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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 25, 2010

238. Dark, forest and bay

Fusion of several coexisting subcultures that had independent languages during the course of human historical evolution must have created eventually not only varied evolutionary set of meanings for each word, but also several similar sounding words having dissimilar meanings.
As an example of this, we may consider the word kār:
The common meaning of the word ‘kār’ in Tulu language is leg. (Equivalent: kāl in Tamil, Kannada). This word ‘kar’(1) (=limb, leg) has been considered to have origins in ancient Sumerian word ‘garro’. Tulu has also another kār (2) (verb: ‘kāruni’) which means exude or seep. For example, seepage of toddy liquid from the toddy palm (Kannada: kāru= vomit).
However, kār (3) in many place names means dark, dark colored or black. Kari= black, soot, carbon.
Note: Variants of kār (3) can be seen in kār (4)=rock,[kar>kal=stone],(5)kar = forest and kār (6) = cloud or rain.
(kār =forest (5) because it is dark(3); kār= cloud/rain(6) because rainy clouds are dark.)
I. Dark villages
Obviously there is a disadvantage in having several possible meanings for a single word (like kār) as we may be unable to ascertain unequivocally the originally intended meaning a village name.
Check the following place names:
Kārgal= (kār+kal) Dark colored rocks.
Karoor=(kar+oor). A Dark village. (Dark colored because of the black soils?)
Karadi =(kar+aDi). Dark (=black soil?) or forest settlement.
Kāradka =(kār+aDka). Dark, tree covered (ancient) burial field.
Karinje= (kar+inje). Dark rocky area.Karinje village is near Mudabidre, Mangalore Taluk. Alternately, the word 'kārinja' also represents the name of a wild flowering plant.
Kārinja= (kār+inja). Forest area. Kārinja is a dark,large granitic hill, with a famous temple on top, in Bantval Taluk.
Kārkala= (kar+kala). Dark colored rocky plot (because of blackened rock outcrops).In Tulu, Karakla is known as Kārla (kar=dark,rocky + la= habitation beside water body of lake)
Ajekār= (aje+kār). Lands (adjoining) a dark forest.
Kannada
The word Kannada has been considered by some as derived from ‘Karnad’ or ‘Karunadu’.
Kārnādu= (kār+nāDu). Dark (black soil) cultivated area. Originally the Kannada Kingdoms during the history flourished in the expansive black soil covered cultivable planar regions of northern Karnataka. Hence the name kar+nāD=dark soil cultivated area.
However,an alternate school of thought by Sham Baa Joshi has suggested possible derivation of the same word 'Kannada' as (Kanna+ Da), the region of Kannar tribes.

II. Saline bay
The word kār has another set of meanings relevant to (7) Sea coast, (8) Saline bay or estuary or saline streamlet. The related Prakrit (?) words are ‘khār’ or ‘khāri’(=bay or saline).
Thus the following place names could be related to this set of meanings:
Kadekar: (kaDe+kār).End part of a saline bay or stream. There are at least two Kadekar localities one near Udyavara, Udupi another near Jeppu, Mangalore.
Kāramogaru: (Kara+mogaru). A Saline river bank. Karamogaru locality is located on the northern bank of Gurupura River, Gurupura village

Kārnād= (kār+nāD). A saline stream beside a cultivable area. The place Karnad near Mulki has been made famous by author Girish Karnad. Historically, Karnad is associated with the name of freedom fighter par excellence Karnad Sadashiva Rao. A main road in Central Mangalore carries his name (though now known in abridged form as 'K.S.R. Road'. The original saline streamlet of River Shambavi(Mulki) beside Karnad has apparently changed position during the course of history.
Karnire= (kar+nire). Saline waters. A village beside Baluknje, near Mulki and Padubidri.
Kārkada. (kār+kaDa). A ferry point across a saline bay or tributary. Karkada is on the West coast, near Saligrama, Kundāpur taluk.

III. Calf pen
There is possibly one more 'kar' (8) =pen for calves, the word being derived from Toda language. There are distinct signatures of Toda cattle breeding tribes in Tulunadu as evidenced by place names such as Todar.Apparently, the Kannada word 'karu' for calf is derived from this source.
Karopādi =karo+pāDi. A settlement of cattle breeders and calf pens.

- With H.Vishwanath.
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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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