Udupi, Nov 20, 2017: A 12-feet high Kanaja or temporary granary or barn of cylindrical structure made of dried hay with 600 murras (180 quintals) of paddy in it was constructed at Mannur in Kota village of Udupi district.
The Kanaja was constructed in the house of progressive farmer Narasimha Adiga at Mannur. The Kanaja, which has a 15 feet diameter, is constructed to store paddy in the outer yard of the house.
Sadananda Adiga, Adiga’s son, a biochemist, said that the family had been carrying on the practice of constructing the Kanaja every year which stored 100-125 murras. But this year, the Kanaja constructed was a big one, he said.
The Kanaja was constructed by 40 farmers and 10 farm workers. It took them eight hours to construct it. The paddy of five farmers was stored in the Kanaja. The construction of the Kanaja was also documented.
Building Kanajas was in vogue when agriculture was dominant in the coastal districts. However, its construction has come down now. The construction of a Kanaja is a skill as it is made with hay. First, its base is constructed and then it goes up. Its construction is done with rope made out of hay.
The paddy is stored in the middle as the rope construction is made around it. Finally, a cone structure is built at the top, giving it a beautiful look. “We will dismantle the Kanaja in either February or March and use the paddy for either home purpose or sell it,” Adiga said.
“Construction of a Kanaja is as much an art as a technical skill. The Kanaja is an airtight and watertight structure, which keeps the paddy safe,” said M.L. Samaga, former president of the Karnataka Yakshagana Bayalata Academy.