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380. Antiquity of iDli

The Idli being a steam cooked dish made of ground and fermented paste of rice and black gram can be considered as one of the healthiest ...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

20. Earliest popular fruit in the Indian subcontinent

Which is the earliest popular fruit in the Indian subcontinent? In my opinion, it is the humble jack fruit which was the most popular and possibly earliest used fruit in the Indian subcontinent. The fruit was called the ‘pela’ in Tulu, ‘palas’ in Kannada or simply the ‘phala’ in Sanskrit. Micheal Wizel (1999) who made a detailed analyses of the words used in Rigveda, the earliest Veda dated around 1700 BCE (early part of Rigveda), concluded that it contains several extraneous words that do not belong to the word structure of Sanskrit sensu stricto. Sanskrit words derived from Indo-european roots have a specific structure. His list of extraneous words includes the term ‘phala’.

Obviously, the extraneous Sanskrit word ‘phala’ in Rigveda must have been derived from the Tulu words ‘pela’ or ‘pala’ or the early Kannada word ‘palas’. Since the borrowed Sanskrit word ‘phala’ (=fruit) itself stands for the jack fruit, it should have been the most common fruit in those days and in those areas.

In Tulu language, both the ‘pela’ and ‘pala’ word versions are there. The Tulu word ‘palai’ (=wooden plank) is derived from ‘pala’ or ‘pela’ (=jack tree). The jack tree trunk was used for making wooden planks that were called ‘palai’.

The borrowing of Tulu/ Kannada/Dravida words into Rigveda by early scholars of Vedic tribes suggest that all these (Vedic, Tulu and other Dravida) tribes were living together (coexisting) in the Pirak region ca.1700 BCE, where early Vedas are considered to have been composed orally.

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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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