19) ICRISAT launches agro-ecotourism complex at Manmool in Patancheru campus

An agro-eco-tourism complex has risen within the grounds of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). Launched on 11 September by Dr William Dar, ICRISAT's Director General, the agro-ecotourism complex is located at the site where formerly Manmool village stood and consists of a castle, temple, mosque, chapel, a golf driving range and a running track.

Dr Dar inaugurated the agro-ecotourism complex by unveiling a plaque at a simple function at Manmool on 11 September. All members of ICRISAT staff participated in a jog along the newly opened track at the site.

In inaugurating the agro-ecotourism complex, Dr William Dar said that the facility demonstrates a fine blending of agriculture and environmental conservation. With protection and conservation measures implemented at the 3,500-acre ICRISAT campus at Patancheru, the place offers a placid ambience amidst a scenic dryland agrarian environment to visitors. To this, ICRISAT has added a few modern facilities such as a golf driving range.

Dr Dar added that the agro-ecotourism complex provides opportunities for staff members of ICRISAT to rejuvenate their physical and spiritual health. This in turn will help them to be more productive in improving agricultural productivity and strengthening the livelihoods of the poor and marginal farmers in the semi-arid tropics.

The location of the complex at Manmool is historic, since it is the original site where ICRISAT's research activities began. A ccording to Hindu legends, Manmool is believed to have been a town called “Mandagola”. Etymologically, folklore has it that “Manmool” is adapted from the original village name "mandu-moola", where 'mandu' stands for 'medicine' (cure and healing) and 'mool' means 'roots'. Manmool, in this context, could mean the "roots of healing."

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