Greeks had a cultural connection with Coorg. Have you read about Nearcus a commander of Alexander's army who entered in south India probably in coorg.
One of the oldest surviving foreign descriptions of India comes from the Greco-Roman biographer of Alexander the Great, Flavius Arrianus. He depended upon other Greek sources, such as Niarchus, which are now lost. His short book The Indica, dealt with the Voyage of Alexander's fleet from India to the Near East. Below is his general description of India.

Ancient India as described by Arrian
[Excerpted from Arrian, "The Indica" in Anabasis of Alexander, together with the Indica, E. J. Chinnock, tr. (London: Bohn, 1893), ch. 1-16]




1. The district west of the river Indus as far as the river Cophen is inhabited by the Astacenians and the Assacenians, Indian tribes. But they are not so tall in stature or so courageous as those who dwell east of the Indus; nor are they so swarthy as the majority of the Indians. These were in ancient times subject to the Assyrians, afterwards to the Medes and finally they submitted to the Persians, and paid tribute to Cyrus the son of Cambyses as ruler of their land. The Nysaeans are not an Indian race, but descended from the men who came into India with Dionysus--perhaps from those Greeks who were rendered unfit for service in the wars which Dionysus waged with the Indians. Perhaps also he settled with the Greeks those of the natives who were willing to join his colony. Dionysus named the city itself Nysa, and the land Nysaea, in honour of his nurse Nysa. The mountain near the city, at whose base Nysa was built, is called Meros (thigh) after the misfortune he experienced as soon as he was born. This is the story framed by the poets in regard to Dionysus, and let the writers of legends Grecian and foreign expound it. Among the Assacenians is Massaca, a large city, where also is the stronghold of the land of Assacia; and there is also another large city, Peucelaitis, not far from the Indus. These tribes have been settled west of the Indus as far as the Cophen.

2. Let me call the country east of the Indus India, and the people Indians. Towards the north of India lies Mount Taurus; but in this land it is no longer called Taurus. This range commences from the sea near Pamphylia, Lycia, and Cilicia and extends as far as the Eastern Sea, dividing the whole of Asia. It is called by various names in different districts; in one part it is called Parapamisus, in another Emodus, in a third Imaus, and probably it has several other names. The Macedonians who accompanied Alexander's expedition called it Caucasus. But this is quite a different Caucasus from that in Scythia. They called it by this name that the report might become current that Alexander had marched even beyond the Caucasus. The river Indus bounds India on the west as far as the Great Sea, into which it discharges its water by two mouths, not near each other like the five mouths of the Ister, but like those of the Nile, by which the Egyptian Delta is formed. Thus also the river Indus forms the Delta of India, which is not smaller than that of Egypt. This delta is called in the Indian tongue Pattala. On the south India is bounded by the Great Sea itself, and the same sea bounds it on the east. The part of the country towards the south near Pattala and the outlets of the Indus was seen by Alexander and the Macedonians and by many Greeks; but into the part towards the east Alexander did not penetrate further than the river Hyphasis. A few authors have described the country as far as the river Ganges, and where are the outlets of that river and near it Palimbothra, the largest city of the Indians.

3. I consider Eratosthenes the Cyrenaean the most trustworthy authority, because he is careful to trace the circumference of the country. This writer says that the side of India has a length of I,529 miles to one going from Mount Taurus, in which are the sources of the Indus, along that river itself as far as the Great Sea and the outlets of the Indus. And opposite this he makes another side from the same mountain to the Eastern Sea scarcely equal to this side; but he makes a peninsula stretch far into the sea to the extent of about 353 miles. Therefore according to him the side of India towards the east would extend I,882 miles. This he considers the breadth of India. The length from west to east as far as the city of Palimbothra he says was measured in schoeni [one schoenus equalled about 5 miles],' and he made a plan of it; for it was the royal road. He says that this extends to 1,176 miles. The districts beyond this have not been so accurately measured. But as many as have recorded rumours say that with the peninsula projecting into the sea it amounts to about I,200 miles. So that the length of India upward is about 2,353 miles. Ctesias the Cnidian says that India is equal to the rest of Asia, but he talks nonsense; and so does Onesicritus, saying that it is the third part of all the earth. Nearchus says that it is a journey of four months through the plain alone of India. To Megasthenes the distance from the east to the west is the breadth of India, which others make its length. He says that where it is shortest it extends 1882 miles, and that from north to south, which is its length according to him, it extends 2,624 miles, where it is narrowest.

In the whole of the rest of Asia there are not so many rivers as in India. The largest are the Ganges and the Indus, from the latter of which the country takes its name. Both of these are larger than the Egyptian Nile and the Scythian Ister, even if their waters came together into one. To me indeed it seems that even the Acesines is larger than the Ister or the Nile, where it falls into the Indus, after having taken up into its stream the Hydaspes, the Hydraotes, and the Hyphasis, so that at this place its breadth is three and one-half miles. Perhaps also many other larger rivers flow in India.

4. I cannot be sure of the accuracy of any statements about the country beyond the river Hyphasis, because Alexander did not advance further than that river. Of the two largest rivers themselves, the Ganges and the Indus, Megasthenes has stated that the former excels much in size; and so say all other writers who mention it. He says that it rises great from its sources, and that it receives into itself the Cainas, the Erannoboas, and the Cossoanus, all navigable rivers; then the Sonus Sittocatis, and Solomatis, which are also navigable; and besides these the Condochates, Sambus, Magon, Agoranis, and Omalis. A great river the Comminases, and the Cacouthis and Andomatis, which flows from the land of the Madyandinians, an Indian nation, fall into it. In addition to these the Amystis joins the Ganges, near the city of Catadoupe, as do the Oxymagis in the land of the people called Pazalaeans, and the Errenysis in that of the Mathaeans, an Indian nation. Megasthenes says that none of these is inferior to the Maeander, where that river is navigable. He says that the breadth of the Ganges in its narrowest part is about twelve miles; that in many places it forms lakes, so that the land opposite is not visible where it is flat and nowhere stands up in hills. The same is the case with the Indus. The Hydraotes, having received the Hyphasis in the land of the Astrybaeans, the Saranges from that of the Cecians, and the Neudrus from that of the Attacenians, falls into the Acesines in the land of the Cambistholians. The Hydaspes also falls into the Acesines in the land of the Oxydracians, taking with itself the Sinarus in the land of the Arispians. The Acesines joins the Indus in the land of the Mallians. The Toutapus also, a large river, falls into the Acesines. That river, with its water swollen by these, and giving its name to the united stream, itself falls into the Indus and surrenders its name to it. The Cophen falls into the Indus in the land called Peucelaitis, taking with itself the Malantus Soastus, and Garroeas. Below these the Parenus and Saparnus, not far apart, fall into the Indus. The Soanus also falls into it, coming void of any other river from the mountainous land of the Abissarians. Megasthenes says that most of these are navigable. Therefore we ought not to disbelieve that the Ister and the water of the Nile are not comparable with the Indus and the Ganges. We know, indeed, that no river falls into the Nile, but that canals have been cut from it through the land of Egypt. The Ister rises small from its sources, and though it receives many rivers, they are not equal in number to the Indian rivers which flow into the Indus and the Ganges. Very few of the tributaries of the Ister are navigable. Two of these, the Enus and Saus, I know, having seen them myself. The Enus mingles with the Ister on the confines of the country of the Noricans and Rhaetians, and the Saus in the territory of the Paeonians. The place where the Ister and Saus have their confluence is called Taurounus. Some one may know another navigable river which falls into the Ister, but he does not know many I am sure.

5. Whoever wishes to consider the cause of the number and size of the Indian rivers let him consider; it is sufficient for me to have recorded these statements as reports. For Megasthenes has recorded the names of many other rivers, which fall into the eastern and southern external sea, apart from the Ganges and Indus. He says that there are in all fifty-eight Indian rivers, all navigable. But even Megasthenes does not seem to me to have traversed much of the land of the Indians, though he visited more than those who went with Alexander the son of Philip. For he says that he was intimate with Sandracottus, a very great king of the Indians, and with Porus, still greater than he. This Megasthenes, indeed, says that neither do the Indians wage war with any other men, nor any other men with them; and that Sesostris the Egyptian, having subdued most part of Asia, and having marched with his army as far as Europe, returned back home without attacking India; that Idanthyrsus the Scythian started from Scythia, and subduing many nations in Asia, advanced even into the land of the Egyptians in his victorious career; that Semiramis the Assyrian undertook an expedition into the land the Indians, but that she died before she could complete her plans; and that Alexander alone led an invading army against the Indians. The tale is current that even before Alexander Dionysus led an expedition into India, and subdued the Indians. There is also a vague story about Herades to the same effect. Of the expedition of Dionysus, indeed, the city of Nysa is no mean monument, as also are the mountain Meros, the ivy which grows on this mountain, the Indians themselves also marching into battle to the sound of drums and cymbals, wearing speckled garments like the bacchanals of Dionysus. But of Heracles there are not many memorials. For the statement that Alexander forcibly subdued the rock of Aornus, because Heracles was not able to capture it, seems to me a piece of Macedonian boasting; just as they called the Parapamisus Caucasus, though it has no connection with it. And having observed a certain cave in the land of the Parapamisadians, they said that it was the famous cave of Prometheus, the son of the Titan, in which he was hung for the theft of the fire. And besides, in the land of the Sibians, an Indian race, because they saw the inhabitants clothed in skins, they said that the Sibians were those who had been left behind from the expedition of Heracles. The Sibians also carry cudgels, and the figure of a club was branded upon their oxen; this too they explained to be a commemoration of the club of Heracles. If anyone gives credit to these tales, this must have been another Heracles, neither the Theban, nor the Tyrian, nor the Egyptian; but some great king of a land situated in the interior not far from India

6. Let this be a digression on my part from the narrative, in order to show that what certain authors have recorded about the Indians on the other side of the Hyphasis does not appear credible; but those who took part in Alexander's expedition as far as the Hyphasis are not altogether unworthy of belief. For Megasthenes also says this about an Indian river, whose name is Silas, that it flows from a spring with the same name as itself through the land of the Silians, who derive their name from the river and the spring; that it supplies water of such a kind that there is nothing which it resists, that nothing either swims or floats upon it, but everything sinks to the bottom; and that water is weaker and more murky than any other. India is visited by rain in the summer, especially the mountains, Parapamisus, Emodus, and the Imaic range, and from these the rivers flow swollen and muddy. In the summer also the plains of India are visited by rain, so that a great part of them are covered with pools; and Alexander's army had to avoid the river Acesines in the middle of the summer, because the water overflowed into the plains. Wherefore from this it is possible to conjecture the cause of the similar condition of the Nile, because it is probable that the mountains of Aethiopia are visited by rain in the summer, and the Nile being filled from them overflows its banks into the Egyptian country. Therefore the Nile at this season flows in a muddy state, as it would not flow from the melting of snow, or if its water were driven back by the annual winds blowing in the season of summer. Besides, the mountains of Aethiopia would not be snow-beaten on account of the heat. It is not beyond the bounds of probability that Aethiopia is visited by rain as India is-for in other respects India is not unlike Aethiopia, and the Indian rivers produce crocodiles like the Aethiopian and Egyptian Nile. Some of them also produce fish and water-monsters besides, like those of the Nile, except the hippopotamus. Onesicritus says they produce even hippopotami. The looks of the people of India and Aethiopia are not entirely dissimilar. The Indians who live towards the south are more like the Aethiopians, they are black in their faces, and their hair is black; but they are not so flatnosed or so curly-headed as the Aethiopians. The more northern Indians would especially resemble the Egyptians in their bodies.

7. Megasthenes says that there are in all 118 Indian nations. I myself agree with him that there are many Indian nations; but I am not able to conjecture how he learned the exact number and recorded it, for he only visited a mere fraction of India, nor do many of the races have any intercourse with each other. He says that in ancient times the Indians were nomads, like that section of the Scythians who are not agriculturists, but wandering about on waggons, live at one time in one part of Scythia and at another time in another part, neither inhabiting cities nor consecrating temples to the gods. So the Indians had no cities or temples built for the gods. They clothed themselves in the skins of the wild beasts which they killed, and ate the inner bark of certain trees, which are called tala in the Indian language, and, as upon the tops of palm-trees, there grow upon them things like clews of wool. They also fed upon the flesh of the wild beasts which they caught, eating it raw, until Dionysus came into their country. But when Dionysus came and conquered them, he founded cities and made laws for them, and gave the Indians wine as he had given it to the Greeks. He also gave them seeds and taught them how to sow them in the earth; so that either Triptolemus did not come to this part when he was sent by Demeter to sow corn through the whole earth, or this Dionysus came to India before Triptolemus and gave to the inhabitants the seeds of cultivated crops. Dionysus first taught them to yoke oxen to the plough, and made most of them become husbandmen instead of being nomads, and armed them with martial weapons. He also taught them to worship the gods, and especially himself with the beating of drums and the clashing of cymbals. He taught the Indians the Satyr-dance which among the Greeks is called the cordax, and to let their hair grow long in honour of the god. He also showed them how to wear the turban, and taught them how to anoint themselves with unguents. Wherefore even to the time of Alexander the Indians still advanced into battle with the sound of cymbals and drums.

8. When Dionysus had arranged these affairs and was about to leave India, he appointed as king of the land Spatembas, one of his companions, the man most versed in the mysteries of Bacchus. When this man died his son Boudyas succeeded to his kingdom. The father reigned fifty-two years, and the son twenty years. Cradeuas, the son of Boudyas, succeeded to the throne. From this time for the most part the kingdom passed in regular succession from father to son. If at any time direct heirs were wanting, then the Indians appointed kings according to merit. The Heracles, who according to the current report came to India is said, among the Indians themselves, to have sprung from the earth. This Heracles is especially worshipped by the Sourasenians, an Indian nation, in whose land are two great cities, Methora and Cleisobora, and through it flows the navigable river Jobares. Megasthenes says, as the Indians themselves assert, that this Heracles wore a similar dress to that of the Theban Heracles. Very many male children, but only one daughter were born to him in India, for he married many women. The daughter's name was Pandaea, and the land where she was born, and over which Heracles placed her as ruler, was named Pandaea after her. From her father she received 500 elephants, 4,000 cavalry, and 130,000 infantry. Certain of the Indians tell the following story about Heracles, that when he had passed over every land and sea and had rid them of every evil beast, he found in the sea a woman's ornament, such as up to the present day those who bring wares from India to us still buy with zeal and carry away. In former times the Greeks and now the Romans who are fortunate and wealthy with still greater zeal buy what is called in the Indian tongue the marine pearl. The ornament seemed so fine to Heracles that he collected pearls like this from all the sea and brought them to India to be an adornment for his daughter. Megasthenes says that the mussel of it is caught in nets, and that many of them live in the sea at the same place, like bees, and that the pearl-mussels have a king or queen as bees have. Whoever has the good fortune to capture the king, easily throws the net around the rest of the swarm of pearlmussels, but if the king escapes the fishermen, the others are no longer to be caught by them. The men allow the flesh of those which are caught to rot, but they use the shell for ornament; for among the Indians the pearl is worth thrice its weight in refined gold. This metal is also dug up in India.

9. In this country, where the daughter of Heracles reigned, the women at seven years of age become marriageable, and the men live forty years at most. In regard to this the following story is told among the Indians. This girl was born to Heracles in his old age, when he perceived that his end was near. He could not find a man worthy to receive his daughter in marriage, and therefore he married her himself when she was seven years old, so that the family born from him and her might supply kings to the Indians. Heracles therefore made her marriageable at that age; and from that time all this race over which Pandaea ruled have this same gift from Heracles. To me it seems that if Heracles was able to accomplish such marvellous things, he would also have been able to make himself longer lived, so that he might marry his daughter at a mature age. But if these statements about the maturity of the girls of this country are correct, to me at any rate they seem to have some analogy with what is said about the age of the men, that the oldest of them do not live beyond forty years. For no doubt the flower of perfect manhood blooms sooner in proportion in those upon whom old age advances quicker, and death with old age; so that among them men of thirty years of age would be, I suppose, fresh, active old men, striplings of twenty years old would be past their early manhood, and the prime of early manhood would be about fifteen years of age. Reasoning from analogy the women would thus become marriageable at seven years of age. For this same Megasthenes has recorded that in this country the fruits ripen quicker than those elsewhere, and sooner waste away.

From Dionysus to Sandracottus the Indians reckoned 153 kings, and 6,042 years. During all these years they only twice asserted their freedom; the first time they enjoyed it for 300 years, and the second for 120. They say that Dionysus was earlier than Heracles by fifteen generations, and that no other ever invaded India for war, not even Cyrus, the son of Cambyses, though he marched against the Scythians, and in other matters was the most meddlesome of the kings of Asia. However they admit that Alexander came and overcame in battle all the nations whom he visited, and that he would have conquered them all if his army had been willing. But none of the Indians ever marched out of their own country for war, being actuated by a respect for justice.

10. This also is said, that the Indians do not construct monuments for the dead, for they think that the virtues of men are sufficient to perpetuate their memory after their death, as well as the songs which they sing in their honour. It would not be possible to record with accuracy the number of their cities on account of their multiplicity. Those which are situated near the rivers or the sea are built of wood; for if they were built of brick they could not long endure on account of the rain and because the rivers overflowing their banks fill the plains with water. But those which have been founded in commanding places, lofty and raised above the adjacent country, are built of brick and mortar. The largest city in India, named Palimbothra, is in the land of the Prasians, where is the confluence of the river Erannoboas and the Ganges, which is the greatest of rivers. The Erannoboas would be third of the Indian rivers, being also larger than those elsewhere. But it yields itself up to the Ganges when it has discharged its water into it. Megasthenes says that on one side where it is longest this city extends ten miles in length, and that its breadth is one and threequarters miles; that the city has been surrounded with a ditch in breadth 600 feet, and in depth 45 feet; and that its wall has 570 towers and 64 gates. This is a great thing in India, that all the inhabitants are free, not a single Indian being a slave. In this the Lacedaemonians and the Indians are alike. However the Helots are slaves to the Lacedaemonians and perform servile offices; but among the Indians no other Indian at any rate is a slave.

11. All the Indians have been divided into seven castes. Among them are the wise men, fewer in number than the others, but most esteemed in reputation and dignity. For no necessity is incumbent upon them to do any bodily labour; nor do they contribute anything to the commonwealth from the effects of their labour; nor in a word have they any compulsory duty except to offer sacrifices to the gods on behalf of the commonwealth of India. Whoever sacrifices in his private capacity has one of these wise men as a director of the sacrifice, since otherwise he does not offer acceptable sacrifice to the gods. These also are the only Indians skilled in divination; and it is not lawful for anyone to practise the art except for a man who is a wise man. They practise divination in regard to the seasons of the year, and if any calamity befalls the commonwealth. It is not their business to practise their art in regard to the private affairs of individuals, either because the art of divination does not extend to smaller matters, or because it is not worthy of them to labour about such things. Whoever has made three errors in his practise of divination receives no other punishment except that for the future he is compelled to be silent; and there is no one who can compel that man to speak, upon whom the judgment of silence has been passed. These wise men pass their lives naked; in the winter in the sun under the open sky, but in the summer, when the sun holds sway, they live in the meadows and in the marshes under great trees, the shadow of which Nearchus says extends 500 feet all round, and I0,000 men could be shaded under one tree. So large are these trees. They feed on the fruits of the seasons and the inner bark of trees, which is both pleasant and nutritious; not less so than dates.

After these the second caste are the agriculturalists, who are the most numerous class of Indians. These have no martial weapons, nor do they care for deeds of war, but till the soil. They pay dues to the kings or to those cities which are independent. If any war happens to break out among the Indians with each other it is not lawful for them to touch the tillers of the soil, or to lay waste the country itself by destroying the crops. But while others are waging war against each other and slaying each other as they find the chance, they are ploughing in peace and quietness near them, or are gathering in the vintage, or are pruning their vines, or are reaping their crops.

The third caste of Indians are the shepherds and the cowherds, who dwell neither in cities nor in villages; but are nomads and live up and down the mountains. They pay a tax from their flocks and herds. These men also catch birds and hunt wild beasts throughout the land.

12. The fourth caste is that of the artisans and retail tradesmen. These men perform public duties at their own cost, and pay a tax upon their work, except those who make weapons of war. These receive pay from the commonwealth. In this caste are the shipwrights and sailors who sail up and down the rivers.

The fifth caste of the Indians consists of the warriors, who in number come next to the husbandmen and enjoy very great freedom and good cheer. These men practise nothing but warlike exercises. Others make the weapons for them, others provide them with horses; and others serve them in the camp, who groom the horses for them, keep their weapons bright, manage the elephants, keep the chariots in order, and drive the horses. They themselves fight, as long as it is necessary to wage war; but when there is peace, they live with good cheer; and they receive such high pay from the state that they can easily support others from it.

The sixth caste of Indians consists of men who are called overseers. These supervise what is done throughout the country and in the cities, and make reports to the king, where the Indians are ruled by a king, or to the magistrates where the people have a democratic government. It is unlawful for these men to make false reports; but no Indian has incurred the charge of falsehood.

The seventh caste consists of those who assist the king in deliberating on public affairs, or assist the officials in the cities which enjoy a democratic government. This class is small in number, but in wisdom and justice excels all the others. From them are chosen their rulers, governors of provinces, deputies, treasurers, generals, admirals, controllers of expenditure, and superintendents of agriculture.

It is not lawful for anyone to marry a woman from another caste; for example, for husbandmen to marry from the class of artisans or the reverse. It is not lawful for the same man to exercise two trades, or to exchange from one caste into another; for instance, he may not cease to be a shepherd and become a husbandman, or cease to be an artisan and become a shepherd. Only a man from any caste is allowed by them to become a wise man, because the duties of the wise men are not easy, but the most severely laborious of all.

13. The Indians hunt other wild animals like the Greeks; but the way they hunt elephants is quite different from any other kind of hunting, because these animals are like no other beasts. They choose a place that is level and exposed to the sun's heat, large enough for a great army to encamp in. They then dig a trench all round it. They make the breadth of this trench about thirty feet, and the depth about twenty-four feet. The earth which they cast up from the ditch they heap up on each bank of the trench and use it in place of a wall. In the mound upon the outer bank of the trench they dig hiding-places for themselves, leaving holes in them, through which the light may enter for them, and to enable them to observe the beasts approaching and charging into the inclosure. There, within the inclosure, they place some three or four female elephants, who are especially tame in spirit, and leave only one entrance, made by bridging over the trench. They cover this with earth and thick turf, in order that the beasts may not notice the bridge and think some trick is being played them. The men, therefore, keep themselves out of the way, lurking in the hiding-places near the trench. The wild elephants by day do not approach inhabited places, but in the night they wander in all directions and graze in droves, following the largest and bravest of their number, just as cows follow the bulls. When they approach the inclosure they hear the noise of the females and discerning them by the scent, they run at full speed towards the inclosed place. Going quite round the bank of the trench, as soon as they light upon the bridge, they rush forward into the inclosure over this. When the men perceive the entrance of the wild elephants, some of them quickly remove the bridge, others run to the neighbouring villages and tell the people that the elephants are shut up in the inclosure. When they hear this they mount the bravest and most tractable of their elephants and drive them towards the inclosure. When they arrive they do not immediately join battle, but allow the wild elephants to be severely distressed with hunger and to be cowed by thirst As soon as they think they are in a weak state, they then place the bridge over again and advance into the inclosure. At first an obstinate battle is fought between the tame elephants and those that have been caught Soon, as might be expected, the wild ones are overcome, being severely depressed by loss of spirit and want of food. The men, dismounting from the elephants, tie together the feet of the wild ones, which are now exhausted. Then they order the tame ones to chastise them with many blows until they fall to the ground in their severe distress. Standing near them they throw nooses round their necks and mount upon them as they lie on the ground. And in order that they may not shake off their riders or do any other reckless thing, they cut their necks all round with a sharp knife and tie the noose round along the cut; so that on account of the wound they must keep their head and neck quiet; for if they should turn their head round through recklessness, their wound is chafed under the rope. Then at length they keep quiet, and changing their minds of their own accord, they are now led by the tame ones into imprisonment.

14. Those of them which are quite young, or through badness not worth possessing, are allowed to take themselves off to their own haunts The captives are led into the villages and at first some green reeds and grass are given them to eat. They refuse to eat anything from loss of spirit; and the Indians stand round them and lull them to sleep by singing songs, beating drums and clashing cymbals. For, of all animals, the elephant is most naturally intelligent. Some of them have of their own accord picked up their riders who have been killed in battle and carried them away for burial; others have held the shield over them when lying on the ground; and others have incurred danger on their behalf when they have fallen wounded. One, having killed his rider in a fit of passion died from remorse and dejection of spirit. I myself have seen an elephant playing the cymbals, while others danced. Two cymbals were fastened to the forelegs of the playing elephant, and another to the trunk. With his trunk he struck the cymbal alternately against each of his legs in regular time, and the others moved round him as in a dance. These also walked, raising and bending their front legs alternately in regular time, just as the one who played the cymbals directed them. The female elephant copulates in the season of spring, like the cow or mare, when the air-vents near the temples of the females being opened exhale an odour. She carries her young sixteen months at the least, and eighteen at the most, and brings forth one, like the mare. This she suckles till the eighth year. Those which live longest live for 200 years; but many of them die before that age from disease. If they die from old age they reach that age. When their eyes are sore they are cured by pouring into them cow's milk, and their other diseases by giving them dark-coloured wine to drink. Pork is roasted and the fat is sprinkled upon wounds to effect a cure. The Indians adopt these cures for them.

15. The Indians think the tiger much mightier than the elephant. Nearchus says he saw a tiger's skin, but not the tiger itself; but that the Indians assured him that it is as large as the largest horse, and that no other animal can compare with it in swiftness and strength. When the tiger comes into conflict with an elephant he leaps upon his head and easily strangles him. Those which we see and call tigers are only speckled jackals, but larger than the ordinary jackals. In regard to the ants, Nearchus says that he himself did not see one like those which some other authors have described as existing in India; but that he saw many skins of these animals which had been brought into the Macedonian camp. But Megasthenes asserts that the story of these ants is correct; that these were the animals who dig up gold, not for the sake of the metal itself; but they burrow under the ground from instinct, in order that they may lie hidden in their holes, just as our small ants burrow a little under the ground. These ants are larger than foxes and therefore they burrow a distance proportionate to their size, and throw up the soil. As this contains gold ore the Indians obtain their gold from it. Megasthenes only relates hearsay, and as I myself am unable to say anything more certain than this, I willingly dismiss the story of the ants. Nearchus relates as a wonder that parrots are bred in India, and describes what kind of a bird it is and how it utters human speech; but as I myself have seen many and I know others are acquainted with the bird I shall give no description of it as of a marvel. Nor shall I speak of the size of the monkeys, or how beautiful those of India are, nor how they are caught. For these things are well known, except that monkeys are beautiful anywhere. Nearchus also says speckled serpents are caught, though they are quick in movement; and that Peithon, son of Antigenes, caught one twenty-four feet long. The Indians themselves said that the largest serpents are much larger than this. None of the Greek physicians found any cure for any one who was bitten by an Indian serpent; but the Indians themselves healed those who had been smitten. Nearchus says, besides, that Alexander had collected around him all the Indians who were cleverest in the medical art, and had it proclaimed through the camp that whoever was bitten should come to the king's tent. These men were also curers of other diseases and infirmities. But among the Indians there are not many infirmities, because the seasons there are temperate. If anything worse than usual seized them they communicated with the wise men; who seemed to cure whatever was curable, not without the help of god.

16. The Indians use linen clothing, as says Nearchus, made from the flax taken from the trees, about which I have already spoken. And this flax is either whiter in colour than any other flax, or the people being black make the flax appear whiter. They have a linen frock reaching down halfway between the knee and the ankle, and a garment which is partly thrown round the shoulders and partly rolled round the head The Indians who are very well-off wear earrings of ivory; for they do not all wear them. Nearchus says that the Indians dye their beards various colours; some that they may appear white as the whitest, others dark blue; others have them red, others purple, and others green. Those who are of any rank have umbrellas held over them in the summer. They wear shoes of white leather, elaborately worked, and the soles of their shoes are many-coloured and raised high, in order that they may appear taller.

The Indians are not all armed in the same way; but their infantry have a bow equal in length to the man who carries it. Placing this downward to the ground and stepping against it with the left foot, they discharge the arrow, drawing the string far back. Their arrows are little less than four and one-half feet long; and nothing can withstand one shot by an Indian archer, neither shield nor breast-plate nor anything else that is strong. They carry on their left arms targets of raw ox-hide, narrower than the men who carry them, but not much inferior in length. Others have Javelins instead of arrows. All wear a sword which is broad, and not less than four and onehalf feet in length. When the battle is at close quarters, a thing which very rarely happens to be the case between Indians, they bring this sword down upon the antagonist with both hands, in order that the blow may be a mighty one. The cavalry have two darts like the darts called saunia, and a shield smaller than that of the infantry. Their horses are not saddled or bridled like those of the Greeks or Gauls; but a piece of raw ox-hide stitched is fastened right round the front of the horse's mouth, and in this there are brass or iron spikes not very sharp, turned inwards. The rich men have ivory spikes. In the mouth their horses have a piece of iron, like a spit, to which the reins are attached. When therefore they draw the rein, the spit curbs the horse and the spikes which are fastened to it prick him and do not allow him to do anything else than obey the rein.

17. The Indians are spare in body and tall and much lighter than other men. Most of the Indians ride camels, horses, and asses, and those who are well off, elephants. For among the Indians royal personages ride on elephants. Next to this in honour is the four-horsed chariot, third camels. It is no honour to ride on horseback. Their women who are very chaste and would not go astray for any other reward, on the receipt of an elephant have intercourse with the donor. The Indians do not think it disgraceful for them to prostitute themselves for an elephant, and to the women it even seems an honour that their beauty should appear equal in value to an elephant. They marry, neither giving or receiving any dowry, but the fathers bring forward the girls who are of marriageable age and station them in a public place for the man who wins the prize for wrestling, boxing or running, or who has been adjudged winner in any manly contest, to make his choice. The Indians are bread-eaters and agriculturalists, except those who live in the mountains. These live upon the flesh of wild animals.

18. I think I have given sufficient information about the Indians. I have copied the very well-known statements made by Nearchus and Megasthenes, two esteemed authors. As my design in compiling this book was not to describe the customs of the Indians, but to relate how Alexander's fleet was conveyed from India into Persia, let the preceding portion of it be considered a digression from my narrative.



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A 1909 map of Southern India, showing, Madras, Mysore, Coorg, and Travancore, as separate territories.

Coorg State was a separate State within Union of India from 1950 to 1956 with Mercara as it's Capital.[1]

History

Coorg was earlier a small independent kingdom till 1834, which was annexed by British, as a result of Coorg War and the King of Coorg was deposed.[2][3] Coorg as such in 1834 became a separate province of British India. Upon independence of India, as a legacy, it became a province of Union of India.
A map of Republic of India in year 1950, showing boundaries of Coorg State.

Coorg State was formed out of the territory of former Coorg Province, which became a part and parcel of Union of India on 15th August, 1947.
Coorg worked as a Province, till it was created as a Class "C" State, named Coorg State on 26th January, 1950 within Republic of India. Class "C" States were under direct rule of Central Government.[1]

Commissioners of Coorg State

(1) Dewan Bahadur Ketolira Chengappa, became its first Chief Commissioner from 1947 - 1949
(2) C.T. Mudaliar became Chief Commissioner from 1949 - 1950[1]
(3) Kanwar Daya Singh Bedi, Chief Commissioner from 1950 - 1956[1]

Chief Minister

Cheppudira Muthana Poonacha was the first and last Chief Minister of Coorg State from 1950 till 1956.[1]

Dissolution

In 1956, when India's state boundaries were reorganized, it became a district of the then Mysore State[1][4][5]Mysore State was later renamed as Karnataka, as the historical region of Coorg, now forms the part of Kodagu district of Karnataka.

Source: Wikipedia




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Since the Constitution of Mysore is yet to be completed Coorg can still have a voice in its enactment. But the choice of future association must vest in the people, however great the attraction of Mysore. If a Majority of Coorg's population chooses to join a west coast province, the Government of India for one may not have any objection.


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An Excerpt from

GOLD, SPORT, AND COFFEE PLANTING IN MYSORE

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COFFEE PLANTING IN COORG, THE MYSORE REPRESENTATIVE ASSEMBLY, THE INDIAN CONGRESS, CASTE, AND THE INDIAN SILVER QUESTION

BEING THE 38 YEARS' EXPERIENCES OF A MYSORE PLANTER

BY

ROBERT H. ELLIOT

AUTHOR OF "EXPERIENCES OF A PLANTER," "WRITTEN ON THEIR FOREHEADS," ETC.


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COFFEE PLANTING IN COORG.

The British Province of Coorg consists of a mountainous and jungly tract of country with elevations of from about 2,700 to 3,809 feet. The last is the elevation of the capital, Mercara, the tableland of which, for a stretch of about 26 miles, averages about 3,500 feet. This little province lies, as the reader will see by a glance at the map, on the south-west border of Mysore, with which, since its annexation, it has always been connected, and the Resident of Mysore invariably holds the post of Commissioner of Coorg. The population of Coorg is just over 170,000, and its area is 1,583 square miles, or about one-fourth of the size of Yorkshire. But, though small in extent and population, its Rajah and people played an important part as our allies in the war with Tippoo, and a full account of the facts is given in the history of Coorg which has been published in the "Mysore and Coorg Gazetteer." The history of the country, however, which has been gathered up by various European writers, is by no means of an alluring character, and indeed, after the beginning of this century, a more disgusting record of cruelty and oppression it would be difficult to find in the annals of any country. But three things at least the record most distinctly proves. The first is (though this hardly requires any additional proof) that man, though capable of being the best, is also capable of being by far the worst of animals; the second is that, Coorg being a sample of most of India in the times preceding ours, the Hindoos were perfectly right in leaving few annals behind them; and the third is that the blessings of British rule far exceed anything that anyone could imagine who had not read something of the condition of things in India before we took possession of it, for we have not only conferred on the people immeasurable positive benefits, but relieved them from the barbarous rule of cruel oppressors. In the case of Coorg there can be no doubt that we allowed the Rajahs of that country to carry on their work of cruelty and oppression towards their subjects for much too long a period of time, and our failure to act can only be partially excused by the fact that we were, in connection with the war with Tippoo, under great obligation to the ancestor of the Rajah we deposed. However, his vile oppression and cruel murders, which exceed anything the reader could believe to be possible, could no longer be tolerated, and in 1834 he was deposed, and his country absorbed into the British Dominions. Since that date the general welfare of the country was of course insured, and much of it is now a thriving coffee field which, as I shall afterwards show, has been of the greatest benefit to Mysore, and the adjacent British territory. Of the history and cultivation of coffee in Coorg, and my visits to the province, I now propose to give some account.
After the planting season of 1857 I went with a brother planter for a change of air to Mangalore, and from thence we went to Cannanore—a military station about 200 miles further down the coast—and, after a short stay there, rode up the Ghauts into Coorg, where we found the planters busy clearing the forest. Three years before our arrival Mr. Fowler had opened the Mercara Estate, and in 1855 Mr. H. Mann, and Mr. Donald Stewart had begun work on the Sumpaji Ghaut, while Dr. Maxwell opened up the Periambadi Ghaut Estates in 1856, and in 1857 Mr. Kaundinya founded a plantation in the Bamboo district which lies on the eastern side of Coorg. The first European plantation was, as we have seen, started in 1854, but for many years previously coffee cultivation had been carried on by natives in the Nalknaad District, though it seems to be quite uncertain as to when or how it was first introduced, or where the first seeds were obtained.
At first all seemed to be going well with coffee in Coorg, and for a good many years the fatal mistake of the planters in clearing down the whole forest, and leaving no shade over the coffee, was not decisively apparent, and from the lands that were thus cleared down on the above-mentioned Ghauts, which lie on the western side of the province, from 700 to 1,000 tons were picked annually when the coffee was at its best. But what in "the seventies" represented about £100,000 of valuable property, gradually became more and more unprofitable, till at last the estates were abandoned, and the land has now become covered with masses of Lentana (a crawling, climbing, thorny plant which has become a perfect plague in Coorg), amidst which may occasionally be seen the white walls of unroofed bungalows, and dismantled pulping houses, which testify to the melancholy ending of the work of the planters whom I found so busily engaged when, in 1857, I first entered Coorg.
Some attributed the failure to the Bug, some to the Borer, and to leaf disease, while others blamed the heaviness of the tropical rains, which washed away the valuable surface soil, the flight of which towards the western sea was much expedited by weeding with the mamoty (a digging hoe), which loosened the soil, and so prepared the way for its more rapid disappearance. And these causes no doubt hastened the end, but they were mainly results arising from one great cause—the neglect to supply shade for the coffee, and this again arose from the circumstance that most of the pioneer planters came from Ceylon where the coffee is planted in the open, and where shade is not required. And this failure, owing to the neglect of shade, had a most unfortunate effect, for it was owing to this that Coorg naturally acquired such a doubtful coffee reputation in the eyes of the uninformed public—a reputation which, as I shall afterwards show, arose not from any fault of the country as a coffee field, but solely from the fatal mistake of attempting to plant without providing shade for the coffee. And this mistake the planters, as we shall see, had great difficulty in shaking off, for when they saw the inevitable end approaching, and hastened to take up land in the eastern part of Coorg in what is known as the Bamboo district (because the jungle lands there consist very largely of forest trees interspersed with clumps of bamboos), they persisted in carrying their fatal Ceylon system with them, and Mr. Donald Stewart, called the Coffee King in Mincing Lane, who was a warm supporter of planting in the open, even issued, it is said, an order to his managers saying that if he found a single forest tree standing (the coffee around even a single tree would have proved him to be wrong) dismissal would follow. But nature proved to be too strong for Mr. Stewart and those who followed his example, and whole estates in the Bamboo district were practically exterminated by the Borer insect. At last the planters, warned by a long and bitter experience, gave way all along the line, and began to imitate the shade planters of Mysore, and shade is now as universal in Coorg as in Mysore, and under its protection the coffee in both countries thrives equally well. I may mention here that the Rev. G. Richter, who is now the second oldest resident in Coorg, took an active part in opening up the Bamboo district, and was for some time a partner in one of the estates. He has shown great zeal in endeavouring to introduce new products, such as tea, cocoa, ceara rubber, and vanilla. His manual of Coorg, I may add, is most interesting and exhaustive.[48]
Besides the first mentioned, and now abandoned coffee district, and the Bamboo district, there is the important district of North Coorg, which, though it has a smaller number of estates, certainly contains coffee that, so far as I am able to judge, it would be impossible to surpass.
There are, in all, at present in Coorg 130 European estates, with a total area of 32,323 acres (of which 20,000 are in the Bamboo district), and 6,207 native estates and gardens, aggregating in all 70,669 acres. The average production of coffee from all these sources is estimated by competent authorities at from 4,000 to 5,000 tons of coffee per annum, or of a probable annual value of from £250,000 to £300,000. The yield from a well cultivated estate averages from 3 to 4 cwt. of clean coffee per acre. Exceptional properties there are, of course, which give higher returns than this, and some could be quoted which give 6 to 7 cwt. on the average, while sensational figures might be quoted as regards some remarkable estates. But to give an account of such exceptional estates might convey a misleading idea of the general return to be obtained from coffee in Coorg, though I think it well to allude to the fact that better returns than those first mentioned can be obtained, and have been obtained, as it is always of value to know what particular pieces of land can do under the most favourable circumstances, as this opens up the important question as to whether it would not pay better to confine cultivation on an estate to a narrow area of the best soils and situations on it—a subject to which I shall more particularly refer later on in this chapter.
In the case of well cultivated estates, an expenditure of eighty rupees per acre is incurred on superintendence and field labour, and fifty rupees an acre on manures and their application, but in many European, and most native estates, a total expenditure for superintendence, labour and manures of about eighty rupees only is incurred, and the results obtained are, of course, proportionately smaller. The native gardens and plantations are, as a rule, worked on the principle of taking everything that can be got out of the land, and putting nothing into it. Were these worked on European principles, it is hardly necessary to say that the export of coffee from Coorg would be largely increased.
Cattle manure, bones, oil-cake and fish constitute the manures mainly used in Coorg. The first is universally recognized as being the most valuable for coffee, but the supply available in the Bamboo district (which contains, I may remind the reader, 20,000 out of the 32,323 acres under cultivation by Europeans), where grazing is scarce, is so small that planters have to depend to a great extent on the three last-named manures. Messrs. Matheson & Co., the owners of about 7,000 acres of coffee in Coorg, kept for some years in their employ an analytical chemist,[49] whose time was devoted to the analysis of soil, and the making of experiments on their estates, with the view of ascertaining what was best adapted for maintaining and improving their fertility. Salts of various kinds were experimented with, but, though the results from them were generally favourable, they were found to be too rapidly soluble for a climate so subject to heavy falls of rain. In the end, after many experiments, he came to the conclusion that the four above-mentioned manures were the best for the climate, and that the proportion applied should vary with the condition of the coffee. To illustrate this point I may add that in Coorg, bones and oil-cake are usually applied in the proportion of two of the latter to one of the former. If, however, a field has suffered badly from leaf disease (which destroys many of the leaves), or is not making wood as rapidly as it ought, it is customary to apply a larger proportion of oil-cake, or in some cases, to put down that manure without adding any bones. On the other hand, if there is a superabundance of wood, and it is desirable to throw the whole energies of the tree into the production of berries, then the proportion of bone manure is increased and that of oil-cake diminished.
In former times all manures were applied immediately after the crop was picked, and on estates where labour is scarce, or comes in late in the season, this system is still carried on. But from results actually obtained on estates in Coorg, it has now been proved that it is more advantageous to apply part of the manure immediately after crop, in order to strengthen the tree when the blossom showers fall (which they usually do in March and April), and to aid it in perfecting and setting the blossom, and a second portion after the heavy monsoon rains are over, in order to assist the tree in growing fresh wood, and in maturing the crop. The bones, oil-cake, and fish are usually mixed with burnt earth—a cubic yard to every five cwt. of the manure—and then scattered on the surface of the land around the stems of the trees, and forked in. The burnt earth, or indeed almost any good earth, makes an admirable addition to bones, oil-cake, and fish, for, though the first two, or the last two, furnish complete manure for coffee, they of course cannot ameliorate the physical condition of the soil, which, as I have fully shown in the chapter on manures, is often of more importance than its strictly speaking chemical condition. The burnt earth, in short, takes the place of cattle manure as a physical agent, and, for that purpose, I think that the soil, is to be preferred to cattle manure, as the former would certainly be cheaper and more lasting in its effects in keeping the soil in a loose and easily workable condition. On the other hand, it must be considered that cattle manure would be more moisture-holding than ordinary earth, though not more so than jungle top-soil, and when first applied, would be perhaps more opening to the land, than burnt or ordinary earth, but if the red earth (Kemmannu), to which I have alluded in my chapter on manures, can be obtained, that, I know from experience, would be more cooling, and moisture-absorbing than cattle manure.
I now turn to a point of great general interest, and one which furnishes another illustration of what I dwelt upon at some length in my introductory chapter, the wide-spreading value arising from the introduction into India of English capital which, as I have shown, develops the agricultural resources of the country in ever-widening circles. At first in Coorg the adjacent province of Mysore was the only source of labour supply, but the increased prosperity of the labourer consequent upon ample employment and enhanced rates of wages, enabled him to take up land for the cultivation of cereal crops in the neighbourhood of his own village, and hence the supply of labour declined, those who came to work in the plantations came later in the season, and altogether the labour supply from Mysore became more uncertain every year. Planters consequently, as they had in Mysore itself, had to go further afield, and now draw labour to a large extent from the Madras Presidency, the labourers from which in turn, will now have the means of developing the agricultural resources of their native villages. This is a point to which the attention of the Government cannot be too often drawn with the view of encouraging the opening up, by it, of every means of stimulating the employment of labour in India.
Coorg is now fairly well off for labour, and the old labour difficulties which used to be experienced have to a great extent disappeared. The average cost of Mysore labour—men, women, and children, and including the commission of the Maistries (as the men who collect and bring the labourers to the estates are called), is from 3 annas 6 pie to 4 annas a day (or say 5d. to 6d. a day, calculating the rupee at par, or 2s.). In quite recent times the maistries, who obtained large sums from the planters to make advances to the coolies, sometimes absconded with the money and thereby great losses ensued. But a better class of maistries have arisen, and Messrs. Matheson and Co. have now, with the aid of their permanent European labour agent, established a system of private registration by which the antecedents, status, and resources of the maistries are duly recorded. And though the services of doubtful maistries cannot as yet be altogether dispensed with, a preference is of course given to those of well established reputation, and the class of maistries generally is beginning to understand and appreciate the system of registration, which has every prospect of becoming general, and will, I need hardly add, be of great advantage to planters. But if maistries sometimes swindle their employers, the former are often liable to be swindled by the coolies to whom the advances have been made, and until a system of compulsory Government registration of advances to coolies is introduced, as recommended in one of my chapters on coffee planting in Mysore, it will be impossible to put our peculiar system of giving advances to coolies on a reasonably safe footing.
The plantations in Coorg have suffered, and still suffer considerably from leaf disease and Borer, to both of which I have, for practical purposes, sufficiently alluded in the chapter on the diseases of coffee. The effects of the former, though entailing much injury on coffee in Coorg, have not been so fatal as in Ceylon, as the long stretches of dry weather, often of four or five months' duration, seem to kill off large numbers of the spores, and so mitigate the damage arising from the disease. Messrs. Matheson and Co., at the instance of the chemist previously mentioned, sent out Strawsoniser spray engines for the purpose of treating afflicted trees with various solutions, but, though good effects were noticeable on individual trees, it was found that to treat whole estates in this way was quite impracticable, both from the cost and the immense amount of labour that would be required, and this fatal obstacle to the use of such remedies has been amply proved in Ceylon. But in Coorg the Borer is much more to be dreaded than leaf disease, and its ravages are such that even on the best estates fully twenty-five per cent.[50] of the acreage is under supplies (i.e., young plants to take the place of the old ones which have died), and the late Mr. Pringle—the chemist—was of opinion that the loss of crop from Borer was not less than 2 cwt. per acre per annum. Before the introduction of shade the total extermination of an estate was far from uncommon, the estate in the Bamboo district opened by Rev. H. A. Kaundinya in 1857 being the first to perish, and though, as we have seen, owing to the introduction of shade, the Borer has been largely brought into subjection, considerable damage still takes place from it. Neither trouble nor expense has been spared in order to find an antidote to this pest. Rubbing the stems with the view of destroying the eggs of the insect, and applying thereto chemical ingredients have both been tried, but with very limited results. The late Mr. Pringle's antidote consisted of the application of two washes of alkali vat waste, costing five rupees an acre each, but, when carried into practice, the results were far from what he anticipated. Taking out the bored trees and burning them has proved the most effectual way of dealing with the pest, and would be productive of still better results if native neighbours would adopt the same practice. But as they will not adopt this practice, their plantations become nursery grounds for the propagation of the insect. Many planters in the Bamboo district pay 1 rupee per hundred for the Borer fly, and this results in a large number being caught, but it is not supposed that any appreciable effect has been produced from this practice.
There can be no doubt, it seems to me, that the primary cause of the existence of so much Borer was owing to the planters having at first planted in the open. This must have created an enormous supply of the insect, which found a splendid breeding ground in the conditions furnished by the planters, as is evidenced by the fact of whole estates having been exterminated by it, and it will require many years of judicious shading before this insect can be reduced within comparatively harmless limits. The reader will observe that I say judicious shading, and I will more fully explain what I mean by that expression when, later on in the chapter, I give an account of my tour through Coorg in 1891, and make some observations on the proper shading of coffee.
Most of the European estates in Coorg and many of the larger native plantations are held under what are called "The Waste Land Rules," under which land is put up to auction by the State at an upset price of 2 rupees per acre (10 rupees is the upset price in Mysore), plus the value of the timber, which adds somewhat to the price. As a rule there is now considerable competition for land, and as much as 100 to 150 rupees has frequently to be paid per acre. The land so purchased is subject to no assessment up to the fourth year, but from the fourth to the ninth year 1 rupee is charged, and after that 2 rupees in perpetuity. The bulk of the land suitable for coffee has been taken up, though large extents that might be utilized are included in the State forests, and thus are not available to the public. Hence there is little room for extension, and openings for young men with capital are few and far between, so far as obtaining fresh forest is concerned, though of course opportunities occasionally occur for purchasing estates, or acquiring shares in them on various terms.
And here I would particularly call the attention of the Government to the following remarks on the reservation of land in Coorg for State forests, much of which, as we have seen, might be utilized for coffee.
When, as in former times in Coorg, the planters used no shade, many good arguments existed in favour of making very large reserves of forest land in order to prevent denudation, and its injurious effects on climate, and on the water supply of the rivers and the country generally. But when you merely replace the underwood of the forest with an underwood of coffee which completely covers the ground, and again shield this from drying winds and the burning sun by a complete covering of trees, either those of the original forest or others planted to take their place, the case is entirely altered, and from the coffee land thus shaded there is no more loss of water and soil (perhaps not so much loss of water, as great pains are taken to avert wash) than there was in the original forest, and the climatic and conservative effects of forests are therefore entirely undisturbed. Wherever, then, lands exist which are suitable for coffee planting under shade, they should certainly, in the interests of the country generally, and especially of the rapidly increasing population, be taken up for coffee, and the State forests be confined to those tracts which, from over heavy rainfall, or other causes, are unsuitable for coffee planting.
Other products, and especially cinchona, have received a fair amount of attention in Coorg, and the land on the Ghauts to the westward, where, as we have seen, the coffee plantations have been abandoned, proved to be well suited for the production of the commoner kinds of bark, and large extents of abandoned or semi-abandoned lands were planted with cinchonas. But when the prices of bark fell (whoever takes to growing a drug will soon realize the meaning of the phrase "a drug in the market"), the cultivation was no longer worthy of attention, and has practically died out. Ceara rubber also met with the same fate.
I may here mention that Messrs. Matheson and Co., who held no less than 7,000 out of the 20,000 acres occupied by Europeans in the Bamboo district, went to great expense in introducing coffee seed from Brazil, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Jamaica, with the view of ascertaining whether coffee grown from the seed thus imported would be less susceptible to attacks of leaf disease. But, though the plants raised from these seeds are doing exceedingly well, it was found that they were also liable to be attacked by leaf disease, often before they were even out of the nursery, and in this respect proved to be neither better nor worse than the Coorg variety of coffee. A clearing of fifty acres has been entirely planted with coffee raised from Blue Mountain seed, but there is nothing in the appearance of the trees to show that they are not indigenous to the country.
Liberian coffee has been tried experimentally in several parts of Coorg, but I cannot learn that any results have been obtained which would tend to encourage its adoption as a substitute for the variety at present grown.
It is estimated that the Coorg planters employ at least 30,000 Mysore labourers in addition to local labourers and those from the Madras Presidency, and of the 30,000 in question Messrs. Matheson and Co. employ no less than about 5,000 for six to eight months of the year. The 30,000 coolies, with their maistries, draw from 12 to 15 lakhs of rupees per annum (from £120,000 to £150,000, estimating the rupee at par, and for the purposes of a labourer it goes nearly as far in India as when it was so) in wages, very nearly the whole of which eventually reaches Mysore either in payment for grain or as a surplus income which the labourers annually take with them when they return to their homes in Mysore. And as this capital is largely employed in developing the agricultural resources of the Mysore State, it is evident that anything that its Government could do—in the way of railway extension or otherwise—that would stimulate the employment of labour in Coorg would be of great advantage to the finances of Mysore. It is extremely interesting to follow the labour-spent capital of the planters of Coorg to its ultimate destination—to the western coast, to various parts of the Madras Presidency, and far away into the interior of Mysore, and to observe its effects on the country and its financial results. I am not in a position to say exactly what should be done in the way of railways for Coorg, but I trust I have sufficiently shown that the British and Mysore Governments are equally interested in doing all they can, in the way of railway communication and new and improved roads, to develop and encourage the planting resources of Coorg.
The last visit I paid to Coorg was in October, 1891, immediately after the breaking up of the Representative Assembly at Mysore, a full account of which I have given in a previous chapter. I left Mysore on the morning of Tuesday, October 20th, and on the first day drove to Hunsur, a town of between four and five thousand inhabitants, which lies twenty-eight miles to the west of Mysore city. At this place are the extensive coffee works and manure preparing establishment of Messrs. Matheson and Co., by whose manager I was most hospitably and agreeably entertained. Rather an interesting incident in connection with a panther had once occurred at his house, and as this illustrates what I have previously mentioned as to the (to man) innocuous character of this animal, it may not be uninteresting to give an account of what occurred. The circumstances were these.
One night my hostess, some time after retiring to rest, heard a noise in the open veranda which runs round the side of the bungalow just outside her bedroom. She got up, and, taking a lamp in her hand, went round a corner of the building in the direction of the noise, and just as she turned the corner in question there fell upon her astonished vision the spectacle of a panther, which at the moment was busily engaged in devouring the family cat. When the panther saw the lady he tried to make off along the veranda (which at that point was shut in at the side by a trellis-work), but at the moment of his flight the cook, who had also heard the noise, appeared at the opposite end of the veranda with a lamp in his hand. The panther then turned back in the direction of the lady, who stood spell-bound with the lamp in her hand, and as the cook, apparently equally spell-bound, remained stationary with his lamp, the panther, being thus as it were between two fires, lay down under a table which was placed against the wall of the veranda. At last he got up, made a move in the direction of the cook, and then changing his mind, rushed past the lady, and thus made his escape. Panthers seem to be numerous about Hunsur, and I heard another interesting story of their boldness, which I have not space to give, from a neighbour of my host.
After staying for a day at Hunsur, I drove, on October 22nd, to Titimutty, a small village on the frontier of Coorg, where I was met by Mr. Rose, of Hill Grove Estate, who drove me to his plantation near Polibetta, which is in the Bamboo district previously alluded to as containing about two-thirds of the European plantations in Coorg. Shortly after leaving Titimutty we drove through coffee on both sides of the road, and, though I spent four days in the district, and was constantly on the move, I was never once out of sight of coffee, as the plantations lie in a continuous block, and, as they are all thoroughly shaded, sometimes by the original forest trees, and sometimes by trees planted for shade, the general effect is that you are travelling through a forest of which coffee is the underwood—a forest lying on gently undulating ground from which nothing can be seen of the surrounding country. As the bungalows of the planters are of course surrounded by coffee and shade trees, they have necessarily an extremely shut-in appearance. But this rather triste effect might be obviated (and I have with good effect obviated it in the case of a bungalow which lies in the centre of an estate of my own in Mysore) by cutting vistas here and there through the shade trees through which peeps may be had of distant hills. This may seem to be a point of little practical value, but, as I have shown in a previous chapter, the amenities of an estate are of value, and are likely to become more so when the desirable nature of shade coffee property is more widely known. The bungalows in the Bamboo district are very comfortable, most of them having tennis grounds, and if the vistas I have suggested were cut out, their attractiveness would be much enhanced. But if the Bamboo district has not the scenic advantages of plantations in other parts of Coorg and in Mysore, these are much compensated for by the close proximity of one plantation to another, and I was told that at certain seasons there was generally a well-attended lawn tennis party on every day of the week. There is besides, in the centre of the district, a comfortable club where balls and dances are occasionally given. In short, the Bamboo district has features of its own which make it entirely different from any planting district in India. From being so much shut in, it might, at first sight, be supposed to be not a very healthy district, but I heard no complaints on that score, nor, from the appearance of the planters, would it have occurred to me that the district was at all unhealthy. On the evening of my arrival there was a dinner-party, at which four ladies were present, and later on there was music and singing, and all the accompaniments of a pleasant social life. So much do coffee districts vary in India, that the party was to me a startling surprise, which the reader may easily understand when I mention that, after leaving the most northerly plantation in Coorg and entering my district of Manjarabad, there is only one resident lady to be found there, and it is not till you reach the northern district of Mysore, some sixty miles further, that ladies, in the plural, again commence, though even there they do not exist to a very serious extent.
On the afternoon of the day of my arrival I walked round my host's estate, which carried an excellent crop, and also visited a neighbouring property. On the following morning I drove to the Dubarri estate, and walked round part of it, and in the afternoon visited the club—a comfortable, and in every respect suitable, building which, as I mentioned, is occasionally used for dances. I also visited the co-operative store, which contained a large supply of various articles. The church, which was close to the club, had been recently built, at a cost of 5,000 rupees, but, when I saw it, the interior was not quite finished. I may mention that in the Bamboo district there is a resident doctor who is employed by the various estates. Later on in the afternoon I rode from the club with Mr. William Davies to the Mattada Kadu estate (Messrs. Matheson and Co.'s property), of which he is manager, and rode through coffee all the way to the bungalow. I was most kindly entertained by Mr. Davies, who had a party of the neighbouring planters to meet me at dinner, after which we had much talk on the subject in which we were all mutually interested. On the following morning I awoke early, and was rather surprised, shortly after daylight, to hear the names of the coolies called over from the check-roll, as, though early hours were kept in the old days in Mysore, we have now become considerably later, owing, I surmise, to feeling that in these labour-competing days we are not as completely master as we once were. After a small breakfast I rode through the estate, guided by Mr. Davies, who was accompanied by two of his guests of the night before, and we then passed into the Nullagottay estate (all Messrs. Matheson's), after which we entered into Whust Nullagottay, and went to the bungalow from which (there is always an exception) there is a fine view of the Brahmagiri Hills. After a very short stay we again mounted, and presently passed into the Whoshully estate, and finally arrived, after riding through that property, at about midday at Mr. Robinson's bungalow, where we had breakfast. Mr. Rose came over in the afternoon, and we rode home to Hill Grove through Messrs. Matheson's estate which had been bought from Mr. Minchin, besides visiting the Hope estate. I thus rode through coffee for nearly the entire day. On the following day I went over another adjacent property, and on the day after, Monday, October 26th, started for Mercara, the capital of Coorg. I drove by way of Siddapur, paid a short visit to Cannon Kadu estate, and arrived at Abiel, Mr. Martin's estate, at about midday, rode round his estate in the afternoon, and then drove on to Mr. E. Meynell's charming home—the Retreat—which is about a mile from the town of Mercara.
I was particularly struck with the arrangements of this house, as it was a thoroughly English-looking home in every respect, and I only wish I could give a plan of it as a model for a residence in the hill and planting districts of India. The front veranda was inclosed with glass, and lined with flowers in pots, and from the centre of this projected a conservatory, at the end of which was the front door. You thus, after driving up to the house, walked through a conservatory into the inclosed veranda, and this not only gave a very pretty effect, but was practically useful by keeping carriages, with their attendant dust and disagreeables, at a sufficient distance from the veranda. My hostess very kindly permitted me to see the kitchen arrangements. These, as well as the storerooms, were in a wing projecting from the back of the bungalow. The kitchen, which consisted of a separate room, with a single door, was furnished with a Wilson range, and there was no door between the kitchen and the scullery. The latter was at the outside edge of the wing, and was entered by its own door—an arrangement, by the way, that might be practised with advantage in this country, as a connecting door is liable to admit smells from the scullery into the kitchen. The reader will, I trust, excuse the mention of these apparently trivial matters, but as I strongly suspect that much of the ill-health in India is due to the dirt and horrors of the Indian cook-room, which is usually at a little distance from the bungalow, and turned into a general lounge for the servants, I think it well to show that, with a little contrivance and attention, as great a degree of order and cleanliness may exist in India as in any other portion of the globe.
On the following day I called on Mr. Mann, son of one of the pioneer planters of 1855, and inspected an interesting coffee garden of four acres which is close to his bungalow in Mercara. Some of the coffee trees were planted thirty and others forty years ago, and they have given for many years fifteen hundredweight an acre on the average, and though many of the trees were evidently suffering from the effects of overbearing, there seemed no reason why they should not continue to bear good crops for an indefinite period of time. Estimating the value of the coffee at 80s. a hundredweight, the produce of an acre would be worth £60, of 100 acres £6,000, and allowing one-half for expenses—a very liberal estimate—there would be a clear income of £3,000 a year from 100 acres of such coffee. As 100 acres of land so situated—it was flat, lay in a hollow, and was well sheltered—could not be obtained, it might seem that an account of this garden could be of no practical value. But the garden in question raises one very important point in the mind, and that is whether it would not be better to abandon all inferior soils and situations on an estate, and concentrate all the labour and manurial resources on a more limited area, every operation on which could be carried out exactly at the right moment. This is a highly important question which I state here for the consideration of planters.
After spending two pleasant days at the Retreat, I bade my kind host and hostess good-bye (I have thanked Mr. Meynell, who I may mention represents Messrs. Matheson's large interests in Coorg, in the preface for the valuable information he subsequently sent me as regards planting in Coorg), and went on my way towards my home in Mysore, and stayed first at the Hallery estate, which is about six miles from Mercara, and is the property of my friend Mr. Mangles. The approach to the bungalow through the coffee is very pretty; the building stands at the head of a slope, and commands a fine and extensive view of the country and the distant hills. The amenities here had been well attended to: below the front of the bungalow terraces edged with balustrades had been cut, and formed into flower gardens, and I was glad to see that, in parts of the plantation, from which good views could be had, there were seats. I may observe here that there is a great want in plantations of seats, which are now the more needed as all logs in the old plantations have of course disappeared. Near the bungalow is an excellent stable, well paved, and quite in English style. On the following morning I wont with Mr. Sprott, who is in charge of Mr. Mangles's estate, to visit his Santigherry property, some seven miles distant, and on the way there went on the left of the road through a plantation belonging to Messrs. Macpherson and Ainslie. After this we re-entered the main road, passed the village of Santikoopa, and then entered and went round the estate we had come to visit. On the way home we diverged to the left and went through Mr. Murray Ainslie's estate, and round by an estate owned by Mr. Campbell, and finally arrived at Hallery at about half-past twelve. In the afternoon I went round part of the estate, which I had already seen something of on the day of my arrival.
Early the following morning, after bidding good-bye to the host and hostess who had so kindly entertained me, I started on my journey northwards, and after a troublesome and trying drive (for my horses), in which two rivers had to be crossed by ferry boats, and much deep unmetalled road struggled through, I arrived at 12.30 at Coovercolley—another estate of Mr. Mangles's—where I was kindly entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Trelawney (Mr. Trelawney manages this fine property). The bungalow here is particularly comfortable, and had the great advantage of a very wide open veranda. On the right of the approach to the bungalow was a neatly trimmed shoe flower hedge, which had a very pretty effect, and, as at Hallery, terraces had been cut in front for a flower garden. From the front of the bungalow there is an extensive view of much of the Coorg country, and I was particularly struck by its continuous jungly character, and with its great contrast to the Mysore country to the north, which is not so much a jungly country, as an open grass country studded with occasional wood, and park-like groups of trees. On the afternoon of my arrival I rode round part of this fine estate, and inspected other parts of it on the following morning and evening. On the next morning I started at a quarter to six, and after driving about twenty-four miles, crossed the frontier, and entered Manjarabad—the southernmost coffee district of Mysore. The northernmost part of Coorg consists of a long tongue of land which projects into Mysore, and the scenery, in its beautiful, open, and park-like character, naturally resembles that of Manjarabad.
On my visit to Coorg I look back with pleasure. It was, indeed, extremely enjoyable and instructive, and I cannot help regretting the fact that, owing to the nature of their duties, planters are obliged to remain so continuously at home; and then, of course, when they can get away, they naturally go for change of air and scene anywhere out of the coffee districts. The result of this is that the planters of the north of Mysore see little of those in the south, and that neither have any intercourse with Coorg, and that, in consequence, much valuable interchange of views and experiences that might otherwise take place cannot now do so. Had such intercourse existed, many of the mistakes made in Coorg as regards shade would probably have been avoided, and much loss of money averted.
The reader will have noticed that I have hitherto made no observations on the coffee I saw in Coorg, my reason for not doing so being that I thought they might be more conveniently reserved for the close of the chapter. I am glad that in the course of my observations I shall have much to say in praise of the state of coffee in Coorg, and if I should seem to be a little free in my remarks as to the management of shade, I trust that my Coorg readers will bear in mind that my experience of trees planted as shade to supply the place of original forest trees removed is the oldest in India, and stretches back to the year 1857, and that it requires a very long time, as they will see by consulting the chapter on shade, before all the points connected with shade trees can be proved with certainty. That mistakes as regards shade should have been made in Coorg, where shade experience is comparatively recent, is not at all surprising; in former times numerous mistakes were made in Mysore, and have only been rectified by long experience and observation.
My general impression on going through the Bamboo district of Coorg was that it contains a certain proportion of land of poor character (and this can be said of most coffee districts) which should never have been opened, but that there are many excellent and valuable estates, though it was plain to me that, from the more weakly, or perhaps I should rather say less robust, character of the shoots, and the appearance of the soil, it had, as a rule, much less growing power in it, and would consequently require more manure, than the deep and heavier soils of Mysore. But these soils in the Bamboo district, though lighter in character, are of course (and this is a fact of no small importance) more easily worked than those of Mysore. The next point that attracted my attention was the shade, and of the numerous estates that I saw in the Bamboo district there were only two that at all came up to my idea of what a well shaded property ought to be. I could see little signs of the shade being varied in kind and quantity to suit the various aspects, and many trees were preserved which were merely throwing shadow, not on to the coffee, but on to adjacent trees. Then I found that in one excellent piece of young coffee the shade had been planted in lines running from east to west, instead of being closely planted in lines from north to south (vide chapter on shade). The shade, too, generally speaking, was far too largely composed of one kind of tree,—the Attí-mara (Ficus glomerata)—and finally this tree, the defects of which I have remarked upon in my chapter on shade, was badly managed by being trimmed up to a considerable height above the ground. The result of this was that on land on which there was an enormous number of trees there was far too little shade, and a forester fresh from England would never have imagined that the planters had intended to grow umbrageous trees for the double purpose of lowering the temperature of the plantation and sheltering the coffee from sun and parching winds, but would have supposed that they were engaged in growing timber for sale. I saw land which, I feel sure, had at least three times the number of trees that would have been sufficient to shade it fully, had they been properly treated. Such a number of trees throw out, of course, a corresponding number of large roots, and one planter told me that in some instances coffee was being killed by the masses of Attí root in the land. As regards shade, then, there is much room for improvement in Coorg, and especial attention should be paid to this in the Bamboo district which has suffered so much from Borer. This pest, we know, thrives best under warm and dry conditions, and it is therefore of great importance that the kinds of shade most recommended in my chapter on shade should be freely planted, and other kinds gradually removed.
There was a very good crop on the trees when I passed through Coorg—one that, when picked, quite exceeded the expectations of the planters—and I saw two estates which had at once a good crop on the trees, leaves of good, well-fed looking colour, and a show of wood giving promise of an equally good crop for the following year; and it says well for cultivation in Coorg that any estate could show this, for the tendency of coffee, as of most fruit trees, is to give heavy and light crops alternately. As it is important to know the manures that were used to produce such results, I may mention that on one of these estates 6 cwt. of castor cake and 3 cwt. of bones had been applied the previous year, and for the four preceding years 2 cwt. of castor cake and 1 cwt. of bone had been used, but, in the opinion of the manager, the latter application had proved too small. On the other estate one-third of a bushel of cattle manure per tree, and from 7 cwt. to 10 cwt. of bones had been applied once in three years, and composts also had been used to a considerable extent. These were formed first of a layer of vegetable rubbish, then fresh pulp and lime, and lastly a layer of soil. The estate last referred to, on which the cattle manure, bones and compost had been used, belongs to Mr. Mangles—his Coovercolley estate—and is certainly the finest I ever saw, if we take into consideration the state of the soil, the colour of the foliage, and the evident prospect of continuously good crops. So well fed, indeed, was the land with nitrogen, that an application of nitrate of soda produced no perceptible effect on the trees. The land was probably over supplied with phosphoric acid, and an analysis of the soil would be of practical value, for if, as I have good reason to surmise, there is a very large supply of phosphoric acid in the soil, the use of bones might be suspended for some years, and a light application of lime used instead. Ten acres, at any rate, might be tried as an experiment. I was shown one piece of coffee which had been manured, when it was two years old, with cattle manure, and this piece had remained perceptibly superior ever since. On this estate 600 cattle are kept for the sake of their manure. I would suggest that the proprietor might, on say ten acres, discontinue the use of cattle manure, and, as an experiment, apply dressings of jungle top-soil instead, or the red earth alluded to in my chapter on manures, should that be available. The experiment might be valuable to the proprietor and to planters in general. Cattle manure is very expensive, and when 12 to 14 tons per acre—some fairly well rotted and some slightly so—were used in Coorg on one estate the cost was 72 rupees an acre, including cost of application.
In bringing these brief remarks to a close, I may observe that I formed a very high opinion of coffee in Coorg, and I feel confident that if the shade were remodelled on the system recommended in my chapter on that subject, the losses from Borer and leaf disease would be largely diminished, and a great general improvement in the coffee take place. We have experienced such results from improved shade in Mysore, and there can be no doubt that similar results will follow in Coorg. In remodelling the shade system, all light and dry soils should be first attended to and planted up with trees which give an ample and cool shade. The treatment of other parts of plantations may be postponed.
As regards the profits that may reasonably be expected from well managed and well situated estates in Coorg, I am happy to say that I have obtained from a friend the returns from his estates for the last ten years, and as his properties are of large extent, the return may be regarded as a very reliable one, more especially as the prices for three years of the period were very low. The average yield per acre was 4 cwt. 1 qr. 7 lbs.; the expenses, £9 4s. 2d., and the profits per acre £7 8s. 6d.
I only wish that, in conclusion, I could give as favourable an account of the prospects of sport in Coorg as I can of its coffee. Twenty-five years ago there was good big game shooting, but the absence of game laws, and the indiscriminate destruction of does, fawns, and cow bisons by the natives, at every season of the year, have changed all that, and it is with a melancholy smile that one reads in the "Coorg Gazetteer" that the Coorgs are such ardent sportsmen that they have hardly left a head of game in the country. But the first sign of advanced civilization—the intelligent preservation of wild animals—has begun, or will shortly be begun, in the enlightened state of Mysore, and I trust that its good example may soon be followed in Coorg, and all parts of India. With the aid of preservation game will soon increase in the more remote forests into which it has been driven back, and from thence spread into other parts of the country.

[48] "Manual of Coorg," compiled by Rev. G. Richter, Principal, Government Central College, Mercara. Mangalore, 1870.
[49] The late Mr. William Pringle, who, after leaving Coorg, wrote in 1891, for the "Madras Mail," some interesting and suggestive papers on the cultivation of coffee.
[50] I make this statement on the authority of Mr. Meynell (vide preface), and it is, no doubt, the result of his experience in the Bamboo district, but his estimate could hardly, I should say, apply to the estates I visited in North Coorg.
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