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363. Deciphering Tulu-nadu place names

The readers would observe that many of the Tulu Place names may not convey, on the face of it, any specific meaning or apparent meanings...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

110. Mukka


Bhagavathi temple at Kadike,northern beach of Mukka-Sasihitlu.

Travelling northward from Mangalore to Udupi, after Surathkal you shall find places called Mukka and Sasihitlu, where Pavanje and Mulki rivers confluence before debouching into Arabian Sea. A northern part of this coastal beach area is called 'Sasihitlu' or 'Kadike'. ‘Sasihitlu’ can be translated as a compound consisting of seedlings and the ‘Kadike’ refers to short native grass or the ‘garike’.
The part of Mukka beach is known as Mitrapatna,possibly signifying influence of Buddhism .However,it is said that the name Mitrapatna is a recent one,ca. 1920 (Hosabettu Viswanath). Near Kadike in the northern part of Mukka,is a Bhagavathi temple evincing eroded marks of transition from Buddhism to Hinduism.Some more studies may be requirred to prove or disprove the Buddhist heritage of Mukka, apart from the Bhagavathi temple.
A part of the beach area between Mukka and Sasihitlu is designated Lacchil meaning a garden with cultivated plants.Note the analogies between the words Sasihitlu and Lacchil.

Mukka
Mukka appears to be an unusual place name. The word Mukka means deformed. It also means ‘blow with the fist’ signifying destructive attack. Of the several words derived from the Mukka, the interesting one is ‘mooka’ (=dumb).
Sea erosion
Well, to explain why the place acquired such a negative or ominous name, we have to take the help of coastal geomorphology and geography of the area. The Mukka beach is known for severe sea erosions during the monsoon period. Severe sea erosions involve destructive attack of powerful storm surged sea waves that destroy the delicate sandy beaches. The coastal wave attack destroys, in successive stages, everything that is near the beach such as plants, buildings and structures.
It seems the beach was destroyed many times in the historical past due to severe sea erosions which prompted our ancestors to name the place as Mukka!
This again proves that our ancestors were highly conscious of the geography of the places they lived in.

Mukha.>Mukka
There is one more interesting legendary angle to the derivation of the place name Mukka.
A divine connection is cited by Mithrapatna Narayan A. Bangera in his book 'Kandevu Kshetra Mahatme'. As against the several reincarnations of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva has a few ones. He established 'Tulasi vrindavana' in every home by destroying Tripura. He bestowed longevity to Maarkhandeya, son of Muni Mrikhandu. He became the main deity of Dravida Race by appearing before Hunter Kannappa, who offered his own eyes in devotion. In the guise of a hunter, he bestowed Pashupataasra to Arjuna. He appeared as 'Dharmarasu Ullaya (meaning 'Swayambhu)' in River Nandini in the form of a face. The west of River Nandini where he put his face is called mukha(=face)>Muga>Mukka. The place where he 'espied to stay' is now called as Kandya/Kandevu (also Khandige). Thus these western and eastern sides of Nandini are considered as sacred places.The Yermal Festival is harbinger of festivals of Tulu Nadu and Kandevu festival signifies end of festivals in a year. Hence the famous saying: "Yermal jappu Kandevu Adepu".

Acknowledgments: Hosabettu Viswanath
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Books for Reference

  • A Comparative Study of Tulu Dialects By Dr. Padmanabha Kekunnaya. Govinda Pai Reserach Centre, UDupi. 1994
  • Koti Chennaya: Janapadiya Adhyayana. By Dr. Vamana Nandavar. Hemanshu Prakashana ,Mangalore.2001.
  • Male kudiyaru. Dr B. A.Viveka Rai and D.Yadupathi Gowda, Mangalore University,1996.
  • Mogaveera Samskriti By Venkataraja Punimchattaya. Karnataka Sahitya Academy.1993.
  • Mugeraru:Jananga Janapada Adhyayana. By Dr Abhaya Kumar Kaukradi.Kannada & Culture Directorate,Bangalore & Karnataka Tulu Academy, Mangalore,1997.
  • Puttubalakeya Pad-danagalu. Ed: Dr B.A.Viveka Rai,Yadupati Gowda and Rajashri, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Tulu Peeta. Mangalore University.2004
  • Se'erige. Ed:Dr K.Chinnapa Gowda.Madipu Prakashana,Mangalagangotri,2000.
  • Studies in Tuluva History and Culture.by Dr P Gururaja Bhat (1975).Milagres College,Kallinapur,Udupi.
  • Taulava Sanskriti by Dr.B.A.Viveka Rai, Sahyadri Prakashana,Mysore 1977
  • TuLu naaDu-nuDi By Dr.PalthaDi Ramakrishna Achar, Puttur.
  • TuLu NighanTu. (Editor in Chief: Dr U.P.Upadhyaya, Govinda Pai Research Centre,Udupi. Six volumes. 1988 to 1997
  • Tulu Patero-A Philology & Grammar of Tulu Language by Budhananda Shivalli.2004.Mandira Prakashana Mangalore. p.317. (The book is in Tulu Language using Kannada script)
  • TuLunadina ShasanagaLa Sanskritika Adhyayana. By Shaila T. Verma (2002) Jnanodaya Prakashana,Bangalore, p.304.(Kannada)
  • Tuluvala Baliyendre. Compiled by N.A.Sheenappa Hegde,Polali,Sri Devi Prakashana,Parkala,1929/1999

A Coastal estuary

A Coastal estuary
Holegadde near Honavar,Uttara Kannada dist, Karnataka

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