Rel­e­vant through the ages

Farm­ers in Saurash­tra still use songs com­posed by Bhadali, a 10th /11th cen­tury sa­vant, to make long-term weather fore­casts

Down to Earth - - COVER STORY -

IF THE wind comes from the north and the west on the day of Holi, the year will wit­ness heavy mon­soons. If the winds come from the east, it will be a dry year," says a song by Bhadali. He has given a sim­i­lar cor­re­la­tion be­tween the wind on Ak­shay Tri­tiya and the on­set of the rainy sea­son.

Farm­ers in Saurash­tra still use his songs for long-term weather pre­dic­tions and they have been found to be quite ac­cu­rate. In 1990, the In­dia Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal De­part­ment pre­dicted nor­mal rain­fall for the coun­try. But farm­ers in Saurash­tra did not re­ceive any rain till mid-Au­gust. One of Bhadali's cou­plets—If there is rain ac­com­pa­nied by light­ning and clouds on the sec­ond day of Jayastha (the Hindu month be­gin­ning in the sec­ond half of May), there will be no rain for 72 days—came true. That year, in Saurash­tra, it rained on June 4 and then, af­ter a 72-day drought, on Au­gust 15, ex­actly as Bhadali had pre­dicted.

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