Monday, January 7, 2019

413. Milestones in the evolution of Mulki region

The region around Mulki has been significant historically since ancient times. However we do not find the place Mulki in very old historical documents! The actual position of the Western coastline has eventually changed during the Holocene geological period due to gradual regression of the sea.

The oldest recognizable cultural core in the region at present happens to be the land of legendary Siri, surviving in Tulu folk-lores (Siri pāḍ’dana). It is  located to the East of Mulki town. The ancient home land of Siri, as documented in the folklores, consists essentially of villages and hamlets of Bola, Sacheri(pete), Kotrupadi and Kadandale.

It is difficult to conclude now whether Siri pāḍ’dana was based on an actual event or a fiction. However, the essential geographic data embodied in the pāḍ’dana, coupled with its indirect cross reference to the Satiyaputo in the emperor Ashoka’s Girnar rock edict,  makes it a historically momentous document.

The River Shambavi that flows by the North side of Mulki, is connected etymologically to Udyavara, in the North represented by the historically significant Shambu-kallu hillock.

In the modern times, Karnad Sadashiva Rao was a prominent freedom fighter from the West Coast who brought laurels to the place Karnad, a suburb of Mulki.  Recently there has been a good article on the historical aspects of Mulki in Kannada by Dr. Vamana S.S, entitled  ನಮ್ಮೂರು ಮೂಲಿಕೆ (ಮೂಲ್ಕಿ)” published in the Mumbai monthly “Mogaveera” (September 2018).  At this juncture let us collate and review the available historical and geological data.


Presently, we do not find Mulki port town right on the coast but slightly inland being guarded by two rivers namely Shambhavi and Pavanje that join and debouch their fluvial contents into the Arabian Sea near Sasihitlu.   Two barrier spits extend from the sandy coastal banks of R. Shambhavi (Mulki River) and R. Pavanje (Nandini), in opposite directions, parallel to the beach-line that terminate near the estuary of Sasihitlu. (Earlier in this blog a post (Post 305) was written on Mulki the emergent land.)

The  geomorphology of the West Coast has evolved with time. In the past the features were much different!
Before a few centuries, the rivers Shambhavi and Pavanje were joining the Arabian Sea independently like other coastal rivers at that time. Then, Shambhavi river had a direct access to the Sea and  the of old Mulki port was located close to the sea mouth or the estuary.  Further with passage of time, as the sea receded westward, the position of the old sea port of Bappanadu, Mulki, remained inland.
Current geography of the region around Mulki, with ancient Siri homeland located to the East (click to enlarge).

There are a few evidences preserved in the local place names corroborating   the geographic changes in the flow channels of the Shambhavi/Mulki River during the past history. A note on the place name ‘Olalanke’ is pertinent here:

Olalanke: The ancient place name Ola-lanke is an interesting geographic toponym, as it suggests (1) the presence of an island within the river Shambhavi. (Ola =inner, inside river; lanke=island) in the past and (2)  shifting of the old river course such that the old river island was transformed into a land area. In other words, the locality Olalanke originally represented a kuduru or an island within the river. Due to subsequent changes in river geomorphology such as migration of river flow path, it became part of the mainland, as it exists now.
(However, there are a few legendary anecdotes in the area attempting to connect the place name ‘Olalanke’ with the renowned “Lanke” of Ramayana.)

Westward emergence of coastal land concurrent with regression of sea
The sea coast has gradually receded during the past, revealing the land of Mulki around 2nd to 3rd century CE. In fact, similar   recession of the Arabian Sea occurred all along the West coast and consequently, the original sea front locations of the ancient ports became inland with regression of the Sea.   Thus presently we find the ancient ports of not only Mulki but also Basrur, Barkur, Udyavar  and Alape (Mangaluru East) in inland locations (For corroborative documentary evidences,  on spatio-temporal changes in Gurpur river, read our Post  98).

The regression of the West Coast was a gradual and continuous event and if travel backwards in the history,  we find that whole Mulki and the region East of it was under the Sea.

 In retrospection, if we go back further in time some 2500 years or more, we find that then the Sea coast existed somewhere near Sacheripete (Mundkuru) and Bola ! That is to reiterate that then all the land now to the West of Sacheripete/Bola were covered under the Sea.

In Siri pāḍ’dana, there is glaring absence of present coastal place names such as Mangaluru, Mulki, Malpe, Udupi and Kundapura etc. Since these land parts were recovered from the sea as a result of marine regression,  the absence of current coastal places in the folk lore corroborates  the event of marine retreat  of the Arabian Sea. The regression of the sea is also documented in the legend of creation and retrieval of land from the Sea, popularly attributed to legends of Parashurama.(Post. 102)

About 2500 years ago: Satiyaputo/Satyanapura

In fact the places, Sacheripete and Bola, were the places of center of action described as “Satyanapura” in Siri pāḍ’dana  which appears to date back to some 2000 years.

Ashoka’s rock edict
 The rock edict of Girnar, attributed to King Ashoka ( ca 304-232 BCE) mentioned “Satiyaputo” along with other (neighboring) ancient South Indian States like Chola, Pandya, and Keralaputo.  The rock edict declares that in these regions ( implying that even though not included in his kingdom),    King  Ashoka provided the people with or arranged for  necessary medicinal herbs, roots and edible fruits along with providing facility of drinking water wells as popular welfare measures. The region mentioned as Satiyaputo in the rock edict has been considered to represent the ancient Tulunadu by several historians. (Budhananda Shivalli, 1982).

Ancient land of Siri - East of Mulki
 A perspective analysis of the places associated with Siri pāḍ’dana (as shown in the map) suggests that “Sacheri (-pete)” happens to be the modern equivalent place cited as “Satiyaputo”.
It appears that the Satyanapura was on the sea coast some two millennia ago. In other words, during the period of Satyanapura and Siri pāḍ’dana, there was no Mulki and the relevant land was under the sea!
Some of the relevant inferences in this regard are enlisted here below:

1. In the folk lore of Siri we find the name of Satyanapura near Bola, as the home of legendary brave woman Siri, popularly known as Tulunada Siri.  The homeland of Siri and her father Birumalva was ‘Satyanapura’ in Bola village according to pāḍ’dana.

2. The Satyanapura described in Siri pāḍ’dana can be matched with the  Prakrit equivalent term of Satiyaputo cited in the King Ashoka's rock edict.  The reference to Satiyaputo in the rock edict suggests that the region was well known by the time of Ashoka.

3. Presently, there is no place specifically known as ‘Satyanapura’ or ‘Satiyaputo’  in the West coast of India. However, south of Bola village and West of Kadandale village (both villages mentioned clearly in Siri pāḍ’dana) there is a hamlet known as "Sacheripete". 
The alternate Prakrit/Pali word ‘sach’(=truth)  in Sacheri (sach+yeri= mound of truth) corresponds to “satya” (=truth)   and “satiya” (=truth)   of Siri pāḍ’dana and King Ashoka edict respectively. 
In fact, the ‘satya’ (or ‘satyolu’, plural) is the usual term used in Tulunadu since antiquity to refer to the eternal aspect of the divine spirits.
Thus the hamlet presently known as Sacheri-pete (now within Mundkur village) near Bola village holds key to the mystery of the elusive Satiyaputo.

4. In case the,  Satiyaputo in Ashoka's edict refers to the Satyanapura of Siri pāḍ’dana, then it takes the date of Siri pāḍ’dana to an older period in the time frame of 250-100 BCE.

5. Siri pāḍ’dana mentions only one God or divinity known as “Bermer”, which was the ancient form of worship  that existed in several parts of ancient India, rudiments of which still prevail in Tulunadu. (There is a reference to the dilapidated shrine of Bermer, on which, Birumalva ,Siri’s father,  focuses his attention to repair it.)

6. In Siri pāḍ’dana, we find reference to only those places lying  around and to the East of Bola-Sacheri-Kadandale. Basrur port in the North is mentioned (as Siri’s husbands place) but the current well known coastal towns such as Mangaluru, Mulki, Udupi, Udyavara, Kundapura etc are not found. Note that  Karla (Karkal) town located to the NE of Bola finds mention as a major town where one could buy wedding saris !

7. Based on the presence of abundant Prakrit derived words in Tulu and Kannada it has been   suggested that the Prakrit was the administrative language during early part of the common Era.(Shettar, 2014). Thus it is possible that the original version of the Siri epic could have been composed in Prakrit and later translated into Tulu pāḍ’dana (folklore) form.

8. The epic qualities of the Siri pāḍ’dana resemble Sangam literature of Tamil. Thus the folk lore appears to have been inspired from the Sangam literature and we may recognize it as a product of  “Tulu Sangam” literature that ran parallel to Tamil Sangam.

The glaring absence of present coastal place names such as Mangaluru, Mulki, Malpe, Udupi and Kundapura etc in the Siri pāḍ’dana further corroborates an major event of marine regression. It is also corroborated in the popular legend of creation of land retrieval of land from the Sea attributed to sage Parashurama is a real and natural geological event !

Early centuries of Common Era: Siri alaḍe
Many of the Tulu moolastānas that represent the original settlements (or ancient tribal settlements of primary order) of the immigrant Tulu tribes, have been attached or equated to alaḍes. 

Since most of the narrations in Siri pāḍ’dana are realistic social events, we may assume that the epic was based on a natural incident. Following the popularization of the Siri pāḍ’dana, a number of “Alaḍe” (ancient centers of worship) were developed around the Siri land centered on Bola village. (Alaḍe: āla = water ḍe =place; or, holy place beside water body). 

Usually these Siri Alaḍe are referred to as Adi Alaḍes suggesting their historical antiquity.  Thus Siri alaḍe were established in villages around Bola such as Kavatar, Nandalike, Hiriadka, Pangala, Kandevu (Chellair) and Nidigal (Kanyadi).

Two of these places - Nandalike (Karkal Taluk) and Kavatar (Mangaluru Taluk) are close to the original Siri homeland, where as Pangala ( near Udyavara,  Udupi Taluk) and Kandevu (Chellairu near Surathkal, Mangaluru Taluk) are proximal to the coast. Hiriadka must have been an ancient center of traditional worship in those times. Only Nidigal (Kanyadi village, near Dharmastala, Beltangadi Taluk) on the banks of River Netravati is a relatively far off place from the Siri homeland. Notably there are no popular Siri shrines in Kundapura/Basrur region which was Siris first husband's place according to the pāḍ’dana. (Please correct me if any reader has more information on this aspect).
Location of Siri Alades in Dakshina Kannada & Udupi districts, Karnataka (Click to enlarge)

The Siri alade are characterized by a different  pattern of worship compared to other Spirit worships. Besides impersonation of characters in Siri pāḍ’dana such as Siri and Kumara, the festive congregation also witnesses convulsions of mass effects of possession and or trance.

In the Siri pāḍ’dana the name of the Siri’s father is given as Birumalva. Note that the term “Biruma” represents alternate form of the word Berma or Bermer. The basic doubt historians may get is whether Birumalva was an Alupa chieftain or connected to the Alupa dynasty of rulers?  We have no corroboratory data on this as there are no mention of  places like Alupe or Mangaluru or any hints on Alupa rulers in the available texts of Siri pāḍ’dana. It could be that the suffix Aluva in Birumalva’s name  possibly refers merely to his status as a member of a past ruling family and may have been added by the pāḍ’dana reciters later on. It may or may not have any connection with the Alupa ruling families.

However, the setting of the Siri pāḍ’dana clearly evinces that Satyanapura as well as the shrine of Bermer gunḍa were in dilapidated form when the original narration of Siri pāḍ’dana was going on, and thus, indirectly suggesting that once upon a time  these were in good shape. 
This setting further prompts us to infer that there were past days of glory of Satyanapura (or Satiyaputo) before the Siri pāḍ’dana event. 
The earlier period of  glory probably prompted King Ashoka to include reference to Satiyaputo in his rock edict. 
It is possible that after the period of installation of the cited rock edicts (ca. 250 BCE), Satiyaputo/Satyanapura saw bad days and then the main events of Siri pāḍ’dana occurred. This inference would place the date of Siri pāḍ’dana  events somewhere between 250 BCE and 100 CE.

Alupa rule at Udyavara
Members of Alupa family (of chieftains) ruled major parts of Tulunadu and parts of Malenadu (Humcha, Banavasi) for some 1000 years,  probably between the years ca.400 and 1400 CE. However, established inscriptional evidence of their reign begins around 650 CE, when Aluvarasa I was associated with Kadambas at Banavasi (Gururaja Bhat, 1975). Banavasi is located in Uttara Kannada district.
 It has been considered that Alupas migrated from Alupe / Mangalapura to Udyavara early 7 th century. There are known inscriptions relating to Alupa rulers in Udyavara have been dated to ca. 730 CE and later up to about 10th century CE.
So far there have been no inscriptions related to Alupas at Mulki or East of Mulki. However, a historical word clue on Shambu and Shambhavi possibly unites the area of Mulki with Udyavara.

Alupa period: Shambu and Shāmbhavi: 
River Mulki is traditionally known as Shāmbhavi, a name of the mother goddess, which is the feminine form of Shambhu. Note the suffix –avi (=mother) in the word Shāmbhavi. River Shambhavi originates near Alladakyār in Karkal Taluk. Two tributaries, namely Goldendi stream from Irvattur and Renjala stream from Renjala,  join to form the initial source of River Shāmbhavi.
The name Shambhu representing Lord Shiva, though relatively less common in usage we find it applied to  a dome shaped granite rock, hosting an ancient (8th century CE temple dedicated to Shiva)  named as Shambhu-kallu in Udyavara, located about 20 km to the north of Mulki. This provides clues to infer that Mulki to Udyavara was a contiguous political-administrative unit during the early history of the terrain.

Bappanadu Durga Parameshwari Temple
Legends and lore abound in the region describe that one day during the undated early history  ship of a Muslim merchant by name Bappa was stranded near the Mulki port due to inclement weather. Locals advised him to pray to the Goddess of the region for relieving the stranded boat. Accordingly, after due prayers and physical help from the natives, the merchant Bappa was able to retrieve the stranded boat and its merchandise successfully. It is said that merchant Bappa arranged for the construction of a temple dedicated to the Goddess Durga Parameshwari near the port. In honor of the merchant Bappa, the locality was named as Bappanādu, which popular place-name is prevailing even today. Based on the history of other Durga temples in the West Coast, the original Durga temple of Bappanadu can be dated between 8th and 10th centuries CE.
The local people describe that the original Durga temple was near the old Mulki port before it was shifted to its current position on account of the dilapidation of the ancient structure.

Vestiges of Buddhism
Similarly, vestiges of evidences of Buddhism in the region, such as involvement of the members of  Thiyya/Belchada community in the traditional temple car festival celebrations even now, suggest that the temple was originally  an ancient shrine of Bhagavati worship  which was transformed into Durga temple under the profound influence of revivalist sage Shankaracharya (788-820 CE) probably during the early part of 9th century CE. Before recent renovation of the Bappanadu temple, there were wheel symbols in the front stone facade of the old temple. Such symbolic wheel designs are commonly associated with Buddhism in the temple architecture.

Administrative structure: 
Dr Vaman (2018) begins with introductory notes on earlier pattern of administration vogue in ancient Tulunadu. Earlier, typically the States in Tulunadu were the principal   administrative divisions, with each State made of ten “māgaNe (ಮಾಗಣೆ). Each māgaNe” traditionally consisted of four to five contiguous villages. Each village had four   leaders known as “Gurikars” (ಗುರಿಕಾರ).
The village level administrative structure altered after the Jain chieftains took over. A Jain Ballāl or Heggaḍe was appointed as the administrative head of each māgane. Further, each village had two ‘bhāva’, one ‘bālike’ and a ‘parāri’. In this case, the old Mulki State consisted of nine māganes.

Samantha chieftains, 15-16th century 
Rulers of Samantha dynastic family occupied Mulki town during  circa 16th century. Before adopting Mulki they were residing and ruling from  Shimanthur village, located to the East of Mulki. The Kotekeri (koţe=fort; keri= residential zone) area in Eastern Mulki contains relics of the fort built by Samantha rulers of Mulki. Chandranatha basadi and Hanuman temple located in the area are also attributed to the Samantha rulers.
Samantha chieftains defended Mulki   from the Portuguese and the Keladi invaders within their means. Keladi  Venkatappa  Nayaka seized the fort from the Samantha chieftains. Later Haider Ali and Tippu Sultan have occupied the fort from Keladi Nayaks. Subsequently, the Samantha chieftains shifted their base to Panambur located to the South of Mulki.

Mulki Port: It is interesting to note that the old sea port of Mulki is situated about a km East of the coastline near Kadavina-bāgilu (“ferry gate”) and Mānampadi, on the southern bank of River Shāmbhavi. The old Mulki port, built around the year 1705 CE, was used in the past for international marine trade involving Arabs, Dutch and Portuguese merchants. However, the old Mulki port existed several centuries before the arrival of Portuguese, and then the port was at the earlier estuary of River Shambhavi.
During the post-Vijayanagar phase, early 18th Century CE, the Portuguese collected tax on the merchandise in the port under permission from the Keladi rulers of the period. During the period larger ships could not enter the Mulki port on the banks of Shāmbhavi, hence the ships used to anchor in the Arabian Sea west of Mulki and the merchandise was transported inland to the port by boats with the help of native Mogaveera workers.

The Portuguese by virtue of constructing the port dock, in early 18th century CE, collected taxes on the merchandise, with permission from the Keladi rulers of the time. Though the available record mentions the construction of the Mulki port on 1705, other circumstantial evidences suggest that the port existed there before the Keladi /Portuguese period. 


Herbs.. or new land ?
 Dr. Vaman, suggests that the place name “Mulki” was derived from: “moolike” (=herb); it was also known as “moolikapura” which on translation means the town of herbs. People believe that the Moolikapura later became Moolike and further later on Mulki. Several other earlier authors have also expressed similar interpretation on the origin of this place name.

Emergent land
However, we can trace the real origin of the place name to a Prakrit /Munda word “mulk “ (or > “mulki”), which simply means the land or more specifically connotes to the new land emerged from the Sea, possibly during the early centuries of the common era.

Prakrit/Munda was the administrative language of this coastal land during the early centuries of Common Era (CE) (see also Shettar, 2014) , as is explicitly evident in the presence of numerous place names of Prakrit/Munda origin in Tulunadu (as also in other parts of India). Thus, the place name Mulki can be traced to the beginning centuries of the CE when the new land emerged by the regression of the Arabian Sea.

Mulki= land;   derived from “mulk”,  a Prakrit/ Munḍa word.

Indirectly, the place name Mulki suggests that Prakrit/Munda were the common administrative languages in the region when the land of Mulki was emerged from the Arabian  Sea in the early centuries of CE.
 Incidentally, the Tulu word muluku (muruku; murunku) (=to sink or submerge) also sounds close to the Prakrit word mulk, as suggested by Hosabettu Vishwanath.

Prakrit/ Munda words in Tulu, Tulunadu
There are a plethora of ancient words in Tulu language as well as in place names Tulunadu. Several years ago we pointed out strange sounding place name words in Tulunadu, whose meanings are either not known or wrongly interpreted because of confusion! With further analysis and interpretations we found most of these strange words in Tulu are of Prakrit / Munḍa origin.
Note that even today we commonly use the Prakrit word “barsa” (ಬರ್ಸ) for rain; we have almost forgotten the original Dravida/Tulu word for rain: “mare” (ಮರೆ) - incidentally, which later became “male” (ಮಳೆ ) in Kannada.  Also note that the Dravida/Tulu word ‘mare(ಮರೆ) still survives in the Tulu word ‘mariyala(ಮರಿಯಾಲ) for the rainy season!
Saraswath settlers
During the ruling period of Samantha Dugganna, (17th Century CE) witnessed the exodus of many members of Saraswaths and Gowda Saraswaths communities from Goa towards South, owing to persecution of  Hindus by Portuguese occupants of Goa. Many of the immigrants settled in and around Mulki and Karnad. The installation of Ishvara temple at Kotekeri and Venkataramana temple at Olalanke are attributed to the Saraswath and Gowda Saraswath settlers in Mulki.


Budhananda Shivalli (1982). “Tulu Patero”. (in Tulu language).  Mandira Prakashana, Mangaluru-575001, 2004, p.317.
Gururaja Bhat, P.( 19 75 ) Studies in Tuluva culture and history. P. Reprint 2014. Padur Gurauraja Bhat memorial trust, Udupi-576101.p.452+plates 448+xxxvii
Shettar,S (2014) Halegannda: Lipi, lipikara, lipi vyvasaya, p.528. Abhinava, Bengaluru.
Vamana, S.S, Dr.(2018) “Nammuru Moolike(Mulki). ”ನಮ್ಮೂರು ಮೂಲಿಕೆ (ಮೂಲ್ಕಿ)” (In Kannada), Mogaveera, Kannada monthly, Andheri (East), Mumbai, September 2018, vol 79, no.3, pp.44-47.


Sunday, December 30, 2018

412. A look at morphemes ma, mi, mu, mo, etc

In grammar, we know that ‘the smallest linguistic unit within a word that carry a meaning is known as a morpheme”.  We have discussed some morphemes in general and specifically some others in our earlier Posts.
Water (Neeru =ನೀರು) is held sacred in all religions.  We have discussed it in our latest Post-373: On the trail of morpheme ‘Nu/ Noo’. It has also touched upon related words Ne/ Danu/ Da/ Dar, etc.  We are now seized of the opportunity to say more about morphemes which relate to water.  They are Mi or Mee, Mu, Mo, Mar, Mer and so on.  These heritage words are found in world languages, reminding one that they are originated from the same primary source,  that is a proto language. 
‘Ma’ means water as we get from Sage ‘Manu’, the writer of famous Manu smriti (Laws of Manu).  What Manu is to Indians, Noah is to Westerners.  They are the Boatmen who rescued humanity from extinction from the Great Deluge (Maha Jala Pralaya). 
We have collected some word-units, which has come to our notice in languages, including Tulu.  This would bring home the point, we are discussing.

Ma+yim (Hebrew) = Water.
Med+ini (Sanskrit) = The Earth (which came out of water).

Medini in legends
According to the legends, there was water everywhere after the Great Diluvial period.  Lord Vishnu was resting on a (big) Lotus Leaf in Yoga Nidra (= Yogik sleep, a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping) in the Ocean.   Madu and Kaitabha originated from the ears of Vishnu during his sleep.  They frightened Lord Brahma, the creator, who was sitting on a lotus sprouted from the navel of Vishnu and was thinking about the creation of Cosmos.  The frightened Brahma invoked the primordial Goddess Devi.  Vishnu, who woke up from the disturbances created by the Danavas, killed both the Danavas, lifting them up above the water and placing them on his thighs in sitting posture.  He sliced the two bodies six times and hence twelve pieces (two heads, two torsos, four arms, and four legs).  Thus, the Earth was considered to be created from their dead bodies and these twelve pieces represent the twelve seismic plates of earth.  The earth is called as ‘Medini’.
 In another version, Kaitabha was slained by Devi.  Vishnu is called as Madusudana (Killer of Madu) and Devi as Kaitabhi (Killer of Kaitabh).  This scene is enacted in Tulu Nadu’s folk-art of singing, dancing and drama, known as Yakshagana Bayalata (= Field Drama) in Devi Mahatme.

Mu+dar (Tulu) = Alluvial soil, deposited during floods in the fields.  This soft soil is very fertile. Mudar mannu is very much in need by potters.
Mu+dar Muttu (Tulu and ‘t’ is pronounced as in butt) = First menstrual flow.
Mudale (Tulu) and Makara (Sans.) = Crocodile, which habitats in fresh water, such as rivers, lakes, wetlands and in brackish water and salt water.  ‘Mosale Kanniru’ (meaning crocodile tears) is a famous allegory for hypocritical tears.  (Scientifically, these are salt water, shed by crocodile to get rid of the excess salt in its body.)
Mir = A lake (as in Kashmir ;  Lake of Kashyapa Rishi).
Mosaru = Curd (a watery substance derived from milk)
Meenu = Fish (a vertebrate living in water).
Mār (Tulu) = A cultivable land (as in Bākimār (= farming field in front of a house), Palimār (= a large rice field).
Eeme (Tulu)/Aame (Kannada)/Koorma (Sans.) = Tortoise (a four-legged reptile enclosed in a horny shell).

A family-friend of Vishwanath forwarded a song in English, sung by Mohamed Rafi, the music maestro of Hindi/Urdu Songs in Bollywood. This is the only English song sung by him at the United Nations Organization in 1970.  Readers may hear this in YouTube.  The thematic line (= Pallavi*) of this song runs as follows:
“Although we hail from different lands
we share one earth, sky and sun.
Remember friends, world is one”

We feel, it is not out of place if we repeat what is said in Encyclopedia Britannica:
“……all existing human speech is one in the essential characteristics which we have thus far noted or shall hereafter have to consider, even as humanity is one in its distinction from lower animals – the differences are in non-essentials”.

Hosabettu Vishwanath, Pune

[Note: * Pallavi is a thematic line or musical tune of a song.  It is a cycle and repeated after each stanza of a poem.]

Suggested Reading
1. Post-362/29.08.2016 – Morphemes in Tulu Place Names,
2. Post-373/21.12.2016: On the Trail of morpheme ‘Nu/Noo’ and all other Posts on Tulu Place Names.
3.  Noah & Human Etymology - by Bengst Saga

Monday, November 26, 2018

411. Jāl (ಜಾಲ್) : as a place-name element

The detailed and comprehensive   study of  names in all aspects (“Onomastics”) as well as its branch, the general study of place names (“Topomastics”) has interesting outcomes, often   littered with unintended confusions. There are several villages ending with suffix of jāl (ಜಾಲ್) (or related sounds) in Tulu/Kannada areas of the West coast, like Kaipunjal, Heranjāl, Kodijāl, Renjāla, Kurinjāl, Kodinjāl, Neerchāl,  etc.
We shall analyse a couple of place names exemplified in Tulu Nighantu under the term Jāl.

Jāl(u) (ಜಾಲ್)
Jāl’ (or ‘Jālu)’ in Tulu language means a  levelled , usually large and enclosed,  ground in front of a house. In other words it is a courtyard.  Women-folk of the   house always keep it spec and clean. 
‘Jāl’ is ideal place for thrashing harvested paddy and for drying boiled paddy also before pounding to get rice grains.  One must have heard the proverb which is in vogue in Tulu Nadu:
ಅಪ್ಪೆ ಎಡ್ಡೆ ಆಂಡ ಬಾಲೆ  ಎಡ್ಡೆ, ಜಾಲ್ ಎಡ್ಡೆ ಆಂಡ ಅರಿ ಎಡ್ಡೆ.  
(English transcription: Appe eḍḍe aanda bāle eḍḍe; jālu eḍḍe ānḍa ari eḍḍe).

Proverb tells: “If mother is good (in character), the child also grows up as a good one.  Likewise, if courtyard of the house is kept clean, rice (produced by de-husking the paddy in the courtyard) is also good and clean (free of stones and pebbles). 

Kaipunjāl  and  Herenjāl
We come across one of the entries for ‘Jaal’ in the Tulu Lexicon (Page 1318) wherein it states that ‘jāl’ is used as an element in place-names, such as Kaipunjāl (near Kaup) (ಕೈಪುಂಜಾಲ್) and Herenjaal (ಹೆರಂಜಾಲ್) (near Byndoor).  

Analysis : When we dissect these two place names, which are invariably compound words, we get:

1.  Kai + punja + āl,  where kai means a tributary or a stream; punja means a rocky area, and  āl means watery place1.  

Kaipunjāl is a sub-village of Uliyāragoli of former Kaup Māgane.  Kaup (Kapu)  is now elevated as a Taluk of Udupi District. These streams and water bodies on rocky plains feed Udyavara River as a tributary.   These tributary gets swollen during high tides and rainy season.

Alternatively, if we split the word as ‘kaipun+jāl’, the main element ‘kaipun’?  becomes meaningless. Therefore we can infer that the spatial suffix in Kaipunjal is not jāl but only āl.

2. Here (= big)+ inja (= area) + āl (=water-body).
Or,  it could  have been Heren+jāl : where ‘heren’ stands for old Kannada/ Kundapura Kannada form of bigger or larger and jāl for courtyard.

We can find such derivatives of related ‘enja/inja  word elements in  several other place names. Eg.‘anje’ as in Bannanje and Innanje;‘inje’ in Elinje, and ‘inja’ in Karinja, Panja and so on.

Other -Jal places

Ranjal= Ranja+al. Ranja/Renja is a fragrant flowering tree. Often known as Spanish berry tree in English or Bakula tree in Sanskrit poetic works. -Al represents a settlement near a water body.

Kurinjāl =Kurinja+al. Kurinja or Kurunji is a blue colored mountain flower, famous for blooming once in twelve years. (kuru=mountain; kurunji= the flower on mountain).

Kodinjāl = kodi(n)+jāl.  Kodi=corner; jāl=courtyard. The Kodinjal  appearing in Tulu PaDdanas is also called Kodaje.

Summing up
There are distinct place names with suffix of jāl in Tulu toponyms  such as Kodijāl  but some of the places having ending  sounds of  jāl  like Kaipunjal,  might have been originally  intended,  by our ancestors as (punja) + āl   names in reality.

Linked posts in this blog:
1. TuluOnomastics (Post-166 / 14-1- 2009),
3. Kaipunjal& Kaup (Post  182/07.04.2009:
4. Uliyaragoli to Malpe (Post  183   ).

-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 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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