Saturday, August 30, 2008

141.Village name suffixes

The usual word-suffixes for designating villages in Dravidian languages in southern India are -oor, palli/ halli, grama, naaD, koppal etc. However, the Karavali region has a large number of somewhat unusual village name suffixes that evidently represent specific trends in evolution of words some of which are common to all the south Indian languages. The Karavali during the various early historical periods being a settlement of assorted tribes with their own languages, we can expect input of primitive words from their languages that have formed the base from which the present set of words were evolved. Note some of the delicate implication of evolutionary trends in the following place indicators.

Ar.> Avara
It has been suggested that the Indo-European root word 'Ar' as in Aryan represents agriculture or cultivation. However similar root is found in Dravidian languages. For example 'ārankei' represented the open palm of the hand, for example, in Kolami (Dravidian)language. The word 'ārankei' later became 'angai '(palm of hand) in various Dravidian languages. Thus we can deduce that original root 'ār' or 'āran' meant open area or field.
The natural open fields that facilitated as the human settlements during the early civilization were possibly designated with the suffix -ar. There are a large number of villages/hamlets in Karavali that have the suffix -ar. For example: Todar, Bolar, Kemar, Mijar, Mudar, Madar, Palar, Pilar,Ubar etc. And Arantodu, Arambodi Arabail etc.
With passage of time the ār was converted to -āra or -āru. (Bantara, Bolāra, Kantāra, Kemaru, Mijaru etc).
New words were created later in time span by adding short modifying prefixes. For example: mār (m+ār) meant agricultural field, probably slightly elevated than ār.(For example: Malemar, Bakimar, Palimar, Palemar, Barimar etc) Similarly kār( k+ ār) represented wooded field(Ajekar, . And jār (j+ ār) for sloping ground. The -gār and -chār became variants of -kār and -jār. For example Alangar, Kannangar, Mangar, Kodichar, Kolchar etc.
Further innovation, especially Sanskritization modified and refined the ār hamlets into -avara. (Attavara, Udyavara, Banavara, Mangalavara Neelavara, Pejavara etc).

r.> L With passage of time, probably during Vijayanagar and later period, with conversion of r.> L, the 'mār' beacame 'māLa'. Names like MāLa, GomāLa, ErumāLa etc came into being.

aDi.> adka
The suffix 'aDi' possibly originally referred to cool shade of a tree, that was later extended to mean huts,hamlet or habitation etc. Nelyādi, Kalyādi, Manjanādi, Nekkilādi, Amtādi, etc An variant of -aDi was -aDa. For example Kokkada.
The PāDi (pa+aDi;= farm) developed from -aDi. Examples: Kukkipādi, Bellipādi, Baikampādi etc. In some areas -pāDi has become -bāDi. For example: Kannambādi, Kodimbādi,etc..
The suffix 'aDka', evolved from -aDi, and means open ground or yard. Possibly, it developed later as a regional variant of the suffix-ar. Examples include Kudthadka, Aladka,Pāladka, Kalladka, Mulladka, etc.

The suffix -al or its later forms -ala , -alu or āL meant water course, river or stream. It was employed to represent land area or field by the side of a stream. Bajāl, Kaipunjāl, Kudala, Koppalu, Alupe, Alike, Aluve, Pāngala etc. The -sāl (s+āl), -jāl (j+āl) , -vāl (v+āl) and -chāl (ch+āl) became the modified variants of -āl. For example: Nadisāl, Kodijāl, Heranjāl, Ilavāla etc.

The āN is an another basic suffix (with its later variants -aNNu, or -aNe) that represented soil, land or field. For example: Belman, Muddān, Kemman, Kondāna, Kodmān, Kokkarne, Perne, Marne etc.
Also the words KonkaNa, PaDuvaNa(=western), MooDaNa (=eastern), tenkaNa (=southern )etc.were formed in this fashion. So, the word 'konkaNa' refers to notched/crooked coastline between Goa and Gokarna: konk(crooked, hook-like,non-linear)+aNa (land).

Naturally, the common word maNNu (=soil) is a compound of m+aNNu. (Similar analysis can be extended for the word 'haNNu' (=fruit), the agricultural product.

Anj.> Aje
The -anj or -anje (along with its regional variant -ang) was one of the ancient basic word that possibly suggested developed area, shops or township. Possibly the root word '-anj' originally meant 'a sloping ground ' or 'hill-slope' as we find that in the Kolami-Gadaba languages the word 'anj' means climb.
Several zone indicators were evolved from the basic word - anj , such as:

banja. (=barren/dry)
kanja (=reddish )
kunja, (=hilly)
manja (=even land)
nanja, (=farmland)
punja, (=rocky)
renja ...(=fragrant/delightful)....etc.

Many of these words were compounded with -ar into Kunjar, Manjar (>Manjarur), Kenjar, Banjar etc.
The words angar( Naiki language), angari (Naikri language ) and angad (Parji language) mean courtyard or bazaar in ancient Dravidian languages.Thus the word 'Mangar' (m+ang+ar=Ancient Mangalore) could be an earlier variant of the word 'Manjar' (m+anj+ar) or Manjarur. The word 'angar' was an ancient equivalent of 'angadi', the bazaar. The words 'angār' and 'angaDi' (=bazaar) (as in Haleanagdi, Uppinangadi, Belthangadi, Hosanagadi Koppalangadi, Murathangadi, Mudarangadi etc) were in turn derived from --anj or -ang.
Some of these words were modified in later period. For example 'manja' (as in Ballamanja, Kalmanja) became 'maja' as in '-majalu.'(as in Kanakamajalu).
Similarly 'kanje' became 'kaje', banje .> 'baje' with passage of time.

Land classification words like nanja, punja etc are used even today in Kannada also. Examples for village names embodying -anj derivatives include: Markanja, Balkunje, Elinje, Heggunje, Kudkunja, Kedinje, Innanje, Bannanje, Surinje, Kunjathabail, Punjālkatte, The 'nanja' became 'nancha' (as in Nanchar) in some areas.

Ank, ang
The -anj had two variants namely : -ang and -ank. The -ang/e and -ank/i variant of -anj/e can be examplified by Varanga,Kodange, Parenki, Neranki, Pernakila etc. The-ank (=yard, small piece of land; e.g. Koli-anka) evolved into place names such as Manki (m+anki), Permanki etc. Even the word Lanka (island) can be considered as ( l+anka or the land within water; la- being shortened form of al/a=water). The 'ank' later evolved to represent the 'number'
The 'anj' root word with passage of time became '-aj 'or '-aje'. Variants of 'aje' include Aje(<.anje), Kaje(<.kanje), maje/majalu (<.manje) and Baje(<.banje). Village names such as Ajekār, Baje, Bajāl, Bajape Kaje, Kajekār, Konaje, Pāthaje, Derāje, etc abound in the Karavali.

The suffix word -Oli or -OLi could be of Prakrit origin as it has been traced to Marati areas as a village indicator. For example of -Oli are: Innoli, Maroli, Kudroli, etc.
One of the possibility is that the suffix '-goLi' in many of the village names (like Bajagoli, Kinnigoli, Goliangadi, Taudugoli, Asaigoli etc) could actually be a derivative of Oli (g+oli) rather than the goLi, the banyan tree, as commonly presumed so far!

The suffix Odi apparently has several meanings as enlisted in the Tulu nighantu. However, it could be geographical indicator of 'bettu' (upland) is suggested by the Kannada equivalent name 'Hosabettu' of the original Tulu place name 'Posodi'. Examples of Odi villages include Odipu, Posodi, Arambodi,
The Odi could be a regional variant of Oli as we find analogy between Oli>goLi and Odi >k+ODi, ODu>> k/g+oDu.
Further variants of -Odi are -kODi (Kodi. Aluvekodi, etc). And for -Odu and -koDu or -goDu or -toDu., we find examples in Kumragodu, Balgodu, Kasarkodu, Kasargodu, Arantodu etc.

The origin of the word oor can be traced to the name of the renowned ancient Sumerian city, Ur , that dated back to some 6000 BCE. The names of ancient Indian historical cities Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)and Madhuarai (Tamilnad) were based on the root word -ur or -oor.
Now the suffix -oor is the most common indicator (Mangalur, Bengalur, Maisur,alur, Belur, Begur, Puttur, Tumkur, Kittur, Nellur, Chittur, etc) of village/town/city names in southern India.

An old form of -oor was -uri. Place names like Naguri, Hebburi (Hebri), Uruval, etc. were based on these. The -uri form apparently was used by ancient Munda tribes as one of their language was called Naguri.

There are a number of ancient village names that end with -pu or- pe. For example:Alape, Didupe, Bajape, Belapu, Mudipu, Kudupu etc. The -pe suffix was altered to -be in some areas. (Example Perabe). The original -pe or -pu possibly represented township. Later on the -pu suffix was merged with -ur that probably led to the formation of Sanskrit suffix 'pura' (p'+ ura) as in for example Kundapura, Kalyanpura, Manipura, Sakleshpura; Kanpur, Nagpur, Jaipur etc.

The suffix -se has become a place indicator in several village names such as Avarse, Vaddarse, Teggarse etc. The -se suffix could possibly be a regional variant of -pe.

Readers may offer their opinions or disagreements if any on the above topic.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Uchila village in the NH 17 between Mangalore and Udupi is an interesting name that has been interpreted differently. There is one more Uchila near Ullal and Someswara , to the south of Mangalore city again on the coastal highway NH17. On the face of it the name appears as Uchu + ill that means serpent -house. Some have liked to interpret it as Uccha +ill, the 'uchha' being superior or placed at an higher elevation.

Naga (serpent) worship being one of the popular cults followed traditionally, many villages have been named as Nagoor or variants of it along the Karavali and Konkan. Such Nagoors can be seen all along the West coast and even in Rajasthan suggesting a repeating pattern of establishment of villages by the devout migrants during the history. Naguri ( at Kankanadi, Mangalore city) may be an older variant of the place name Nagoor. Therefore, logically we can infer that the place name Uchila is the Tulu equivalent of the word Nagoor.

Accepting Nagoor=Uchila leads us to the inference that the suffix 'ilā' stands for the 'oor', the village or habitation. This interpretation is slightly different from our general perception that 'ila' is a variant of 'ill', 'illu', the house. The 'ilā' is not exactly 'ill' even though these two words may have genetic, evolutionary and historical connections. The 'ilā'(pronounced iLā) (=Earth) has been adopted into Sanskrit also.
Possibly, the ancient word 'ilā' originally meant a stretch of land. For example the French word 'Ila' ( a female name) stands for 'island'. Later the word was extended to mean the entire earth by specific group of people while others applied the derivative 'ill' for their dwelling houses.
Therefore the 'ila' suffix in various place names such as Kedila, Puttila, Baltila,Tekkila,Nekkila etc need to be reinterpreted as - - -villages.

Note the interesting village name Ilāntila (Belthangadi taluk)!
Does 'Ilāntila' means a village inside a village?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

139.Cluster villages

Like regions united socio-politically into States and confederations, certain like-minded adjacent villages during the history, united themselves into a cluster of villages. Thus, we have Moorur (=three vilage),Nãlkur(=four village) and Aroor (=six village) in different parts of the Karavali. Ainoor(=five village) and Enmoor(=eight village) in Sullia taluk also reflect clustered villages.Aivathoklu(=50 houses) in Sullia taluk explains a cluster of fifty houses.

Nãlkur in Udupi taluk and district was formed as a cluster of four adjacent hamlets, namely Kajke, Muddūr, Miyãru and Mãrali.
: With inputs from Narayana Shetty :

Monday, August 25, 2008

138. Mandekolu

'Mande-kakke' in Tulu represents rather unusual large headed crow that makes slightly different sound compared with the ordinary crow. The word 'mande' being equivalent of English 'head', in general sense, people generally think that 'mande-kakke' refers to crows with slightly larger or prominent head !
However, the actual meaning and origin of the word 'manDe' could be different!

Mandekolu is an unusual sounding village name from Sullia district in the foot hills of Western Ghat .Mande-kolu for an ordinary analysis represents 'head – rod', a meaningless name. However, the meaning of the word becomes clear when we analyse these words as derived from the tribal names. The Mande and the Kols refer to tribal groups that pervaded these regions in the past. A sub-group of Kol tribes from Mande origin could have been known as Mande Kols during the undated early history.
Mandechar is the name of another Mande village from the Sullia taluk.

Mande is an ethnic group of Western Africa. Mande people of Niger-Congo region of Africa have their own set of languages. Two major episodes of environmental changes resulting in the increasing spread of deserts in Africa, ca.2000 BC and ca.100BC to 200 CE prompted Mande and Bantus to migrate to better areas. The recurrence of both these words in our language leads us to suggest that some of these tribes actually migrated and settled in our lands in the past.
Other evidences of existence of Mande people in Tulunadu exist in the form of Mande-Koraga, a sub-group among Koraga tribes.
The Garo tribes of Meghalaya,Assam and Bangladesh also call themselves Achik, Mande or Achik-Mande. Achik means hill and Mande means people in Garo language.

Kols were another ancient tribes that distributed in different parts of peninsular India. There are numerous place-names that embody the word 'Kol' or 'Koll'. Kolar, Kolur, Kollur, Kolnad, Kolchar, Kollamogaru, Kolya, etc. Kol tribes may have ben known as Kollis during later history.Kol tribes were said to be experts in metal smelting during early part of the civilization. Kollis are known as fishermen in parts of Maharastra and interior Karnataka even today.
The origin of the word 'Kol' appears to be a Turkish word that means valley region between rivers.

In the similar line, the place-name of Mandya (Karnataka ) could have possibly been derived from the name of Mande tribes.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Chitrapu is a picturesque peninsula like semi-island along the Karavali coastline located southwest of Mulki town. It is formed in the coastal stretch where the Rivers Shambavi (Mulki) and Nandini (Pavanje) join together before disgorging into the Arabian Sea.The area west and southwest of Chitrapu, including Sasihitlu and Mukka is infamous for severe sea erosions especially during the peak monsoons.

Shekar Chitrapu
Shekar Chitrapu has compiled informative and useful geological and historical data available on Chitrapu in his Kannada essay ‘Chitrapu gramada Charitre: Ondu adhyayana haagoo upalabda maahitigalu’ (History of Chitrapu village: A Study and Available data) published in a regional souvenir.

River mouth drift
Shekar Chitrapu has documented the drift or migration of the combined river mouth of the Rivers Nandini and Shambavi at the sea front near Chitrapu during the recent history.This fact is also established by comparision of Survey of India toposheets documented for the years 1916 and 1968 and later satellite imageries of the area.
The northward migration of the river mouth is due to upliftment of the crust especially around Mangalore.An eastwesterly ridge traversing peninsular India along Mulki/Mangalore in the West Coast and Pulicat in the East Coast has been documented by geological studies.The rise of the ridge has been slow and steady over the years leading to gradual or abrupt migration of river mouths and other relevant Geomorphological features.

However, available data and evidences suggest that the Rivers Shambavi and Nandini were independently joining Arabian Sea before 19th century. The data is in conformity with the palo-geography of Gurupur- Netravathi duo.River Gurupur was joining the Sea independently of River Nethravathi until Nineteenth Century CE and one fine monsoon day in the year 1887 River Gurpur abruptly took a southerly turn and joined River Nethravathi before emptying into the Sea.
The story must have been similar in the case of Shamabavi and Nandini Rivers even though the year of joining of these two rivers has not been documented so farThe status of River Shambavi joining directly into Arabian Sea (independently of River Nandini) is supported by the fact that the present Bappanadu was a port where ships in the olden days used to dock.
The merchant ship of Bappa Beary was mysteriously stranded in the estuary here, according to local legends, and it was cleared after he offered to build a temple in honour of Durga Paramesvari.The temple is known as Bappanad Durga Paramesvari temple and it was rebuilt in the present site during later years.

Chitrapu Niyogis
A class of Telugu Brahmins of Andhra Pradesh is known as Niyogis. Niyogis are well known for for accomplishing intelligent executive works. Niyogi means appointed person or staff. One of the hundred and odd surnames of Telugu Niyogi Brahmins of Machilapatam, Andhra Pradesh, is ‘Chitrapu’. ‘Aruvel Niyogis’ (=six thousand appointed staff) were said to have been deployed during Vijayanagara reign for supporting administrative works of the warriors (Kshatriyas). Possibly, these six thousand recruitees were drawn from different parts of southern India including the Karavali.
Thus the Chitrapu Niyogis were possibly originally drawn from the Chitrapu near Mulki during 13-14 century CE.The connection of Niyogis to Karavali-Kerala is further supported by the fact that the Niyogi surnames also include ‘Uppala’ and ‘Malyala’.

The place name Chitrapu (Chitra+apu, the ’Chitra’ village) apparently is derived from the name of Alupa King Chitravahana I (680 -730 CE) who ruled Karavali and parts of Sahaydri like Edivolal (present Banavasi) areas during early Eigth Century CE. Chitravahana I was a powerful King among Alupas. He married queen Kumkuma Devi of Chalukya dynasty which was ruling at ruling at Badami.
There is one more King Chitravahana II documented in Alupa history (760-800 CE). However, the name Chitrapu may have been associated with the famous Chitravahana I who was ruling in the Mangalapura and Banavasi regions.

Alupa family has been considered to have originated at ‘Alupe’ village in eastern part of presnt Mangalore city.Then it needs to be explored why this village chitrapu was named after the King Chitravahana

One possible reason is that Chitrapu area was a flourishing port and urban area developed by Chitravahana I during 7th and 8th Centuries CE.Other reason could be that Chitravahana I or his mother hailed from this area, which was later renamed after the popular King of the time.

There are atleast two more villages in the Karavali named ‘Chitrapura’: one near Baikampadi (Mangalore) and another in the proximity of Shirali (Uttara Kannada). Compared to the antique name of Chitrapu, the new name ‘Chitrapura’ implies a subsequent date in the history. It is not clear whether these villages were named after Alupa King Chitravahana II (760-800 CE).

Readers with additional data on the area may add their comments

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

136. Kukkian lineage

Kukkian is one of the lineages among the present Billava community. This surname is generally not found in other Tulu communities. Evidences from place-names in Tulunadu suggest that Kukki or Kukke were a widespread tribal group in the past. It appears that the amalgamation of this tribal group with Billava group led to the formation of a distinctive lineage named Kukkian during the historical period.
Since the word ‘kukke’ represents the basket made from bamboos, creepers and other fibrous plant materials, we can deduce that these tribes were proficient in the art of basket weaving. The mango fruit ‘kukku’ which carries their name apparently was introduced by these people in this region.

The famous Subramanya temple area in Sullia taluk is also known as Kukke or 'Kukke-pattana'. This appears to be the old name for the place now popularly known as Subramanya. Legends suggest that Kukke tribes installed and worshipped the initial form of Linga in the remote past at Kukke or Subramanya.The picturesque hill-side hamlet later developed into a major centre of Subramanya worship where Naga cult was combined with the worship of Kumara (Murugan in Tamil culture) or Subramanya.It is said that sage Shankaracharya visited and worshipped in this place.

Kukkipadi - Kowkradi
There are numerous place names in the Karavali that signify the existence of Kukke people in the past. The list of place names include Kukkatte, Kukkedi, Kukkipadi, Kukkikatte, Kukkala, Kowkradi (< Kokkaradi), Kokkada, Kokkarne,Kukkikatte, Kukkandur,Kukkadi etc.

Kukkanoor in Koppala district,Karnataka and similar places in other parts of southern India suggest the spread of these tribes in the past.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Debacle of a verdant land : ‘Bailare’ at Posodi

Contributed by Hosabettu Viswanath

Since my contribution on ‘Bailare’ (Post 120), I was thinking about the irretrievable damage done to ‘Bailare of Hosabettu (Olden name ‘Posodi’ ) and onwards. For that matter, such wanton damage is also true to Bailares elsewhere.

Genesis of degradation of this Bailare starts from the time of construction of feeder road to Hosabettu (in late fifties) and other areas in early sixties to mitigate the difficulties of coastal people during monsoons and the creation of artificial harbour at Panambur in early seventies. This is the irony of development. Analogy may be drawn to the present-day craze of authorities in having Special Economic Zones on fertile lands. The then Prime Minister of India late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, who coined the slogan of “Jai Kisan, Jai Jawan”, expressed his surprise, while laying the foundation stone for the new harbour, on the sanity of choosing that fertile agricultural land to go under sea water.

Emotional attachment
Bailare is a vast low lying arable land, fed by natural water course, i.e. storm water from adjoining elevated areas around Hosabettu. This Bailare, alongside NH-17 on the West, starts from Hosabettu and now extends upto Chitrapur/Baikampady, where it is by-passed to Arabian Sea through a man-made outlet. Earlier this Bailare stretched right upto Panambur/tip of Kulur (West) before joining Gurupur River naturally. In the casuarinas’ grove (chauri pady), skirting the beach, of Pancha Catte (P.C.) House in Panambur we had a Citizenship Educational Camp (Nagarika Shikshan Shibira) some time in 1953-54. I have connection to four sons of this House. Two scions were my teachers at Iddya Vidyadayinee School, of whom I was the favourite of late PC Vasudeva Rao, third - my SSLC mate (brother of PC) and the fourth was my colleague at Century Enka (brother of Ratnakara Rao Kavoor - amateur dramatist in Mangalore). I ensconced my emotional attachment to this Bailare in a poem (Ondu Bayala Kate) to keep it for myself and tried afterwards to get it published but in vain.

Wholesale Plunder
As the adage goes, “A wilful waste makes a woeful want.” The present wretched condition of ‘Bailare’ is a burning example of how unscrupulous people cause irretrievable damage to the Nature. We hear of flooding in monsoons in all upcoming Apartment neighbourhoods in South Kanara. There are outcries and appeals by residents to stop the indiscriminate land filling of the expanse of the ‘Bailare’. Natural water courses and water-bodies are disappearing, leaving no relics. It is a wholesale plunder. It is an eye-sore to see some water-logged pockets of fertile paddy fields here and there in the midst of unplanned cluster of apartment buildings.

Note on Posodi
The old name of Hosabettu is Posodi, which is still alive in conversations among local people. But the fact, that the present day generation is not knowing, is that part of Iddya-Suratkal is also known as Posodi in records. This is vindicated in its finding an entry in the Tulu Lexicon (Vol.5, page 2152). This is further corroborated by what my chikkamma was saying. The Vidyadayinee Primary School was started at Iddya Shri Mahalingeshwar Temple in Nov 30, 1916. When own buildings for Primary & Higher Elementary and High Schools were envisaged in the present site, there were building fund raising campaigns. The team which visited Mumbai was cajoling people from Hosabettu to donate munificently as these schools are their own as it is located in Hosabettu. This is a fact that Vidyadayinee is within the precincts of Hosabettu. The house of our teacher late Shri H. Rama Rao is just touching the school premises. This information has some historical relevance and hence the disclosure. It should not be considered in a different hue, i.e. as a statement of glorification. When Iddya is considered as part of Suratkal, it came to be believed that Vidyadayine is in Suratkal. It is customary to apply the name of important place name to entire stretch of adjoining areas, eg. Mukka is now considered as part of Suratkal.

Contributed by Hosabettu Viswanath

Monday, August 11, 2008

135. Arianna lineage

One of the Tulu lineages (bari) especially common among Bunts-Nadavas is known as ‘Arianna’. This lineage is somehow not reported among other Tulu communities. The lineage name is derived from the immigrant 'Ariya' people who settled here and later assimilated with Tulu farmers in the historical antiquity.The word ‘Ariya’ is a Pali equivalent of the word ‘Arya’. The word ‘Arya’ or ‘Ariya’ represents noble, aristocratic. ‘Ariya puggala’ in Buddhist Pali texts referred to noble person.

Northern India was popularly known as Aryavarta. The words Iran and Arya are related.The immigrants from ancient Iran (ca.2000 BC)consisted of sages who composed Vedas as well as cattle breeders and farmers. Their subsequent Indian progeny were also apparently referred to as 'Aryans' in Sanskrit and ‘Ariya’s in Pali.
Similarly, as pointed out by Sediyapu Krishna Bhat, the root word ‘Ar-’ represented the agriculture, as we see in ‘arable’ land. Therefore, Aryans as a tribe were also agriculturists. It is said that one set of twelve or so Aryan sages dedicated themselves to composing Vedic hymns. Others may have adapted to agriculture and cattle breeding. With the passage of time ‘Ariya’ meant noble, as agricultural marketing became a rich profession. The ‘Ariya’ represented aristocratic or merchant class of people. The word ‘Shresta’ (=superior) was alternate word to Ariya, the noble, rich merchant. The words ‘Shresta’ and ‘Shresti’ with time became ‘Shetty’ or ‘Setty’ in different southern regions.

Ariya were a group of people or tribes that traveled from northern parts of India and settled in different parts of southern peninsular India. They had a distinctive language known as Ariya. Roger Blench notes ‘Aariya’ as one of the unclassified languages as per ethnologue data.

Arey, Aryapu, Ariadka
ShamBaa Joshi in his Kannada works refers to ‘Ariya’ tribes that were prevalent in Maharastra region. Many village names in Maharastra (like Arey Milk colony, Mumbai) and Karnataka that contain ‘Are-‘ prefix provide evidences of the settlements of Ariya tribes. Ariya were rulers in parts of Tamilnadu as described in early Buddhist literature. ‘Ariyalur’ town and region in Tamilnadu stands testimonial of the ancient settlements of Ariya people.

In Karavali ancient Ariya habitations have survived in the form of village names Aryapu (near Puttur), Ariadka and Aruva etc places possibly represents such settlements.

Paleo-botanical studies have shown that paddy/rice was introduced in southern India as late as 800BC, even though agricultural crops like grams and millets were grown as early as 2500-3000BC. This observation has led to the inference that rice was introduced by immigrants after 800 BC. These immigrants could have been the Ariya tribes, and the Tulu word ‘Ari’ and Dravidian word ’Arishi’ (later became Akki in Kannada) for rice and seeds could have been derived from the name of the people who introduced them namely, the Ariya people.

Sediyapu Krishna Bhat (2008) ‘Shabdartha Shodha.’ (Kannada). Compiled by Govinda Pai Research Centre, Udupi,. 362 p.

Friday, August 8, 2008

134.TuLu vs. Italian

Contributed by Narayana T. Shetty,Italy

There is a proverb in Tulu which says "mara puTTinalpane, manushye (narAmaAni) poyinalpane”. Therefore we do not know from where we came and to that matter we do not know where we will be tomorrow. Therefore we Tuluva's can not rule out the possibility of being 'Romans' or vice versa. According to V. Ramchandra Rao : There was a colony of Italian merchants in Tamilnadu. Besides the Italians were employed as bodyguard-soldiers by Pallava kings around 300 BC, because they were somewhat dim and couldn’t speak Tamil, hence not likely to get into palace intrigues .
Who knows what is hiding in the "Kaala Garbha".

Italian language is one of the five neo-latin or Romance languages. Others are French, Spanish, Portuguese & Rumanian. Italian is closer to Latin than rest of these languages. It is believed that some 3700 years ago Latin & Greek split out from Sanskrit.

Tulu and Italian
'Tulu' does not form a part of Indo-European language group. So if there are plenty of 'Sanskrit' words in Italian languages it is because they are genetically related. How do you explain Tulu or Kannada words in Italian? How come Tulu grammar resembles that of Italian?
Here are the some examples:

1. In Tulu, all verbs in their infinite form ends with -are or -ere. In Italian they end with -are, -ere, or -ire.

e.g.: 'Parlare' (=to speak) : Pateriere (Tulu)
Finire (=to end) : Piriare (Tulu)
Avere (=to have) : Avare (Tulu)
Bere (to drink) = Parre (Tulu)

(Note: Bere even if it is written with single 'r' it is pronounced exactly like Tulu as if there are double 'r').

2. a. In Tulu "Ha" is not there. Even in Italian "Ha" is not there (Florentine dialect uses “Ha” for almost all words like Tuluvas of east [Mudai, e.g.: “Hodame (todame), haanted (daanted), harta (sarta), pole”!]. But in Latin 'Ha' was there, but it is difficult to make out today, how it was pronounced!

b. In Tulu "Maha Prana" is not there, like Italian.

c. Tulu's special 'e' vowel of "Appe" (Mother) is not found in any other Dravidian (at least in Kannada) language. But even if it is not treated as a special vowel, it is pronounced by Italians same as we Tuluvas.

3. "Gna" of Tulu (as in 'Bognya' (= ash;), 'Kignya' (= small) is pronounced by Italians exactly as we do.

4. A large number of full or partial sound-meaning (i.e., lexical) resemblances, particularly in core (or basic) vocabulary:
Adagiare (set down carefully) = Jaavare (Tulu)
Aglio( garlic) = Ugli / Ulli / Bellulli (Tulu)
Altana (covered roof) = Atta (Tulu)
Appena (just) = Apaane (Tulu)
Assaggiare(to taste0 = Saggi (+tuvare....Tulu)
Avere (to have) = Avare (Tulu)
Bastone (stick) = BaDu (Tulu)
Battere (to beat) = Bottare (Tulu)
Bianco (White) = Boldu /Bolle(Tulu)
Boario (ox) = Bori(Tulu)
Buio (dark) = Baia/ Kattale (Tulu)
Calcio (kAlchio=foot ball) = Kalchendu (Kannada) (note, in Italian ca = ka, cu = ku, co = ko)
Camaleonte (chameleon) = Onti (Tulu)
Cavare (to draw out) = Kalevare (Tulu)
Chiedere (to ask ) = Kenare (Tulu) (chi = ki)
Collina (hill) = Kunja (e.g. haDankoli?)
Collo (neck) = Kekkil(Tulu)
Colpire (to hit) = Kolpare (Tulu)
Colpo (Blow) = Kolpu (Berit Colpu.... Tulu)
Corno (horn) = Kombu (Tulu)
Covare (to hatch) = Kavu (+Koriare.... Tulu)
Cucchiaio (spoon) = Kail /Takkana (Tulu)
Cucciolo (Puppy) = Kukru (Tulu)/Kurle (young one of pig…..Tulu)
Culo (buttock) = Kullige (Tulu)
Essere (to be) = Ippare (Tulu)
Farfalla (Butterfly) = Paante(Tulu)
Ferita (injury) = Pett (Tulu)
Fianco (hip) = Pinkan (Tulu)
Fila (Que) = Sal (Tulu)
Fiori (flower) = Pu / Pingara
Foderare (to cover) = Podepare (Tulu)
Fottere (to have sex) = PoTare (Tulu)
Fumo (smoke) = Puge (Tulu)
Fungo (Fungus) = Purngu (Tulu)
Fuori (out) = Pidai (Tulu)
Gatto (cat, male) = Gante (Tulu)
Giacente (lying) = Jessonare (tulu) (Gia = jia)
Giallo (Yellow) = Mangiol / Mangiall (Tulu)
Giovane (young) = Javane /Javaner (Tulu)
Girare (to turn) = Girare (Tulu)
Gufo (Owl) = Gumme(Tulu)
Mannaia (Chopper) = Madu (Tulu)
Marrone (Brown) = Mairre (of ox, tulu)
Montare (to climb) = Mitaavare (Tulu)
Muso (Ugly face) = MusunTu (Tulu)
Nuocere (to harm) = Nuocere (Tulu)
Nuotare (to swim) = Nindare (Tulu)
Orlo (edge) = Aru (Tulu)
Ottima (excellent) = Uttima (Tulu)
Foglia (leaf) = Paale (of kang/Pullu of page.....Tulu)
Paglia (straw) = Pagir (Tulu)
Palla (Ball) = Palle (old tulu, something spherical)
Pari (equal, same) = Pari (pari paDunu - Tulu)
Parte (part, share) = Pal (Tulu)
Partita (match, game) = Parte (of cock fight - Tulu)
Paura (fear) = Podige (Tulu)
Pendere (to hang from) = Pandare (Tulu)
Piedi (feet) = Pada (Tulu)
Pungo (fist) = Pundi (Tulu)
Riti (practice, custom, tradition) = riti (rivaaj…) (Tulu)
Scure (axe) = KuDaari (Tulu)
Segare (to saw) = Sigipare (Tulu)
Spalla (shoulder) = Puggel (Tulu)
Strada (way) = Saadi (Tulu)
Tamburo (drum) = Tembare (Tulu)
Tana (lair , den) = Taanya (Tulu)
Tardi (late) = TaDa (Tulu)
Telaio (loom) = (of Taaglia?)
Testa (head) = Tare (Tulu)
Toccare (to touch) = Tagare (Tulu)
Tonda(round) = Tonde (Tulu)
Torcia (Torch) = tUTe (Tulu)
Tubo (pipe / canal) = Tumbu (Tulu)
Unghia (nail) = Uguru (Tulu)
Urlare (to scream) = Ural (padare....tulu)
Veste (garment / clothes) = VEsTi (Tulu)
Vetta (top/summit) = beTTa (kannada)
Villa (villa) = Ill (Tulu)
Zappare (to hoe) = Dappare (Tulu)

Tueor (Latin - to watch) = Tuvare (Tulu)
Nir (Greek - water) = Neer (Tulu)
Anar (Greek - male) = An (Tulu)

5. Places:

Adige = Addinge
Angiari (read as Anjiari) = Anjaar
Calascibetta = KaLasa
Campagna = Kampaan
Catanzaro = Katalsar/Kananjaar
Enna = Inna
Nogara = Nagara
Palermo = Palemaar
Pompie = Pompe (near Kapu)
Puglia = Polya
Tibero = Tiber
Toscana = Todicana

6. Italian Gerundio (Gerund) is formed by -ondo/-indo/-endo to the stem of first , second and third conjugation infinitives, respectively. Also in Tulu there is Gerund, formed by -ondu.
e.g. Leggendo (by reading) = Odondu
Andando (by going) = Povondu

7. Italian verb "Dovere" means "to have to" or "must" is same as tulu's "Du".e.g.: Devi andare (you must go) = PovoDu.

8. Past tense ends with 't'
Fatto (I did) = Malte (tulu); Dato (I gave) = Korte (tulu); Venuto (I came) = Batte (tulu)

9.a. Wrist is called "MaNi-ganT" in tulu. Small handy bell is called “manNi-ganTte”. Whether maani (hands) word is from Italian?
b. The red stone used to construct the wall is called "Mura-Kal" in Tulu. "Muro" means wall in Italian!
c. In Italian sea is called "mare", "calare" means to go down. Therefore "cala" means one who goes down. In total ‘mare + cala = maracala = fisher man’ in Tulu! May be this word is of Italian origin.
d. The room on the west side (generally) of kitchen is called "Pada-sale". In Italian "Sala" means room!
e. "Adombrare" means to make shade. Our tulu "dompa" is meant for that!
f. Birba (scamp) some what sounds like "Bira" of tulu. Children's mischief is called "Bira" in tulu.
g. One who always argue is called "arrogante" in Italian. In tulu is called "arganTe"!
h. "Colpu" (read as Kolpu) in tulu has got 2 meanings: (i) to touch (ii) muscle catch. Even in Italian!
i. In old Italian money was called "cassa", our cas (kas).
j. "Funerale" (Funeral) is some thing to do with tulu "Puna" i.e., dead body, is not it?
k. "Canestra" (basket, read as Kanestra) and tulu "Kanna" (e.g. Kannadi pudai) are of same origin or not?
l. Childrens are called "jokulu" in tulu. They always wish to play. May be this act of children is reffered as "Giocare" (jokaare = to play) in Italian!
m. If we speak (or laugh) loudly our elders warn us not to "Kekkerare". In Italian 'to chat ', 'to gossip'; 'rembling talk' is called "Chiacchierare" read as kiakierare.
n. Latrin is called "kakkasu" in Kannada. "Cacca" (read as Kakka) means 'shit' in Italian. Our 'kakkasu' of Kannada is nothing but place for......
o. Giù (jU) is down in Italian. Jappare, japuDaavare etc are the acts of going “down” in tulu. Mit is up in tulu, so mitAvare is going up (climb). Tirt is down, but going down is not tirtaavare, but jappare.

Contributed by Narayana T. Shetty,Italy

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Contents Volume 2: Posts 61-120

61. Native Tubers
62. Characterization of Spirits of Tulunadu
63. Baikampadi
64. Puraal and Polali
65. Mayi Kala at Mangalore
66. Tharavada
* Topic Index posts 1-66
67. Bunts and Nairs
68. Pandavara kallu: A burial structure
* Nature-scapes … 5
69. Kaipunjal and Kapu
70. Mayi-Kala in Ancient Mangalore II
71. Barakur
72. Tiruvail
73 Satiaputo
74. Alupa kings
75. Nitria
* Abstracts
76. Bhagavathi
* Nature-scapes … 5
77. Natha cult at Mangalore
78. A special word: ‘MuTTukaDi’
79. The name –Kadri
80. Macchendra, Goraka and Pingala
81. Barakur II
82. Buddhism in Karnataka
83. Buddhism vs. mainstream Hinduism
84. The Mogaveera community
* Nature-scapes … 6
85. Kadire Manjunatha
87. Mangaruth, the ancient Mangalore
88. The Mystery of Manjunatha
89. Keddasa
90. Mangala
91. Govinda Pai on Alupe
92. Avalokitesvara @ Kadire
93. Pedestrian journeys
94. Antiquity of Siri
95. Chenne or Mangala games
96. Samana-samani-savana
97. Siri paDdana : A Tulu Sangham Epic
98. Changes in Gurupur River mouth, 1887
99. Kundapura
100. Kadamba Dynasty
101. Early dormant Jainism
102. Legends of Parashurama
103. Rituals that remind the religious transitions
104. Formation of Barrier Spits
* Let the Studies..
105. Mārigudis of Kapu
106. Mārigudi II
107. Nagara at Panambur
108. Koraga language: A primer
109. Odipu- the Udupi
110. Mukka
111. Swirling waves of Surathkal
* Nature-scapes…7
112. The Temples of Karavali: Early phase
113. Maravoor, Maroli
114. Ayikala
115. Extradition of Maari
116. The Saliana lineage
117. Panambur II
118. Iddya to Yedapadavu
119. Kadaba to Kalavar
120. Bayalare

Contents of Older posts I

Contents Volume 1: Older Posts 1-61

1. Tulu language: Origin & Evolution
2. Traces of Tulu-Kannada-Dravida words in Early Sumerian languages
3. Pirak, Prak and Prakrit
4. Brahma worship: Brahma and Bermer
5. Mundkur, Munder
6. Bermer II
* Language and Culture
7. Banta, Bantu
8. Bantu,Bant’ II
9. The Moolasthana concept
* Random ruminations
10. Evolutionof Culinary habits
11. Boiled grains to Steam cooked idlis.
12. Rotis: Early oil-free roasted vegetarian food
13. The Tulu script: Origin and revival
14. Evolution of the Kannada script.
15. A charming Tulu word ‘naDeer’
16. Mangalore: Kudla and Nitria
17. Historic Mangalore: Port of Bukkapatna
18. Location of Moolasthanas in Dakshina Kannada
19. Moolasthana
20. Earliest popular fruit in Indian subcontinent
21. The Taste of Tulunadu
22. The Taste of Tulunadu II
23. Boiled grains to.. Idlis.II. An Update
24. Chakku Palam > Jack Fruit
25. Pala and antiquity of Tulu words
26. The origin of the concept of Brahma
27. The Sweet Potato
28. Significance of the Brahma
29. The Rice: Vrihi and Arih
30. Multan and Moolasthana
31. Tulu tribes Migration from Pirak:1000-600 BC
32. Origin of Animal and Spirit worship
33. Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh
34. Ten incarnations of Vishnu
35. Ancient Spirit worship: Horse mounted heroes
36. Planets as Tulu proper names
37. Early Human migrations.
38. Earliest Indian Tribes
39. One human family with many variations
40. Early evolution of words and languages
* A Tulu stage play: Kariajjerna Kathekulu
41. Origin of the word Tulu I
42. Origin of the word Tulu II
43. Evolution of Tulu language
44. The scale of human migration
45. Origin of the word Bant.
46. Proto Tulu migration Stage I
47. Mundevu (Pandanus)
48. Early Tulu: Stage II 2000-800 BC
49. Early human settlements in South India
50. The legend of Rama
51. Stage III: Migration from Pirak 800-500 BC
52. Munda aborigines of Karavali
53. More on Munda influence on Tulu
54. The legend of Bali
55. Identity of Neolithic South Indians
* Nature-scape of Tulunadu 1
56. Assimilation of Indo-Aryans
57. A word that traveled: Ayana
* Nature-scape of Tulunadu 2
58. Evolution of Early Communities
59. The less evolved ancient tribes
60. The Original Rama
* Nature-scape of Tulunadu 3


Sunday, August 3, 2008

133. Kāntāvara - Kanajār

The charming place name Kāntāvara was derived from the name of a tribal woman. The legend describes the origin of the place-name from a tribal proper name, apart from explaining the prevalence of Shiva cult in the antiquity among the native tribes.

According to the legends prevalent among the people of Kāntāvara, located near Mudabidri in Karkal Taluk, a tribal woman called Kāntāra was severing bushes and gathering fodder for the cattle in the sub-rural wild environs of the village. Her sickle touched against a rock amidst green bushes and reportedly blood oozed from the wounded rock. Apparently, she heard a faint cry from the hurt rock: ‘Oh,maga Kāntāra !'
The tribal woman Kāntāra saw that her sickle inadvertantly touched a holy rock, a natural Linga stone hidden under the foliage of bushes in the wilderness. She was pious and promptly arranged to carry the Linga stone to a safer place and build a shrine for the Lord Shiva, who subsequently became popular in the region under the name Kāntesvara.
Thus the place was named Kāntāra in Tulu after her name. Subsequently, the place-name was restyled into 'Kāntāvara' under the influence of Kannada rulers.
Kanajār village in Udupi taluk is another illustration for ancient place-names based on the proper names of the tribal people that inhabited these areas. Narayana Shetty has pointed out that Kanajar has a Shiva temple and has a legend of wounded Linga stone similar to that prevailing in Kāntāvara village.Note that the tribal woman's wail ‘Oh maga Kanaja’(=Oh, child Kanaja) is a replication of ‘Oh maga Kantara’ theme.
The village-name Kanajār (Kanaja + ār) has been developed on the proper name of a tribal ‘Kanaja’. The suffix –ar represents a habitation.
Madaru : Madhur
It seems many temples in Karavali-Kerala have similar anecdotes describing the discovery of idols by the tribals.Manjunath reports that the famous Madhur Ganesha idol was said to be the discovery of a tribal woman called Madaru.
The two photographs in this post depict the scenic splendour of Kantāvara

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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