A Unique Project to Promote Amrita Mahal Cows
- The project was formulated by the Kings of Mysore State.
- The project has its best period during 1617 - 1704, when Chamaraja Vodeyar, Kantheerava Narasaraja Vodeyar, and Chikkadevaraya Vodeyar ruled the state.
- The project was started for ‘Benne Chavadi’ cows, now called Amrita Mahal.
- 240 grazing fields covering 4,13,539 acres spread through the state was reserved for the project.
- The main centres of the project were Ajjampura, Birur, Habbanaghatta, Basur, Lingadahalli, and Arsikere.
- Tipu Sultan renamed the breed as ‘Amrita Mahal’ and called the reserved land as “Amrita Mahal Reserved Land.”
- Tipu recognised the superior qualities of this breed and started rearing them to be part of his army. Even today, the oxen of the breed are more valued than the cows.
- These cows are more loyal than dogs and brave enough not to be scared of roaring gun fires.
- As the breed was reared mainly for war, milk yield of the cows reduced from 11 to 2-3 litres. Researches show that in about 10 years, through 3 generations of the cow, milk yield can be improved.
- The project had six grazing areas. When the cows completed grazing in one area, they were moved to the next. There was no separate effort to provide cow feed.
- With the independence, the 50,000 acres of grazing land belonged to the Government of Karnataka.
- As per records, today 22,000 acres of the grazing land and about 1500 cows remain.