Sunday, April 20, 2008

109. Odipu - the Udupi

Talented entrepreneurs specialized in the culinary art have immortalized the name of the modest town Udupi world over. Udupi Hotels may be more famous than the Lord Krishna or the Madhvacharya who symbolize the town of Udupi. However, the word Udupi is only a stylized form of the original Tulu name Odipu. Rural folks even today refer to the town as Odipu rather than modernized Udupi.

Someone writing on Udupi had expressed that the meaning of the place name ‘Odipu’ is uncertain. The Tulu word ‘Odipu ‘(Odi+pu) means an elevated village. Tulu Nighantu (Volume2, p.509-510) lists some 15 variants of the word Odi, but the ‘bettu’ meaning has not been enlisted.

Hosabettu Viswanath in a communication was describing that the village Hosabettu was formerly known as Posodi. Posa+Odi is the Tulu equivalent of Hosa (new)+Bettu (raised or elevated land). Therefore the word Odi means Bettu or the elevated land. When viewed from the low lying coast, the strip of land around Udupi forms an elevated area.

Related words
The suffixes –apu, -ipu and –ape in Tulu refer to village hamlet or settlements. Similar to Odipu, we have several related words like Mudipu, Belapu, Alape, Didupe, Bajjodi,etc.
The word ‘Odi’ also appears in. ‘Odiyur’ which means an elevated village. There are also places like Odilnala, Odabhandesvara etc.

Apart from the raised or elevated status, the Odi can also means swollen as we find in Ode ( Uddina Ode, Ambode etc) the swollen or inflated oil fried South Indian dish.

Other Odis
There are several 'oDi'and 'ODi' words in Tulu Nighantu with variety of meanings to mislead the original meaning of the word Odipu.Some of the meanings attached to these words can be enlisted here for the benefit of analytic thinkers.1.Branch of plant laden with fruits,2.Drip,3.Cease flowing,4.Control or regulate,5.Raised divider between the agricultural fields,6.A narrow strip of field,7.A field canal,8.sorcery,9.A measure,10.A tumour,11.A hunters lodge,12.defeat,13.evil eye,14.A pair, pull or pluck(oDipu)etc.16.ODi= an union of members,as in 'ODi kaTTu' 17.A competition like cock fight.
The word 'oDi' also is a personal male name among the ancient people of Karavali. The name is still found among some of the Scheduled castes.

On the other hand there are alternate Puranic style explanations as to why the place is known as Udupi(uDu=star; +pa=king of).Hosabettu Viswanath cites an introduction by Krishnapur Mutt on Udupi.
"The Roopya Peetha land is now popularly known as Udupi. The name has been derived from the Moon. The moon was once cursed by Daksha Prajapati. To ward off this curse, the moon performed penance in propitiation of God Iswara in a forest in this land. Iswara being pleased, appeared before the moon and removed the evil effects of the curse. This place has since been known as Chandramouleeswara and there is an ancient temple of this name in this place. The actual spot where the moon performed penance is known as Abjaranya. There is a sacred tank Chandra Pushkarani by its side. In Sanskrit, 'Udu' means stars; 'pa' means 'lord of''. Hence 'Udupa' means lord of stars, that is moon. The place where the moon performed penance and obtained grace is known as Udupi."[Udupi-An introduction.By Krishnapur mutt].

Written in collaboration with Hosabetttu Viswanath.

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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