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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...

Friday, January 10, 2014

324. Kāntara vs. Kāntāvara

Kantavara is a remote sylvan village in Karkal Taluk of Udupi District. It can be approached from Mudabidri via Beluvayi or from Karkal or Belman via Manjarapalke or from Mundkur via Bola.
The village list in the Census of India shows it as Kanthavara. There is also a village known as Kantavaram in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh.
In Tulu language the village Kantavara is known as Kantara. The general impression among the people is that Kantavara is the actual original name of the village and the illiterate villagers tend to deform the place name as Kantara. We shall delve into these place names and make an endeavor to verify if this impression is correct or not.
Kantara
Kāntāra means a forest in Kannada and Sanskrit.  According to Kittlel's Kannada Dictionary says, it is a Dravidian word. However,Kānt(h)ar or Kant(h)ara is not a place name unique to Tulunadu.  Kantar and its numerous variants such as Kant(h)a, Kant(h)an, Kant(h)ari, Kant(h)ari(y)a, Kanthal, Kant(h)ali, Kant(h)apada, Kant(h)a(va)ram, Katharpur,  Kantharia,  Kanthalur, Kantaoh, Kantaroli, Kantarda, Kantargre, Kantaranguri, Kantarabali, Kantharpata, etc are found in many parts of India suggesting its wide distribution in States such as Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Orissa, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttara Khand, Gujarat and Rajasthan apart from Karnataka.
The existence of more number of villages having the word Kantar in their name over Kant(h)avara(m) suggests that Kantara could been the original ancient place name which in some cases has been subsequently modified or Sanskritized into Kantavara(m) with passage of time during the history.
Incidentally, the word Kantara also represents a male personal name of among certain tribal people.
Origin
The word Kantara can also be found in African and Mediterranean regions. In fact village and streams named Kantar(a) can be found around Euphrates, Cyprus and Algeria. In Arabic language Kantara means a bridge. Whether the Arabic word Kantara is derived from similar ancient Sumerian word or does it has any genetic significance in respect of Indian place names is to be studied further.

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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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