Punganur cow a craze among the rich

PRIZED ASSET: A Punganur dwarf cow. Photo: Nagara Gopal   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

An increasing number of backyards of ultra-rich families in the city is in the possession of a common asset these days: a special breed of cow — the Punganur dwarf cow — which originated in Chittoor district.

Considered among the world's smallest breed of cows, the Punganur breed's milk has a high fat content and rich medicinal properties.

While cow milk normally has a fat content of 3 to 3.5 per cent, the Punganur breed's milk contains 8 per cent, similar to buffalo milk, according to officials of the Animal Husbandry Department.

Divine offering

Perhaps, this is why the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has about 200 Punganur cows in its cattle-yard. Ghee prepared from the milk of these cows is being used in ‘archana' (offering) for Lord Venkateswara.

Available only in small numbers, the Punganur cow has become a craze, a status symbol, among the wealthy in the Andhra Pradesh capital of late. “They are shelling out at least Rs.1 lakh to buy the cow, which is believed to bring good luck,” sources in the Forest Department said.

A status symbol

Among high-society persons to be in possession of the special breed are the likes of P. Srinivas Rao, a top businessman, N. Harikrishna, a politician, and TTD chairman K. Bapi Raju.

An estimated 50 cows of the breed are in the city now. Even Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has reportedly sought a cow.

When contacted, Mr. Bapi Raju told The Hindu he was not aware of the breeds which the TTD's cattle-yard had.

“There are many good breeds of cows, including the Punganur one,” he said.

Did he have one of that breed? “I have different breeds of cows in my native place in West Godavari and in Hyderabad,” he said.

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Printable version | May 2, 2021 3:41:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/punganur-cow-a-craze-among-the-rich/article2636547.ece

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