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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    Up in arms:Activists protesting as part of the ‘Save Kodagu, Save Cauvery’ campaign at Kutta in Kodagu on Saturday.Special Arrangement

    Up in arms:Activists protesting as part of the ‘Save Kodagu, Save Cauvery’ campaign at Kutta in Kodagu on Saturday.Special Arrangement

    Activists from nearly 30 organisations hold Save Kodagu, Save Cauvery rally

    To draw public attention to the rapid ecological devastation of Kodagu brought about by development projects, scores of people staged a protest at Kutta as part of the ‘Save Kodagu, Save Cauvery’ campaign on Saturday.

    Activists and citizens from nearly 30 organisations and NGOs participated in it to stem the tide of what they described as the growing ecological destruction of Kodagu district, which is also the catchment area for the Cauvery.

    The activists assembled first at Ponnampet and were joined by others at Kutta, bordering Karnataka and Kerala where a rally was taken out. The highway was blocked for nearly an hour.

    The campaign had its share of critics who questioned the motives and rationale of the conclusions of the activists but the latter described them as misguided by vested interest groups.

    The crux of the issue revolves around new projects such as two railway lines that will link Kodagu or cut across the district, besides national highways.

    The rapid urbanisation of the region, besides indiscriminate tree felling under the guise of “development” has reduced the green cover of the district over the years, according to the activists.

    They have objected to the Mysuru-Kushalnagar railway line which is being bandied about as a market link for coffee growers of the district with the rest of India while the other railway line is the proposed link between Mysuru and Thalassery in Kerala which passes through some of the dense forests and elephant habitat. Col. C.P. Muthanna (retd) of Coorg Wildlife Society said such projects would only escalate human-animal conflict in Kodagu as these so-called development works would lead to habitat fragmentation, disturbance and destruction.

    The Save Kodagu, Save Cauvery campaign also highlighted the vanishing green cover in the district and linked to it depleting rainfall in the region since the last few years which has affected local agriculture.

    Being the catchment area for the Cauvery the forest cover had to be protected and if the river and its ecosystem was not saved, then nothing would survive, said the activists, pointing out that the river served as a source of drinking water to people in south Karnataka region, including Mysuru and Bengaluru.

    Reiterating that every hectare of land acquired for development projects in Kodagu would result in the felling of nearly 350 fully grown and mature trees, the activists said the extent of tree-felling and damage to the ecology could only be imagined as large swathes of land extending to hundreds of hectares were needed for such projects.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> National> Karnataka / by Special Correspondent / Mysuru – August 27th, 2017

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    Nithin Thimmaiah and Komala BM will lead the State sides in the 3rd All-India invitational hockey tournament for the Bengaluru Cup which gets underway at the hockey stadium on Tuesday.

    A tournament that started in 2014 but was not held last year due to unavailability of turf, returns to the fold this time with six of the top men’s and women’s teams from the country vying for top honours.

    In the men’s section, the State side will be joined by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), South Central Railway and Army XI while in the women’s battle, the State side will have to fight it out against defending champions Hockey Haryana, Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy (MPHA), Hockey Odisha, Eastern Railways and Hockey Maharashtra.

    The tournament will be played on a round-robin cum knock-out format with top four teams from the group qualifying for the semifinals on September 7. The final is scheduled for September 8.

    In the men’s section, Karnataka begin their campaign against a red-hot PNB side while the women’s side will face Eastern Railway in the opener on Tuesday.

    Karanataka squad: Men: Jagdeep Dayal (GK), Mahan Gowda(GK), Appachu SK, Cariappa KT, Veeranna Gowda SP, MB Aiyappa, Rathan Muthanna VT, Abhishek HS, Rajendra, Naeemuddin, Somaiah KP, Raheel, Pradhan Somanna, MB Cariappa, Nithin Thimmaiah (C), Darshan DS, Bharath KR, Pruthvi Raj; Verghese (coach); Sampath (manager).

    Women: Shravya GB (GK), Sandhya MG (GK), Chaithra N, Bhagyashree, Cheluvamba P, Pooja MD, Komala BM (C), Kruthika SP, Kaveramma AH, Sowmyashree, Anjali HR, Swapna NR, Leelavathy MJ, Nisha PC, Ramya, Reshma BB, Avinashree SR, Shalini U; Ganapathy KS (coach); Ankita (manager).

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Sports> DH News Service, Bengaluru / August 29th, 2017

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    Robin Uthappa is switching to Saurashtra from Karnataka in the coming domestic season.

    Having played all his cricket from Karnataka, discarded India limited-overs batsman and Kolkata Knight Riders star, Robin Uthappa is all set to play for Saurashtra in the coming domestic season. He feels he is stagnating in Karnataka and wanted a shift in his career. He is ready for all the challenges that the move brings and is also dreaming of playing Test cricket for India.

    In this exclusive chat with DNA, the 2007 ICC World T20 victorious Indian team member tells G Krishnan that he wants to win Test matches for India overseas:

    How did the Saurashtra deal come about?

    I wanted a different challenge in my career. As far as Karnataka was concerned, we did well, I contributed to a couple of trebles, which is special. I felt the time is right for me to challenge myself in a different way because I want to constantly keep growing as a cricketer and as a human being. I thought taking myself out of the comfort zone is the way to do that. I love to challenge myself in different ways but given my limitations of not being allowed to go abroad and playing cricket in different leagues in the world, I had to find different ways to challenge myself and grow as a person, as a batsman and as a cricketer.

    But why Saurashtra? There were reports of you playing for Kerala…

    Yes, there were reports of me going to Kerala. I was in discussions with them. I had told them I would get back to them at a certain point, but got back to them four days after the date that I told them. In that window, they had signed somebody else. So, I had to seek another side and I had a few options, put my name out there. Saurashtra came back to me and I very happily took that. I am happy to be a part of that team. It presents different challenges to me, different opportunities for me to grow as a person, just embracing that culture, getting to know them, it is going to be very different from the culture in Karnataka. They are a pretty good side. They are a side that has gone to the tournament knock-outs quite often. I believe I have the right kind of value to take them all the way.

    What are those challenges?

    By challenges, I mean being out of my comfort zone. Back in Karnataka, everything has been the same for me for the last 15 years. I will be uprooting myself from one culture and immersing myself in another culture where I have to be a thorough professional. There is nothing that I can take for granted, just getting along with them, not understanding the language they speak. Those are the kinds of challenges I would face. Just to understand the boys, their nature, to bring them together, I have been able to do that successfully in Karnataka. To be able to do that with a new bunch of boys is a whole different ballgame altogether. That is something I am really looking forward to.

    As a cricketer, to step outside my comfort zone and put myself in a completely different territory, find my little space within that team and take that team forward. I believe that adding value to whichever team I play is very critical for me. I play to win, I don’t play to just compete. If I am able to contribute to their victories, I will be extremely happy. These are the challenges I am looking at.

    Looking beyond Saurashtra, where do you see yourself as far as international career is concerned?

    Of course, I give myself a better chance (of India comeback) because I am actually putting myself out of my comfort zone. If am able to win championships there, that will be nice. When you win championships is when people grow and when you go to the next level. We did that in Karnataka and today, there are six-seven players in the reckoning all the time. If I can create that same kind of atmosphere where I can take Saurashtra forward, we can have four or five boys in the reckoning. There are two who are already in the Test side. But there can be a few more. If I can contribute to the team in a massive way and win championships, I give myself an even better chance.

    Could things have gone better with your international career?

    Certainly, things could have been different. I don’t regret the way things have gone for me. Essentially as a human being, I have grown a lot, thanks to the sport, thanks to the kind of exposure I have had, learning to deal with the ups and downs of sport. One thing I am extremely proud of is that irrespective of the runs, or the lack of them, I got when I was playing international cricket, it never affected the way I am and the kind of person I am within the team. I always placed the team ahead of me. That is something that is always critical for me. In spite of everything I have been through, I have been at the receiving end. That has not changed about me.

    What brings me joy about playing this game is the fact that it is a team game and 15-20 people get together to achieve one goal. I am a part of that team and to help the team move forward and achieve the goals it has set. For me, essentially, this journey in the past 11 years of being in and out of the side, has been a mixed bag from all perspective. But, if I look at the larger perspective of life, it has taught me a lot of things, taught me a lot of value that I have got, as a cricketer it has taught me how much to fight.

    I have not given up. I am still fighting, I am still hungry. I still believe I will play for the country again, I still believe I will play Test cricket. I am still working to improve. As long as I am playing cricket, I will keep going. I won’t stop. I won’t stop even after I play Test cricket. The dream is to make India win Test matches abroad, win Test series abroad. I believe I have the game and the technique to do that. I just feel I need to get the right opportunities at the right time. I need to just keep pegging away. I don’t think I need to knock on the door. I need to break it down with the runs.

    Where do you think you can fit in the current Indian team, which is packed already? What should you be doing more to get there?

    The team is doing fantastically well and I am extremely proud of that. The kind of culture Virat (Kohli) has created has been fantastic. As far as I am concerned, I need to keep scoring big runs and winning matches for my team, keep putting myself out there like I do every time the IPL turns around or like I have done in the last five years in the domestic seasons, just keep performing and hopefully, something will open up for me. I don’t know when and how. What I can control is the fact that I can score runs and win tournaments. I think the more I do that, the more I give myself a chance to represent my country again.

    You can also take confidence from the fact that Parthiv Patel made a Test comeback after eight years and Dinesh Karthik returned to ODI side after two years…

    Not just them. There have been a lot of domestic cricketers and senior cricketers getting their due. Even Gauti (Gautam Gambhir) made a comeback last year. He was given his due after he scored in domestic season. I believe in that. Today, when you look at cricket the world over, age is just a number. It is about how fit you are, how much you can sustain the workload. I think cricket is a sport that can be played for a long time if you look after yourself well. Sachin paaji (Tendulkar) is a huge example of that. Anil Kumble is a massive example of that. For me, it is just about putting in the work, taking one step at a time and making my performance speak for itself.

    Normally, we associate players moving out of their home state to be towards the end of their careers. You are only 31. How do you look at this?

    When I hired a personal batting coach (Pravin Amre), people were laughing at me. We were mocked at. Today, you see that is the norm. I have been one of those guys who has been really honest with himself, I have not really gone by the norms of the world. I have made my own road. That is what I am doing right now. I want to experience and grow more as a cricketer and that can only happen when I have challenges ahead of me. That’s why I get pumped up and excited about playing in IPL because for me that is when I am exposed to international cricket. I thrive on that. I love the challenges, love what I am able to do there, and winning matches for my team. I don’t get that for the rest of the year. I have to try to find different ways to create that challenge.

    Unfortunately, we are in a stage right now where we are not allowed to go outside and play cricket. We are not given the opportunity to go out and expose ourselves to different culture, different conditions like the rest of the world do when they come here for the IPL. They come into the IPL, they get exposed to the conditions. To give an example, Chris Lynn came here initially, with all due respect, struggling against spin. Today, he has figured out a way to get successful in India. Unless we cricketers are exposed to different conditions, we are not going to grow. For me, life, cricket is about growth, about moving forward, adding value. If I am going to get stuck in one place, I am not growing, I am stagnated. I want to keep growing, keep trying to find different ways of growing as a cricketer. Winning the treble for Karnataka once was joyful. But winning again was a challenge and we did it again. Similarly, I find myself in a place where I want to challenge myself again. I am uprooting myself and putting myself in a new culture, definitely Indian culture but different from how it is in Karnataka, how it is in South India. For me to get in there, figure out my way there, that is the extent of pushing myself out of the comfort zone. It is the only option I have got right now. I am not looking at this as finishing my career. I am just trying to challenge myself and grow and still pursue my dream and get better. If you are not growing, you are wasting yourself away.

    Will we see something new when you play for Saurashtra?

    I think anyone who has noticed me closely in IPL would have seen a shift in my game. I shifted to being more free-flowing than a circumspect that I used to be. The way I hit most sixes in the last three or four years, there is a lot of confidence gained to fast bowling and spin bowling. I think that is what you will continue to see from my side. What I want to win tournaments with Saurashtra and truly believe that Saurashtra will be one of the dark horses in the coming domestic season. It is a funny thing what belief can do to a team and I believe have the ability to bring that out it in the cricketers. That is also a challenge for me. I was able to do it in Karnataka. I want to do it with a different bunch of boys that I don’t know at all. I am looking forward to it.

    Do you feel sad or happy to be leaving your home state and going to a new place?

    I leave Karnataka with no hard feelings but with a lot of love. I would like to thank Brijesh Patel (former KSCA secretary and India batsman) for all the help he has done for me. He has been a massive influence in my life, he has been a mentor, guide and a huge support in my life. He has disciplined me, he has guided me. I have been his pupil ever since I started playing cricket. I am extremely grateful for what he and Karnataka State Cricket Association have done for me. Karnataka will always be my home. They challenged me, pushed me, they motivated me, they cheered me, they made my dreams come true and I am extremely grateful for them and to all the team-mates who accepted me for who I am, for allowing me to be the person that I am and allowing me to express myself as a human being.

    source: http://www.dnaindia.com / DNA (Daily News & Analysis) / Home> News> Sports News> Cricket News / by G. Krishnan / August 29th, 2017

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    Joshna Chinappa with her Asian Squash Championship title which she won in April (Twitter image)

    Joshna Chinappa with her Asian Squash Championship title which she won in April (Twitter image)


    Joshna won the National Squash Championship a few days back and the Asian Champinship in April

    She recovered from a career-threatening knee injury sutained in 2011 and hasn’t looked back since

    Joshna was recently appointed a senior sports officer with the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation

    New Delhi :

    “I’m not thinking of stopping anytime soon. I have a lot more to achieve.” Being appointed a senior sports officer with the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation does not mean that Joshna Chinappa, India’s highest-ranked squash player, is contemplating life beyond the sport already. Her decision to make a direct appointment under the sports quota was made after she put in a request. And as Joshna puts it, the post is a back-up so that she can work towards the promotion of sport when she is done as a professional squash player.

    That thought however, should be put away for a long while because Joshna is going strong. Over the weekend, she won the 74th National Squash Championship as many expected, and even though she did not have it easy in the title round, it all went according to the presumed script. Joshna notched up her 15th national title by beating Lakshya Ravendran 11-6, 8-11, 11-2, 11-4 in the final, which leaves her just one shy of equalling Bhuvneshwari Kumari’s record of 16 titles.

    That wasn’t even her best though. In April, Joshna became only the second Indian in 21 years to make the final of the Asian Squash Championship. This time she would go one up on Misha Grewal – who had claimed silver in 1996 – and clinch gold. The Asian crown is a big shot in the arm for the 30-year-old ahead of the Commonwealth and Asian Games next year.

    Speaking to TOI Sports , she elaborates: “The Asian Championship is one of our prestigious events in squash and I’ve been playing the Women’s Championship since I was 12. When I played it the first time, I won the consolation prize; I don’t think many people know this. I’m just really glad that I could win it this season. It was a long season last year and it was a nice way to cap it off. I’m happy to have won it in Chennai in front of my home crowd.”

    One could almost sense it coming. There were a few quarter-final and semi-final finishes in between since she broke into the top 10 in November 2016, and one of them included the World Championship in Egypt. Joshna, seeded 12th, lost 6-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-8, 3-11 to second seed and World No. 3 Camille Serme of France. Then there was also a second-round elimination at the British Open Squash Championship in London – just a month before the Asian Championship – where she lost to Egyptian World No. 3 Raneem El Welily. It was a frustrating period.

    “Absolutely; especially last year in Mumbai when I lost the final of the $ 35,000 event. I’d come that close to ending my drought of lifting a title. Of course it was heartbreaking but as an athlete you keep going back, keep working harder, keep fighting. Eventually it will come together. It’s frustrating as an athlete to figure when it’ll come together but that’s what being professional is about, and I love it,” says Joshna.

    “I enjoy training much more than I enjoy playing the actual matches. I love the work that goes into being a professional squash player. It is so physical and I really like that part. The playing part is not so exciting because there is nerves, pressure of winning matches. I’m the most relieved when the game is over; irrespective of a win or a loss.”

    Beyond that immense training lies Joshna’s gritty determination and steely resolve. To clinch the Asian title, she beat none other than Dipika Pallikal, her compatriot and at the same time one of her biggest opponents. She had lost to Dipika the last few times – including the final of the National Championship last year – but come the All-India final, where both were assured of a medal, Joshna had come prepared and eventually prevailed in a tight five-game encounter 13-15, 12-10, 11-13, 11-4, 11-4. The two go way back; to a time when Dipika was a 10-year-old who had just started playing and had front bands falling on her forehead. Growing up training together, they know each other’s games inside out, and as time passed, evidently, the two became each other’s competition.

    Joshna: We're at a stage where Dipika and I have each other's back "

    Joshna: We’re at a stage where Dipika and I have each other’s back “

    “We have this unique case where even though we have to compete against each other, at the same time the next moment if we have to play for India, we are on the same page,” Joshna says. “Of course we have our ups and downs in the game but today we are at a place where we both have each other’s back. We really want to do well for India and win medals for the country together. We had a great time at the World’s doubles Championship where we won a bronze medal and we have great team work going on right now. We train with the same coach, who has been a real positive influence on both of us.”

    Despite training with different coaches, for a major part of her career, Joshna travelled to tournaments without a coach before the Squash Rackets Federation of India roped in Achraf El Karagui as the consultant coach midway through last year. A native of Egypt, a country that is a force to reckon with in squash, Achraf has been a positive influence not just on Joshna, but also the likes of Dipika, Saurav Ghosal and many budding players.

    “I work with Achraf pretty much all the time, and he has helped be bring order and structure to my game. I know what I have to work on everyday and I’m constantly reinforcing the physical aspect, skill aspect, mental aspect day in and day out. That I believe is going to help me become a more complete player when I’m competing with the top girls,” Joshna says.

    “Achraf has been part of that Egyptian culture so he brings a lot of that with his coaching when he’s working with me or Dipika or anyone else for that matter. So I know how these girls are working. Also I went and spent some time in Egypt during the summer; I was training over there so I worked with one of their top fitness trainers. I really got to know the type of work a world champion is doing and tried to put those elements in my game. I felt a lot stronger and understood the game better. I owe a major chunk of my success to him.”

    And to think that all this almost didn’t happen. In 2011, during the semi-final of the Hamptons Open, Joshna tore a ligament on her knee and was stretchered off midway. The scans suggested that Joshna’s injury was almost a career-threatening one and the doctors’ flat-out verdict of her being out for at least year was almost “coup de grace”. It was so bad that all Joshna wanted to do was to be able to walk again.

    “It was very heart-breaking but then again, it allowed me to begin a process. I moved to Mumbai to basically get away from everything, do my rehab there and come back stronger,” Joshna says. “It gave me the opportunity to start from scratch and do things right. So I really worked on my physical strength, getting my legs stronger; I worked with Ritwik Bhattacharya (ex-national champion and Joshna’s coach for four years). I just think I became a very different athlete and person altogether from that injury.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News / by Aditya Bhattacharya / timesofindia.com / August 29th, 2017

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    August 29th, 2017adminCoffee News

    Coffee Board of India said it plans to promote the Indian filter coffee across the country and has lined up a marketing and branding push to expand the niche market.

    According to a PTI report: The board, which runs the iconic India Coffee House, is also looking to revamp and expand the outlets across the country.

    “By next year, we will have modern, clean, cool and affordable Coffee Houses across India offering Indian filter coffee and snacks,” CEO and Secretary, Coffee Board of India, Srivatsa Krishna told PTI.

    Stating that so far Indian coffee has not been branded, Krishna was quoted by PTI as saying, “Till now, India has been a tea country, my objective is to also make it coffee country”.

    source: http://www.indiaretailing.com / Progressive Grocer India / Home> Food> Food & Grocery / by Indiaretailing Bureau / August 29th, 2017

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    August 27th, 2017adminNri's / Pio's, Sports, World Opinion
    Members of Team Coorg pose for a group photo after winning the Independence Day Cup. Photo - Supplied

    Members of Team Coorg pose for a group photo after winning the Independence Day Cup. Photo – Supplied


    As expected the annual Independence Day of India Hockey Festival proved a grand success with Team Coorg and Indian School Al Seeb taking top honours at the iconic Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Friday evening.

    The 2017 edition of the annual hockey fiesta, organised by the Friends of Naqvi Group and Team Coorg under the patronage of Embassy of India and with the support of Oman Hockey Association, turned out to be a memorable affair with FIH chief Narinder Batra and AHF CEO ‘Dato’ Tayyab Ikram sending a special congratulatory message and the organisers themselves inviting some special guests associated with Omani and Indian sports.

    While the day’s proceedings included a number of cultural evens, the highlights obviously were two hockey tournaments – the Independence Day Cup and Ambassador’s Cup.

    The Independence Day Cup witnessed some fierce competition among the participating teams. The tournament culminated in a thrilling final where Team Coorg Muscat overcame Oman Veterans in a 1-0 victory to lift the coveted trophy.

    Team Coorg UAE, who have been regularly participating in the Festival, earlier settled for the third place.

    The Indian School Al Seeb team, meanwhile, produced some exciting hockey before lifting the Ambassador’s Cup.

    The Indian School Al Seeb and Indian School Mabella teams played a women’s hockey exhibition game.

    Chief guest Sushma Pandey, wife of Indian Ambassador Indramani Pandey, presided over the proceedings and handed over the prizes.

    The organisers also honoured the special invitees from India – Hockey India associate vice-president and Madhaya Bharat Hockey Association chief Devender Pratap Singh Tomar and Madhya Bharat Hockey Association secretary Niranjan Singh Gurjar.

    Oman Cancer Association chief Dr. Wahid Al Kharusi, who previously served as the president of Asian Federation of Sports Medicine, Oman Hockey Association chairman Talib Khamis Al Wahaibi, Indian Social Club chief Dr. Satish Nambiar, Ahli-Sidab Club vice-chairman Yasser Abdullah Al Halwani and Oman Hockey Veterans team member Mustafa Al Lawati were guests of honour on the occasion.

    The organisers honoured the visiting hockey officials fro India.

    The organisers honoured the visiting hockey officials fro India.

    Mustafa Al Lawati, on behalf of Oman Hockey Veterans Committee, presented Monalisa coupons worth OMR. 100 to the schools teams and he also presented traditional Omani ‘khanjars’ to organisers Belu Kuttappa, Javis Ahmed, Osama Rawat and SAS Naqvi.

    As in the past, the organisers also presented the youth awards to the talented youngsters of the Indian community and this year the awards went to talented tennis and table tennis player Sanskar Dubey and athlete Antonio Thomas Biju.

    The organisers honoured the visiting hockey officials fro India.

    The organisers honoured the visiting hockey officials fro India.

    The Festival was mainly sponsored by the Future Group which consists of Future Plastics, Future Management, Muscat Services, Quality Printers, Femco and Future Overseas

    The event was co-sponsored by Khimji Ramdas, Bank Muscat, Roca, Raha Poly Products, Oman United Insurance, Al Omaniya Financial Services, Mohammed Rafeeq & Partner, Al Ansari Group, Monalisa, Team Coorg Muscat, Pocari Sweat and Oasis Water.

    source: http://www.timesofoman.com / Times of Oman / Home> Sports> Hockey / by Times of News Service / August 15th, 2017

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    Joshna Chinappa (TOI Photo)

    Joshna Chinappa (TOI Photo)

    Greater Noida :

    Joshna Chinappa cruised to her 15th women’s singles title while Saurav Ghosal secured his 12 men’s singles crown at the HCL National Squash Championship that concluded on Saturday.

    Chinappa and Ghosal, the flagbearers of Indian squash for the past decade, were stretched in the finals by Lakshya Ravendran and Mahesh Mangaonkar respectively before getting home in four games.

    Top seed Chinappa, who had lost to Dipika Pallikal in the final last year, regained the trophy with a 11-6, 8-11, 11-2, 11-4 victory over Ravendran.

    The World No 14 is now one shy of equalling Bhuvneshwari Kumari’s record of 16 national titles.

    Chinappa’s main rival and longtime teammate, Pallikal, had pulled out of the tournament at last minute due to an ankle strain.

    Later in the day, Ghosal got the better of Mangaonkar in a closely-contested final with the final scoreline reading 11 -8, 11-13, 11-9, 11-6 in favour of the Kolkata man.

    It was the second year in a row that squash nationals offered equal prize money with eventual winners receiving Rs 1.5 lakh each.

    The total prize money of the tournament was a little over Rs 11 lakh.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News / by PTI / August 26th, 2017

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    Since ancient times, kings have dedicated hero stones, called Bira Kall in Kodava language, to the memory of martyrs. Many hero stones have been found in North Kodagu, especially around Somwarpet. These coarsely sculpted granite tablets, often issued by the rulers or commissioned by affluent families, are also known as Kolle Kallu, stones of the killed.

    A number of hero stones have been lined around the Government Museum in the Madikeri Fort. Often, the hero stone comprises of 2 or 3 panels. Usually, on the top of the hero stone, a sun and a crescent moon are inscribed. At the bottom, figures of men and women holding weapons such as swords, shields and bows are carved.

    Some sculptures in the classic style have been found elsewhere in Karnataka, such as Mysuru, Shivamogga and Belagavi. In such hero stones, the topmost compartment, underneath the sun and moon, would be a linga and a bull with worshippers around them. The second would show the hero ascending the heavens with apsaras on either side fanning him. The third would have the hero battling other warriors during his life on earth. Sometimes there is a fourth, the bottommost compartment, which might have a horse and an elephant etched.

    A peep into history
    Of these, the most well-known Bira Kall in Kodagu, made in 1768, has an image representing Kannanda Doddayya, a dalavayi or army general, wearing a traditional costume, called the kuppya chele, with a gun in one hand and a native war knife, an oide katti, in the other. It is said that when Hyder Ali unsuccessfully attacked Kodagu, Doddayya stood before King Muddu Raja II on the eve of the battle and declared: “Twice before have I returned after defeating Hyder and bowed to you. But this time, I shall not be back.” Indeed in 1767, Doddayya was fatally wounded near Kajur Bagilu even as the army returned victorious. Later, his house was destroyed and 24 members of his family were killed by Hyder’s son Tipu Sultan.

    According to G Richter’s Manual of Coorg, which was published in 1870, Doddayya’s Bira Kall was first placed in a paddy field, upon a hill slope and opposite the Mercara Central School.

    A kaimada, a small sanctuary built in remembrance of ancestors, was built a few decades ago and the Bira Kall was shifted into it. In front of this place, which is also called Birappa Sanctuary, and to the right is a shrine dedicated to Vishnu Murthy (Vishnu’s spirit). To the left of the sanctuary is a shelter, called the pavali, where a number of devotees can sit within. Behind the sanctuary and to the left is a trishul, planted upon a raised platform. There are two raised stone seats, one behind the other and facing the sanctuary.

    The Kannanda family has 3 more memorial stones, featuring some more family members, placed inside another shrine. While one stone has a male ancestor with younger members, the second has a woman with children around her and the third shows two male ancestors holding weapons. Beside this second shrine is another pavali with stone benches inside. When I paid a visit to the Bira Kall site, I met some members of the Kannanda family — Suresh, Ashwini, and a clan elder, Pookunhi to know more about the hero stone. They narrated the legend of Doddayya. Accordingly, Doddayya’s Kodagu army had successfully defeated Hyder Ali’s army and was returning back victoriously. But unfortunately Doddayya was struck and wounded on the way.

    The king, pleased upon seeing the return of the victorious army, was dismayed when he heard of the dying general. Doddayya was led up the walls of Madikeri Fort and all the lands that he looked upon were then granted to his family by the grateful King. Part of this was what is today called the Kannanda bane (land), the area beyond Mann’s compound and Ajjamada Devaiah circle in Madikeri. Doddayya passed away and a Bira Kall was made for him. Some more land grants were made to the Kannanda family by the king. Thus the family came to own lands in seven places: Bavali, Madikeri, Haleri, Poramale, Kajur, Noorokkal and Katakeri. It is said that at one point, the Kannanda family owned half of Madikeri. Family members sold away most of their lands over the years. Now only 3 of the original 7 places remain with them.

    Folk culture
    A week after the festival of Shivaratri, the Pade Bira (war hero) Kannanda Doddayya is remembered and a two-day festival is organised. Dance and enactment performances, called there, are arranged. On the first day, prasada is prepared and the Guru Karana, an ancestor who was the preceptor as well, is remembered. The bhandara, money offered at the temple, is moved that evening. Throughout the night, the Anji Koot Murthy (five spirit deities) is held. At dawn the next day, the Vishnu Murthy There is held.

    The final function, Pade Bira There, has a performer imitate Kannanda Doddayya and the Nari Pooda (tiger spirit) There has another performer emulate a tiger. The Pade Bira There and the Nari Pooda There performers together dance frantically around the place. While the Pade Bira sits upon the seat near the temple, the Nari Pooda sits upon the seat away from the temple.

    The Nari Pooda performer leaves early while the Pade Bira performer is the last one to remain.

    Not only do the hero stones allow us to remember those who have sacrificed themselves, they also allow us to understand a time in history.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> Spectrum / by Mookanda Kushalappa / April 26th, 2016

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    August 26th, 2017adminAgriculture, Pepper
    The gene bank features 42 native varieties of black pepper

    The gene bank features 42 native varieties of black pepper

    Kozhikode :

    In a bid to arrest the declining fortunes of black pepper in its historical home turf, a farmers’ collective in Wayanad has set up a gene bank featuring 42 native varieties, including rare accessions, of the spice indigenous to Kerala. The Wayanad Social Service Society (WSSS) hopes to protect and popularize the native pepper varieties many of which have better disease resistance and drought tolerance but had been abandoned by farmers following the advent of high yielding hybrid varieties.

    Apart from protecting the diversity of black pepper in the state, the field gene bank of pepper, spread around three acres at Mananthavady, would also make available planting material of native varieties to farmers.

    The native pepper varieties which have been collected from Wayanad, Nilgiris, Coorg and other Malabar districts include the once widely cultivated Kalluvalli, Jeerakamundi, Neelamundi, Cherumaniyan, Karimunda, Ibe rian, among others. Farmers say that these varieties are drought tolerant when compared to hybrid varieties.

    “Kerala had earned its global monopoly in pepper trade from ancient times onwards. Though the yield of native varieties was less, they were resistant to drought, pests and disease at tacks. The intensive and unscientific high input farming of hybrid varieties using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, have contributed to decimation of pepper cultivation in many regions of Malabar,” said director of WSSS Father John Choorappuzhayil.

    He said that native pepper varieties for the gene bank were collected from remote tribal colonies apart from a few wild varieties of pepper from the forests.

    “We are still in the process of identifying and adding more native varieties to the gene bank. We hope to collect around 60 native pepper varieties soon,” he added.

    Dr N Anil Kumar, the director of the biodiversity programme of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, said that native pepper varieties could vanish forever if left unprotected especi ally in the wake of increasing challenges posed by climatic variations in the region.

    “The diversity of black pepper, which had its origins in the state, has immense genetic value. Also it is a historical and cultural treasure given its role in establishing the spice trade and pepper routes in medieval times originating from Kerala. Even the government should think of exploring the tourism potential offered by the on-farm assemblage of native pepper varieties,” he added.

    Anil Kumar said that farmers who took up the cultivation of native pepper varieties should be provided incentives by the government.

    “Also it would be prudent for farmers to set apart at least 10% of their land for cultivation of native varieties as is mandatory in some European countries,” he added.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Kozhikode News / by K R Rajeev / TNN / May 30th, 2017

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    Pattedar's graves

    Pattedar’s graves

    A few of the families in Kodagu maintain the tombs of their distinguished ancestors. A few families are also in the possession of paintings of their ancestors being felicitated by the kings. A few others maintain artefacts such as oide katti, also known as a billhook-shaped war knive, with king’s insignia upon them.

    The Thathanda family is one such family that received three of these honours.

    They have their ainmane, or ancestral house, in Kuklur village of Virajpet taluk. Their ancestral house was formerly a mundu mane, a house with an open, central courtyard, which is called a mund. The sepulchre of their renowned ancestor Karyagara (officer) Thathanda Subbayya lies some distance away from the ainmane. It has a Nandi figure upon it. Beside this tomb is an unmarked grave. Both these tombs are within an enclosure.

    Nearby in the same graveyard are two large graves. The names of two of the four buried there were not known to us. Clansman Thathanda Nanaiah explains, “Subbayya ajja’s (forefather) elder brother had a son who addressed ajja as kunjappa (one of the names for a paternal uncle). After ajja’s death, this nephew inherited his possessions. It is this nephew’s grave which lies beside the tomb of ajja and within the boundary. The two buried outside the boundary were clan elders, each called a pattedar. ”

    According to his book, Kodagina Itihasa (1974), historian D N Krishnaiah came to learn of Karyagara Subbayya from the Thathanda elders. In 1811, two British officers General Welsh and Captain Williamson visited the court of the then king of Kodagu, Linga Rajendra. They were pleased with the hospitality offered. When the king heard the news of a rogue tusker, he proposed a hunt and his guests agreed. Thathanda Subbayya was given the responsibility of organising the hunt.

    Accompanied by elephants and attendants, the hunting party set out to the jungle. In the trees and around a forest clearing, boxed seats made of cane were prepared. Ladders were used to reach it. The king, the two Englishmen and others settled themselves in the cane boxes. Kodava pikemen, with their long spears, would comb the jungle and drive the prey into the clearing during a hunt. Several drum beaters would aid the hunters by scaring the animals with their noise. This way, the wild tusker was driven into the clearing and shot dead.

    Pleased with Subbayya’s arrangements, the king honoured him with a gold medal and gifted him a gun. Subbayya was also awarded a oide katti with the king’s insignia on it. A painting of Subbayya and the king was also gifted to him. However, some people grew jealous of Subbayya and schemed against him. The opportunity came when the king received complaints about cattle-stealing tigers.

    A hunt was organised by Subbayya in order to eliminate the tigers. On the night before the hunt, Subbayya ensured that the cane seats were securely placed in the area where the hunt was to take place. When he left, his enemies loosened the seats. The next day, when the king shot a tiger, the seat he was on fell apart and he fell. Furious, he demanded to have the head of the man who had set up these seats. Subbayya was blamed for what was thought to be a shoddy work. As he was deep in the forest with the other hunters, the executioners were sent out to behead Subbayya.

    One servant ran before them and told Subbayya everything that had transpired. Subbayya was unhappy as there was no way for him to prove his innocence. Subbayya told the servant to convey to the king that he had been framed and sent him back. As Subbayya did not want to be punished for a crime he did not commit, he shot himself. When the king came to know what had taken place, he was displeased. Subbayya was buried on his family farm. Enquiries were held and the king discovered that Subbayya was indeed innocent. The king had a mausoleum built over Subbayya’s grave.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements / by Mookonda Kushalappa / August 15th, 2017

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