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The great banyan's spread

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POTFUL OF WORK: Even children help out in preparing meals for the 180-member family.
POTFUL OF WORK: Even children help out in preparing meals for the 180-member family.

Staff Reporter

Black-and-white frames depict a gigantic family

BANGALORE: While most individuals would outright reject the idea of sharing space with 179 family members, the Narasinghanavar clan in Lokur village in Dharwad district continues to defy the modern trend of nuclear families.

BanyanClan, a photo exhibition by K. Venkatesh promises to portray the facets of this gigantic family, their life, trials and tribulations in classic black-and-white frames. They will be on view at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat from March 21 to 24 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

This clan, which has been filmed and feted by various national and international media, has been living under one roof since the 16th century at Lokur. Originally from Hatkal Angada village near Miraj in Maharashtra, Narasinghanavar, acknowledged paterfamilias who was a wrestler, visited the Durga temple at Lokur where the goddess apparently instructed him to shift his base there. Narasinghanavar bought a small piece of land, started farming and married a local girl.

The couple had seven children and from them begins the tale of this celebrated joint family. Today, 75-year-old Bhimanna is the patriarch who oversees the life and income of 60 children, 50 women and 70 men, who live in a 22-room mansion.

These self-reliant Jains consume 50 kg maize, 20 kg wheat flour and 40 litres of milk daily. Living on an annual income of Rs. 8 to 12 lakh, the family apparently spends Rs. 40,000 on clothes.

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