Konāje(pronounced koNāje) is a growing suburb in southern Mangalore that hosts the sylvan campus of University of Mangalore. In normal circumstances, we may analyze the place- name Konaje as Kona+ aje, the village of buffaloes. This also may be realistic considering that buffaloes have become essential parts of the evolution of Karavali culture that has been preserved in the tradition of Kambala the annual buffaloe race conducted in slushy paddy fields.
However there is another set of Konāje village in northeastern part of Mangalore taluk(with Padu (=western)and Mudu(=eastern) rural fractions) that shows derivation of the place name from 'Kodanji' or the pillar rocks.
Kodanjikall (pronounced koDanji- kall) is a regionally conspicuous rocky granitic hill with twin curvy peaks on the Mudabidri to Shirtadi route in Mangalore taluk. The 'kod' stands for pillar like standing rock column(s) whereas the 'anji' and 'kall' refer to land and rock. A land with natural rocky pillars is Kodanji-kall. The equivalent village name in Kannada, however, is 'Konjae'. The Konaje that has been split into 'Padu Konaje' (=western Konaje) and 'Mudu Konaje'(=eastern Konaje).
But the application of Kodanjikall as well as paDu/muDu Konjae to the same rural stretch suggest that the word Konāje is derived from Kodanji.
D.> N transition
The unusual D > N transition with passage of time from the original Tulu word 'koDanji' to the Kannada word 'koNāje' is interesting.
Unless we have additional historical documents to support, it may not be possible at this juncture to prove whether the D> N transition was atleast partly influenced by the alternate origin of the place-name namely, the buffalo – land.
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