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SIDDHARTHNAGAR KALANAMAK RICE
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Kalanamak, deriving its name from the black husk (kala) and a mild salty (namak) taste, it is considered as one of the finest rice varieties.
Kalanamak were found from excavation sites at Aligarhwa (Siddharthnagar, Uttar Pradesh) – identified as the territory of Buddha’s father, king Shuddodhan. The name ‘Shuddodhan’ means pure rice.
The Asian-Agri History Foundation quotes the works of Chinese traveller Fa Hien who said that when Lord Buddha visited Kapilvastu after attaining knowledge, the villagers asked him for prasad (gift). He gave them the grains, asking them to sow it in a marshy place. “The rice will have typical aroma which will always remind people of me,” he is supposed to have told them. According to folklore, the rice variety, if sown elsewhere, loses its aroma and quality [Singh et al. 2005. Rediscovering scented rice cultivar Kalanamak. Asian Agri-History 9(3):211–219 – Eds.].
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