B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

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

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operation, give five parts of rice, of which one part goes to the person
who prepares it, for his trouble. Ten seers of paddy are therefore
equal in value to only four seers of rice.

The rice used by the Brahmans, and called hasi akki, is never
boiled. On the day before it is to be eaten, the paddy must be
exposed two hours in the sun. If it were beaten immediately after


being dried, the grain would l>reak, and there would be a considerable
loss. Even with this precaution many of the grains break ; and, when
these are separated from the entire rice to render it saleable, the hasi
akki sells dearer than the kiidupal akki, in the proportion of nine to

The beating is performed chiefly by women. They sometimes, for
this purpose, use the ydta, or a block of timber fastened to a wooden
lever, which is supported on its centre. The woman raises the block
by pressing with her foot on the far end of the lever, and by removing
her foot allows the block to fall down on the grain. The more
common way, however, of beating paddy, is by means of a wooden
pestle, which is generally about four feet in length, and three inches in
diameter, which is made of heavy timber, and shod with iron. The
grain is put into a hole formed in a rock or stone. The pestle is first
raised with the one hand, and then with the other ; which is very hard
labour for the women.

The kinds of rice cultivated at Mandya are dodda batta, piitta batta,
hote kembatti, konazvali, and viulu batta. The first four take each
five months to ripen, and the last, three. Every kind may be
cultivated, either as hain or kdr. The mulu batta is never sown
except when there is a deficiency of water. The only cultivation here
is the mole batta, or sprouted-seed ; the manner of preparing which is as
follows : Steep the seed in water all night ; next morning mix it with
cow-dung, and fresh plants of the tianbe soppu {phlomis escuknta), and
put it in a rfiiide. On the miide place a heavy stone, and on the two
following days sprinkle it with water. On the third day it is fit for

For the hain crop, the ploughings, from about the ist of June till
the middle of July are nine in number. Dung and leaves are then put
on the field, and trampled into the mud. The water is now let off,
until no more than a depth of one inch remains ; afterwards, the seed
is sown and a slight sprinkling of dung laid over it. A watering once
in three days is then given ; and after the third time, the field is
inundated till the grain ripens. The weeds are removed on the
twentieth, fortieth and sixtieth days. The kar cultivation is exactly
the same, only the ploughings are in November and December. In
both kinds of cultivation, and in every species of rice, an equal quantity
of seed is sown on the same extent of ground, and the produce is
nearly equal.

Of the different kinds of rice cultivated at JMaddur arisina kembatti,
putta batta, ydlakki raja, sukadas, kouavali, and imwarjila, are equal
in produce. The first four ripen in 4I months, the next in five, and

RICE 137

the last in six. The produce on first quality of soil is 114 seeds, on
second quality 100 seeds, and on third, half that quantity. Hote
kembatti and dodda or bill bai/a, which ripen in five months, produce
100, 70 or 40 fold, according to quality of soil. All the kinds
of rice may be raised either as hain or kar crops, or the mole or nati
modes of cultivation. No punaji is ever attempted. The seedlings for
transplantation, in the nati cultivation, are always raised as niragi.
The produce of the same kind of rice in the same soil, whether
cultivated as hain or kar, or as moje or nati, is nearly the same.

The seasons for cultivating rice in the Kolar District are two ; and
the two crops, from the months in which they ripen, are named the
Kdrtika and Vais'dkha. In this neigbourhood no rice is transplanted.
When the seed is sown dry, the cultivation is called //^/i?^/ ; when it is
prepared by being sprouted, it is called mole.

The only kind of rice cultivated as puiedi, or dry seed, is the dodda
baira ; and it is only sown in this manner for the Kartika crop. In
the course of Vais'akha and Jyeshtha plough the ground without water
four times. About the end of the latter month (June), after a day's
rain, sow the seed broad-cast, and cover it with the plough. Then
harrow the field with the implement called halive. The crop has no
manure, and the field is not inundated till the end of the second
month ; when it must be harrowed again, and the weeds removed by
the hand. A good crop of this is reckoned fifteen seeds, a middling
one ten seeds.

The mole for the Kartika crop is cultivated as follows : In Ashadha,
and the first half of Sravana, plough from seven to nine times, the field
being always inundated. Then manure it, either with leaves or dung ;
both are rarely given : but, could they be procured, this would greatly
increase the produce. Then let out all the water, except two inches in
depth, and sow the prepared seed broad-cast. Next day the field is
dried, and sprinkled with some dung. \X. the end of three days it is
covered with water for four hours. On the seventh, water the field for
a whole day. After the tenth day, it must be kept constantly
inundated to the depth of two inches. At the end of the month
harrow it once lengthwise ; on the third day harrow it across ;
and on the fifth day harrow again lengthwise. Four days afterwards
weed with the hand, and repeat this after an interval of two weeks.

All kinds of rice are cultivated in the same manner. The rice for
seed, after being trodden out, must be dried three or four days in the
sun ; and may be kept either in a straw inude, or in a store called
kaiiaja. When it is to be prepared, it must be dried one day in the
sun ; then soaked a night in water ; the next morning it must be mixed


with ham/ii leaves and dung, and tied u{) in straw. This is dipped in
water, and placed under a large stone. In two days it must again be
dipped, and is then fit for sowing. The produce of the dodda baira,
which is the common coarse grain of the country, is the greatest. A
good crop of this is said to be fifteen seeds, and middling crop about
ten seeds. The other kinds, on the same extent of ground, produce
eight or ten seers less.

The mo/e cultivation for the Vais'dkha crop is as follows : Having
inundated the field, plough it five or six days during the course of the
twenty days preceding the feast Dipavali. In the course of the next
month plough four times. Then let out all the water, except two
inches in depth ; manure with leaves ; and, having trodden these well
into the mud, sow the prepared seed broad-cast. Next day dry the
field, and manure it with duug. Three days after, water for two hours.
Then every second day, for three times, water for four or five hours.
Afterwards keep the field inundated. At the end of the month
harrow, with the halive, three times in three directions, with a day's
rest between each harrowing. A week afterwards weed with the hand,
and in two weeks repeat this operation. This is the most productive
crop, and gives from one to two seeds more than that which is reaped
in Kartika.

The mode of cultivation, or the season of sowing, makes no
difference here in the quality of the grain, nor in the length of time
that it will keep good. The grain is always preserved in the husk ; and
until wanted for immediate consumption, is never beaten. In store-
houses, or kattajas, if well dried in the sun previous to its having been
put up, it preserves well for two years. Paddy is sometimes kept in
pits, or in the straw packages called iiu'ides ; but these are inferior to the

At Madgiri, when there is plenty of water, the same ground in the
course of the year gives two crops, the Kartika and Vais'dkha. The
former, provided two crops are taken, is the most productive ; but, if
the Kartika be omitted, the Vaisakha gives a greater return than the
Kartika alone would have given ; not, however, equal to the produce of
both crops. The quality of the grain in both crops is the same. The
Vais'akha crop, although raised in the dry season, is the one most
regularly taken. For this crop all the kinds of rice may be sown ; for
the Kartika crop the bill sanna batta and kari chatuiaugi are never
sown ; as with rain they are apt to lodge. The soil used for tripad
sanna bafta, bill channangi, kari channangi, and put raj, is niaralu or
sandy. The others require a clay, which in the low grounds is always
black. The red soil is always confined to the rising grounds, and is

RICE 139

therefore never cultivated for rice, except when it can be watered by
machines; and if the water is more than 31I feet from the surface,
these are never used. Two men and four oxen can, by means of the
machine called kapi/e, supply an acre and a half of ground with water
sufficient to raise a crop of rice. One set works four or five hours in
the morning, and the other as much in the evening.

The only manner of cultivating rice that is in use here is the »io/e, or
sprouted-seed ; the manner of preparing which is as follows : — The ears
must be cut off, the grain beaten out immediately, and then dried in
the sun three or four days. It must be preserved in straw or in jars.
When wanted for sowing, it must be exposed to the sun for a day, and
soaked in water all the following night. It is then put upon a layer of
the leaves of the yekka {calotropis gigantea), or of hara/ie, mixed with
sheep's dung, and is surrounded by stones, so as to keep it together. It
is then covered with banddri (doJoiuva viscosa) leaves, and pressed down
with a stone. Next morning the upper leaves are removed, and a pot
of water is thrown on the seed, which must be turned with the hand,
and then covered again with the leaves and stone. Daily, for three or
four times, this operation must be repeated, and then the sprouts from
the seed will be almost an inch long.

For the Kdrtika crop plough seven times in the course of thirty
days, the ground all the while being inundated. In the next place
manure the ground with leaves, and tread them into the mud. Then
let off the water, and sow the seed broad-cast, covering it with a little
dung. On the fourth day cover the ground with water, and immediately
afterwards let it run off Repeat this daily till the eighth time, after
which the field must be kept constantly inundated to the depth of
one inch for ten days, and four inches for the remainder. The weed-
ings are at the end of the sixth, tenth, and twelfth weeks from sowing.
The season for ploughing continues all the months of Jyeshtha and

For the Vais'dkha crop the same process is followed; but the plough-
ing season is from the 15th of Asvfja till the last of Margasira. By
this time the whole seed must be sown ; and the nearer it is done to it
the better.

The large-grained rices, dodda batta, which ripens in 4^ months,
and kari channangi and bili chatmangi, which ripen in four months,
produce in a good crop twenty-fold, and in an indifferent crop one-fifth
less. Kembattl or dodda kembatti, and gartida or sanna kembatti yield
twenty-three and thirteen-fold respectively in a good crop, or fifteen
and sevenfold in an inferior one. The first ripens in five months, the
second in four. Of the small-grained rices, bili sanna ba/ta, kari sanna


batta, put raj and tripati sauna i>a//a, the first ripens in five months,
the second in five and a half, the third in fijur, and the fourth in three
and a half. Their respective yield in a good crop is twenty-four,
thirty-two, fifteen and seventeen-fold.

In Periyapatna and the west the principal cultivation is the trans-
planted or ndti, and by far the greatest quantity of rice cultivated is the
hain crop or anaputti. The other kinds raised are kenibatti^ konavali,
satma batta, saniia kembatta, and kdrn ; all ripen in six months, except
the last, which ripens in five. The following is the manner of
cultivating the hain ndti or crop of transplanted rice growing in the
rainy season : — The ground on which the seedlings are to be raised
gets seven or eight ploughings between the middle of Vais'akha and
the loth of Jyeshtha, which are the second and third months after the
vernal equinox. In the intervals between the ploughings the field is
inundated ; but at each time that operation is performed, the water is
let off After the last ploughing, manure with the leaves of the chandra
niallige {/nirabilis) or ununatte {datura strainoniuni) ; but, if these
cannot be had, with the leaves of the chaudangi {solanuni). Then
tread the leaves into the mud, sow the seed very thick and cover it
with dung. The seed is in general prepared for sowing by causing it to
sprout : and the reason assigned for so doing is, that it is thereby
secured from the birds. If the seed has been prepared, or inole^ the
field has water during the third, sixth, and ninth days, the water being
allowed to remain on the field all day, and being again let off at night. On
the tenth day the field is filled with water an inch deep and is kept so
till the eighteenth, when that water is let off. Immediately afterwards
the field is filled to three inches deep, and is kept thus inundated
until the seedlings be fit for transplantation. If the seed be sown dry,
it receives water on the first, second, and third days. On the fourth it
has the manure which is given to the mole, when that is sown. It
receives water again on the seventh, which is let off on the ninth.
Water is again given on the thirteenth, seventeenth, and twenty-first ;
and the field is then inundated, until the seedlings are fit for trans-
plantation. They must be transplanted between the thirtieth and
forty-sixth days.

The ploughings for the fields into which the seedlings are to be
transplanted are performed during the time in which these are growing ;
and are done exactly in the same manner as for the field in which the
seed has been sown. Stiff ground requires eight ploughings ; in a light
soil six are sulficient. The manure is given before the last ploughing.
The seedlings are pulled in the evening, and kept in water all night.
Next morning the field has the last ploughing, and the mud is smoothed

RICE 141

by having a plank drawn over it. The seedlings are then planted, and
get no water until the eighth day. On the eighth, twelfth, sixteenth and
twentieth days the water is kept on the field, and is let off at night.
The yellow colour occasioned by the transplantation is then changed
into a deep green ; after which, until the crop ripens, the field is
constantly inundated. In a bad soil, the weeds are removed on the
thirtieth day, in a good soil, on the forty-fifth.

The farmers here make their sprouted-seed in the following manner :
The seed is soaked all night in water, and is then placed in a heap on
a piece of sackcloth, or on some leaves of the plaintain-tree. There
it is mixed with some buffalo's dung, and the leaves of the Inirike
{ocyiuuiu molk), and covered with pack-saddles. In the evening it is
sprinkled with warm water, and covered again. In the morning and
evening of the second day it is sprinkled with cold water, and next day
it is fit for sowing.

Every kind of rice that is sown in Nagar takes six months to grow ;
and they are of less variety than usual, namely, hi/i batta or heggai, and
jolaghcna, which may be cultivated both as dry-seed and as transplanted ;
and honasejta, or keinpu, which can be sown only as dry-seed.

The bara-batta cultivation is conducted as follows : — In the course of
the five months following the winter solstice, the field gets four single
ploughings. In the second month after the vernal equinox, it is
manured with leaf dung, and ploughed once. After the next rain, the
seed is mixed with dry cow-dung, sown broad-cast, and covered by the
implement called koradu. A month after sowing, when the young rice
is about four inches high, the field is turned over with a small plough,
to kill the grass and to destroy part of the young corn, which is always
sown too thick. After this, the field is again smoothed with the same
implement, and harrowed with a bunch of thorns. In the second
month after the summer solstice, all the banks are repaired, to retain
the water on the fields, which are then ploughed again and smoothed
with the implement called aligina koradu. A large rake, called //a/(!r/(7^,
is then drawn by the hand over the field, to remove the weeds. In the
month preceding the autumnal e(]uinox, the weeds are removed by the
hand. In the two months preceding the shortest day, the crop is ripe.
It is cut close by the ground, and for four days is allowed to lie loose
on the field. It is then stacked in heaps, with the cars inward, but
without having been bound up in sheaves. In the course of three
months, it is trampled out by oxen. The grain with the husk is
preserved in store-houses, or straw bags, and is only made into rice as
it may be wanted for immediate use.

The process for transplanted rice, called here ;/////, is as follows : —


In ortlcr to raise the seedlings, in the course of fifteen or twenty days
during the niontli following the vernal equinox, a [jlot is inundated,
and ploughed four times. It is then manured with any kind of fresh
leaves, and with the dung made by cattle that have been littered with
dried leaves. These are ploughed down, and the mud is smoothed,
first with the noli, and afterwards by the mara, which is a square log
of timber yoked in the same manner. The field is then drained so
that three inches of water only remain. In any of the three months
between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice, the seed is sown
broad-cast. As this is the dry season, the seedling plot must be very
low, so as to receive a supply of water from some rivulet. On the
fifth day after the seed has been sown, the whole water is allowed to
drain from the plot ; and for three days this is kept dry, after which it
is constantly inundated, till the seedlings are fit for transplantation.
The field into which they are to be removed is inundated during the
two months following the summer solstice, and in the course of three
days during that period ploughed four times. It is then manured, in
the same manner as the plot was ; and afterwards, in the course of two
or three days, it is ploughed again three times. The mud is then
smoothed with the noli, above mentioned ; and the water having been
let off to the depth of three inches, the seedlings are transplanted into
the field, which must be always kept under water ; and a month after
it has been planted, the weeds must be removed by the hand. The
harvest is in the month preceding the winter solstice.

All the fields are capable of both modes of cultivation. The trans-
planting is reckoned most troublesome and least productive, and
requires most seed. A kandaga of land is an extent that in the trans-
planting cultivation requires one kandaga of seed ; in dry-seed
cultivation, it requires only fifteen kolagas. The produce of all the
three kinds of rice is nearly the same, only the heggai gives rather most.
Of this grain a kandaga of land of the first quality, cultivated by
transplanting, produces eleven or twelve kandagas ; land of the second
quality produces eight kandagas ; and land of the third quality pro-
duces six kandagas. The same ground, cultivated with dry-seed,
would produce from half a kandaga to one kandaga more.

The kinds of rice cultivated at Shimoga are sampige ddla, hctta
kenddl, kenibatti and sanabafti, producing in a good crop ten, twelve
and nine-fold respectively, the last two being equal. All these require
six months to grow. They are all large-grained, except the sanabatti,
which sells five per cent higher than the others. The lowest ground is
used for the sanabafti, the highest for the kembatti.

The cultivation of all soils and all kinds of rice here is the same, and

RICE 143

the unprepared seed is sown by a drill. Immediately after harvest, the
ground is once ploughed. ^Vhcn the rains commence during the two
months following the vernal equinox, it is ploughed again twice,
smoothed with the implement called koradu, and then hoed twice with the
heg kunk, which is drawn by two oxen. This removes the grass ; after
which the clods are broken by drawing the koradu twice over the field,
which in some measure serves as a rolling-stone. The dung is then
spread ; and after the first good rain the seed is sown with the drill or
kurige, and covered with the koradu. At this season the rain comes in
showers, between which are considerable intervals. On the third day
after having been sown, the field is hoed with the hcg ki/nfe, which
here is called also kambutige. On the twentieth day, when the seedlings
are nine inches high, the koradu is used again ; then the edde kunte ;
then the koradu^ and finally the harrow, which is made of a bunch of
thorny bamboos. On the thirtieth day, more grass having sprung, the
edde kunte is again used, the rows of young corn passing between the
hoes ; and this must be repeated as often as the grass springs. In the
third month the water is confined, and then for the last time the edde
kunte must be used. The mud raised by this is smoothed by the
koradu \ but in this operation the same implement is called aravasi.
All these weedings are not sufificient, and the remaining grass must be
removed by the hand and weeding-iron. The rice is cut with the
straw, and for two days is allowed to lie loose on the field. It is then
put in ricks, without having been bound in sheaves, and remains there
until trodden, which may be done any time in the course of three
months. It is always preserved in the husk, and when wanted for con-
sumption is cleaned by a hand-mill of the usual form, but made
entirely of timber, which removes the outer husk ; but the inner one,
or bran, must be separated by beating in a mortar. Eight measures of
clean rice, as usual in India, are equal in value to twenty of that which
retains the husk.

South of the Chitaldroog District, all the rice ground is cultivated as
sprouted-seed. The seed is sown equally thick, yet in Budihal the
land often produces sixty-fold, and the ordinary crop is forty seeds ;
while towards Garudagiri, the usual produce is twenty seeds. In the
course of one year there are frequently from the same field two crops
of rice.

The kinds of rice cultivated at Belur are hasi/de, bola niat/ige, bill
sauna batta, kcrivanna and putta bafta, which ripen in eight months;
and chipiga, kesari, kumbara kesar'i^ kenipu sauna baita, and modara,
which ripen in seven months. On nirdvari land, or that which has
u supply of water from tanks, the rices most commonly cultivated are


kiriva/uia and hasndc. All the three kinds of cultivation arc in use ;
but in ordinary seasons the dry seed is by far the most prevalent. In
extraordinary wet seasons a good deal is transplanted, and some is sown

The cultivation of the dry-seed is conducted as follows : — In the
month following the winter solstice, the ploughing commences, and in
the course of two months the operation is eight times repeated. The
little banks, inclosing the plots for confining the water, are then repaired,
and the field is manured. In the month preceding the vernal equinox,
after a shower of rain, the clods are smoothed with the ada, or gidde
mara, which is the same implement which at Nagar is called no/i.
Eight days afterwards, the field is again ploughed and again smoothed
with the ada. The seed is sown by the drill, according as the rainy
season commences, during the two months and a half which follow the
vernal equinox. It is then covered by the ada. On the twenty-third
day after having been sown, the field is hoed with the edde kuitte, and
this is repeated twice, with an interval of four days between each time.
The field is then inundated by confining the water, and the kimte is
drawn a fourth time in the mud. On the day following, the soil is
smoothed with the ada. Eight days afterwards, the field is drained
until the weeds can be removed by the hand. After a month or six
weeks, this must be repeated. The rice is cut with the straw, and
trodden out by oxen.

When the rains are heavy, a good deal of rice is raised by transplanta-
tion. For every kandaga land, two kandagas of seed must be sown ;
and the produce of this, on the best land, is only twenty-one or twenty-
two kandagas. Very little sprouted-seed is sown ; but it seems to be
the cultivation that would answer best. For a kandaga land fifteen

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 18 of 98)