Tuesday, February 10, 2009

175. Nanthur

Our place names have preserved some of the old fossil words that are no longer in use. Nantur (also written as Nanthur) is one such interesting place name. Nantur (pronounced as short 'na' ) is a junction in the outer Mangalore, located amidst Shivabagh, Kadri-Padavu and Bikarnakatte (-Kulashekar) localities.

Nanta- a lost word
What is the meaning of the word 'nanta' in the toponym 'Nanthur' or specifically nanta+oor? The word 'nanta' has been apparently lost or forgotten in the current usage. We do not find the word included in the Tulu Nighantu. However, the clues for deciphering the word 'nanta' can be obtained from the words 'ananta' (=endless) and 'nantara'/'anantara'(=afterward). If 'ananta' is endless, then the 'nanta' should be 'the end'.

If you forget the urban developments in the Nanthur and analyse the basic geographic- topographic features of the area, we find that it is located on the edge of a precipice or cliff. The cliff extends from the western side of Nanthur upto Kadri hills Circuit House. On the western side of the cliff is a bowl shaped valley (also called 'Kai baTTalu' in local parlance and is a popular part of the legends of the Kadri Manjunatha temple).The Kadri Manjunatha temple is also situated in the valley down the cliff.
The word 'nanta' exactly referred to this topographic feature of a cliff. Thus the Nantur was named as a village on the edge of a cliff!

Related words
From the old word 'nanta'(=edge of cliff, end of an area),the word 'a+nanta' (=endless) has been derived. Similarly the Kannada words 'nantara' and 'ānantara' may have been derived as 'after the end, pause or break' (>.nanta+ara). In these Kannada usages 'nanta' referred to time rather than space.

Compare the word 'nanta' with another Tulu/Dravida word 'kant' or 'kanta'(short 'ka') which means deep,steep, dip, submerge, prick (penetrate) etc. It is also used to referred to the Sunset which is can be visualized as as Sun dipping into the Sea in the coastal beaches . [The word 'kant' has also other meanings such as installment(of money transactions etc) and mesh of fishing net etc].
k'+anta= steep,deep
n'+anta=edge of cliff
Note that the meanings steep,deep,dip etc are related to cliff suggesting that these two words originated based on the same root word 'anta' which possibly meant 'edge of land' in the beginning .


  1. I was just commenting to someone on the subject that nothing is ever really lost. Here is a case in point!

  2. Sir,

    It would be a great , if you could find some details about village Alevoor (5 km from udupi).

    Thank you


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 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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