The breed is of recent origin. It is
claimed that during the last two decades of the nineteenth century
some of the Rajas of the Southern Mahratta country which lies in
the watershed of these rivers tried to evolve a powerful bullock
for agriculture purposes in the sticky black cotton soil.
It is claimed that Gir cattle from Kathiawar,
Ongole cattle from Madras, possibly Kankrej from Gujarat, and local
cattle having Mysore-type blood in them were used to evolve the
Krishna Valley breed.
Maharaja Sangli, at one time a well-known
breeder of Krishna Valley cattle, contributed substantially in making
judicious use of all these strains to produce the desired type of
animal which eventually were used for breeding on a wide scale even
before the characteristics were fixed to any extent, there is wide
variation in the characteristic of the breed.
Massiveness in size was the chief dominating
factor which attracted the attention of the cultivators.
The breed is found in the districts of Satara, Belgaum, Dharwar
and parts of Bijapur of Bombay State and also in the native States
of Miraj, Sangli, Kolhapur and Jamkhindi which are now part of Bombay
They are also bred in the southwestern part
of Hyderabad State.
As the breed is an admixture of at least
three distinct types, Gir from Kathiawar, Ongole from Madras State
and local beasts with blood of the Mysore basic type, it shows a
variety of characteristics which is in its short history of formation
have not become well fixed.
However, certain characteristics were emphasized
by the original breeders and had a greater chance of perpetuation.
The animal is large, having a massive from with deep broad
chest, but is loosely built.
The color most sought after is gray-white with a darker shade on
the forequarters and hindquarters in the males.
Adult females look more white. Brown and
white, black and white and mottled colors are often met with. The
forehead has a distinct bulge surmounted by small curved horns which
usually emerge in an outward direction from the outer angles of
the poll and curve slightly upwards and inwards but which vary a
great deal in size and shape.
The neck is short and thick and the dewlap
is well-developed and pendulous. The sheath is also slightly pendulous.
The ears are small and pointed and breeders prefer them not the
droop too much.
The body is short but the barrel is large and well-developed.
Legs are short and thick and look powerful. Hooves are said to be
The Krishna Valley is a heavy draft breed suitable for cultivation
purposes in the black cotton soil area which becomes extremely difficult
to work during the rainy season, and for hauling heavy loads. on
account of contributions form Gir and Ongole it has also potentialities
of milk production.
However, the milk-producing capacity is extremely
variable in the breed.
Due to the softness of the hooves and the heavy weight of the animals
they are not generally appreciated by the cultivators in areas other
than the native home of the breed.
However, their large size and heavy weight
attracted the attention of breeders from Brazil and the United States
of America but, though animals of this breed were exported to these
countries, they did not retain their identity.