Kodagu First a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Kodagu, Coorgs and the People of Kodagu – here at Home and Overseas
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    September 30th, 2014adminSports

    Going a step further: Chandrodaya Narayan Singh of Uttar Pradesh won with his second throw of 67.84, to better his own mark of 67.78, beating national record holder Kamalpreet Singh. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar

    Going a step further: Chandrodaya Narayan Singh of Uttar Pradesh won with his second throw of 67.84, to better his own mark of 67.78, beating national record holder Kamalpreet Singh. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar

    Tamil Nadu and Kerala win the overall men’s and women’s team championships

    Siddhant Thingalaya equalled his National record of 13.65 as he won the men’s 110 metres hurdles in the 18th Federation Cup athletics championships at the NIS Complex here on Tuesday.

    Siddhant Thingalaya and M.R. Poovamma were adjudged the ‘best athletes’ of the championships. Tamil Nadu won the overall team championships ahead of Kerala. The teams won the men’s and women’s titles respectively.

    In men’s triple jump, national record holder and Commonwealth Games medallist Arpinder Singh had no difficulty winning with his third jump of 16.70 in the final. Renjith Maheshwary could not fight, as he had a best of 16.43 on the last attempt, after efforts of 16.40 and 16.41.

    Krishna Poonia risked an injured left knee to clinch the women’s discus gold with her last throw of 56.84 metres, more than three and a half metres ahead of World junior bronze medallist Navjeet Kaur Dhillon. After throws of 54.83, 55.38 and 55.49, the Delhi Commonwealth Games gold medallist stepped it up in the last throw.

    In women’s 400m, M.R. Poovamma clocked 52.42, beating Priyanka Panwar for the gold.

    In men’s hammer throw, Chandrodaya Narayan Singh of Uttar Pradesh won with his second throw of 67.84, to better his own mark of 67.78. Kamalpreet Singh, who holds the national record of 70.37, settled for the silver with his third throw of 66.78.

    Sushmita Singha Roy won the heptathlon two points ahead of Bengal teammate Swapna Barman, with a score of 5402 points.

    In the morning, Rahul Kumar Pal of Maharashtra sprinted past Laxmanan of Tamil Nadu for the gold in the 10,000 metres. He had focused on the event and thus enjoyed an advantage over the exhausted 5000m runners, including gold medallist Kheta Ram, who grabbed the bronze after having led for the most part.

    In the women’s 10,000 metres, Asian Games gold medallist Preeja Sreedharan was a class apart, finishing at 34:27.94 beating Swati Gadhave by more than two minutes. Meanwhile, the jury reinstated the original results in the men’s 3000m steeplechase, after having disqualified Naveen of Haryana and Ashish of Assam for “pacing”.

    The IAAF rules clearly state that any athlete “giving or receiving assistance” from within the area during an event should be warned by the referee and advised that he would be disqualified from that event if it was repeated. It further clarifies about “assistance” being from a “lapped” or “about to be lapped” athlete.

    Arguing that that they were from different States, and that one would not assist the other, Naveen was conveniently reinstated champion, and Ashish labelled “DNF” (did not finish), having finished a lap short.

    The results: Men: 200m: 1. Manikanda Arumugam 21.21; 2. Velayutham 21.83; 3. M.G. Joseph 21.87. 400m: 1. Kunhu Muhammed 46.40; 2. Arokia Rajiv 46.41; 3. Jibin Sebastian 47.28. 1500m: 1. Jinson Johnson 3:52.60; 2. Ravindra Rautela 3:53.09; 3. Sajeesh Joseph 3:53.38. 10000m: 1. Rahul Kumar Pal 30:04.77; 2. Laxmanan 30:05.20; 3. Kheta Ram 30:08.98. 3000m steeplechase: 1. Naveen 8:46.18; 2. Jaiveer 8:53.36; 3. Manju 8:54.43. 110m hurdles: 1. Siddhant Thingalaya 13.65 (ENR); 2. K. Prem Kumar 13.96; 3. Surrender 14.24. Triple jump: 1. Arpinder Singh 16.70; 2. Renjith Maheshwary 16.43; 3. Rakesh Babu 16.15. Hammer: 1. Chandrodaya Narayan Singh 67.84 (NMR, old 67.78); 2. Kamalpreet Singh 66.78; 3. Neeraj Kumar 66.71. 4x100m relay: 1. Tamil Nadu 40.96; 2. Kerala 41.08; 3. Maharashtra 41.18. 4x400m relay: 1. Navy 3:11.44; 2. Kerala 3:11.62; 3. Punjab 3:13.07.

    Women: 200m: 1. Asha Roy 23.89; 2. Srabani Nanda 24.02; 3. Archana 24.94. 400m: 1. M.R. Poovamma 52.42; 2. Priyanka Panwar 53.40; 3. Debashree Majumdar 53.79. 1500m: 1. O.P. Jaisha 4:09.14; 2. Sini Markose 4:18.18; 3. Sushma Devi 4:20.43. 10000m: 1. Preeja Sreedharan 34:27.94; 2. Swati Gadhave 36:28.46; 3. Monika Athare 36:44.15. 100m hurdles: 1. M.M. Anchu 13.80; 2. Deepika 13.81; 3. K.V. Sajitha 13.86. Discus: 1. Krishna Poonia 56.84; 2. Navjeet Kaur Dhillon 53.26; 3. Praveen Kumari 46.65. Heptathlon: 1. Sushmita Singha Roy 5402; 2. Swapna Barman 5400; 3. Liksy Joseph 5351. 4x100m relay: 1. Kerala 46.47; 2. West Bengal 46.56; 3. Punjab 47.27. 4x400m relay: 1. ONGC 3:42.26 (NMR, old 3:42.70); 2. Kerala 3:45.96; 3. Haryana 3:48.50.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sport> Other Sports / by Kamesh Srinivasan / Patiala – August 19th, 2014

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    The figure is floated by green activists and is disputed by the authorities, though within the government agencies it varies from 2,247 to 21,000. The trees fall in the verdant forests of Kodagu and the activists could be close to the mark, admit official sources


    Protests and campaigns have come to a nought, and the axe is set to fall on over 50,000 trees in the evergreen deciduous forests of Kodagu with an expert panel giving its nod to the power line project meant to light up towns and villages in Kerala.

    Terming the alternative routes proposed by the locals as technically and financially unfeasible, the three-member expert committee has given its go-ahead to the high power transmission line between Mysore and Kozhikode. Activists of the ‘Save Cauvery’ movement in Kodagu say the decision will ring the death knell for more than 50,000 trees.

    While the Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCI) continued to maintain only 2,247 trees will be cut, deputy conservator of forests, Virajpet, has submitted an affidavit before the Green Tribunal in Chennai that a total of 21,000 trees will be felled along the alignment line proposed by PGCI. However, activists who have trekked the entire stretch using GPS coordinates argue that not less than 55,000 trees, both in private areas and on forest land, will face the axe.

    Following widespread protests across Kodagu district over the large-scale clearance of forest and degradation to the fragile eco-system of the area, the state government had appointed a three-member expert committee to look into the issue and study the feasibility of possible alternative routes as proposed by the activists. The committee comprising noted elephant expert Prof Raman Sukumar of Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Ajai Misra, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (APCCF) was headed by R S Shivakumara Aradhya of Central Power Research Institute (CPRI).

    ‘Other routes not feasible’

    NGOs and activists had proposed alternative routes that would be less damaging to the eco-system, but the committee has stated in its report that these routes are not only detrimental to wildlife conservation, but require huge capital and are technically not feasible. According to the report, accessed by Bangalore Mirror, adopting other routes would require more forests to be cleared than what the present proposal will necessitate. Activists had suggested use of the D-line (District line dividing the two districts of Mysore and Wayanad in Kerala) passing via Nagarhole or the existing 220 KV line on the Kadakola-Kaniyampetta corridor for linking Karnataka with Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the South, besides upgrading the 110 KV corridor between Kasaragod and Mangalore.

    “Alternative routes will destroy the Kodagu environment as a large number of trees will have to be cut, adversely affecting the Dubare-Devamachi reserve forest which has considerable presence of elephants and tigers. Using these routes will not only affect the tribal settlement inside forests, but also call for felling of trees in coffee estates which are part of Kodagu ‘s ecosystem. The paddy fields along the proposed line would become unfit for cultivation. The temperature of line conductors will affect coffee plants and affect the national forest policy, which envisages about 33 per cent forest and tree cover. Work in these areas would not only reduce inflow to Kaveri and its tributary Lakshmana Theertha, but also intensify the man-animal conflict,” the report said.

    ‘Existing lines are over-exploited’

    On the prospects of using the existing corridors, the committee observed: “While the corridors are designed to carry a load of 130 MW to 140 MW, they have been used to transmit 180-200 MW of power regularly. Due to overloading, there already has been high sagging of conductors. Further, the ground clearance is low and there have been instances of elephants being subjected to fatal shocks. The Dasara elephant ‘Drona’ too had been a victim of this in the past. The existing 220 KV line runs North East-South West of Kabini for about 32 km of which 20 km is through Nagarhole forest; upgrading the line would only further disturb the ecology.”

    ‘Tunnelling will hit coffee estates’

    Studying the feasibility of laying underground cables, the committee reported it would cost five to 20 times more than the cost of overhead transmission lines. “If the cable is laid, the ground above has to be cleared of vegetation and must be provided with access roads for maintenance. The cable has to be cooled by forced air or by way of circulating water. Further, the repair time is 25 times greater than that of overhead line repair,” the report states.

    The experts clarified that laying a double circuit line along the D-line will require 130 hectares of dense tropical forest to be cleared. Besides, reactive power absorption devices have to be installed every eight to 10 km along the cable route; these sub-station-size structures requiring about 2,500 sq metres, the experts said.

    ‘Project crucial for Karnataka too’

    Even though the line between Mysore and Kozhikode was planned under Kaiga Stage II for transferring the generated power from Kaiga to other places way back in 2007, work could not be taken up for several administrative and technical reasons. “Besides this project, there is absolutely no grid connectivity between Kerala and Karnataka. The proposed line, besides helping Kerala, will help us draw power from Koodankulam and other new stations planned along the Tamil Nadu coast. This Southern grid connectivity will help Karnataka harness more than 3,500 MW wind power generated in Tamil Nadu,” said a senior official from the energy department.

    Referring to illegal clearance of forests in excess of what was permitted, the committee said, “The line route, proposed by the Power Grid Corporation, requires about 6,000 trees to be cut within a 12-km stretch of coffee plantations in Kodagu, in addition to the 2,247 trees (above 55 cm girth) already felled in that stretch.” Acknowledging clearance of forest for about 52 metres as against the permitted 46 metres along a four-km stretch, the experts suggested efforts to regenerate the natural vegetation in the stretch of land between the 46-52 metre width in Dubare and Devmachi reserved forests.” The committee has also directed the forest department to implement a conflict mitigation plan for preventing man-animal conflict in the area which will completely be funded by PGCI for a minimum of three years after completion of the project.

    Reacting over the recommendations of the committee, power minister DK Shivakumar told BM, “The committee has given us a green signal to go ahead with the project. The activists, farmers have to understand this and must support the government by giving all the necessary help. There is tremendous pressure from the Centre to accomplish the project and it is more important from the energy security of the state in future. It helps us draw more and more power in a short duration time from the generating stations of Tamil Nadu. We are just waiting for the rains to stop and once the rains are officially ended, we will take up the work along the proposed corridor.”

    source: http://www.bangaloremirror.com / Bangalore Mirror / Home> Bangalore> Cover Story / by Niranjan Kaggere, Bangalore Mirror Bureau / September 29th, 2014

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    Silver medalist Vietnam's Quach Thi Lan, gold medalist Bahrain's Oluwakemi Adekoya and bronze medalist Poovamma Raju Machettira pose during the medal ceremony of women’s 400 m final at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

    Silver medalist Vietnam’s Quach Thi Lan, gold medalist Bahrain’s Oluwakemi Adekoya and bronze medalist Poovamma Raju Machettira pose during the medal ceremony of women’s 400 m final at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.


    M R Poovamma bagged a bronze in women’s 400m race as India swelled their medal count from athletics competition to three at the Asian Games here on Sunday.

    Poovamma clocked 52.36secs in the final race behind pre-match favourite Oluwakemi Adekoya (51.59secs) of Bahrain and Vietnam’s Thi Lan Quach (52.06secs) at the Inchon Asiad Main Stadium here.

    24-year-old Poovamma, who was the second fastest off the block in the final today, could not touch her personal and season’s best of 51.73secs which she clocked at the National Inter-State Championships in Lucknow in June.

    Thi Lan, the second worst off the block, overtook Poovamma to take the second place behind the Nigerian-born Bahrain runner, who is also the Asian season leader. The other Indian in the fray Mandeep Kaur finished sixth in the eight competitor field with a timing of 53.38 secs.

    source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com / Deccan Chronicle / Home> Sports> Other Sports / PTI / September 28th, 2014

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    Anaka Alankamony, Joshna Chinappa, Aparajitha Balamurukan and Deepika Pallikal pose with their silver medals during the women's team squash award ceremony at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon on Saturday.

    Anaka Alankamony, Joshna Chinappa, Aparajitha Balamurukan and Deepika Pallikal pose with their silver medals during the women’s team squash award ceremony at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon on Saturday.

    Incheon :

    Gold proved elusive but it was nonetheless a historic silver for the Indian women’s squash team after it went down to Malaysia in the final of the 17th Asian Games here on Saturday.

    The team lost 0-2 to Malaysia to settle for the silver after Deepika Pallikal and Anaka Alankamony lost their matches in a contest which lasted a little over an hour. Alankamony opened the proceedings for India and did up some fight before going down 9-11 10-12 2-11 to Odette Arnold Delia in 43 minutes.

    Next up was Dipika Pallikal, who once again came face to face against world number one Nicol David after losing the singles semifinal to her earlier this week.

    The face off, however, did not yield a different result as Pallikal went down 7-11 6-11 3-11 in 29 minutes. Joshna Chinappa’s inconsequential final rubber did not take place after her rival Wee Wern Low withdrew from the contest.

    The defeat notwithstanding, this will still be india’s best performance in the Asian Games squash competition as the men are also assured of at least a silver after reaching the final of the team competition.

    Top singles player Saurav Ghosal has already added a historic silver to the medal list – a first in the Asian Games squash. Pallikal, on the other hand, had won a bronze medal in the women’s singles, also a first for Indian squash.


    source: http://news.oneindia.in/ OneIndia.in / Home> News> Sports / PTI / Saturday – September 27th, 2014

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    September 28th, 2014adminCoffee News

    Once confined to South India, coffee has emerged into pan Indian beverage, not just at cafes but also in homes. However, the coffee industry is facing several challenges due to shortage of labour in its estates and plantations. Hassan M Kamal investigates

    There’s a story that claims how nearly 400 years ago, a Sufi poet named Baba Budan smuggled coffee beans from Mocha (Yemen), to the hills of Chikmagalur in Karnataka. While there is no recorded evidence to prove this story, it has remained a popular folklore among India’s coffee lovers.


    The presence of a controversial shrine of the Sufi saint on top of Dattagiri (or Baba Budan) range of the Western Ghats, watching over the coffee estates of Chikmagalur, further lends credence to the belief. After its arrival, over the next four centuries, coffee grew to become an integral part of South Indian culture.

    Most coffee plants in India are grown under the shade of trees. Pic courtesy/ Dr Ashwini Kumar BJ

    Most coffee plants in India are grown under the shade of trees. Pic courtesy/ Dr Ashwini Kumar BJ

    Different communities and cities came to master the art of growing coffee, roasting and brewing a fine concoction from the coffee beans, in their own way.

    Aromatic trail

    “Even today, there are several households in South India who roast their own batch of coffee beans in the kitchen, grind it and prepare a decoction that suits their needs,” shares Dr Ashwini Kumar BJ, who holds the Coffee Board Research Chair at the Indian Institute of Plantation Management in Bangalore.

    A tasting session in progress at the Coffee Board head office in Bangalore. Pic courtesy/ Dr Ashwini Kumar BJ -

    A tasting session in progress at the Coffee Board head office in Bangalore. Pic courtesy/ Dr Ashwini Kumar BJ –

    Their methods have created specialty coffees, which are in huge demand in the Western markets as well as location-centric versions of Indian filter coffee like the Degree coffee of Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu (most popular among Tamilians), Coorg coffee and Chikmagalur coffee, each known for its unique taste, informs Dr Kumar (check box for details).

    Mumbai-based brewing expert Jignesh Shah with the three coffee-making equipments (from left to right) the Indian Filter Coffee Maker (in brass and steel), Aero Press and the Moka Pot. Pics/Shadab Khan

    Mumbai-based brewing expert Jignesh Shah with the three coffee-making equipments (from left to right) the Indian Filter Coffee Maker (in brass and steel), Aero Press and the Moka Pot. Pics/Shadab Khan

    The equipment to make the popular Indian filter coffee is proof of how engrained the beverage is in the daily life of a South Indian. While the origins of the filter coffee maker aren’t documented comprehensively, according to photographer K Suresh, a die-hard coffee lover, the earlier method required keeping ground coffee wrapped around a cloth dipped in a pot of water overnight.

    “My grandma would make fresh coffee every morning; jaggery was used to sweeten it. Sugar was reserved for tea,” he recalls. He still sources coffee beans from Mangalore, but also vouches for beans sold at Philips Tea and Coffee in King’s Circle, a locality famous for its authentic coffee. “The process continues with the Indian filter coffee makers, even today.

    The ground coffee is kept inside a chamber and filled with hot water. Overnight, the coffee filters down into a chamber right under it, giving the final decoction a strong flavour,” says Jignesh Shah, a Mumbai-based coffee entrepreneur. He adds that in most South Indian families, there’s a tradition of offering the first drink from the brew to the head of the family in the morning.

    Arrival of new coffee fans
    Shah comes from the new breed of coffee lovers, who are not South Indian, but have acquired a taste for this beverage, and see coffee as an item that needs to be appreciated. “Most Indians have been cheated with, when it comes to coffee, as we have never got anything beyond instant coffee. Coffee is more than that,” says Shah.

    He adds that the beverage is gaining popularity among other communities, including the tea-crazy North Indians. “And, I’m not referring to a Barista, Cafe Coffee Day or Starbucks outlet (though they played a role in popularising coffee) or drinking instant coffee from vending machines, but coffee fans who want to prepare it from scratch in their own homes.”

    Shah recently launched his brand of coffee, Jewel Aromantic, and has also been conducting workshops and taking classes, teaching Mumbaikars how to brew coffee at home. One of his focus areas has been making inexpensive fuss-free coffee makers like the Italian Moka Pot (comes for just Rs 500), Indian Filter Coffee maker (Rs 500) and the most-recent Aero Press (Rs 2,500), now available in India.

    “Most of us are only aware of instant coffee or the expensive espresso machines. But there are several other equipments like the Moka Pot, the Aero Press or the Indian Filter Coffee Maker, which are inexpensive and easy to operate. Now, people are exploring these options, and loving them,” he adds, adding, “Some devices like the Aero Press and Indian Filter Coffee Maker doesn’t require any heat source.”

    Home of specialties

    India grows two types of commercial coffees Indian Robusta and the Indian Arabica. Earlier, most of the produce used to be the Indian Arabica, which is still in huge demand internationally. But since Arabicas are prone to pests, most coffee estates have moved to the Indian Robusta. “It has a much more stronger taste than the Arabica, and though it was initially not considered good, and still fetches lower prices internationally, it’s gaining popularity in the market,” says Shah.

    Dr Kumar says that what gives Indian coffee a special place internationally is its unique coffees, which are referred to as Specialty Coffees. “The three specialty coffees produced in India are Monsooned Malabar, Mysore Nuggets and Robusta Kaapi Royale. All these coffees vary in their cup characteristics, and are popular internationally,” he adds.

    India is also gaining popularity for its unique animal coffee, the Monkey Parchment coffee, a rare type of coffee made from beans chewed by Rhesus monkeys. The coffee is produced in Chikmagalur, Karnataka.
    “The monkeys select the best coffee cherries, pick them, chew them leisurely for a few minutes and spit the remainder of the fruit onto the ground.

    These discarded fruits are collected, rinsed, washed and processed using water to remove the pulp (parchment), and then dried. The enzymes in the saliva of the Rhesus monkey initiates a chemical process, giving the beans a different taste and colour,” says Shah.

    Challenges galore
    But all is not good with the coffee estates, located mostly in the Western Ghats. In the last few years, there had been several reports of labour constraints in Indian coffee estates. “Most of India’s coffee is grown in undulating slopes of the Western Ghats.

    The coffee plantations are experiencing a severe shortage of labour for undertaking key farm operations, such as manuring, application of fertiliser, harvesting and farm-level processing. While larger plantations have initiated efforts for mechanisation, medium and small plantations continue to incur higher costs on labour, thereby reducing their surplus for capital investments,” says Dr Kumar.

    According to a report by The Seattle Times, some plantations in India have begun offering good-quality housing, medical care and other benefits to attract labour. But it’s been of no help. Another major problem is the low level of value addition at the farm level, informs Dr Kumar.

    “The value addition of coffee takes place at the level of roasters and retailers. But since most of our coffee is exported as green beans (unprocessed), most Indian coffee producers become very susceptible to the fluctuations in international prices. Higher value addition and domestic consumption could reduce the susceptibility of producers to the drastic price fluctuations that are currently seen in primary markets of Indian coffee,” he adds.

    Another concern emerges from lower production due to unseasonable and fluctuating rainfall. “While the consumption of Indian coffee has increased, the productivity of Indian coffee plantations has been stagnant,” reveals Dr Kumar adding that India should produce more coffee to meet the domestic demand and exploit opportunities that emerge from a growing international demand for Indian coffee.

    Grades of Indian Coffee

    Grading of coffee primarily refers to the segregation / classification of coffee beans based on their size. The primary grades of Arabica Coffee are Peaberry, AB, A, B, C, Blacks/Browns, Bits and Bulk. The primary grades of Robusta Coffee are Peaberry, AB, C, Blacks/Browns, Bits and Bulk.


    Bits and Bulk are the most inferior in the lot and used to make instant coffee. In India, coffee is also categorised based on taste like Monsooned Malabar, Mysore Nuggets and Robusta Kaapi Royale. Based on the region of production in India, 13 regional coffees have also been defined.

    They are Anamalais, Araku Valley, Bababudangiris, Biligiris, Brahmaputra, Chikmagalur, Coorg, Manjarabad, Nilgiris, Pulneys, Shevaroys, Travancore and Wayanaad.

    Improve your coffee quotient
    What’s roasting?

    Roasting is a process that helps bring out the aroma and flavour of coffee.



    The major techniques for roasting coffee beans are Rotating cylinder or drum roasting where the coffee beans are fed into a cylinder through which hot air is passed and the drum rotates; and fluidized bed roaster where gases entering into the fixed chamber of the roaster lead to the beans’ rapid turbulent circulation (levitation).

    Following roasting, the beans are cooled and run through a destoner that uses air to remove stones and other extraneous materials. The roasted beans are then ground by using grinders.


    source: http://www.mid-day.com / MidDay / Home> Life and Style News> Food News / by Hassan M Kamal / September 27th, 2014

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    September 28th, 2014adminArts, Culture & Entertainment


    Director Santosh Kondanker’s upcoming trilingual, Home Stay, which stars Shruthi, Ravi Kaale, Sayali Bhagat and Shirin is inspired by the mushrooming of homestays in holiday spots like Coorg. The film will be made in Kannada, Tamil and Hindi and will mark the debut of Shruthi in Bollywood.

    Sayali will be playing the female lead in the Kannada and Hindi version, while Shirin will play the lead in the Tamil version of the film. Shruthi, who will feature in all three languages, is reportedly excited as her role has two very different shades — her character is a simple homestay owner who traumatizes the very guests she has been hospitable to earlier in the day.

    Shruthi debuted as a supporting actress and acted in the Shivarajkumar-starrer Aasegobba Meesegobba. Her first film as a lead actress was the 1990 film Shruti. The movie was a hit and she hasn’t looked back since.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Entertainment> Kannada> Movies / by Dhwani Desai, TNN / February 05th, 2014

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    September 27th, 2014adminArts, Culture & Entertainment
    Regional favourites: Akki ooti and molai kuru./  Photo: V. Ganesan / The Hindu

    Regional favourites: Akki ooti and molai kuru./ Photo: V. Ganesan / The Hindu

    At the Kodava food festival, Susanna Myrtle Lazarus learns that there’s more to the cuisine than pork

    “Pandi (pork) curry does not define Coorg cuisine even though it is what we’re most famous for,” says Smitha Kuttayya, a native of Coorg. The statement is a little hard to believe, but the spread at Clubhouse, the all-day diner at Taj Club House, makes it clear that she isn’t far off the mark.

    A collection of signature Kodava recipes curated by Chef Naresh from Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri, includes koli chuttadh (chicken marinated with spices and griddled), kummu (mushroom)soup, toppu palaya (traditional curry with fresh double beans) and akki (rice) payasam among other regional favourites. Being from the region, Smitha has partnered with the hotel to consult on the food and interact with diners about Kodava cuisine.

    Smitha says that the food is influenced heavily by Kerala cuisine: “We also use a lot of coconut and rice in our food. It’s basically a farmers’ mentality to use everything we grow in the food we eat. And so we have varying degrees of rice – the fine, broken grains that are found after the dehulling process is used to make dumplings called kadumbuttu, the medium-sized grains are used to make paputtu.”

    Kodava cuisine is also very seasonal, says Smitha, who has draped her sari in the very elegant Coorgi way. “During Aadi — we call it kakada — the rains are the heaviest. There is a particular plant that is normally considered a weed; it grows all over the place throughout the year. The 18th day of this heavy rain is the only day when that plant has a particular taste and it is gathered and made into dark, almost blackish syrup called madhu thoppu,” she says. This plant is believed to have 18 medicinal properties and is incorporated into payasams or puttus.

    As we speak, steaming hot attukal soup (peppered lamb shank) is brought to the table along with kadumbuttu seasoned with spices. Smitha says that the kadumbuttu should be had with ellu kanji, which is a sort of chutney made with roasted sesame seeds. The steamed dumplings are addictive. “No Kodava wedding will take place without this dish being served. The women of the house sit together the day before the wedding and roll out the balls to be steamed. If they’re not of the right consistency, they will become a congealed mass of boiled and steamed rice,” she says, adding that they are served plain at weddings.

    Going beyond pork curries, Kodava cuisine uses vegetables and fruits like pumpkin and raw banana. The kari bale cutlets are roasted raw banana patties that are crisp on the outside and soft inside. Mushrooms are plentiful and each distinctive kind is used in different ways; the small ones are usually pickled or made into a curry, and each type is cooked separately. Smitha also talks about a certain type of grapefruit called kaipuli which can’t be found anywhere else. Apparently it is not sour as the name suggests, but can be made into jam, marmalade, juice and it can be burnt to make chutney as well.

    For the main course, Tarkari pulao (bright yellow rice with vegetables) and akki ooti (rice roti) are served with koli curry that has a distinct, yet not unpleasant, taste of coconut oil and molai kuru that is mixed sprouts curry.

    The picturesque hill district is known for its spice plantations and according to Chef Naresh, it is this that gives the Kodava cuisine its distinct flavour. “I used a special blend of spices — coriander seeds, cinnamon, and cloves — all from Coorg. These are used in all the dishes. Slow roasting for a long period of time gives the dishes like pandi curry their distinct colour — they are dark, but not burnt. The flavours come through more strongly without the spiciness,” he says.

    Incorporating cardamom into caramel custard gives the soft dessert a lovely scent and the subtle flavour brings to mind the hills on which the spices were grown. The traditional akki payasam is not overly sweet but is a satisfying end to the meal.

    The Kodava food festival is on at Club House in Taj Club House till September 28. A meal for two costs Rs. 2,000 upwards



    1 cup raw rice (washed and dried), 2 cups water, 2 tbsp butter, Salt to taste


    Lightly pulse the dried rice in a dry grinder or mixer. Put in very small quantities at a time so that the broken rice you get is small and even in size. The grains have to be powdered to “rava” size. In a thick bottomed vessel, boil the water with salt and a tsp of butter. Slowly add the broken rice, stirring all the time so that no lumps form. Close and allow to cook.

    When still hot, take small portions and roll into balls. Your dumplings are now ready to go for steaming. Heat water in a double boiler. Line a vessel with a damp, white muslin cloth and put the dumplings in. Cover with the edges of the cloth and put in the double boiler and steam for about 15 minutes.

    Serve with Pork curry, chutney or any side dish of your choice.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus> Food / by Susanna Myrtle Lazarus / September 25th, 2014

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    New Delhi:

    Olympian BP Govinda was on Friday named chairman of Hockey India’s nine-member selection committee, which will start working from July 1.

    The panel, which will be in office for a one-year tenure, was picked in the Hockey India Executive Board meeting held here. The selection committee will work jointly with the HI’s High Performance and Development Committee to identify fresh talent in the country.
    Govinda represented the country twice in Olympics (1972 & 1976), two World Cups (1973 & 1975) and three Asian Games (1970, 1974 & 1978).

    Olympian BP Govinda was named chairman of Hockey India's nine-member selection committee, which will start working from July 1.

    Olympian BP Govinda was named chairman of Hockey India’s nine-member selection committee, which will start working from July 1.

    “The other members in the Selection Committee are Olympian Mr. Syed Ali (1964 Olympics), former international player Dr. R P Singh (World Cup in1986 & 1990), former Captain Mr. Gagan Ajit Singh (Olympics in 2000 & 2004), former Captain Mr. Arjun Halappa (Olympics in 2004 & Commonwealth Games in 2010), former Captain Ms. Savitri Purty (Asian Games in 1986), former Captain Ms. Mamta Kharab (Commonwealth Games in 2002 & 2006, Asia Cup in 2004), former Captain Ms. Surinder Kaur (Asia Cup in 2004) and former Captain Ms. Saba Anjum (Commonwealth Games 2002 & 2006, Asia Cup 2004 and Asian Games in 2002),” the HI said in a statement.

    The newly-appointed Selection Committee will come into effect from July 1.

    source: http://www.ibnlive.in.com / IBN Live / Home> Sports> Hockey / Press Trust of India / May 31st, 2013

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    Domestic tourist arrivals may go up this festive season if the inquiries and bookings for touring Mysore and Kodagu are any indication.

    Surprisingly, there have been bulk bookings from non-traditional markets. Travellers hailing from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have planned their itinerary this Dasara, according to travel and tour operators. Like every Dasara, tourist arrivals from Tamil Nadu and Kerala are expected to be on the higher side.

    “Generally, tourists from some parts of south India tour up north. But with the floods recently, tourists were perhaps looking for alternative tourist spots like Mysore. The inquiries and bookings have picked up,” explains B.S. Prashanth, president, Mysore Tour and Travel Operators’ Association. He told The Hindu that tourists were planning combined trips to Mysore and Kodagu. Home-stays in Kodagu were reaching full occupancy, he said. Tourists prefer Mysore and Kodagu packages as they get the best of holiday over there, Mr. Prashanth said. “We have confirmed bookings from foreign tourists, who had booked six months in advance,” he said.

    Some tour operators in Mysore were promising to facilitate watching of the Jamboo Savari. “This way, the operators were attracting tourists,” a tour operator told The Hindu. Deputy Director of Tourism Husseni told The Hindu his department had been getting calls from inter-State travellers to know more about the festivities. “Besides explaining the events, we also guide them to visit websites to know more about the events,” he added.

    The Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation and the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation will launch tour packages.

    KSTDC Managing Director Harsha said tourists booking at the KSTDC’s properties in Mysore, KRS, Madikeri and Srirangapatna can avail themselves of packages. KSRTC Divisional Controller (Urban) Mahesh said the corporation was launching special package tours called ‘Darshini’, with packages like Giri Darshini, Jala Darshini, Deva Darshini, and Nagara Darshini. The tickets are available on the corporation’s website or at the reservation counter in the mofussil bus-stand here, he said.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> National> Karnataka / by Shankar Bennur / Mysore – September 24th, 2014

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    Bangalore :

    Coffee planters in Karnataka’s Kodagu district are an apprehensive lot. They believe the acceptance of the Kasturirangan report to conserve Western Ghats will make them helplessly watch their disease-afflicted crop wither away for it bans the use of pesticides in their area.

    They feel they may not be able to cut down trees on their plantation in times of distress as that too would be prohibited.

    The very mention of Kasturirangan report sparks off angry reactions in Kodagu district. “One cannot force small-time agriculturists to convert to organic farming and not use pesticides – it must happen gradually and voluntarily. Implementation of any report should create a win-win situation for all,” says Col CP Muthanna, president of the Coorg Wildlife Society.

    A cocktail of apprehensions and genuine fears has stirred up a massive resistance to Kasturirangan report along the Western Ghats. “Forests are the lifeline of Kodagu and a huge per centage of people are dependent on them. It is therefore important to initiate a dialogue with locals before taking far-reaching decisions,” says Air Marshal (Retd) Nanda Cariappa, a resident of Kodagu.

    Some experts admit some of the fears are genuine. “People still dependent on forest produce are opposing the implementation. Quite rightfully so as all this while no one raised an issue each time they went to the forest, gathered berries etc and sold them off for a livelihood. But with this classification they will not be able to do so,” said environmentalist Suresh Heblikar.

    Locals are knowledgeable and have a fair idea of the topography of the place. It would be unfair to remove them from the system altogether when they have been an inclusive partner of the ecosystem for centuries together, he said.

    But experts say a “deliberate campaign of misinformation” has made the Kasturirangan committee report unimplementable. They allege people with vested interests are at work and misleading the locals.

    “There is a common fear among people of losing their lands with 37% of Western Ghats earmarked to be notified as Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA). These directions have been issued under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and related Rules which does not empower the government to acquire any land. Therefore the question of people losing their legally owned lands located either in the identified villages or outside does not arise at all,” said Wildlife First trustee Praveen Bhargav.

    Environmentalists even doubt the government’s commitment to implement it as it means existing policies will have to be withdrawn. “These reports are in the interest of the common man and in favour of ecology. According to scientific findings, hilly regions should have 66% forest cover but what remains in Western Ghats is a mere 10%, which is also under attack by vested interests,” said environmentalist Panduranga Hegde, who heralded the Appiko movement to protect trees in Western Ghats.

    source://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Environment> Development Issues / by Saswati Mukherjee B, TNN / January 20th, 2014

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