India through my eyes – The grass is green on the other side

Women working in the paddy fields in Thanjavur, called the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu . Situated on the deltaic region of the River Cauvery also known as Ponni in Tamil Nadu, it is believed that every inch of soil here is equal to an ounce of gold. Pon in Tamil means gold and Cauvery is called so as the river yields “pon” or gold in the form of paddy.

Paddy cultivation happens across four seasons and the crops are short term or long term as described below. The first is called Kuruvai – the short term crop from June to November, the second Thaladi which is from November to March, the third is the most important season , Samba which is the long term crop . This is usually sown from August and is harvested between January and March and it constitutes more than 60 % of the total paddy cultivated here. The final season is summer which is from December to April.Besides paddy, pulses, gingelly, sugarcane , coconuts and groundnuts are cultivated here.


  1. Anu 7 August, 2008 at 23:15 Reply

    I missed a couple of posts.. the photoblogs are lovely.. I can almost smell the “manvasanai(Earth smell) ” in these shots.. thanks so much

  2. Kamini 8 August, 2008 at 07:57 Reply

    The Cauvery delta is one of the most fertile in the world – and has ensured that the Thanjavur region has never suffered from drought or famine. It is one of the most beautiful parts of India I have seen.

  3. swati 8 August, 2008 at 13:17 Reply

    How are you able manage your travelling and your marriage which would become a long distance one as you are always travelling. I need figure out from you as i find it difficult to manage.

  4. GMG 8 August, 2008 at 13:53 Reply

    Hi Lakshmi! 2008.08.08 is a great day for Blogtrotter. So, before I start commemorating, let me just tell you how much I appreciate your comments on my blogs! Thanks a lot!
    Beautiful greens on this post! I’m sorry it took a while to get back here, but your blog deserves time enough to enjoy! Loved to see the pictures of the Chola trail – the temple is awesome – and Ayyannar – gorgeous colours!! And learned a lot, as always!
    Wish you a great day, weekend…

  5. I am 8 August, 2008 at 21:04 Reply

    @the green is INTOXICATING laxmi πŸ™‚ just intoxicating LOVED IT..

    Paddy is considered Gold, also in the east. But I think there they grow it for only two season. Post and pre-monsoon…they say there there is so much rain in the east that you just need to walk twice a year with the paddy seedlings to sprinkle it once then you are done…NO hard work needed..nature will do the rest..

    again THE Green was intoxicating I envy you..YOU TRAVEL a lot πŸ™‚ !!!

  6. mitr_bayarea 9 August, 2008 at 02:04 Reply


    the “pachai fields” were such a burst of color to the eyes. Thanks for the info on the crops with their seasonal names, always good to learn from ur blog.

  7. Shantanu 9 August, 2008 at 12:36 Reply

    I love the look of paddy fields when the transplating is going on. Similarly the fields full of mustard greens in Punjab! A sight for sore (urban) eyes.

  8. ~vagabond~ 10 August, 2008 at 23:55 Reply

    I stumbled upon your blog today, and I’ve had such a good time looking around. You have a very interesting travelblog..and I’m getting a chance to see India vicariously through your eyes. Looking forward to dropping by here more often! πŸ™‚

  9. Dee Dee 11 August, 2008 at 09:38 Reply

    Lakshmi…your travels take you to many wonderful places and I enjoy learning about your country through your eyes…Lovely photos…safe traveling

  10. dintoons 15 August, 2008 at 12:46 Reply

    ah the sweet smell of wet earth, esp in tamilnadu… one is so easily transported to mystical heights in such places as you’ve shown… the magic of rural india, esp spiritual tamil country!
    thanks for the treat backpakker, and happy independence day!! :o)

  11. SecretWishes 16 August, 2008 at 16:16 Reply

    Hi thanks for answering me I am interested in looking at Hyderabad either rental properties or for sale I would love to see what the housing estates etc look like if thats at all possible I havent been able to foind anything on here πŸ™

  12. indicaspecies 17 August, 2008 at 18:30 Reply

    Having returned, it’s nice to catch up on your posts Lakshmi.

    I particularly liked the Thanjavur temple pictures and those on this post was a familiar sight during my childhood, something that I can only crave for now!

  13. Anonymous 1 September, 2008 at 10:27 Reply


    Lovely pictures. sheer poetry of nature.

    People of today fail to notice the rice planting method (first picture for eg) Hmm, searching for the right word in english – maybe I will use nursery, in tamil its called “nathu nadavai”..paddy seed is not just thrown all over the field initially. Instead the most fertile part of the field is selected, flooded with water and the seeds are sown. Once the seeds taken in the best of this, and germinate..they are plucked out and then resown into the main field, leaving adequate distance inbetween. ( what you see is this…the lady the is holding one such cluster and behind her are a few more and she is actually in the process of replanting)

    You can draw a deep parallel to a man’s life from this – a fertile nursery, closely packed – our family. The formative years are so important, to lay the foundation.

    However, once you reach a certain age, if you continue to be there, you growth will be stunted.

    So the world plucks you from the safety of the nursery and plants you into the open. You have space but on the same front, you have harsh elements to fight against, weeds, bugs..

    in the end you mature, but just as you are maturing – you are at your best (bodily) – for the field -the lush green..standing tall, erect in all its pride and glory ( your second picture)

    But with age comes wisdom and you gently stoop down. The color fades but your life’s goal is reached. you are ready to be reaped . your life’s effort is passed on either as a seed to sow or as food for other. either way you take nothing to the grave, why not pass on everything to the future generation


  14. Agnes 2 September, 2008 at 22:41 Reply

    I just love the way you take photographs. It’s hard for me to describe, but it has something to do with life and people. Human eyes see people, camera lenses don’t. You, as the photographer are present in the pictures and that really gets my attention.

  15. dharmabum 4 September, 2008 at 12:26 Reply

    it was much vaster, the so called cauvery delta – it apparently covered places even upto the coast. and then somehow, the rains started fading over the years, and many of those places have become dry now.

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