Marching through the Hand-sculpted Historic landscape

Day 8
06th February, 2018

We moved from the Nawabs ruled Hyderabad-Karnataka region to the Vijayanagar empire as we moved towards Kanakagiri. We could see the change in the landscape, crops and architecture of temples with Sufi influence still existing but not as prominent as in Hyderabad-Karnataka.

An interesting place we walked through was ‘Huli Hyder’ (Huli translates as Tiger in Kannada), which seemed to be named after Tipu Sultan’s father, the legendary Hyder Ali.

This region also seemed to have much more of borewell irrigation and therefore there were quite a few cash crops grown as well. We encountered a papaya field, where the papayas are grown not to sell as fruit but for the extraction of papain. The farmer had actually left a lot of small papayas to rot ! This region was a contrast with irrigated fields and non-irrigated grasslands . It seems to have been a grassland originally, converted into irrigated fields over the years.

Kathale – Natural Fibers

Around 2 kms from Tavargeri , as we walked along on the edge of the highway, we saw Kathale (Agave) fibers being produced. Kathale, which looks a bit like Aloe-Vera, is used by farmers as hedge plants and sometimes is also found growing on public land, fibers from these plants is similar to jute. The families which were producing these fibers had come from Chitradurga district. They are farmers practicing rain fed farming in Chitradurga and when they don’t have rains, they travel around in search of Kathale. They purchase the Kathale from the farmers, they hire workers who will cut the leaves and transport it to processing site. Where, (usually a field on hire) they use rollers operated by machine only to remove cellulose and extract the fiber. Later they dry the fiber in sun light. These fibers are used to make ropes used in agricultural work and other uses.

Watch this short video from our vlog, The Hand-made Natural Fibers

Hand Sculpted marvels of Time

After a long walk we reached Kanakagiri a new taluk. In the APMC yard we were astounded to see the magnificient and beautifully hand carved stone well – Venkataapathi Bhavi. The well is currently fully dry which enabled us to see the detailed handwork. This is an excellent, ancient example of the rich hand-making culture of this region.

Later we visited the Kanakachala Narasimha Swamy temple, an ancient temple, constructed by Mandalika kings under the Vijayanagara dynasty, another testament to the hand-making culture of the region.  The 95 ft temple car (Ratha ) with its stone and wooden wheels was another beautiful work of art.

– Abhilash, Vinay