Most of the literates in Sooda (pronounced: ‘sooDa’) village may not attempt to answer your question regarding meaning or origin of the name of their village. It is but natural, considering the exotic mature of the word. The word Sooda may not mean anything in present conventional Tulu language, though it also represents one of the surnames among the Bunts community.
Sooda is not an inscrutable or unique name as it appears. There is a similar village known as Soodi near Gadag. In northern India especially in Punjab and Rajasthan region, Sood is a well known ancient community of warriors.
Read the following notes gleaned from a wiki page on Soods:
“The word 'Sood' is of Sanskrit origin and means a brave person or a victor of enemies. It also means a man who can make progress. Sood also means ‘interest’ on a loan. Soods were known to be money lenders.
Soods have a very ancient and glorious ancestry with noble qualities. Soods are the descendants of the Kashatrias and in particular King Parmar whose second son was named Sood. They are Agnikul Rajputs. At the time of Ashoka, Buddhist influence spread all over India. Soods helped to re-establish the Vedic Dharam in one part of India. For eight generations thereafter the capital of Sood dynasty was Patten in Sindh and later shifted to Amar Kot.
In 331 BC, after defeating Poras, Alexander's invasion and entry into India at the banks of River Beas was stopped by the superior forces of Rai Shah Sood. This event is recorded in Alexander’s memoirs and also in the Indian history books. Alexander recognized the sterling quality of the Soods and admired their strict adherence to their principles, bravery and practice of Vedic religion. After the death of Alexander, Sood reigned uninterrupted for some time and extended their territory and influence to Alwara, Kashmir, Khandar, Sistan and to Yamuna on the other side. The kingdom was even extended up to Karachi. Indian sailors escorted by Sood forces used to trade with Basara, Istanbul and Greece. There are records of 101 Sood Kingdoms with respective Rajas under Sood Emperor of Alwara”.
Sooda is one of the surnames of Tulu Bunts. Conversely, one of the sub-castes of Soods of Punjabi-Rajasthani region cited in the ‘wiki’ is called ‘Banta’!
The d>r phonetic conversion has been recorded in north Indian languages. With this the Sood becomes Soor which is Sanskrit equivalent of ‘Shoora’, the brave.
‘Sooru’ was a common proper name among Tulu communities in earlier days.
There are many villages in Tulunadu that carry the tribal community tag of ‘Sooru’. These include Surinje, Suralpadi, Suralbettu, Soorikumeru, Sornad, Jal-sooru etc. These village names remain as testimonials of Sooda and Sooru tribes that pervaded this land in the antiquity.
Written in consultation with Hosabettu Viswanath
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