Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Saga of theaters in Mysuru

There are over a dozens of theater in Mysuru, which have been operating for more than past six decades. One among, the Sri Krishna Cauvery Patnam talkies started near Gandhi Square in 1900, was shut long back. While, the Olympia Tent started in 1920s, was later converted into a theater and is still operating. 

In the year 1948, the city saw a fully equipped theater that is 'Gayathri Talkies'. In the span of few months, other prominent theaters Prabha, Lakshmi, Rajkamal, Chamundeshwari, Opera, Srinagaraj and other theaters opened. During mid of 1960s and 1970, few more theaters Shanthala, Thibbadevi, Sterling-Skyline (the first twin theater of state) and Sangama were started.  But over the time, the old theaters like Ranjit, Ganesha, Shalimar, Opera are been shut down. 

The theater which were screening English movies until 1960s, were hit hard when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi banned the import of American movies. The Russina, French movies were translated to English and were screened during 1972 to 1975. Later 1980’s majority of the theaters in Mysuru, started screening only Kannada movies.

Now, the city has grown. Amidst three multiplexes in city, and increase in entertainment channels in television, the business has hit hard to theaters. In spite of this there are over dozens of theater that are able to still to run the shows.

To start with, here is all about Gayathri Theater.


Gayahtri Talkies located at 100 feet road, is one of the oldest and first full fledged theater in Mysuru when it was opened. The theater was built by Vastukala Sevasaktha T Cheluvachar, his brother T Yellappachar, sons of Mastry Thimmachar. They were the contractors of present Amba Vilas Palace. The theater is now managed by Grandson MT Ramachandra and the great grandson M.R.Rajaram, a fourth generation businessman of the family. 

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Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, the then Maharaja of Mysuru was very much found of watching the English movies. He used to go all the way to Bengaluru to watch the movies at Defence Theater, which was located at Commercial Street in Bengaluru. Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar gave the idea to T Cheluvachar to build a full-fledged theater in Mysuru. The construction, which was started in 1946, completed in 1948, just after the ten months of Independence. 

The theater was opened by Wadiyar on June 18, 1948. Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar gave two projectors for the theater, worth Rs 5000 each and it was used till mids of 1970s. The projection switched by Jayachamaraja Wadiyar has been preserved even today, and has been displayed at glass showcase. 

After the inauguration of the theaters, Royal family members used to visit the theater to watch the movies. A special entrance was made for the women folk of royal members to enter the theaters. There are instances, where exclusive shows have been screened for the royal family members during 1950’s - 1960’s. 

Untill, 1974, the theater had screened only English movies, and screened the first Kannada movie 'Doorada Betta' in 1975, of Kannada matinee idol Dr Rajkumar. Since then, the theater has screened several silver jubilee cinemas.

If one enters the theater, can found a black and white photograph displayed at the entrance, which tells the journey of the theaters. The theater has won several awards by State Government and Karantaka Film Chamber of Commerce.

Movie Sagara Sangama was screened for one year, movie Om for 35weeks, Janumada Jodi, Dooradabetta, and several other Dr Rajkumar, Dr Ambareesh, Dr Vishnuvardhan, Shankarnag, Ananthnag, Prabhakar, Shiva Rajkumar, Shashi Kumar, Sudeep, Puneeth Rajkumar and many other stars movies have completed 25 weeks and many 100 days in the theater. All the first seven James Bond movies have been screened in the theater. 

M.R.Rajaram, a fourth generation businessman of the family.  
“The theater business was flourishing during 1940’s. The only talkies during the time Sri Krishna Cauvery Patnam talkies was not well established. During the time we entered the field, and managed Gayathri talkies. Sri Chamundeshwari and Ganesha theaters were managed by Yellappachar family.  Down the years, Ganesha theater was raised down, and a choultry was built in the place,” adds MR Rajaram, vice-president of Karnataka Film Exhibitors Federation, and secretary of Mysore City Film Exhibitors Association.

Going down the memory lane, he said: "My great grand father T Cheluvachar has constructed the Durbar Hall. Impressed by his workmanship, Wadiyar  conferred 'Vastukala Sevasaktha' title to him and presented a Royal Emblem pendent (emarlded with rubies, diamond).” 71-year-old MT Ramachandra, who visits theater twice every day, talks proudly about the journey of the theater and Maharaja opening the theater. 


The theater first for many things

* The first movies screened in the theater was Sindbad The Sailor.

* First theater to introduce 3D picture in Mysuru in 1952.

* The first 3d movie screened was House of Wax.

* First to introduce cinemascope with stereophonic sound film in September 1953 and screen the movie 'The Robe'.

* The theater was renovated in 1976.

* Provided Smart Optical Surrounded Stereo in 1995

* First theater with DTS extended sorround Matrix 7.1 channel

* Digital projection was installed in 2007 and DTS digital surrounded in 1999.

* First single screen theater to introduce e-ticketing system 

* First to install Xenolite projection brought from Christie Digital Systems, California, USA. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

She will be the youngest to drive most kinds of multi-wheeler vehicles

Rifah Taskeen, a 2nd standard student of St Joseph School to set a record on Sunday, by driving 13 vehicles on November 5. This 7-year-old girl, a resident of NR Mohalla drives any power steering vehicle and completes 50 rounds driving in car reverse. Extra seat, extra pedals are attached for lorries to make her feel comfortable.   

First she will be driving lorry at Old Eidgah Ground at 11 am, and later she heads towards St Joseph’s School Grounds. There she will be driving bolero, tata ace, Scorpio, Innova, Swift, Esteem, Maruthi car, Zen, Maruthi van, Indica, Santro and a quad bike.

The family had applied for Golden Book of World Records a month ago. In a reply, Dr Manish Vishnoei, Asia Head, Golden Book of World Records has stated, "We have received your application for a World Record attempt. Your application sounds interesting and we are accepting the attempt with the title 'Youngest to drive most kinds of multi-wheeler vehicles."

“A boy in America has set a record at the age of 10 in racing by driving a normal car. We are happy our daughter has been selected for Golden Book of World Record. She will be the first to set the record in World, and we are eagerly waiting for the moment holding cross fingers. With count down as begin to set record, we are excited, thrilled and a bit nervous. We have been permitted to use the logo and word-mark of GBWR during the attempt,” adds her Tajuddin, who dreamt of making her a world champion from last five years, and gave her training from the age of 3.

“After the story was published in ‘City Express’, we got an opportunity to showcase her talent at  Makkala Dasara. Later, we submitted the details to GBWR. No girls have created a world championship and we hope all our dreams come true,” adds Mother Bibi Fathima, a Urdu School Teacher.


Tajuddin has built a quad bike using spare parts from different vehicles, all from scratch. He has made use of parts from mopeds, engine from Kinetic Honda,  Chassis of  Suzuki Samurai, tyres of scooty Pep to build the vehicle. As he did not have any prior experience he had to face several challenges to  assemble the vehicle and took six months to build it.

Rajasthan's Royal Enfield biker couple wishes to row across country

This gentlemen and the lady received a warm reception on Thursday, when they arrived at the venue of Chamundivihar Stadium in their Royal Enfield bike to take part in the 14th Masters National Aquatic Championship.
60-year-old Anand Singh Shekhawat, with his wife Krishna Shekhawat (59) has drive for four days from Kota, Rajasthan to reached Mysuru. The couples have drive 1900 kilo meters, covering a distance of 500 kilo meters per day.  Anand Singh Shekhawat said: ‘This is our first visit to Mysuru, and we enjoyed the travelling.  As my wife also drives the ride, it will be not distracting. We have drive for 8-9 hours each day.”
It was a decade ago, the couple started touring the country in their bike.  They have toured Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu Kashmir, Kullu and Manali, Ahmedabad, Delhi and several other states they have visited.  
“India is a very beautiful country. Driving through the mountains, ghats, and hill station gives a amazing experience. We have toured half of the country, and we want to row across country,” says the couple, whose dream is to tour the length and breadth of the country.
When questioned what motivated them to take up bike riding, Anand Singh Shekhawat says, “We noticed foreigners coming to India, and hiring bikes touring the country. Then we thought, why we should not try. After our first touring, we realized how beautiful the journey will be. My wife also learnt riding bullet and we both enjoy our journey.”  
Charan Singh, another swimmer of Rajasthan said: ‘The nick name of Anand Singh  is Bullet Raja. The couple keep touring the country, and the journey is awesome. We have team of Royal Enfield Bikers, and the couple are very active.”
The couple who will be staying in Mysuru this weekend, wants to tour in and around city and visit the tourists places.

Master swimmers rock at Aquatic Championship

Master swimmers from across country took part in the three-day 14th Masters National Aquatic Championship held in Mysuru from November 1 to 3 at Chamundi Vidhar Stadium. Quite a good number of senior citizens who were part of the championship were found enthusiastically taking part in the event, organised by Karnataka Swimming Association. Couple of the senior participants have shared their experiences with City Express, thus: 

Bicycles is only means of transport for this 82-year-old swimmer 

She loves swimming, cycling, and scuba diving. She has won several awards and at National Athletics and National Aquatic Achievements; cycle and adventure sports. She is pedaling to educate populace about green initiatives. 

Meet 82-year-old Dr Bhagawathi Oza, an practicing gynecologist from Vadodara, who is an inspirational for several adventure enthusiasts. She has received two consecutive prestigious awards for the category of Sports and Adventurous Activities namely the Vayoshreshth Samman by former President of India Pranab Mukherji in 2016 and Lifetime Achievement in 2017.   

Selling her car, two wheelers, she choose to pedal 17 years ago. She has pedaled across country. Bicycles has been her only preferred means of transport for almost the last 15 years. For a green cause she has pedaled  3,000 km from Kolkata to Kanyakumari in 31 days in 2013 and has set a Limca book of Records. She says, she is very conscious of protection of environment and through pedaling she wants to spread the message among youngsters for conservation of nature.    

After winning three gold medals at the Aquatic Championship held in Mysuru on Thursday, narrating about her journey, she said: “Coming from a family of conservative roots, it was not an easy go for Miss Bhagawathi Oza, to take any decisions. I decided to become doctor, and was the only girl in the medical college. Gradually, I started learning swimming. After I turned 65, I started taking part in the championships and mountaineering expedition. I love my life very much. One has to explore the boundaries and achieve in life. I always believed that a man without an aim is like a ship without a rudder and therefore every man should have an aim in life.” 


Disability did not stopped him from swimming

For 52-year-old Rajendra N Dhamal, resident of Pune swimming was passion from childhood. Unfortunately, he met with an accident in 1997, and his right leg has been amputated above the knee. 

Rajendra, who is rendering service in Police Department, met with an accident while giving escort for a Chief Minister vehicle. He is suffering from 80 per cent disability. Without losing hope, he decided to continue swimming and from last two years and started practicing swimming for rehabilitation (medical purpose) at Tilak Tank.  

He is the only disabled person to take part in the aquatic championship in open category. Expressing happiness for being part of the championship, and visiting Mysuru for first time, he told: “This is my first visit to Mysuru, and I loved the city. Youngsters should be confident always, without losing hope. Water is a good therapy and swimming is very good for therapeutic exercise. It gives strength and helps for knee rehabilitation and strengthens back. I enjoy lot swimming and wish more number of people should learn swimming.”  


Know fitness secret of this octogenarian 

When people of his age complain about ortho problems, this  86-year-old Master Athlete Ramakrishna Aranak E Sanali from Maharashtra enjoys swimming and winning medals. 
 86-year-old Master Athlete Ramakrishna Aranak E Sanali from Maharashtra won three gold medals at the championship held in Mysuru.  

Being senior most master swimmer to take part in the championships, he was found very enthusiastically taking part in the breast stroke, 100 m breast stroke, free style and back stroke events.   

He is continuously taking part in the Championships from last ten years, and has won more than 25 gold medals at state and national -level championship. He has won several medals at the He has represented Indian twice at the International Competitions held in Canada (2014) and Hungary (2017). When questioned about secret of his fitness, he told its swimming. “From last 75 years am engaged in swimming. The day starts for me with swimming for an hour, and without it I will no do any work.”  


Swimming has become part of my life

Swimming has become part of life for Lalitha Vijayaraghavan (67), a grand mother of five, and resident of Bengaluru. A native of Mysuru, Lalitha after winning a gold medal at the Championship under 65-69 category, going down the memory lane, said: “There was not so much encouragement for girls to learn swimming. But, my desire to learn swimming was growing day by day. One fine day, I stitched a swim suit dressed and jumped to water at the age of 14. Since then have never turned back and have taken part in several competitions and today, swimming has become part of my life.” 

Lalitha who does swimming for nearly 1.5 hours, says, she is enjoying the wonderful life, and swimming, traveling is like tonic for her. She has even represented World Master International Swimming contest at San Francisco, and expressed proudness about her children Manu and Meera, who are national level swimmers and are settled in abroad.  


Swimming helps to promote healthy life style
M Satish Kumar, Secretary, Karnataka Swimming Association said: “The event was initiated to promote healthy life style and competitive spirit among the adults. This is the fourth time we are conducting the championship and first time in Mysore.” 
“When we first introduced the championship 13 years back we had only 200 swimmers from all over India. But this year we have around 1,100 registrations from across country. The highest participation is from Maharashtra Contingent with 155 participants in both men and women categories, followed by Karnataka with a contingent of 120 plus participants.”  

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Priceless passion for coins

This Mysuru Advocate spends his entire income on acquiring coins. Collection of over 4,000 rare coins, include 1,300 coins from 218 different countries is a testinomy to his zeal and perseverance.

Money matters, they say. But for this advocate in Mysuru, it is only the coins that matter. Meet 36-year-old Mahaveer Hegde, who is passionate about coins. His collection of over 4,000 rare coins, including 1,300 pieces from 218 different countries, shows his zeal. Till date, he has spent about `15 lakh on coins, which are priceless to him and not intended for sale.

Commemorative coins, silver coins and coins from islands found in the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Timor Sea and Turks and Caicos Islands adorn Mahaveer’s exclusive collection. He also has vintage coins of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras arranged year-wise. Each coin preserves in itself the history of a land and they also offer a glimpse into their economic, social, cultural and religious habits. In next two years, this native of Mangaluru plans to collect coins from all the remaining countries across the globe.

Mahaveer’s tryst with coins began at the age of 11. “I and my childhood friends, Zahid, Chirag, Nandakishore and Vinayak, would exchange coins of different nations for fun. We then started approaching foreign tourists visiting Mangaluru, asking them to give us coins of their countries. Soon, the hobby turned into passion and within a few years, I collected 40 coins from different parts of the world,” says Mahaveer.

“I have almost all the regular coins in my collection, including 3,000 Indian coins. Now, my eyes wander only for rare coins at the exhibitions. I hope I get some of them in exchange of the coins that I have,” adds the avid coin collector.

Collecting and arranging Indian coins was the most challenging task for him, courtesy a number of varieties and denominations like One paisa, Quarter Anna, Ondanna, One Anna, Half Anna of 1834 and so on.

“It is comparatively easy to get coins of kingdoms as many coin collectors sell them after the royal family members do not show interest in pursuing the legacy,” he says.

Maintaining the coins is another challenge for him.

“They are delicate, and even a small scratch leads to fall in the value of the coin. As soon as I acquire a coin, I wash it with lemon and tamarind before getting it polished. Coins are preserved in special folders and coin books,” adds the coin collector. Apart from coins, he has a few currency notes of other countries and century-old postal covers and stamps of India. He is also planning to pen a book on numismatics in the near future.

They are not for sale

Mahaveer Hegde has sacrificed a lot in his life to keep his coin-loving genes happy. “Ever since I started earning at the age of 27, I have spent almost all my earnings on collecting coins. The family expenditures are managed since my mother is an advocate and other family members also earn. My parents do not support the idea of collecting coins much as they consider it a waste of money.

At times, I had to hide my collection of coins from them. Words of encouragement from some friends and family members, however, kept me going,” he says. And unlike many other coin collectors, he does not even plan to sell the coins to make big bucks. “If anyone is seriously interested in collecting coins, I am ready to gift a couple of them. But I am not going to sell these priceless coins.”


Mahaveer's collection of coins is amazing. He has coins of almost all the princely states and countries. Vintage Indian coins helps us take a peek into our rich heritage. He has an almirah full of coins, which will weigh over 150 kg. He loves coins more than anything else, and has been spending all his earnings on acquiring coins.

Coins of British era and princely states; Coins belonging to Napoleon-3 period; Coloured coins of Canada; Austrian silver coin; 1862 coin of king of Italy; 11th century coin of Mauryan dynasty
Coins from Chola and Mughal-era; Hyderabad Nizam coins; Coins of Tibet king; 
Mints of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras from pre-independence era are some of his rare collections.

Namaskara, this foreigner speaks Kannada like a native

Just hearing him speak in Kannada, you wouldn’t think he is a foreigner. For he just doesn’t say, ‘swalpa swalpa gottu’, but surprises you by speaking Kannada like a native...complicated words roll off his tongue easily. Hendrik Hardeman (52),  citizen of Denmark (born in Belgium), who has been residing in Mysuru for the past five years,  has learnt Kannada to read and write thoroughly. His command over Kannada will give you some serious language goals.
Hendrik who first visited Bengaluru as a tourist in 1996, was so impressed by the city that  he kept visiting India often.  He founded India’s first dedicated puzzle company in 2001, which operated till 2008. In these seven years , he had developed a special love for  Kannada language, and started learning the language.
He did not attend those classes where the spoken word is taught. His best teachers were dictionaries. He would constantly pore over them to understand the language. And he found that the best way to learn a language is to speak it.  
He says, “In the initial days it was challenging for me to identify the Kananda language, as people in Bengaluru were speaking several other south Indian languages in addition to Kannada, such as Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. It took me some time to identify  the Kannada alphabet.  After some months, I bought a dictionary and started learning Kannada words. In the beginning, I found it very difficult to understand  basic grammar like singular and plural words. By constantly referring to the dictionaries, I learnt the meaning of Kannada words and started using the words while communicating with people. And in a few months I learnt the nuances.”  
Hendrik says as Bengaluru is a cosmopolitan city with people speaking many languages, he couldn’t pick up the nuances of Kannada language. He was determined to master the language, so he shifted base to Mysuru in 2012. He says, “There are several instances when people looked at me in surprise when I spoke to them in Kannada. While some were confused when I spoke in Kannada, some have even  apologised for speaking to me in English saying, ‘sorry we thought you were a foreigner’, he says smilingly.
People would be more surprised to know that he has written a short story in Kannada.
To enrich himself, he has read the books of writers like Poet Kuvempu, Poornachandra Tejaswi, Jayanth Kaykini, P Lankesh, among others. His favourite short stories are Krishnagowdana Anne and Kiragoorina Gayyaligalu. . He earns his livelihood by translating books.
Concerned that Kannada is no longer the priority for many, he says, ““Some people think speaking in Kannada is less dignified and hesitate to speak in this beautiful language. I have seen parents insisting that their children learn English. According to me, first, one must learn one’s mother tongue and  then one can learn any language.”
During the 12th World Sudoku Championship and 26th World Puzzle Championship held in Bengaluru between October 15 and 21, Hendrik distributed a book to the foreigners who attended the event. The book gives a brief introduction to the Kannada alphabet, and the commonly used words in daily life, etc. He has transliterated the Kannada words in English. 
Hendrik who has visited several European countries, can speak many  languages like Dutch, German, French and Swedish. Coming to South Indian languages, he is fluent in Kannada while he can understand  Tamil and Telugu.
But his passion remains Kannada, he says: “Kannada thumba chanda bhashe, maathadakke matthe kelakke ( Kannada is a beautiful language—to speak and sounds nice).”

In order to promote Kannada among children, he pans to write a series of adventure books for children. He is translating short stories of writer Jayanth Kaikini into Dutch as a personal project. Hendrik loves eating ragi ball (mudde), idli, vada with coconut chutney. He says, " I am interested in learning all languages, and all languages are interesting to me."

"It’s a great pride for Kannadigas,to see a foreigner staying in Karnataka, and taking interest to learn our mother tongue and teaching it to others. His project of translating the works of Kannada writers is even more laudable,"  
Pa Mallesh, Kannada activist. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sutras over Skype

People from across world visit the Narasimhan house in Mysuru. The main purpose is to have peace of mind, and learnt the philosophy. The duo have toured seven nations in Europe and visited at least ten states in United States apart from several countries in South East Asia, spreading the knowledge of ancient culture.  

At M A Narasimhan’s house near Jaganmohan Palace in Mysuru, a sense of tranquility prevails with the chanting of yoga sutras. For yoga practitioners and instructors from across the world, Narasimhan and his sister Dr M A Jayashree are the go-to people to get a deeper understanding of the ancient discipline. The duo’s popularity has grown so wide that they even conduct classes on yoga sutras and the Bhagavad Gita over Skype.

Narasimhan (74) and Jayashree have been teaching yoga sutras and the Bhagavad Gita to foreigners for the past two decades. Narasimhan, a Science graduate​,​ is specialised in Research Methodology and Advanced Psychology in education. Jayashree is a retired Sanskrit professor. Jay​a​shree also received a doctorate on the thesis ‘Concept of Mind in Indian Philosophy and Vidwat in Carnatic Music (vocal)’.

Mysuru, a city well known for its yoga schools, has had a steady inflow of foreigners who fly down to learn yoga. For such students, Narasimhan and Jayashree provide training in yoga sutras for a few weeks or sometimes even months. There are a few who have returned to Mysuru for more than six times to complete their learning of the yoga sutras. “Our lifestyles have changed. Most of us have stopped eating non vegetarian food, consuming alcohol and are settling down in stable marriages. We feel like Indians and are more relaxed,” s​ays a foreign student who is undergoing training with the duo.   

“Those who are committed to learning yoga visit Mysuru and it’s a great privilege to be with them,” says 66-year-old Jay​a​shree.  “Once they begin practising yogasana and pranayama they slowly realise there is something that ‘exists’ separate from the body. We teach them transcendental meditation. Since they are already doing asanas and pranayama they go through an extraordinary experience in meditation, leaving them more interested in the Indian system of knowledge,” she adds.   

“A very small number of people come to Mysuru to learn yoga. Some of them have become good teachers. They teach yoga exercises, but don’t practi​se the philosophy behind yoga. Those who learn from us are in turn training others. In fact, foreigners seem to be more interested in learning the philosophy more than Indians,” adds Jayashree. 

Narasimhan says, “It was our love for India that encouraged us to teach Vedic traditions to foreigners. Many modern scholars do not know Sanskrit and they can’t grasp the essence of ancient knowledge. It was then that we began research in philosophy and yoga.”

“There are both admirers and critics of India in the western world. If one visits prestigious universities and meet scholars of Indology, they say how foolish India is. This hurt me so much that I decided to teach the rich heritage of India to foreigners, emphasising on the universal value of Indian thoughts.

“According to a section of thinkers, philosophy should be based on logic. Whereas, in India it’s completely based on text. As there is no one God, one religion and one language, Indian system is diverse. At the academic level there ​are ​a lot of admirers and non admirers too. Our own people who hold respectable positions don’t respect ​our culture.” The duo ha​s toured Europe​,​ U​S​​ and Asia, spreading the knowledge of ancient culture.

Adan from Mexico who is coming to Mysuru for third time to learn chanting Bhagavadgita says, “I love the Indian culture. Chanting yoga sutra and Bhagavadgita is more spiritual. I like the conversations between Krishna and Arjuna very much. Though its not easy to learn and understand the subjects and laguages, we feel great when we read out a paragraph. Am impressed with the Sanskrit language and the subject kindles curious. I have plans to come next year for longer period and gain deeper knowledge about bhagavadgita.”

Patricia Veronica from Argentina said: “India is rich in culture. I feel more confidence and calm and having a peace of mind chanting Yoga Sutra, Bhagavadgita. The concentration has increased in my work, and I feel more graceful. The message of Bhavadgita are much needed to lead a peaceful life. There is still a long way to gain a deep wisdom.”

How the sutras are taught
The fore​igners are made to read yoga sutras of Maharshi Pat​anjali (about 150) and other sutras from a 140-page booklet. The booklet is a transc​ript of the CD ‘Yogasutrani of Maharasi Patanjali’ chanted by Jayashree. The sutras are printed both in Sanskrit and English, one below the other. Students are also given an English translation of the Bhag​a​vad Gita. Students learn 18 chapters from the scripture. The CDs are available for purchase online as well. The booklet has also been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese and other widely spoken languages in Europe.  For yoga practitioners​,​ who find it difficult to make a visit to Mysuru, the duo also conduct​s​classes over Skype. Students living in the same time zone are brought together and taught the yoga sutras and Bhagavad Gita.

Penned texts

With the help of Ananth Research Foundation, Mysuru and Itihasa Bharathi, Narasimhan and Jayashree have written books on the history of River Saraswathi, which has been translated ​in all the Indian languages​. They have even translated many texts from palm leaves and penned a book on the journey of science through the ages, and the contributions of India to science. They are also instrumental in recording the history of Melukote. Their library has a collection of books dating back to 150 years.

300 years celebrations: This villagers celebrate the festival of light in a different way

 Most of us celebrate Deepavali, the festival of light, by bursting crackers. But, the villagers of Periyapatna Taluk have been celebrating the festival in a different way. A tradition that date back to more than three centuries is being still followed during every Deepavali festival by the villagers of Bettadapura in Periyapatna taluk.

The people of several villages come together on the day of 'Balipadyami', and take out procession of Lord Sidilumallikarjuna Swamy, the presiding deity of Bettadapura. The temple has constructed during the period of cholas and has a history of 800 years. Whereas, the celebration of the festival has started during Changalwaru regine. One has to climb more than 3650 steps to reach the hill. From the past five years not finding a priest who can climb the hill daily, a young priest has been assigned to open the temple on Mondays and Fridays atop the hill and offer pujas. On the remaining days, people can offer puja at another temple located at foothills of hill.

The jatha begins on the Amavase day. About 20 people climb the steps on Amavase Day carrying torch and return to the foothills on wee hours of Balipadyami Day. Later, thousands of villagers join them a take out the torch procession, accompanied with the folk art troupes. On the way, Green Mantaps are erected. During the procession deity will be stopped at each mantaps and those have erected the mantaps will offer puja and consume food only after the procession passes from their village.

The procession is called as 'Deevatige Meravanige' (torch light procession). According to the rituals, thousands of people go around Bettadapura hill on foot, on the day of Balipadyami holding torch. The Man folk carry the torch and take procession of the deity Sidilumallikarjuna Swamy. The procession passes through the villages Basaveshwara Colony, Marnomithoppu, Kavluhadigudi, Bettadatunga, Devarathotta, Kudkoru, Barsekoppalu, and reach the Bettadapura foothills temple covering a distance of 12 kilo meters.

Two Pallaki's will be taken on procession, one of Silver Nandi and the other comprising of deities Lord Eshwara, Parvathi, Ganpathi. The Utsava Pallaki will be carried by the people of respective villagers as it reaches their place.

“The festival will be celebrated very grandly with religious fervour. People from across State visit our village during the day and take part in the rituals. Sometimes, the procession which starts around 5 am, return late in the evening after 18 hours. Till that villagers will not sleep, and will remain fasting,” says Sharada, villager of Beetadapura.

According to the temple priest Anantha Ramaiah, “There is a belief among people that by visiting the temple their wishes will come true. Earlier, we were climbing the steps and were offering prayers. Now from last several years, we offer puja at the temple located at foothills of the Beetadapura. The significance of holding torch is seeking god to shower prosperity. Also there is a strong belief among the people that their wishes will be fulfilled by visiting the temple and carrying the torch.”

BV Manjunath, resident of Bettadapura said: “A special Devattige Kolu and Yennekayi is used to lit the torch. The oil can helps the torch to lit for long time. The festival is celebrated with religious fervour and people from across state come to our village on the day to offer Harike and celebrate the festival.”

Friday, October 13, 2017

This students experience rural life at fields in Mysuru

 A group of  final year MSc Agriculture students from College of Agriculture, VC Farm, Mandya have camped at villages of Varuna Hobli and Nanjangud, and are giving hands on experience for farmers on new farming practices and latest technologies in farming. 

The students are staying at the villages from last three months under the Rural Agriculture Work Experience Programme (RAWEP), which aims at providing first hand experience of rural life for students, and to gain practical experience in promoting and transforming technologies related to agriculture and allied fields among Farmers.

About 77 students divided into seven groups hacamped at Varuna Hobli - Dandikere, PutteGowdana Hundi, Chattanahalli palya; and Maradihundi, Tummanerale, Nandigunda of Nanjangud Taluk. They have created a Crop Museum in three guntas of land in the above villages, and have given demonstration on mixed farming, and inter cropping. Paddy, varieties of Ragi, Maize, all millets, pulses , fodder, commercial crops are grown for demonstration.

The demonstration of Paddy in direct sowing, Random transplating and SRI method (System of Rice Intensification), where Paddy seedlings are transplanted in square system, which is more economical and a farmers get more number tillers per plant are drawing the attention of villagers.
Their programme activity concluded on Friday, and the students had hosted a agriculture exhibition displaying models.

MS Ramu, final year B.Sc Agriculture student and a native of Doddaballapura says, “I had no idea about agriculture, but was interested to complete by B.Sc in agriculture. Staying at villages and observing the plight and lifestyle of farmers is an unique experience. Working with different rural institution and serving for the farming community is a great opportunity. The RAWEP has helped to imbibe entrepreneurship qualities among us. I have noticed most of the government programmes have not reached farmers, and they are not aware of the latest technologies. I want to work as a field officer in Agriculture department, and make the government schemes reach farmers.”

“Before visiting the village, we had collected the basic information of the villages, which include agro ecology map, resource map, social map, Mobility map, wealth ranking, livelihood analysis, technology map, and much more. After holding discussion with villagers we sketched a problem tree, solution tree, action plan to address the woes of the farmers. The experience working in farmers field, gave us a different dimension to know the farmers problems and hone our skills,” says GM Preethi, another student.

 “The students conducted Vanamahotsava, and got built two toilets in village with the help of gram panchayat. They have dig pits for azolla cultivation and demonstration on mushroom cultivation, value addition to fruits and vegetables, the campaign for educating girls, information on seed treatments with insecticides are very helpful,” says Nagarajgowda, villager of Dandikere.

“We were thought how to prepare mixed fruit jam and information were given on selling them. The students have opined an agriculture information center and are giving solutions for several agriculture related problems.  Compost pits, azolla pits, nutritional gardens are very useful,” adds Sumithra, villager of Tummanerale.


* Farmers are informed about the importance of testing soil fertility, indigenous technologies, selection crop, rain water harvesting and are encouraging the farmers to grow millets.

* Experts from Agriculture and Horticulture fields are invited every week to deliver lecture on a crop.  They are also educating farmers about methods to be followed to grow crops, the amount of pesticides to be used, how to convert the produce and product, marketing linkage, and much more.

 * Community development programmes like Swachch Bharath Andolan, judicious use of water, toilet room construction, parthenium eradication, safe use of chemicals, etc are being held.  

* Every day the students will visit a farmer’s house and farm and discuss their agriculture problems and know about their livelihood. They engage farmers in group discussions and give demonstration on various agriculture aspects.  


This International stress the need of grooming children from school levels

When most of the people complain of joints pains after 50 years, and step back to participate in physical activities, here is a 55-year-old athlete who is dreaming of winning a gold medal in running race at the World Championship.

Meet 55-year-old International athlete Madappa Yogendra who is creating a niche in running race. Recently, he has participated at the 20th Asia Masters Athletics Championship held at Rugao, China (September 24 to 28), and has won bronze medals at 3000 meters steeple chase and 400 meters rally.

Veteran Athlete M Yogendra, an M.Sc graduate in Physics, is rendering service as superintendent at Central Excise and Customs Department, Bengaluru. He is passionate in taking part in running race and cross country races from his high school days. Since then, he is practicing running for an hour, without any break and has continued the same even today.  

Sharing about his journey with City Express, Yogendra says, : “I had participated in Republic Day parade at New Delhi, representing Karnataka & Goa State NCC Contingent in the Year 1981. My interest in athletic started, when I won ‘Prime Minister’ banner award. This motivated me to take the long distance running seriously. Later, I underwent rock climbing course at Kerala, advance leader ship course at Nasik , Maharashtra, Water skiing course at Kashmir.”

“Later, Common Wealth Games was held at Delhi in 2010, and I got an opportunity to run holding the Queen’s Baton Relay torch. There was no bound for my happiness, and my enthusiast grew  then, and decided to compete in international athletic events,” he added.
 “I had never thought, I will be visiting foreign countries and represent India. The competitions will be very challenging in International level. Regular practice, determination, concentration are important. There is need of grooming children from school levels and motivating them to take part in the sports competitions,” adds Yogendra, whose enthusiast has never dwindled.

He has represented University of Mysore in Athletics for Five times and Karnataka State six time in the All India Inter University Athletics Championships; and has captained the Karnataka State Athletics. He has represented India several times at the Asian Masters Athletics Championship and World Master Athletics Championships held at Malaysia, California, USA; Taipei, Taiwan; Port Blare, Brazil; Kitakami City Iwate Prefecture, Japan; Perth, Austriliafrom; Rugao  China. Now, he is getting prepared to take part in the World Master Championship to be held at Spain in 2018.

He has to his credit about 70 gold; 50 silver and more than 60 bronze medals and his dream is to win a gold medal in World Master Championship. He has been awarded  “Karnataka Bhushana Prashathi” by Karnataka Samskruthika Academy, Bengaluru in 2013;  Mukhayaprana Rajoshthava Prashathi, Karnataka Rajoshthava Award  by  Kannada Sangha, Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax Department and several other honours.

Yogendra has established ‘Mysuru Athletic Club’ in 2006, and hosting running race, road relay race competitions every year. He also felicitates the athletes who have represented Mysuru district in University-State-National levels and gives away cash prize of Rs 70,000.    

This artist sketches animals in extinct on canvas

Here is a government school teachers who is creating awareness among populace about the birds and animals which are in extinct, using canvas as the medium.  UG Mohan Kumar Aradhya, an artist and a science teacher at government school in Karthalu Village, KR Nagar Taluk is the person who has exhibited his paintings at Suchitra Art Gallery, Kalamandira.

He has done a study about some of the rare species in extinct and has sketched them on canvas. Under the theme “Survival and Extinction of animals’ (Pranigala Alivu Uliu) he has put on display painting of rare species of birds and animals, which include Pyrenean Ibex, Seal, western black rhinoceros, passenger pigeon, elephant bird, Quagga, Asian Cheetah, vulture, smooth coated otter (neeru nayi), etc.

Out of 40 odd paintings, about 25 paintings drews the attention of public towards the birds and animals which are in extinct. While, remaining paintings are related to the reason for global warming, how man kind has destroyed the forest and environment; what has to be done to protect the flora and fauna etc.    

Apart from exhibiting his paintings in the cities, he visits the nearby schools and make children aware of the birds and animals which are in extinct and how to conserve them.  Speaking to Express, he says, “Due to rapid urbanisation, deforestation and change in climate, we can lose all indigenous species of animals and birds. Its high time we have to protect the wildlife and forest. There is need of creating awareness among young minds about the conservation of birds and animals, so it helps in higher extent to protect the wildlife.’

C Ravishankar, Executive Director, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, after inaugurating the day-long expo on Wednesday, said: “Exhibition the animals in extinct on account of Wildlife Week Celebrations is more relevant and meaningful. There is need of more such exhibition to create awareness among populace about conservation of wild animals and birds.”

M Chandrashekhar, a visitor said: “The paintings are eye opener for society. Due to over greed we have damaged the environment to higher extent. Youngsters should come together and raise voice for the protection of wild and plant more trees to combat global warming.”