In what ways was cultivation practised in Maharashtra by Dhangars?
What lifestyle did the Dhangars—the pastoral community of Maharashtra follow?
- They stayed in the central plateau of Maharashtra during the monsoon.
- During monsoons, this tract became a vast grazing ground for the Dhangar flocks.
- Since the land is semi-arid with low rainfall, nothing but dry crops like bajra could be sown here.
- By October, the Dhangars harvested their bajra and moved westward. After a march of about a month, they reached the Konkan.
- This was a flourishing agricultural tract with high rainfall and rich soil. Here, the shepherds were welcomed by the Konkani peasants.
- After the kharif harvest was out at this time, the fields had to be fertilised and made ready for the rabi harvest.
- Dhangar flocks manured the fields and fed on stubble. The Konkani peasants also gave supplies of rice which the shepherds took back to the plateau where grain was scarce.
- With the onset of monsoon, the Dhangars left the Konkan and the coastal areas with other flocks and returned to their settlements on the dry plateau.