En Route To Goravanahalli: Thoughts After Visiting Two Village Santhes

Last weekend, the OH and I drove down to the Lakshmi temple at Goravanahalli, near Tumkur, along with Bubboo. It was a beautiful day, thanks to which we had a pleasant ride. Bubboo, too, thankfully, was a right soldier through most of the trip, dozing off and eating and drinking and playing in the car.

We encountered some beautiful, untouched rural scenes on the way, stopping by every now and then for a spot of photography. We ran into not one, but two proper village santhes (Sunday santhes, I think) at Goravanahalli and Udigere, en route, and were utterly charmed by them.

Part of the santhe at Goravanahalli

My camera was overworked by the time we had finished with both the santhes. How could it not be that way, tell me? Both santhes were a riot of colour and smell, a feast to the senses. They were humble and utterly unpretentious, with no hint of commercialisation. On offer were a huge variety of vegetables, direct from farms, something which is a rarity for people like us, from big cities. There were also basic staples on sale, most of it farm-fresh, including pori, pulses, soaps, tea and coffee powders, rangoli powders, shampoo pouches, sugarcane juice, mixture and spices.

Rangoli powders and vadams on offer at the Udigere santhe
Fresh, fresh, fresh cumin and mustard on sale at Goravanahalli

We had our fill of ogling at all that gorgeous produce, and bought quite a few things as well. You know what, most of the vegetables were so very fresh they were good enough to eat raw! And we did see a lot of the villagers eating the vegetables raw, okra and tapioca roots included. I have never seen vegetables as fresh as the ones I saw here, I can safely say. The prices were unbeatable, too – 4 kg of tomatoes at INR 10, 250 grams of chillies at INR 20, a huge bunch of greens at INR 5, okra at INR 20 per kg, and beans at INR 20 a kg! Just what happens on the way from the village to cities like Bangalore for the vegetables to lose all that freshness and for their price to multiply, I wonder.

Can you see just how humble this farmers’ market at Udigere is? That is precisely why I loved it!
See how fresh that produce is! The okra was bigger than the palms of my fingers! The tapioca root that we bought was so fresh the skin peeled off at just one touch of the hand!
Drool, drool, drool!

I came back with a big bag of vegetables, which I wanted to cook immediately and didn’t have the heart to put in the refrigerator. But then, some of it had to go into the refrigerator, sadly.

On the way back home, I peppered the OH with questions, most of them concerning the possibilities of buying fresh produce from santhes like this every week. It would cost us way too much in terms of fuel, he said, and most of the produce would have to be stored in the refrigerator till it was time to cook it, anyways. He was right, of course, but the temptation to do this kind of shopping every weekend just doesn’t go away.

I am, however, seriously worried about just how these farmers are making ends meet. How on earth do they afford to sell at these rates? Or are they just selling off whatever produce they can, at cost price, just so it doesn’t go to waste? That’s how the OH thinks it is, by the way, but I’m not sure. Any thoughts on this? I would love to help farmers like this, but I have no clue about where to start. Ideas, please!

11 thoughts on “En Route To Goravanahalli: Thoughts After Visiting Two Village Santhes

  1. Also, my parents regularly go to Besant Nagar beach on Sunday mornings. A lot of city folk who have farms come to sell their produce. Its definitely not the farmer who gets the benefit, in the sense that, these are mostly retired city folk who have picked up agriculture as a passion, but my parents say that the vegetables and fruits are still super fresh and delicious. Maybe there’s something like that in Bangalore?


    1. @Perspectivesandprejudices

      Oh, that sounds wonderful.Good that your parents have access to such farm-fresh vegetables, no? That is such a rarity these days!

      I am sure there are other places in and around Bangalore that sell veggies fresh from the farm. We need to find them out. I’d be happy if I could locate at least one such place near my locality, so that I could pick up such fresh, fresh, fresh veggies every week.

      I stumbled upon this particular market quite by chance, and the experience set me thinking. The quality of the v, wegetables and the prices are unbeatable. If I could get something similar, why settle for less? And help the farmers in the process, too?


    1. @Perspectivesandprejudices

      It was, indeed, an amazing experience shopping from this kind of place The family looked on at me as if I had gone crazy, as I buzzed around like a bumblebee at the market, looking at this and that. ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Hi – One thing you could do is get together with a few like minded neighbors and buy bulk every weekend in rotation. That gives guaranteed business to the sellers and you can split fuel cost + driving. Try it!


    1. @Nidhi

      Great idea! I will definitely think about it. But then, this place is over 80 km away from our place, if not more. I’m not sure if anyone would want to spend their Sundays doing this with us. ๐Ÿ™‚ That said, you never know. I’m going to ask in my apartment Whatsapp group and find out!


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