Katarni is an aromatic grain and was reserved for ‘ceremonial’ events. Native to Bhagalpur and Banka districts of Bihar, this rice has been facing the threat of extinction. Legend has it that the local regent Maharaja Rahmat Ali Khan Bahadur of Kharagpur pioneered Katarni plantation in the region. From this virgin batch of seeds, virtually all of today’s-observed crops are proliferated.
The word ‘Katami’ literally means an ‘awl with a hook at the end for sewing’. Awl is a pointed tool for making holes in wood or leather. The name Katami has been derived due to the shape of the apex of paddy which is similar to the tip of awl.
Katarni rice has been registered with the Geographical Indications (GI) registry of Government of India in 2018.