It is not for just high-rises or IT offices, Khajaguda near Gachibowli is in news for a different reason these days. The freshly collected ‘kallu’ (toddy) sold at this place has made it famous across the city.
While the city is plagued with the problem of adulterated toddy, a few dozen odd toddy-sellers have become a star attraction. The freshly collected drink, they claim, is much sought after by customers.
Khajaguda was a small village inhabited by the community that mostly lived by trading in toddy till the IT boom and development around. However, the trade continues to run even today, but on a smaller-scale.
Every day a few hundred people from different parts of the city visit this place to get high on toddy. “A lot of rush is seen on Sundays and other holidays. We ensure that the toddy is unadulterated and if one comes in early mornings one can see it being collected from the trees,” says Rajesh Goud, a toddy-seller.
An earthen pot of toddy is sold for Rs.25 or Rs.30. “Of course the price is higher compared to the variety available in toddy compounds but the fact is it is pure and we charge for it,” says Goud.
In toddy compounds it is priced at Rs.15 or Rs.20 a pot. The beverage is stored in the earthen pots and is dispensed to the people.
There are two types of trees from which toddy is extracted here -- ‘Tati chettu’ (tall palm trees), and ‘Eeta chettu’, (smaller ones). The toddy collected from the latter is sold before the sunrise and is called ‘Neera’, informs Ashok Goud, another toddy-seller.
Around 2,000 trees have survived the onslaught of real-estate boom in the area, which saw a considerable number of palm trees being chopped out during the last few years, locals inform.
Tree owners have engaged toddy tappers from Nalgonda as not many from here are able to climb the trees and collect it. They are paid between Rs.5,000 to Rs.7,000 a month for the work.