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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...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

99. Kundapura

The place name Kundapura is quite interesting. The ‘Kunda’ is a Pali and Prakrit word signifying the gold. The word 'Kunda' also means 'lake' or 'pond'.There are also other meanings attached to the word such as melt,pillar,flower etc in different contexts.

Kundagrama
The historical significance is that it is the name of the village (known as Kundagrama or Kundapura) near Vaisali in Videha (part of present Bihar) where Mahavira was born. Thus evidently the place name Kundapura signifies the role of Jainism in the Karavali.

Jainism & Buddhism
Since Mahavira (ca.599-527 BC) and Buddha (ca.563- 483 BC) are contemporaries it can be considered that the Jainism and Buddhism flourished simultaneously. Jains, however, believe that Jainism was founded by Vrishabha the first of the twenty-four Tirthankars. Yet critics opine that during early period upto 5th century CE was not emphatically present. The usage of the word Jainism, like the word Hinduism, itself is said to be rather recent.
The antiquity of the place name Kundapura is historically significant as it may throw light on the ascent/spread of Jainism in the Karavali/Tulunadu.

Kundavarma
Because of the presence of the word ‘Kunda’ in Pali (Buddhist) and Prakrit (Jain) literature it is difficult to distinguish the exact religious connotation in the said word. The word ‘Kunda’ also exists in Tulu: it means either (a) pillar or (b) melt.
The Alupa King Kundavarma, who installed the idol of Avalokitesvara at Kadire, Mangalore, has been interpreted to be a Shaivaite by Dr. Gururaja Bhat. But his very name suggests that he was either a Buddhist or a Jain. It may also mean that religious affiliations were not emphatic in those days among the ruling class.

Kundaran
An interesting surname among Mogaveeras is Kundaran. In view of the significance of the word Kunda, the surname Kundaran possibly carries implications of the Jain/Buddhist heritage of a sect of Tulu Mogaveera people.
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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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