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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...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

318. Udupi and Orissa: Common threads.

Understanding the origin of ancient place names and their realistic meanings can often be hampered by limitations of our perceptions of our entire gamut of history and evolution of our culture and languages. When understanding or analyzing any unusual place name, people generally resort to compare with commonly known words prevailing in the local or the most influential language, without realizing that the words involved may also possibly represent unfamiliar ancient words that at present may or may not be in current use.

Let us compare and analyze two place names Udupi and Orissa and in order to arrive at some interesting and meaningful inferences. Udupi is a coastal town in West Coast of India, whereas Orissa is a State on the East Coast of India. On account of the Arya- Dravida syndrome, usually people consider that South and North have distinctly different sets of languages. Udupi is commonly considered to have been derived from Sanskrit words, whereas,   the name ‘Orissa’ has been changed into earlier form of Odisha.
Let us analyze the available data and understand how East (Orissa) and West (Udupi) Coasts of India shared common language and culture in the remote past.
Udupi
Udupi in the Karavali (West Coast) of Karnataka is a small burgeoning town known for cultural centre of medieval Krishna cult and the dwaita religious philosophy founded by Madhvāchārya (1238-1317). The Udupi hotels are known as a brand worldwide for their exquisite delicious South Indian vegetarian food. Udupi is also known for quality education and medical facilities.
There are a number of explanations in vogue in the net for the origin and meaning of the place name Udupi (or Udupa). 
1. Udu+pa:  (Sanskrit) Udu = Star; pa= leader. Udupi=leader of stars, ie moon.
2. Udu+pa (Sanskrit) Udu= Moon; pa= bearer, Udupa= Shiva; who carries moon on his hairs.
In both these derivations, which mean the Shiva or the Moon, and there is no hint of any suffix indicative of place like village or town.

The name Udupi is the modified version of the popular Tulu name Odipu. (d pronounced as in English word Detail) . There are two more places near Odipu which possibly share the ancient name of Odipu or evolved from that name. One is Odabhandeshwara (also spelt as Vadabhandeshwara or Odapandeshwara). The other is Udyavara which could be the evolved version of the old name Odiyara. (Post.184 The Magic of Malpe ).
Even though now it is a fairly strange word, the word ‘oDi ‘carries some 18 or more meanings, as enlisted in Tulu Nighantu (see : Post No 109.Odipu-the Udupi)  . The various shades of meanings available for this word reflect the antiquity of this strange word. The meanings include:
(1) A branch of plant laden with fruits, (2)to drip, (3) to cease flowing,  (4)to control or regulate, (5).A raised divider between the agricultural fields,  (6) A narrow   strip of field   (7) A field canal, (8) Sorcery,  (9) A measure, (10)  A  tumour   (11). A hunters lodge, (12) Defeat   (13) Evil eye   (14) A pair, (15) to pull or pluck (oDipu) (16)  an union of members, [  as in 'ODi kaTTu' ] (17) A  competition,   like cock fight.(18) A raised ,high land (like ‘bettu’ in Tulu).and (19)  Odi, is a proper   name, for male person among certain tribes.
As discussed in older posts herein, the word ‘pu’ is an ancient suffix indicative of habitation as in Balapu, Mudipu, Polipu, Odipu etc place names. Probably the Sanskrit word pura (=town) was evolved (pu+ura) after the ancient suffix ‘pu’. Another related spatial suffix is –pe as in place names Didupe, ALape, Malpe etc.
Pura= pu+ura. Pu=habitation;  ur, ura or oor=town, city or village.
Therefore, an Odipu in the ancient sense of meaning   can be a magical, high land habitation or tribal village. We shall see the other important place which shares the magic of odi in the East coast of India.

Orissa
The name of Orissa State has been changed over to Odisha in the year 2011. The term Odisha cited in Pali and Sanskrit texts is considered to be the ancient name of the region. The Official Language of the State has been declared as Odia. In ancient texts it has been recorded as Odra desa or Odra Visaya or Oddaka. Greek historian Pliny recorded the region of ‘Oretes’ which is said to be the ‘Odisha’. The Mount Maleus in Plinys accounts is said to be the Malayagiri (near Pala Lahara) and the Monedes are said to be the Munda tribes that inhabited the region. A part of ancient Odisha consisting of Kalahandi,Koraput and Bastar was known as Maha-kantara (great forest) or Atavi din epics like Ramayana and Mahabharat.
The place name Odisha can be analysed as Odi+sha. According to a Wiki contributor, the term Odi is a variant of Ora or Ura. Ur was a famous ancient Sumerian city. The Dravidian word ur or oor (Village/habitation)   seems to be derived from the name of the ancient Sumerian port city Ur in Mesopotamia. It is possible that the term Odi was an ancient variant or cognate of the word Ur or Or.
Further, the ancient suffix Sa or Sha is an indicative of habitation as in place names Belashe, Avarse, Teggarshe, Vaddarse, Amashe (bail), etc (Post. 141. Village name suffixes).

Parallels between Udupi and Odisha
There are several aspects common between the place names Odipu (Udupi) and Odisha (Udisha/ Orissa). Both were probably ancient port cities that carried the name of Ur the famous Sumerian port city of Mespotamia.
There are several other villages in Odisha that carry the place name Odi such as Odiso, Odisha, Odisagarha, Odiaalapur, Odiapali, Odling, Odisagarha, Odia munda, Odijambo etc (Census of India, 2011).
Similarly around Udupi also we can find several places that carry the tag of Odi. Odabhandeshwara  or  Odapandeshwara is the name of the beach, near Malpe, West of Udupi. The place name Malpe, which probably was originally Malapu. (In Tulu usage it is ‘Malapu’ similar to ‘Odipu’.).  Mala=hill; pu/pe=habitation. The hill implied may be St Mary and Badragada group of volcanic islands located west of Malpe.We also find Brahmagiri in Udupi as well as in Orissa.
In Orissa similarly we find Malaygiri hills. A part of Orissa was known as Kantara or Maha-kantara. Similarly we have Kantara Village (or Kantavara) East of Udupi, located near Bola in Karkal taluk. An area in Orissa was known as Atavi and we have an Adve,  near Palimar, South of Udupi, on the Padubidri- Karkal Road.
Similarly we have suggested in older posts that the Udyvara could have been the modernised name of ancient place known as Odiara.
Apart from the place known as Odilnala in Belthangadi taluk , Dakshina Kannada , we have a number of places in different parts of  India that carry the tag of Odi in the place names as compiled in Census of India 2011.
Some of these places are :  Odi (Madhya Pradesh, Rajastan and Himachal Pradesh) Odina (Jammu & Kashmir),Odidra(Gujarat), Odikhor(Bihar),Odiakhurd, Odiakalan (Chattisgarh), Odi pora shahoora (Jammu & Kashmir,) Odiso, Odisha, Odisagarha, Odiaalapur, Odiapali, Odling, Odisagarha, Odia munda, Odijambo (Orissa), Odi ka pura, Odia kheraOdia kheri (Rajastan)
Odium, Odiyathur, Odianthal (Tamilnadu), Odiarthnathpur (UttarPradesh), Odiyari(Uttar khand) etc. We have also Chikkodi (Karnataka) and Tirodi (Madhya Pradesh).
The above list is obviously incomplete because Census of India, 2011 has not considered names of hamlets and smaller villages.
On the whole, the word Odi is not exclusive to Tulu Language, nor it is a pure Dravidian word. Most likely Tulu and other Dravidian languages borrowed the word from older languages that prevailed in different parts of India including the ancient Karavali. Further it proves that there were intensive tourism by migration and cultural exchanges among different parts of India even in ancient period.

Odi Oli and Ur or Oor
In ultimate analysis it seems that the word Odi is a variant of the common word Ur or Oor or Or that means village or habitation.Similarly when we compare the place names in Maharastra we find that Odi and Oli (=village) are interchangeable words having the same meaning.It is interesting that all these words Odi, Oli and Oor have been preserved in place names of Tulunadu suggesting that there was  an intimate connection and exchange of people, culture, words and language even during the remote past in spite of poor civic, and transport facilities.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

317.Gadang, Bandasale & Bankara Katte

Apparently, it looks that the words Gadang, Bandasale with its corrupted forms and Bankara Katte give different meanings. Is it so? Emphatically, ‘No’ is the answer.  Let us explore.
I have been wondering about the odd-sounding word Gadang (ಗಡಂಗು), both in Tulu and Kannada,during my school days. My knowledge was limited to that ‘it is a toddy selling shop’. I remember the tall and big building with a large hall, which was standing on the north-end of coastal part of Hosabettu, traditionally called ‘Hosabettu Patna’. It was a toddy storing and selling shop, under a Billava contractor.  My father, a ‘Shenava’, an Accounts Writer, used to take me there once in a while  for giving me  a glass of ‘sweet toddy’ (Note: Freshly drawn toddy is always sweet, which is not intoxicating).  Once I felt ashamed on seeing near the counter my teacher Babu Master of Vidyadayinee Higher Elementary School.
It is noted from documented records of travelers and geographers that Indian place names are corrupted by foreign traders of early Christian era and by colonial traders of 15th Century and onwards. Readers may do well if they revisit our Posts on Mangalore to recollect the various names of Mangalore. We have touched the topic of ‘Bankara Katte’ in our Post No. 183:  Uliyaragoli to Malpe-II. My curiosity is rekindled on seeing an Entry on ‘Bankshall’ in Hobson-Jobson Dictionary. 

Gadang
Gadang specifically means ‘a toddy storage and selling shop’ by a Guttigedar (ಗುತ್ತಿಗೆದಾರ್ ), a contractor holding a monopoly licence of Government for supplying certain goods (Tulu Lexicon, p.1042) within a certain area.  Even today, a toddy or arrack selling shop is called a gadang rather than ‘godamu or gudam’, meaning store-house in general. Toddy is stored in big earthen pots (Skt. Ghata, Tulu: Gada/ Gaddavu?).  Gadang is attached with a ‘Chakana’, providing spicy curries of fish (Post-179: Chakana).
It could be guessed that it is equated to ‘Godown’ by foreingers on coming across the word ‘Gedang’ in Malaya archipelago.  Synonymous words (ibid, p.1042) in other languages are as under:
Tamil: Kitanki = prison, store-house.
Malayalam: Kittannu
Telugu: Gidangi.

Godown
Hobson-Jobson (p.381-382) gives studied description of ‘godown’, constantly in use in India and China, by quoting from various quotations from earlier works of 16th to 19th Centuries, as:
1.       A warehouse for goods and stores.
2.       An outbuilding used for stores.
3.       Store Room.

4.       It is ‘Gudam’ in Hindi and Bengali, apparently an adoption of the Anglo-Indian word.
5.     It says a Malay word ‘gadong’, which appeared to have passed to the sub-continent of India from Eastern Settlement. It means a store house, built of brick or stone.
6.   But the Book opines that it may be common Java and Malaya words from Tamil as many settlers from Coromandel Coast settled in Malacca Archipelago.: Telegu ‘gid(d)angi’ and Tamil ‘Kidangu’ signify ‘a place where goods lie, from ‘kidu’, meaning ‘to lie’.
7.       Sinhalese: Gudama
8.       It is thought to be a construction ‘almost under-ground’ and hence, the coinage of word ‘Godown’ in English.
Bankara Katte
It is a locale in Kidiyur (near Udupi) on the bank of curvaceous stream originating around Ambalapadi and joining Udyavara River.  As we gather, once upon a time it was a market place where boats and sailing ships anchored for unloading and loading (see our Post).  It may not be a name, derived from a person named ‘Banka’.  Ban (Skt. Van=water) + kara (= Bank) + Katte (Market or Meeting Place).  It, however, draws us near to ‘Vanik>Vania>Bania, i.e. a class of (marine) merchants of yore. It is common in phonetics, ‘v’ changing to ‘b’.
Tamils call Tulu as ‘Tamil Tulu’ during Sangam period (q.v. Vishwamurugu’s articles).  As we also understand, Tulu is very near to Kannada and Tamil. Applying the meaning of ‘kidu’ (Point-6 in earlier sub-title), we can deduce that there could have been storage facilities (Unfortunately, we see no trace of it now).  It may also answer our query for the origin of place name ‘Kidiyur’ as opposed to the one derived in our earlier Post.
B(h)andashale
Corrupted form of ‘Bhandashale’ is ‘Bankshall’ in Hobson-Jobson (P.61-62).  It describes ‘Bankashale as: (a) a warehouse and (b) as the office of the Harbour Master or other Port Authority. In the former sense, the word is still used in South India; in Bengal, the latter is the only sense recognized……..In Sea Hindustani, in the forms ‘bansar’ and ‘bangsal’ for a store House (Roebuck).
Bankshall’ is in fact one of the oldest of the words taken up by foreign traders.  Portuguese King John (C. 1524) adopted this word very early. Hobson-Jobson reveals many serious etymological analyses:
1.       Bangsal: Crawford says that  it is “a word defined in Malay dictionary as:
(Java) A Shed; a store-house, a workplace’ a porch; a covered passage.”
2.       Bankasala, from Skt. Vanik or vanik, ‘trade’, and sala ‘a hall’ as per Wilson’s etymology.
3. Skt. ‘Bhandasala’, Canarese ‘Bandasale’, Malayals ‘Pandisala’, Tamil ‘Pandasalai’ or ‘Pandakasalai’:  a storehouse or magazine.
Editors express difficulty in deciding which one of the two last is the original word; “the prevalence of the second in South India is an argument in its favour; and the substitution of ‘g’ for ‘d’ would be in accordance with a phonetic practice of not uncommon occurrence.”
The term ‘Banksoll’ was a puzzling word to English in India.  It is borrowed from the Dutch Dutch’s ‘Soll’ or Danish ‘Zoll’ is equivalent of English ‘Toll’.   The Banksoll was then the place on the bank where all tolls or port duties were levied on landing goods (Talboys Wheeler, Early Records of B. India, 196).

Conclusion
In restricted sense, the word Gadang basically means a Toddy House in Tulu Nadu. In nutshell, all the words under discussion are related to ancient marine trade where produces of hinter land, such as rice, fish, spices, coconut, coir and other products of coastal area were brought to ports.  They are stored in Bhandasāles (Storage house) of ultimate sellers before export. 

This traditional system of export trade is in contradiction to the sophisticated container system of the present day, wherein   the designated goods are loaded immediately into ships as pre-arranged.


-Hosabettu Vishwanath, Pune

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

316. Jangal, Jangar or Jangad – A classic usage in Trade & Travel

There are many antiquarian words of Indian origin, understood even by foreigners.   Some such words go defunct due to changed circumstances.  Some others still survive in spite of onslaught of modern trends, thanks to their uniqueness in Trade and Travel and communication.  We have explained one such antique word ‘Al or Aal’ in our previous Post-315.    Another word is Jangal, Jangar or Jangad and its derivatives.
Jangal Wada ( Jangal Oda)
Have anyone in Tulu Nadu seen the ‘jangal wada’ in his/her childhood?
This takes me to my childhood days:  My mother’s younger sister Mammubai (Note: Mammu is a shortened form of Mammayi, meaning Mother of Mothers, i.e. Mother Goddess) was a good speaker and story-teller.  She is good at telling news and stories in an interesting way.  In rainy days, she has the news of havoc done by heavy rains and mishaps at ferry points, capsizing boats and jangal wadas.  My childhood idea is that it is a ‘double boat made one’, not knowing that it is a ‘teppa’ (raft).  I had seen such a boat at Kulur ferry point on Gurupura River (Phalguni) during my school trip to Mangalore City in 1950-51 (when I was in Sixth Standard).  First leg of journey was on foot from Suratkal to Kulur Ferry Point (under the care of our Teacher P.C. Vasudeva Rao, classmate of my brother Cpl. M.H. Sadanand) and the second leg was by bus after crossing the river by boat.  The Kulur River over bridge was under construction then.
Jangal Wada’ is a two-boat structure with balanced fitting of a raft for ferrying heavy materials, sugar cane and field products, goods laden bullock-carts, cars and motor bikes, logwood, etc. It was commonly seen at ferry points and river navigation.
Jangal, Jangar, Jangad
It is a classic word used since time immemorial.  A comprehensive meaning is explained below to give a glimpse of the memories of the Past.
Mercantile Agent:  Jangad means goods taken on approval, held by agent on behalf of owner.  There are many case laws in Mumbai (Bombay) High Court and other courts during Raj Period onwards to decide about fraud and criminal conspiracy to deceive owners of properties.
Jangad sale is ‘a sale on approval and/or consignment basis’ (that is taken without definite settlement of purchase).
Military Guard: Jangadiyo (Gujarati) was one who delivered products into the treasury. The business tradition of ‘Jangad’ is prevalent even today among diamond merchants/cutters of India. The derivative of ‘Jangadiyo’ is ‘Angadia’, that is a courier who carries goods from point to point, based on ‘trust’.  This is well explained in meaning of Jangad as ‘Entrust Receipt’ in Diamond Platform in Mumbai.
One of my colleagues is ‘Jangad’. Rajasthan is also famous for diamond and other jewelry business.  The surname Jangar.>Jangad is common among Marwari’s, which was based on profession.
‘Entrustment Note’: It is interesting to note that this traditional trade transaction process known as ‘Jangad’ is traceable to hieroglyphs (secret, symbolic or picture writing = ರಹಸ್ಯ, ಸಂಕೇತ ಅಥವಾ ಚಿತ್ರ ಲಿಪಿ) of Indus Scripts.
Throwing light on Indus Script Corpora & business transactions of Jangad, Dr. S. Kalyanaraman of Saraswati Center (April 12, 2012), says:
“….This monograph posits a function served by the seals of Indus Script Corpora that the hieroglyphs used on such seals were intended to connote ‘entrustment notes’.   Jangad for trade transactions from Melhuhha constituted an improvement in documentation and control of guild (Corporation) transactions over earlier system of token, tallies and bullae…” (Note: Bulla, Plural bullae, in Medieval Latin means ‘sealed document’).
A Jangad Note is an acknowledgement of entrustment, which is invariably forwarded with ‘goods sent on approval’ or ‘sale or return’ basis in diamond business, mentioning quantity and value of consignment.  Thus the meaning of the term Jangad is well settled in legal system as aforesaid.
Tally of Products: In Marathi, Jangad means ‘a tally of products delivered into warehouse for approval’.
A raft on two boats: The Tulu Lexicon ( page 1274) gives the meaning of Jangal/Jangāl as: (a) A wooden plank fixed across the canoe to serve as seat for passengers, (b) Two canoes joined together with flat planks on them and used for transporting vehicles across the river, a barge.
In Tamil and Malayalam, it is ‘ Channatam’;  in Pali/Prakrit,  Sanghaata, equivalent to ‘Sangatha of Sanskrit, meaning companion, union, association.
In English, there is a word ‘Joint’ (= combined), might have been fashioned out of ‘jangad’. This word becomes ‘janti’ in vernaculars. It could also be guessed that ‘Jangad’ is derived out of or related to ‘Janga/Janghe (Thigh or joint between hip and leg ?), supporting part of human body. ‘Jang’ also means ‘war’ in Hindi, so ‘Jangada’ is a warrior.
Hobson-Jobson
The Hobson-Jobson Glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian Words by Col. Henry Yule and A.C. Burnell, Ph.D., first published in 1903 and Asian Edition in 2012,  quotes from books, letters and notes on Travelogues of travelers of 16th to 19th Centuries.  The picture of Jangada/Jangar emerging from it (page 450) is as under:
1.       The name Jangada (aka Jangai) was given to certain responsible guides in the Nair country who escorted travelers from one inhabited place to another, guaranteeing their security with their own lives, like Bhats (= soldiers) of Gujarat.
C. 1672: “The safest of all journeyings in India are those through the Kingdom of Nairs and the Samorins, if you travel with Giancadas, the perilous if you go alone…. (sic)”  (quoted from P. Vincenzo, 127; See also Chengathum in Burtons Goa, 198).
2.       Jangar or Jangada is “A raft (a double platform canoe made by placing a floor of boards across two boats, with bamboo railings) (Madras Glossary)”
It is a word of particular interest as being one of the few Dravidian words (but perhaps ultimately of Skt. Origin), preserved in the remains of classical antiquity, occurring in the Periplus as our quotation shows.  Bluteau does not call the word an Indian term.
3.       Fleet of jangadas kept in readiness (by Portuguese and other  European traders) with dry wood, barrels of pitch (= residue of tar) and other combustible stuff, while entering ports.
Rani Abbakka’s Navy
This reminds us how Rani Abbakka’s naval fleet under Mogaveeras of Ullal preempted the attempt of Portuguese from Goa to capture  Mangalore Port by their exemplary valour.  They ventured into sea in dead of night and rained torches of fire (Toote=ತೂಟೆ)on anchored ships of Portuguese, who ultimately fled the scene of fight.
Today, fleet of small ships or small fleet is called ‘flotilla’.
Conclusion
Though ‘Jangal’ is rarely seen or heard in Tulunadu now, it is still known around ferry jetties in Southern States as ‘Jangad’- in old and new forms -  for river transportation of man and material. In tourism, it plays an important role there. In the North, it is surviving in the world of diamond business.

- Hosabettu Vishwanath, Pune

Blog Archive

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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