In an earlier post I suggested that the original name of the locality, the environs of the temple of Manjunatha in Mangalore was Kadire. The present corrupted form of ‘Kadri’ may be a modification consequent of Portuguese or British period of rule in the region.
The word ‘kadire’ in Tulu (and local Kannada) means spike of paddy corns. The locality was designated Kadire because the tradition of distribution of auspicious paddy spikes during annual Puddar festival. The name Kadire can be found in the inscriptions available in the area. Dr. P. Gururaja Bhat (1974) has provided the transliteration of inscriptions available at Kadire Manjunatha temple. Italian traveler Della Valle had also visited Kadire during 1624CE.
968 CE. The famed Lokeswara (Avalokiteswara) bronze idol of Kadire dated 968 CE contains an inscription at the base. It describes that it was installed by King Kundavarma Alupendra in the Kadarika Vihar. The word ‘Kadarika’ is a Sanskritized version of the Kadire. Secondly, at the time of installation of this idol, the place was a ‘Vihara’, a Buddhist monastery.
1386.CE. The stone inscription in the courtyard of the Kadire temple dated ca.1386 CE, belongs to the period of chieftain Banki Alupendra. and King Harihararaya (at Vijayanagar). The line 6 mentions… ‘bhogikkadaliya’, line 8 and 17 mentions Mangalur (coins).
Line 23 cites: ’.Kadiru nekkilu.’.as one of the boundary of the Manjunatha temple. The ‘bhogikkadali’ has been interpreted as Jogi Kadali by Dr.Gururaja Bhat.
1475.CE Inscription dated ca.1475 was made by Vitarsa Odeyar, a governor Mangalore and Barakur provinces, under the King Veera Pratapa Prouda Virupaksha of Vijayanagara. Jogi Mangala Natha was the chief of Jogi Mutt. The place name Kadire is mentioned twice in the inscription. The Jogi Mangala Natha was declared as Ruler (Arasa) of the Kadire. Kadire is described as the central area (headquaters) of Mangalore province.
1624 CE - P.Della Valle, an Italian traveler who visited Mangalore and Ullal during (1624) Portuguese period (Abbakka was ruling at Ullal) reports that he met Batinata, the King of Jogis at a place called ‘Cadira’(Kadira).
It is said that the Manjunatha is not in the traditional list of Lord Shiva’s names. Therefore it appears that the name Manjunatha was coined specifically at Kadire, Mangalore for the first time in the history. Earlier writers have visualized that the name Manju-natha was derived from Macchendra Natha, in the order of Macchendra>Mancho>Manju.
But, the ‘Kadali Manjunatha Kshetra Mahatme’ describes that Macchendra had twelve wives from whom he had twelve sons. The son of the last wife was called Manjunatha. Another account describes that Macchendra’s youngest son was known as Manju-Natha, who was installed as the ruler of Kadire by Macchendra Natha. Thus, it follows that the name of the deity Manjunatha was derived from the name of son of Macchendra Natha.
The Natha chief traditionally calls the installed 'God'Manjunatha as 'beta'!One story recounted by Jogi Ananda Nath cites an event when one of the (later period) Natha chief was sidelined by the Brahmin Tantri in charge of temple during a car festival. The temple car(chariot) did not move forward. Finally the the Natha chief(Arasu) was brought in and he said Aao Beta! And the car rolled forth!
The 'beta' legend suggests that the installed 'God' was originally the son of the founder Natha, the Macchendra.
One of the interesting facts somehow ignored so far by scholars is that Mangalore was known as Manjarur for some time, possibly till the arrival of Vijayanagar rulers. It may have been ignored under the impression that foreign Arab travelers may have failed to note down the name of this properly. But at least two Arab travelers Rashiduddeen (1300 CE) and Ibn Battuta (1342 CE) have unmistakably recorded the name of the city as Manjarur. Rashiduddeen uses the phrase: the country of Manjarur. Ibn Battuta has used both the ‘Manjarur’ and ‘Budufattan’ (<.Bokkapatna), the port at the beautiful estuary or simply ‘Pattan’ (Bokkapatna).
If we analyze the word Manjara +Ooru =Manjarur, it follows that the Manjarur was named after the Manju Natha, the youngest son of Macchendra Natha who ruled Kadire, after his father. Manja-ra stands for the respectable form of Manja.
It is possible that Manju Natha was deified after his life and worshipped in the tradition of Spirit worship. It may be recalled that the recluse queen Pingala (who became ‘Mangala’ after death) was worshipped in the similar style and the area around her temple was named after her (Mangalapura). In honour of Manju Natha the area was called Manjarur.
There is one more Manju-oor in Mangalore. A minor suburb in the outskirt on the way to Mudabidri is known as Vamanjur. This place probably was originally known as Om- Manjur. It is customary to add the word ‘Om’ to sacred names, as in the case of Om Namah Shivaya.
Gururaja Bhat, P. (1974) “Kadri Shri Manjunatha Devalaya: Kshetra Mahatme mattu Itihasa” Published by: trustees of the Kadri Manjunatha temple.73p.
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