Government and the cultivator took place) the corn is allowed to
remain in the heap.

The grain is always preserved in the husk, or, as the English in
India say, in paddy. There are in use here various ways for keeping
paddy. Some preserve it in large earthen jars that are kept in the
house. Some keep it in pits called hagevu. In a hard stony soil they
dig a narrow shaft, fifteen or sixteen cubits deep. The sides of this
are then dug away so as to form a cave with a roof about two cubits
thick. The floor, sides and roof are lined with straw ; and the cave is
then filled with paddy. These pits contain from fifteen to thirty
kandagas. "\^'hen the paddy is wanted to be beaten out into rice, the
whole pit must at once be emptied. Other people again build kaiiajas,
or store-houses, which are strongly floored with plank to keep out the

RICE 135

bandicoots or rats. In these store-houses there is no opening for air ;
hut they have a row of doors one above another, for taking out the
grain as it is wanted. Another manner of preserving grain is in small
cylindrical stores, which the potters make of clay, and which are called
xvbde. The mouth is covered by an inverted pot ; and the paddy, as
wanted, is drawn out from a small hole at the bottom. Finally, others
preserve their paddy in a kind of bags made of straw, and called mi'ide.
Of these different means the kanaja and wbde are reckoned the best.
Paddy will keep two years without alteration, and four years without
being unfit for use. Longer than this does not answer, as the grain
becomes both unwholesome and unpalatable. No person here
attempts to preserve rice any length of time ; for it is known by
experience to be very perishable. All the kinds of paddy are found to
preserve equally well. That intended for seed must be beaten off from
the straw as soon as cut down, and dried for three days in the sun,
after which it is usually kept in straw bags.

There are two manners of making paddy into rice ; one by boiling it
previously to beating ; and the other by beating alone. The boiling is
also done in two ways. By the first is prepared the rice intended for
the use of rajas, and other luxurious persons. A pot is filled with
equal parts of water and paddy, which is allowed to soak all night, and
in the morning is boiled for half an hour. The paddy is then spread
out in the shade for fifteen days, and afterwards dried in the sun for
two hours. It is then beaten, to remove the husks. Each grain is
broken by this operation into four or five pieces, from whence it is
called aidii ni'igu akki, or five-piece rice. When dressed, this kind of
rice swells very much. It is always prepared in the families of the
rajas, and is never made for sale. The operation is very liable to fail ;
and in that case the rice is totally lost.

Rice prepared by boiling in the common manner is called kudupal
akki, and is destined for the use of the Sudras, or such low persons as
are able to procure it. Five parts of paddy are put into a pot with one
part of water, and boiled for about two hours, till it is observed that
one or two of the grains have burst. It is then spread out in the sun
for two hours ; and this drying is repeated on the next day ; after which
the paddy is immediately beaten. Ten parts of paddy, l)y this

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 17 of 98)