Kadri is one of most significant places in Mangalore in terms of historical evolution.Even though,now the place is commonly called Kadri, earlier local people used to refer to it by the name "Kadire". Manjeswara Govinda Pai has popularised the word 'Kadire' in his research works.
Many of our experts have endeavored to explain the meaning and or origin of the word. The most favored explanation is that it is a word derived from ‘kadali’ (=banana). The ‘kadali’ is also a small and sweeter variety of local species of banana that is popular in the district. But there is an alternate explanation with proof in the form of inscription under the bronze idol of Avalokiteswara installed by Alupa King Kundavarma which describes the place as ‘Kadarika vihar’. The word ‘Kadarika’ is Sanskritised version of Kadari or Kadire. (A ‘Vihar’ is a Buddhist monastery or hostel).
In support of the aforesaid word Kadali, the place is ostensibly described as ‘Suvarna Kadali vana’(=golden banana grove). Infact, there is an suitable anecdote to match this epithet. However, on analysis of available historical data, it appears that the notion of Kadali vana came from Srishaila, another renowned Shaiva- Sidda- Natha holy place in Andhra Pradesh. At Srishaila there is a kadali vana. Historically, there was good theological relations between Kadri and Srishaila. It appears that the notion of Kadali vana may have been borrowed from that site at Srishaila.
Tulu farming people traditionally celebrate the annual opening of harvesting season with a festival known as ‘Puddar’ or ‘Puddvar’. The origin of the word has been explained as 'pudda' (=new)+ 'baar' (=paddy).The word ‘Puddar’ has become ‘Huttari’ among Kodava people. Puddar >.puttar >.huttar >.huttari.
The festival is alternatively called ‘pasatt’(=new!) or ‘kural parba’(=spike of paddy+ festival), the latter word being more common among those converted into Christianity.
The festival is of quite ancient in origin derived from our early/proto-Munda heritage. The present Munda people of Chotanagapur area call it ‘Karam’ festival. It seems that the ‘puddar’ or ‘huttar’(Kodava) was the original word used by early Munda people who inhabited the Karavali/ Kodagu region during the early historical period.
The key factor in the ‘puddar’ festival is a newly harvested spike of paddy called ‘kadir’ or ‘kural’ is brought from the designated place of community worship and tied to places in the entrance of the house and/or nearby trees, cattle-shed etc. It is a community festival of farmers since ages.
I suggest that the word kadiri came from ‘kadir’, the new spike of paddy. Kadiri was the ancient designated locality where they used to distribute the ceremonial ‘kadirs since ages.
There is a Puddar katte near Kadri temple, where the kadir was being distributed ceremonially since ages. The Kadri Jogis, the administrators of the temple have continued the popular ceremony of distributing kadir-s during the annual puddar festival, as cited by writer Rahamath Tarikere(2006).
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