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Ganjam figs on verge of extinction

Last updated: 18 April, 2011
Srirangapatna, April 18, DHNS : 21:56 IST

Rare variety

The gardens at Ganjam, which were once popular for growing rare varieties of figs (anjur) and exporting to other States, is in the verge of extinction.

Anjur (fig) fruits at a garden in Srirangapatna.Ganjam once had more than 150 anjur gardens and popular across the world for the quality figs grew till 1960, have now almost vanished. Now it is difficult to identify a single garden. The land on which the figs grown once are now vacant and the compound walls in a dilapidated condition at some place.

The Horticulture department has done nothing but to retain and grow around 15-20 plants in the place and even those plants are infected with pests.
It is said that the Horticulture department has taken over the 5.5 acre fig gardens from the Public Works Department in 1964. But the land now has only a few sapota plants and it is difficult to even find one fig plant here. The officials say that the department has retained around 100 Ganjam fig plants at Javarahalli farm in Ganjam and Nagamangala taluk.

The department has failed to protect and grow this special variety of Ganjam figs which were once popular. Apart from Australian and Pune figs one more variety that is available is the Ganjam figs.

The Ganjam Anjur dates back to the time of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar and Dewan Mirza Ismail. It is said that the King and the Dewan who were bowled over by the taste of the Ganjam figs encouraged around 150 farmers to grow them. They also donated five guntas of land to each person. Not only this, they even took steps to irrigate the land through Cauvery river.

The figs grown here were sent to Mysore palace. The royal family took pride in serving these delicious fruits to the British officers and visitors from foreign countries. But all these now remain as interesting memories.

Rusting machine

The machines that were used to pump water has rusted and the pipeline that was laid from Cauvery river to every corner of Ganjam is completely destroyed.

The two pumps of 40 HPand 20 HP capacity are now defunct and the land became barren and some houses have come on that land. But the surprising aspect is that although the figs have vanished, there are people to look after the gardens.

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