Amrit Mahal breed of cattle belongs to the State of Mysore in Karnataka. Amrit Mahal has a majestic appearance. People refer them as the mighty Amrit Mahal with swords for horns. They originate from the Hallikar breed which was cross-bred with Hagalavadi and Chithradurg.
In mid 1800,the rulers of the erstwhile Mysore State developed Amrit Mahal breed. The breed was to suit the local area. The bullocks were classified as gun bullocks, pack bullocks, etc. to transport war equipment. Amrit Mahal means the department of milk. Unfortunately these cows being poor milk-yielders, are instead classified as draught breed.
Well-to-do cultivators and large breeders generally own Amrit Mahal cattle. and maintain herds in the vicinity of the hills with ample pastures for grazing. During the 19th Century, they grew popular on account of their great endurance and speed. These cattle show a wild disposition and are dangerous at times as they are maintained in the pasture areas without restrictions and handling. Once trained, they are extremely fine bullocks, and used particularly for quick transportation.
Bullocks have a working life of 7 to 8 years. Even though Amrit Mahal cattle has poor milking qualities, recently some attention has been paid to systematically milk these animals. The breed popular during the reign of Mysore rulers, is now on the verge of extinction. Small groups formed in villages protect this breed. Farmers farm the Kaval land to rear this breed of cattle.
Amrit Mahal cattle stand a class apart from the rest of the cattle for they maintain their stamina and health even after consuming meagre amount of food and also never express tiredness. Animal Husbandry Department has taken steps to preserve these varieties and unfortunately it has not proved to be of great help.
Government should accelerate the efforts to preserve this breed and we, at Chalo Nirvana whole-heartedly support this endeavour. May this breed flourish!