Miscellany

Fresh from Gundlupet’s farms

Farmers in Gundlupet taluk are known to eke out a living by selling vegetables along Kerala’s border. Vegetables raised by these growers attract a chunk of customers from the neighbouring state for their produce.

Once you enter the Government Hospital Road on NH 212 that connects Gundlupet to Kerala, a group of mobile vendors, standing on either side of the footpath, hawk vegetables. Clutching plastic sachets containing vegetables, the youth make a dash towards any passing vehicle.

The minimum price of any sachet is Rs 10. Vendors here can speak all three languages, Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam, and use this knowledge to woo commuters. Along the highway, one can spot makeshift stalls with heaps of vegetables abutting agricultural fields at Koothanur, Mallaiahanapura and Bheemanabeedu.

Gopalapura, a village nearby, with the lofty Gopalaswamy hills in the backdrop, is known for garlic cultivation.

Also, tomato, chilli and cabbage are grown in the lands behind the makeshift shops; farmers double up as traders here. Vegetables not grown here including beans, carrot, onion, capsicum are bought at wholesale rates, either from the Gundlupet or Mysore markets.

The stretch of the highway from Nanjangud to Gundlupet is dotted with tender coconut vendors. Farmers with small land holdings find tender coconuts more profitable. Coconut vendors on either side of the road from Hirikaati gate up to Bandipur draw tourists and passing vehicles. Maada Nayaka of Tondavadi village has been vending vegetables for long.

He sells at least 60 coconuts per day. Sales increase during summer vacations thanks to inter-State tourists flocking Bandipur and Ootacamund.

Sreekantswamy B

Remembering the ‘Rajarshi’

Mysore’s landmark statue of Maharaja Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar and the heritage clock tower (built to commemorate 25 years of his reign) in Mysore, are testimony to the remarkably good governance of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, the philosopher king (‘Rajarshi’, the title given by Mahatma Gandhi) acclaimed as the architect of modern Mysore.

Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV was affectionately called ‘praja raja’ (people’s king) for his people-friendly administration. Many factories, educational institutions and dams were built by the Maharaja who had the services of great Dewans like Sir M Visvesvaraya and Sir Mirza Ismail.

Educational institutions like the University of Mysore, the Indian Institute of Science, University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering, Mysore Maharani College, Yuvaraja College and Maharaja College are known to have been founded during the rule of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar.

Many industrial units like Mysore Paper Mills, Mysore Lamps, Hindustan Aircraft (now HAL), K R Mills, Mysore Sugar Mills and Government Sandalwood Oil Factory also came up during the Wodeyar’s rule.

In one of his letters addressed to Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, Gandhi wrote, “Dear friend, it has been a matter of deep joy for me to learn, wherever I have gone, nothing but praise of your benevolence and purity.”

S V Upendra Charya

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