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A visit to the rural world

Suhasini Rao Feb 8 2018, 2:22 IST
A model of oxen being used for tilling.

A model of oxen being used for tilling.

We decided to have a Sunday brunch at Kamath Lokaruchi, a vegetarian restaurant which is located on Bengaluru-Mysuru highway. This is my favourite eat-out as I am a fan of their 'Jolada rotti' and 'Yennegai'.

It was a pleasant long drive on a hot sunny day, although a stretch of the highway is congested due to flyover work. We reached there at about 2 pm and enjoyed an authentic North Karnataka banana leaf meal. While having a Sunday lunch at Kamat Lokaruchi, we heard pleasant folk songs from the adjacent Janapada Loka. My parents told me that I had once visited Janapada Loka with them when I was a tiny tot. Upon my mother's suggestion, we decided to pay a visit to this place.

The entry ticket cost ‚10 per head. My brother was excited because it was his first visit and for me too it felt like the first visit as I didn't remember anything from my first trip.
As we took a stroll in the cool, shady green park, my parents recollected how playful I was back then. When we walked past some tall plants, my dad pointed out details like how a tiny sapling had now grown into a tall shrub. My parents were astonished on seeing the total makeover of the place from their last visit.

On the trail, we came across many Kannada riddles. It was joyous to solve them as we walked along. We then came across a stone clock, one of the attractions which my parents remembered from their last visit.

On the right, there were models of village huts with some figurines of villagers working and domestic animals. This a good place for posing and clicking pictures and selfies. One of the two houses had a porous bamboo wall which separated the kitchen from the rest of the hut, while the other one was just a small room. The restroom was outside the hut. I often wondered how calm and peaceful a village life could be amidst the green. After seeing the hut with primitive utilities, no flooring, no electricity, wooden walls and a wooden stove, I began to appreciate a luxurious and comfortable urban life. In fact, the restroom had no place to bathe.

Later, we visited a row of museums. In the first one, we saw pictures of different tribes in Karnataka and some of their practices like harvesting festivals, Sati and their different folk dances. In the second one, we came across a collection of primitive village utensils, measuring units, household items and tools for fishing and farming.

In the third one, we looked at the different costumes, masks, puppets and props used by the folk dancers. We also saw coins from the pre-British, British and independent Indian era. There were some Dasara dolls, village jewels and items of worship. My mother recollected seeing some of these items in her grandmother's house. She also told us about the many old coins that she has in her coin collection.
Another attraction here is a pond, which has now dried up. There were some statues of how oxen are used to draw water from ponds and lakes in villages and how earth is tilled for farming in villages, near the dried up pond.

We took a peep into the Doddamane which depicted an old typical Indian villa. There was a huge kitchen, many rooms and an open portico in the middle. Some of the other attractions that we came across were statues of paddy winnowing, black smith, oil milling (using oxen), pottery, earth tilling (using oxen)and water drawing (using oxen). We also enjoyed a live pottery session.
When we came across figurines of village women using stone grinder and mixer, my mother described that as an age old Indian gym for women. There were more tools used for fishing and farming near the pottery barn. Under a tree, a model of a typical village panchayat meeting is a unique attraction here. At the exit, we visited a farm fresh millets store. It had a variety of millets that I've never heard of before. There was a gift shop and a Channapatna toy store. We spent about three hours here. It was a pleasant and refreshing place on a hot sunny day amidst the green. It is a good place for a picnic with family or friends.

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