B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

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

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kolagas of seed are sufficient, and the produce is little less than in the
dry-seed. On the viakke land, or that which depends entirely on rain
for a supply of water, the seed is always sown without preparation, and
managed exactly in the same manner as on the niravari. The produce
on the best land is twenty-two kandagas, from thirty kolagas sown on a
kandaga field.

Sugar-cane. — A considerable quantity of sugar-cane is cultivated
near Seringapatam. It is of two kinds, rastdli and pattdpatti.^ Both
yield bella ox jaggory ; but the natives can extract sugar from the patta-
patti alone. The jaggory of the latter is also reckoned the best. The
rastali can be planted only in Chaitra ; the pattapatti may also be planted
in Sravana or IMagha. The crop of rastali is over in a year : that of

' Rastali is the original sugar-cane of the country ; pattapatti was introduced, it is
said, from Arcot, in the time of Haidar, by Mustafa Ali Khan, a paymaster-general.


pattapatti requires fourteen months, but may be followed by a second
crop, or, as is said in the West Indies, by a crop of ratoons, which
require twelve months only to ripen. The rastali will not survive for a
second crop.

When the ground is to be cultivated for sugar-cane, it is watered
three days, and then for the same length of time it is allowed to dry.
During the next eight days it must be ploughed five times, and the clods
must be beaten small with a kind of pick-axe, called kol gudali. The
field must then be manured, and ploughed a sixth time. The ground
now rests fifteen days ; after which, in the course of one or two days,
it must be ploughed twice, and then be allowed eight days more rest.
It is afterwards ploughed a ninth time. These operations occupy
forty-four days ; six more are employed in planting the cane, which is
done by the instrument called yak giidali. With this the field is divided
into beds of about six cubits wide. These beds are separated by small
trenches, which are about fourteen inches wide, and eight deep. In
every alternate trench are dug small wells about two feet deep. The
water from the canal flows through all the trenches, and, a quantity of
it lodging in these wells, is taken out with pots for watering the plants
by the hand. Across every bed, at the distance of a cubit, are dug five
holes, about six inches in diameter and three in depth. In each of
these are placed horizontally two cuttings of the cane, each containing
three joints. These are covered slightly with earth, over which is laid
some dung. When the cane is planted in Chaitra, the trenches must be
filled with water from the tank, and every hole must be watered by pots.
At the other seasons the trenches are full, it being the rainy weather ;
but, even then, for one month, the holes containing the canes must
daily be watered by the hand. The earth in the holes is then stirred up
with a stick, and a little dung is added. Next month the daily watering
must be continued, and at the end of it the whole field must be dug up
with the yak gudali; and round every cluster of young canes there
must be formed by the hand a small cavity, into which a little dung is
to be put. In the third month the canes must be watered every other
day. At the end of the third month, if the canes have grown with
luxuriance, the field must be dug over again with \\\q yak gudali; but,
if they are rather stunted, the watering must be continued all the fourth
month, before they get the third weeding. At this time, the earth at
the roots of the cane is heaped up into ridges, crossing the beds at right
angles to the trenches. Afterwards, no water is given immediately to
the plants ; but for three days the trenches must be kept full. It is
then let out for a week. If there be rain, there is no occasion for more
watering ; but, if it be dry weather, the trenches, for a month, must be



filled with water one day in the week. Then the weeding with the
yak gudali must be repeated, and the earth must be smoothed with the
hand, and placed carefully round the canes. The young shoots from
each hole will be now ten or twelve in number ; those which are sickly
must be cut off; and the healthy, which are about a cubit long, must
be tied up with a leaf of the plant into bundles of two or three, in order
to prevent them from spreading too much. Should there be no rain,
the trenches must once in fifteen days be filled with water, till the canes,
having grown higher, again require to be tied together. In a month
after the first tying they ought to be two cubits high. When the plants
are eight months old they will have grown another cubit, and will
require another tying. The farmer now begins to repair his apparatus
for making jaggory : the die inane, or boiling-house ; the gdna, or mill ;
the kopparige, or boiler ; the achchit, or mould ; the kunu, or cooler ;
the gormane, or ladle ; and the chibalu, or skimmer. In the eleventh
month he begins to cut the rastali, and the crop must be finished within
the year. The pattapatti is ripe in twelve months, and two months may
be allowed for cutting it.

If it be intended to keep the field of pattapatti for a second year's
crop, the dry leaves which are cut off at crop season must be burned on
the spot, and the whole field must be dug with i\ieyale gudali. The
trenches must then be filled with water, and for six months the watering
must be continued once in eight or ten days, unless there be rain. The
weedings during this time ought to be three ; at each of which dung
ought to be given. At the end of six months, the canes having grown
one cubit high, the weakly plants must be removed, and the strongest
tied up, as in the first crop. The manner of conducting the two crops
after this is quite similar. The canes of the second crop must be all
cut within the year.

The kinds of sugar-cane cultivated in Kolar are four, which are
esteemed in the following order : first rastali, second pattapatti, third
7nara kahlm, fourth katte kablm. The two last are very small, seldom
exceeding the thickness of the little finger ; yet the katte kabbu is the
one most commonly cultivated. This is owing to its requiring little
water ; for by means of thejv?Va it may have a supply sufficient to bring
it to maturity. From the end of Phalguna to the end of Chaitra (Mar.
— April) plough eight or ten times. Manure the field with dung, and
plough it again. Then spread leaves on it, and cover them with the
plough. By the small channels that are to convey the water, the field
is then divided into beds eight cubits broad. Furrows are then drawn
across the beds at the distance of nine inches from each other. The
cuttings of cane, each containing four or five eyes, are then placed


lengthwise in the furrows, the end of the one touching that of the
other. They are covered with a very httle earth, over which is laid
some dung. They are then watered, the water flowing through every
channel, and entering every furrow. For one month the watering is
repeated once in three days ; the earth round the canes must then be
loosened with the point of a sharp stick. For fifteen days more the
watering must be continued ; when the whole field should be hoed,
and levelled with the kbl gudali. Four days afterwards, between every
second row of sugar-cane a trench is dug, and into this the water flows
from the channels. Thus in the progress of its cultivation each bed
assumes two forms. When there is no rain, the field requires to be
watered once in fifteen days. When four or five months old, the canes
are tied up in bundles ; and when they are a cubit and a half high this
is repeated. In eleven months they are ripe, and a month and a half
are allowed for the crop season. The soil here used for sugar-cane is
the rich black soil called ere ; and after sugar it requires one or two
years' rest before it gives a good crop of rice. The sugar-cane is all
made into jaggory ; seventy-four seers measure, or nearly eighteen ale-
gallons of juice, are said to produce fifty kachcha seers weight (about
2 6| lb. avoirdupois) of the jaggory.

The sugar-cane field at Madgiri is divided into two equal portions,
which are cultivated alternately, one year with sugar-cane, and the other
with grain ; the cane, however, thrives better when the field, in place of
being cultivated for grain, is allowed an intermediate fallow ; but then
the loss is heavy, as after cane the grain thrives remarkably. The grains
cultivated are rice, ragi, and jola ; the first injures the cane least, and
the jola injures it most. The kinds of cane cultivated are the rastali
and mara kabbu. In Kartika and Margasira (Oct. — Dec.) plough seven
times, and manure with sheep's dung and leaves. Then with the hoe
c:i\\cd yaie gi/dali form channels at a cubit's distance. In these also, at
a cubit's distance, plant single shoots of the cane, each about a cubit in
length. If the soil be poor, they must be planted rather nearer They
are laid down in the channels, which are filled with water, and then
people tread the shoots into the mud, by walking through each channel.
X /xo/aga oi land requires 18,000 shoots, on which data it ought to
contain I'S acre. If the soil be of a moist nature, the cane has water
once in eight days ; but, if it dry cjuickly, it must, until ripe, be watered
once in six days, except when there is rain. At the end of the first
month the field must be hoed with the kali kudali. Near each cane, as
a manure, some leaves of the honge are then placed, and they are
covered with a little mud ; so that the channels are now between the
rows of cane, and the canes grow on the ridges. When these are 2^

L 2

148 FJ.ORA

cubits high, they arc tied u[) in hunches of three or four ; and as they
grow higher, this is three or four times repeated. Twelve months after
planting, the crop season begins ; and in six weeks it must be finished :
250 maunds of jaggory is here reckoned a good crop from a kolaga of
land, which is very nearly 15 cwt. an acre ; 150 maunds, which is about
9 cwt. from the acre, is reckoned a bad crop. Black clay gives the
greatest quantity of jaggory, but it is of a bad quality. A sandy soil
produces least jaggory, but that of a high value. One kapile can water
an acre and a half of sugar-cane land.

The ground for cultivating sugar-cane in Sira is also divided into
two equal parts, which are alternately cultivated ; one year with cane,
and the other with rice. It is watered either from the reservoirs, or by
the kapile. In the last case, a field of two koiagas, or three acres, one-
half of which is in sugar-cane, and the other in rice, requires the con-
stant labour of four men and eight oxen. Day-labourers must also be
hired to rebuild the boiling-house, to tie up the cane, and to weed.
When the field is watered from a reservoir, one man only is regularly
employed ; but to plough, to plant, to weed and to tie up the cane,
both men and cattle must be hired in addition. Three kinds of cane
are here cultivated. The most valued is the rastdii, which grows best
on a black soil in which there is much sand or gravel ; a good crop of
this, on a kolaga land, produces 100 maunds of jaggory ; which is
about 29} cwt. on an acre. The next in quality is the kari kabbit, or
black cane. It requires a pure black mould, called ere bhiimi; and, in
a good crop, produces, from a kolaga land, sixty maunds of jaggory, or
from an acre nearly 17^ cwt. The poorest cane is the mara kabbu, or
stick cane. It is cultivated on the same kind of soil with the rastali ;
but produces only half as much jaggory as the kari kabbu, and that of
a very bad quality, for it is quite black.

The cultivation of the rastali, however, is comparatively much more
troublesome. In the course of the eight months following the summer
solstice, the field must be ploughed eleven times ; and once a month,
during the whole of that time, 1,000 sheep must be folded for one night
on the field. It is then manured with mud from the bottoms of the
reservoirs, and ploughed again twice. The channels are then formed,
and in them the cuttings are laid down, two and two being always
placed parallel. A kolaga of land requires 50,000. The channels are
then filled with water, and the cuttings are trodden into the mud with
the feet. The second watering is on the fourth day, the third watering
on the twelfth ; afterwards the field, if the soil be good, must be
watered once a fortnight ; or once a week, if it part with its moisture
quickly. On the twentieth day the field is weeded with the small hoe


i:alled molu poiii, which imphes that the operation is done very super-
ficially. On the thirty-fifth day the whole field is dug with the large
hoe called yale gudali; and, the earth being thrown up toward the
canes in ridges, the channels for conveying the water run between the
rows. About the ninetieth day the canes are tied up with a leaf of the
plant in parcels of five or six, and once a month this is repeated.
When the cane is ten months old, the crop begins, and in thirty days it
must be finished.

Towards Periyapatna, the cane is watered from reservoirs ; the
natural moisture of the climate not being sufficient to raise it, and
machinery being never employed. The kinds cultivated, besides a little
pattapatti, are rastali and mara kabbu, both of which grow nearly to
the same length, which is in general about six feet. The rastali ripens
in twelve months, while eighteen are required to bring forward the
mara kabbu ; so that as a crop of rice must always intervene between
two crops of sugar-cane, the rotation of the former occupies two years,
while in that of the latter three are consumed.

For the mara kabbu plough twenty times either in Asvija and
Kartika, the two months immediately following the autumnal equinox ;
or in Kartika and Margasira, which is of course one month later. The
canes are planted in the second or third months after the winter solstice.
In order to plant the cane, longitudinal and transverse furrows are
drawn throughout the field, distant from each other one cubit and a
half; at every intersection a hole is made, nine inches wide, and of
the same depth ; in each hole are laid horizontally two cuttings of
cane, each containing three joints ; finally under them is put a little
dung, above them an inch of mould. Then water each hole with a
pot, from a channel running at the upper end of the field. On the
two following days this must be repeated. Until the end of the third
month, water every other day. From the third to the sixth month,
the field must, once in eight days, be ploughed between the rows of
holes ; and at the same time, should there be any want of the usual
rain, it must be watered. At the first ploughing a little dung must be
given, and at tlie end of six months the field must be copiously
manured. At this time channels are formed winding through among
the canes ; so that every row is between two channels. When the
rainy season is over, these channels must be filled with water, once
in eight days in hot weather, and once a month when it is cool.
At the beginning of the eighth month the whole field is hoed, and at
the end of two months more this is repeated. The cane here is never
tied up.

The sugar-cane cultivated in Nagar is the mara kabbu. The ground


fit for it is that which has a sii[)ply of water in the dry season. Any
soil will do, but a red earth is reckoned the best. In the month
preceding the vernal equinox plf)ugh four times ; and then throughout
the field, at the distance of one cubit and a half, form with the hoe
trenches one cubit wide, and one span deep. Then cover the field
with straw, dry grass, and leaves, and burn them to serve as a manure.
The soil in the bottom of the trenches is afterwards loosened with a
hoe ; and a man, with his hand, opens up the loose earth, puts in a
little dung, and upon this places horizontally, and parallel to the sides
of the trench, cuttings of the cane, each containing four or five joints.
These he covers with a little dung and earth. The cuttings are placed
in one row in each bed, the end of the one being close to that of
another. Once a day, for a month, the canes must be watered with a
})0t ; the young plants are then about a cubit high ; and, the earth
round them having been previously loosened with a sharp-pointed stick,
a little dung should be given to their roots. After this, the ridges are
thrown down, and the earth is collected toward the rows of young
cane, which by this means are placed on ridges, with a trench inter-
vening between every two rows. Until the rains commence, these
trenches must every other day be filled with water. In the month
preceding the autumnal equinox, in order to prevent them from being
eaten by the jackals and bandicoots, the canes are tied up in bundles
of from five to ten, and each of these is surrounded by a series of
straw^ rope. In ten months they are fit for cutting, and require no
farther trouble. The crop season lasts one month. On the second
year a crop of ratoons is taken, in the third year the roots are dug up,
and the field is again planted with cane ; so that it is never reinvigor-
ated by a succession of crops.

Sugar-cane is at Harihar the most considerable irrigated crop. In
the intervals between the crops of cane, a crop of rice is taken, should
there be a sufficient supply of water ; but that is seldom the case,
and the intermediate crop is commonly some of the dry grains. The
cane may be planted at any time ; but there are only three seasons
which are usually employed. One lasts during the month before
and month after the summer solstice. This is the most productive
and most usual season ; but the cane requires at this time longer to
grow, and more labour, than in the others. The other two seasons
are the second month after the autumnal equinox, and the second
month after the shortest day. Those crops arrive at maturity within
the year.

The kind of cane cultivated is the mara kabbu, and the following
is the process in the first season : — In the second month after the


vernal equinox, the field must be watered, and eight days afterwards
it is ploughed once. After another rest of eight days, it must be
ploughed again with a deeper furrow, four oxen having been put into
the yoke. After another interval of eight days it is ploughed, first
lengthwise, and then across, with a team of six oxen. Then, at the
distance of three, or three and a half cubits, are drawn over the whole
field, furrows which cross each other at right angles. In order to make
these furrows wider, a stick is put across the iron of the plough. In
the planting season, two cuttings of the cane, each containing two
eyes, are laid down in every infersection of the furrows, and are
covered slightly with mud. The furrows are then filled with water,
and this is repeated three times, with an interval of eight days between
every two waterings. A little dung is then put into the furrows ; and
when there happens to be no rain, the waterings once in the eight
days are continued for three months. When the canes have been
planted forty days, the weeds must be removed with a knife, and the
intervals are hoed with the hoe drawn by oxen. This operation is
repeated on the fifty-fifth, seventieth, and eighty-fifth days, and the
earth is thrown up in ridges toward the canes. In the beginning of
the fourth month, the field gets a full watering. Fifteen days after-
wards, the intervals are ploughed lengthwise and across ; and to each
bunch of plants a basket or two of dung is given and ploughed in.
The weeds are then destroyed by a hoe drawn by oxen ; after which,
channels must be formed between the rows ; and until the cane ripens,
which varies from fourteen to seventeen months, these channels are
filled with water once in fifteen days. The crop season lasts from one
month to six weeks.

Cardamoms — are propagated entirely by cuttings of the root, and
s{)rcad in clumps exactly like the plantain-tree. In the month follow-
ing the autumnal equinox, a cluster of from three to five stems, with
the roots adhering, are separated from a bunch, and i)lanted in the
same row, one between every two areca-nut palms, in the s[)ot from
whence a plantain-tree has been removed. The ground around the
cardamom is manured with iiclli {emblica) leaves. In the third year,
about the autumnal equinox, it produces fruit. The capsules are
gathered as they ripen, and are dried four days on a mat, which during
the day is supported by four sticks, and exposed to the sun, but at
night is taken into the house. They are then fit for sale. Whenever
the whole fruit has been removed, the plants are raised, and, all the
superfluous stems and roots having been separated, they are set again •
but care is taken never to set a plant in the spot from whence it was
raised, a change in this respect being considered as necessary. Next


year these plants give no fruit, but in the year following yield capsules
again, as at first. After transplantation, the old stems die and new-
ones spring from the roots. Each cluster produces from a quarter to
one seer weight of cardamoms, or from -^{'i^ to -^^ of a pound.

Areca-nut. — In the gardens near Channapatna the areca palm
requires a rich black soil, and is planted in such places only as produce
water on digging a well two cubits deep. There are here two varieties
of the areca, the one bearing large and the other small nuts. The
produce of both kinds is nearly equal in value and quantity.

The following is the manner of forming an areca-nut garden :• — A
plot of ground having been selected for a nursery, is dug to the depth
of one cubit. When the seed is ripe, which happens between the
middle of January and that of February, trenches must be formed in
the nursery, a span broad and a cubit deep. The trenches are half
filled up with sand, on the surface of Avhich is placed a row of the ripe
nuts. These are again covered with five inches of sand, and two inches
of rich black mould, and watered once in three days for four months,
at which time they are fit for being transplanted into the garden. The
garden having been fenced with a hedge of euphorbium tiriicalli, or
jatropha curcas, is dug to the depth of a cubit at the same time with
the nursery and planted with rows of plantain-trees at the distance of
three cubits. When the young palms are fit for being transplanted the
garden must be dug again to the former depth, and two young arecas
must be set in one hole between every two plantain-trees, ^^'hen there
is no rain they nmst have water every third day. ^^'hen the rainy
season commences, a trench must be dug between every third row of
trees ; that is to say, so as between every trench to form beds each of
which contains two rows of the areca. These trenches serve to carry
off superfluous water and to bring a supply from the reservoir when
wanted. The garden must be dug twice a year to keep it clear of
weeds. At the end of three years the original plantain-trees are
removed, and a row is set in the middle of each bed and kept up ever
afterwards in order to preserve a coolness at the roots of the areca.
When the areca-trees are about five feet high, which requires about five
years, they receive no more water than what is given to the plantain-
trees, which in dry weather must be watered twice a month. The tree
when five years old begins to produce fruit, and lives from thirty to
forty years.

Each tree pushes out three or four spadices which from the middle
of August until that of November become fit for cutting at different
intervals of twenty or thirty days, one after the other. When the nuts
have been cut, the skin is removed with an iron knife, and a quantity


is put into a pot with some water, in which it must be boiled tiU the
eyes be separated. The nut is then cut into three or four pieces and
for three or four days dried on mats exposed to the sun, when it becomes
fit for sale. The plantations are interspersed with cocoa-nut, lime, jack
and other trees, which add to the shade and to the freshness of the
soil. Under the trees are cultivated ginger, and various vegetables.

The situation that is reckoned most favourable for areca gardens in
Madgiri is a black soil which contains calcareous nodules. It differs
from that in which cotton is raised by having the limestone a cubit or
two deep ; whereas the cotton requires it to be at the surface. The
gardens at this place are watered from reservoirs, from canals, and from
wells by means of the kapile.

Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 19 of 98)