With passage of time some place names may get distorted or unintentionally acquire distorted meanings which may fail to reflect the original essence of the specific village name.
Katpadi, a suburb located on the NH 17 on the way to Udupi, is a fine example for the distortion of village name and meaning with passage of time. The word 'Katpādi' (pronounced 'kaTpāDi') now means to tie down! It very unlikely that any village can have a verb as a name. If you analyse this word properly you shall find that it was 'KātpāDi' originally which got distorted with time due to wrong pronunciation. The Village name KātpāDi also exists in Tamilnadu for verification and comparison of the Dravidian village names. The word KātpāDi (kāT=wild, forest +pāDi= wooded zone) represents a cultivated/nurtured wild grove of trees.
Yenagudde near Katapadi is presently assumed as a 'hill of corpses' in the parlance of common folks since the word 'Yena' (pronounced 'yaeNa') is misrepresented as 'Hena' (=corpse).The myth circulating among the folks of the region states that a certain king of Manipur supposed to have conducted an Ashwamedha ritual and tied down his Royal horse at Katpadi. The local chieftains fought valiantly against the king and died in the war. The corpses were piled at the village named Yenagudde.etc. Needless to say that this is only a baseless myth and misinterpretation of the original village names.
With vagaries of prolonged time and perpetual weathering the original pillar- like standing monolithic rock in the Yenagudde may have fallen off during the time immemorial. However, the Yenagudde (Yena=vertical column) means a vertical steep hill or a hill with a vertical standing natural column of rock. To prove this point we can consider and compare certain natural 'Yenakal' features from other parts of the region.
There are sevaral villages named as Yenakal or Yenagudde or even Yenilagudde. One such Yenakal village is in Sullia Taluk. Yenilagudde is a steeper hill near Mundkur.
The place name Yenakal [Yena =vertical standing ; + kall=rock, monolith; (compare with word 'Yeni'=ladder)] or pillar-like standing, vertical column of natural rock is relatively a common geographic feature in some of the villages of peninsular India.
One such famous Yenakal of vertical standing chunk of granite rock can be seen in Idikidu village while travelling from Vitla to Kabaka or Puttur. It looks like a slightly bent giant forefinger from the distance.
Yenil is an interesting related word, applied specifically to the agricultural crops grown during the southwest monsoon season. The connection with the stronger monsoon('mungaru') here is noteworthy. The point I would like draw your attention to is to the possible origin of this word. The original meaning of the word 'Yenil' (Yeni+il) appears to be 'the abode above' or 'the sky' or 'the heaven'. The Yenila gudde is also the steep Western hill to where our ancestors looked for the onset of darker rain clouds that heralded a rich monsoon.
Our paleolithic ancestors must have considered that rains(monsoon) came as gift from the mysterious abode above. However with passage of time the original meaning was lost and now we regard 'Yenil' as just a primary crop of the year.
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