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380. Antiquity of iDli

The Idli being a steam cooked dish made of ground and fermented paste of rice and black gram can be considered as one of the healthiest ...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

188. Kudupu: layers of history

Our inadequacy in understanding the original historical and pre-historical environs and the socio-cultural settings, often introduces certain degree of ambiguity in the interpretation of place-names and the actual meanings originally intended by our forefathers. This aspect has been adequately emphasized in several of our previous posts.
Kudupu is one such village name that deserves attention of aficionados of evolution of our language and culture. Kudupu is a minor temple town located in the outskirt of present Mangalore city, known as abode of combined Subramanya and Naga worship. Many devout people consider this place on par with ‘Kukke Subramanya’ known for the atonement of what is described as ‘Naga-dosha’ in religious circles.

Three layers of history
At least three superposd layers of theologic history -with estimated periods of origin -can be delineated in the Kudupu area,which was a part of the Alupa domain of ancient Mangalore. The Kudupu is geographically located to the North of Kulashekar and Alape area of historical significance:
1.Early Kudupa/Koda (Naga) worship ca.400BC -400 CE
2.Kanda/Kumara (Subramanya) worship ca 400CE -800 CE
3.Ananta Padmanabha worship ca.800CE-1200CE

The three layers of history overalapped one after the other sequentially, wherein the chronologically earlier cults were absorbed and fused into the subsequent cults.

Naga worship
Let me draw your attention to the available evidences relating to the definite antiquity of this place before going to the analysis of the place name. The Naga worship is apparently quite ancient in Tulunadu possibly not younger than ca 600-400 BC. There are several villages in Tulunadu that carry place-names suggestive of Naga worship. Naguri, Nagur, Nagarbavi, Nagarkall, Uchila, Ujjodi, etc.
I prefer to add Kudupu and Kodavur to this list of Naga villages.
Kudupu is now famous for the temple built around ancient anthills representative of Naga worship cult and the worship of the popular Deity Anantha Padmanabha.

River that dried up

There are ’sthala - purana’ (site/village history) that describe the religious sanctity of the temple-town. In the cited theological ‘village history ‘ there is an interesting reference to a river “ Bhadra Saraswati Tirtha” flowing nearby the temple of Kudupu. The person who put together the village history was aware of the geographic fact that a river and later a lake (partial remains of a dried up river) existed in the area. It is interesting because presently there is no river near Kudupu. Since the village history is built around the devotion of Subramanya and Anantha Padmanabha ,possibly in that sequence, it can be predicted that it was originally compiled between the period of 4th to 7th Century CE. Thus it can be predicted that the river dried up somewhere during this period. The original Naga worship predates the phases of Subramanya and Anantha Padmanabha worships, and hence the initiation of Naga worship at Kudupu can be dated back to a period older than 4th Century CE.
However, the distinct valleys near Kudupu suggest that a river was flowing in the area once upon a time!

Etymology of Kudupu
Kudupu= to shrug off, to shiver (b) a variant of ‘kodapu’ (=to sting ) (c) ‘kudumpa’= a large stinging ant. (d) Kudupa/Kudpa= a male name (of tribal origin); possibly a stinging serpent or Serpent God, the usage derived from the one who stings. Therefore, the term ‘Kudupa’ originally represented a tribe who worshipped serpent God, a Naga worshipping tribe and Kudupu was their hamlet.
‘Kedu’= a boil or growth on the skin or infection. Earlier generation of Tulu people believed that skin boils, carbuncles etc were developed due to curse of Naga God and they prayed and offerings to Naga God for cure and relief from such scourges.
Later the food grain (horse gram) grown by the natives was also called Kudu. Kudu (=horse gram) one of the earliest food crops grown in south India, looks similar to ‘kedu’ outgrowths on the skin or vice versa.
‘Kudubi’= a tribal farmer, originally one who grows ‘kuDu’.
Kudubi, kudupa, kuduba, kuruba, kuduma, kodama, korama, kor, and koraga etc early tribal names might have been the variants applied to related or unrelated tribes spread in spatially different regions.
‘Kudpa’ or ‘Kudupa’ was a popular male name among the earlier generation of Tulu people. It is also true that many of the popular names were borrowed from actual tribal names, for example Koraga, Mudda, etc. Kuduma or Kodama was also a variant name of a former tribe, apart from being a personal name. There are villages in Tulunadu that bear the name ‘Kuduma’ or Kodamānu. Incidentally , renowned temple town Dharmasthala was formerly known as Kuduma.

Koda mani
The other variant ‘Kodama’ is also preserved in the village name ‘Kodaman’. There are several other ‘KoDa-‘ villages such as Kodavur,Kodanjikal,Kodange,Kodakal,Kodapadavu, Kodimbadi, etc.
There is one more proof for the above suggested derivation of ‘KoDa’=Naga. It is the name of a Tulu Spirit, namely the ‘Kodamanittaya’. The puzzling unexplained word ‘KoDa-mani’ should be the equivalent of the ‘naga-mani’ or the mythical gem on the hood of the Naga God.
Therefore, based on the foregoing analysis it may be tentatively concluded that the village ‘Kudupu’ was an early habitation of serpent worshipping tribes called ‘Kudupas’. And in their language, the word Kudupa, Kodapa or Koda represented the Naga, their God.

Friday, May 29, 2009

187. Immigrant red tribes: ‘Kemm’s!

Earlier we have discussed the historical ethnonyms based on the signature place-names of white immigrants known as ‘Bell’s or ‘Boll’ tribes whose footprints are surviving in the place names of a series of villages in Tulunadu and also elsewhere in the peninsular India. Besides the Bells we have a distinct signature of a ‘reddish’ tribe known as ‘Kemm’ in Tulunadu. These have been preserved in a series of fossil village names.
‘Kemm’s ('Kem' or 'kemp'=red colour) apparently were a reddish-skinned European immigrants who entered and settled in several parts of Tulunadu during the less distinct historical period. The ‘Kemm’tribes were distinct from ‘Bell’s or the whites. Possibly the word ‘Bell’s (whites) referred to fair-skinned Mediterranean immigrant tribes. Here below are some of the places in Tulunadu named after the Kemm tribes.
Kem+ta+Ur=Kemtur (Near Udupi)
Kemma+anu=Kemmaanu>Kemmannu (near Kalyanpura)
Kem+ra+al=Kemral (near Kinnigoli)
Kemm+inje=Kemminje (near Puttur)
Kemm+male=Kemmale (near Puttur)

One hill range in Chikamagalur district known for Iron ores bears the name: Kemmannu gundi!

Viswanath comments:
I think that the village was given the name as 'Kemmraal' because of Nature's bounty in the form of either red flower, supposedly lotus from lotus-ponds spread over the village, or ruby or red sand. In earlier years, we could see lotus ponds everywhere but the necessary evil, named development, has destroyed the (natural) topography wantonly. In support, I repeat my comments in e-Mails of 6th & 7th July 2008 and reproduce them below:
Please refer Tulu Lexicon (p-904) for Kemmral. Kem (=red) + maraal (=ruby or flower. So it is a village famous for ruby studded jewel(le)ry. Alternatively, a village where a kind of red coloured flowers are growing naturally. (6.7.08)

It is proper to disjoin (dissect) Kemmraal as Kem (=Kempu, red) + araal (flower, i.e. fully blossomed flower). It amounts to red lotus (kempu allipoo). so the village was abounding with lotus-ponds all over; alternatively, red coloured sand (kem + maraal).(7.7.08)
Note the Tulu word 'allipoo', meaning water-borne flower.
Please add this as comments or as additional information in the Post itself.
Some more thoughts on Kemmraal:
1) Picking up your line of thought, I may analyse the word as: Kemmerena(red coloured peoples) +al (Chief or Lord)>Kemmera+al>Kemmraal (just like Vellal in Tamilnadu).
2) Secondly, the village might have been named after the person called Kemara (+ Ballal).
3) During British suzerainty, in local tongue it was described as a rule by 'Kempu Jana' (red skinned people). Otherwise, who else could be this tribe? As a remote chance, could we say (jokingly), they are 'Red Indians' of America?


Monday, May 25, 2009

186.Traces of common regional lingual history in Tulu place-names

We have pointed out the ubiquity of certain place names and shadow of past tribes in place-names
in earlier Posts. Prefixes and suffixes of place-names give a conspicuous angle for concluding logical meaning of place-names. It is well known that place-names bearing the suffixes like ' Oor / Ur ' are quite rampant throughout India.
Onomasticians try to derive answers to the following three questions about given names: (1) What do they mean? - Their etymology or origin. (2) How they are used in various cultures, and (3) Why some are chosen by parents (and natives in the case of place-names) more often than others.
In a sentimental statement, the English bard's character 'Juliet' can pose a question, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet". Yet, it is some quality that makes names the brocade of that apparel'.
It is a kind of language propriety - with meanings instead of definitions (See our Post-166 - Tulu Onomastics).

Here are some samples of common place name tags encountered in different parts of India :
Prefixes of place-names:
Ad, Ade, Adya, Agad/ Agal, Agar, Al/Ala, Ar/Are, Bel, Er, Mal/ Mala, Mad/ Man,Pa, etc.)

Suffixes of place-names:
Ang/Angadi/Angar, Ar Oor/ur, Od, Odi, Oli,Oni, Ade, Adka, Avar/Avara, Adiri/Adri, Anja/Anje, Ja/Je/Jar Kodi, Kodu/God/Godu, Goli, Gao/Gaum/Gaon, Khed/Kheta, Gal/Kal/Kala, Kona/Kone, Kudru, Kula, Kuru, Vali/Pally/Hally, Maad/Maadi, Mar, Maar, Man/Mannu, Pad/Padi/Haadi, Padpu,padavu,Sar/Se, Wal/Wada etc.)

The Hindu philosophy of 'One extended family of all living beings of The Mother Earth' ('Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam') is manifest in world languages. It is now a foregone conclusion that there had been common lingual cultural history of all world languages and language groups. Philologists of the world are engaged in joint studies to prove the linguistic connections. The legacy of early nomadic tribes of all hues could be interpreted by analyzing word-fossils in global place-names.

Place-names with common prefixes/suffixes

An attempt is made here to list out at random some place-names spread out in different parts of India with common prefix or suffix. Similarity in and repetition of place-names may not be a coincidence. It could be that the subcontinent shared a common lingual heritage during period of history.

Analogous place-names in Tulunadu, rest of Karnataka and Other parts of India

Ad/Ade Adyanadka , Adyar
Addur , Adakur
Adabari (Assam), Adadra (Guj), Adakasupalli (AP), Adalag (Guj), Adalaiyur (TN), Adani Port (Guj), Adanur (TN), Adegaon (MH & MP), Adesar (Guj), Adyar (TN), Adoor (Kerala), Adurpalli (AP), Aduturai
Ag/ agal/ agar Agadi, Agalkera, Agarkhed, Agardahalli
Agadur (AP), Agalgaon (2 - MH), Agali (AP & Kerala),
Agalod (Guj), Aganwada (Guj), Agar (MP), Agaramcheri (TN), Agargaon (MH),
Ala Alupe, Kudala, Bajal,Alangar Alahalli, Alanahalli,Aland, Almel, Almatti,Alnavar,Alur, Ala (MH), Alacode (Kerala), Alagankulan (TN), Alagappanagar (Kerala), Alagawad (Kerala), Alahat (Punjab), Alai (Raj), Alair (AP), Alanalloor (Kerala), Aland (MH), Alandi (MH), Alandurai (TN), Almora (UP-W), Alur (MH, & AP), Alwai (Kar), Alwar (Raj), Alwarkuruchi (TN), Alwaye (Kerala), Talala (Guj), Ambala (Haryana).
Ang/ angadi/ angar Alangar , Belthangadi, Hosangadi Angadi (Guj), Angai (Raj), Angulur (AP), Angamalli (Kerala), Angaon (MH), Angar (MH), Angara (AP), Angare (JRD), Angdare (MH), Angrail (WB), Angal (Orissa), Thondamkulangar (Kerala), Kottamkulangar (Kerala), Kedamgara (Kerala),
Anj/anje/anji Pavanje, Heranje, Innanje, Bannanje.
Deraje,Konaje Idugunji, Anjar (Guj). Panji (Goa), Ghatanji (MH).

Bel/bol Belman, Bellara, Belur, Bolar, Bolur,Beluvai, Belgaum,Belgumba, Biligere, Belur, Belavadi,
Belur (WB), Belpahar(WB),
Dar Daregudde,Darbe,
Bayandar (Mh), Bandar (AP), Vadodara (Guj).
Er Munder
Wankaner (Guj), Bikaner (Rj).
Ela,Eda,Ida,(Yela/Yeda) Elanir, Edathore, Ilakal, Ilawala,Idagunji, Elanthur(Ke),Elanji(Ke),Elanad(Ke) , Edappal(Ke), Elaparu(Ke), Edava(Ke), Edathora(Ke),Idukki,
God/godu/kodu Nadugodu, Kasargodu, Kurugodu, Handigodu, Balegodu Godu(Rj),
Gal/kal Parkala,Kodikal,Ninthikal,Yenakal Anekal Anekal (KL),Kodangal (AP), Parkal (AP),
Ida,Ila Iddya, Idagunji,Ilawala Illol(Mh)Idaiyur(Tn),Idagoan(Mh),
Ira,Irava Ira, Iruvattur,Irde, Iruvail, Irala, Irkasandra,
Irgamapalli Irali(Mh), Iraviputtur(Tn),
Ja/ je Jarkala,
Andinje, Heranje,Sampaje,
Karje, Karinje, Talaja (Guj), Taloja (MH),
jar Mijar, Kanajar Jhajjar (Haryana),
Kadiri Kadiri Kadiri (AP),
Kem Kemman,Kemral,Kemminje Kenchikere, Kembhavi, Kempanahalli,Kemmanugundi, Kenthorai(Tn) Kenjakura(WB),
Kula/kola/gula/gola Kula, Pilikula, Arkula, Belagola, Lalgola(WB), Bhagvangola(WB)
Kuru/ kur Nandikuru, Mundukur Kurugodu, Kuruvatti Kandukuru(AP), Kurukshetra(HP),
Koda Kodangal,Kodavur,Kodapadavu, Kodaganur, Kodai(Mh),Koda(AP),Kodannur(Ke),Koduvai(Tn),Kodur(AP),
Kota/ kote Kota,Kotepura,Kotekar, Kote,Tekkalakota,Talikota
Kona/ kone Padukone, Koni,Kambadakone Konandur,
Kanakona(Goa),Konark(Or),Konambe(Mh),Konavattam (Tn),
Mar/ Mara Maravur, Marodi, Markanja,Maroli,Maravanthe,Maroor.Marne, Marenahalli,
Marathahalli ,Marasandra, Maragodu,Markuli,
Margaon(Goa),Marmagoa,(Goa),Marena, Maragram(Raj),Marayoor(Ke),Marur(Tn),Maruvattur(Tn)
Odi/Oni/Oli Niddodi, Ujjodi,
Bajjodi,Maroli, Kudroli, Donimalai,
Adoni (AP), Akola (MH), Kannod (MP), Kannodi (MP), Dapoli (MH), Hingoli (MH),
Oor/ur Barkur,Mangalur, Ellur,Puttur, Baindur Mysore, Bengalur, Kittur,, Chittoor (AP &Raj), Elluru (AP), Puttur (AP), Tanjavur(Tn),

sar Saravu, Sarapadi, Sarave, Amritsar(Pu),Soodsar
Yala,Yela,Yeda Yelattur,Yedamavinahalli,Yadapadavu, Yelahanka, Yelandur,Yadagondanahalli,Yadiyur Yercad(Tn),Yedathadka(Ke),

The information enlisted above is by no means complete. It is only an attempt to collate introductory level of data relating to analogous place names. Readers are requested to trace out such common threads of lingual history and put in their comments.

-Hosabettu Viswanath & Ravi

Sunday, May 24, 2009

185. The spatial suffix ‘ āNu’: Muddānu

We have analysed the place name “Bel (a) mannu” earlier. Bel+mannu at that point appeared perfect as land (soil-‘mannu’) of white (“Bel”) people. Besides, there are several villages having similar spatial suffixes like Kodmannu, Kemmannu, and Madmannu etc. However, a newly available string data suggests an amendment to my earlier analysis that was somewhat erroneous. The Belmannu, for example, should have been analysed as Belama+āNu (and not as Bel+maNNu).
So here we introduce the spatial indicator suffix -‘āNu’ instead of the earlier suggested -‘maNNu’.
The revelation surprisingly comes from the name of small hamlet known as ‘Muddānu’ (pron. muddāNu) in Inna village. Mudda+ ānu sounds similar to Belmannu, Kodamannu, Kemmannu, etc but note that the suffix is distinctly āNu and not mannu or annu. This also suggests that the presently accepted pronunciation of ‘BelamaNNu’ is a misnomer of the original word BelamāNu. Similarly the other analogous place names must have been originally KemmāNu, KodmāNu, and MadmāNu etc.
Ān, āNu
The ‘ān’ or ‘ānu’ which basically means a young male has been used as an affix possibly to denote tribes or people in general as discussed in earlier posts. An(u) prefix also occurs in the tribe/region indicator word Andhra, Ankola, etc. In the case of place names such as Akola, Akkole-guttu etc., the ‘an’ has been reduced to a (n).
So ‘Muddanu’ hamlet appears to be a fossil place name suggestive of ancient habitation of ‘Mudda’ tribes.

Peramanur is a village near Ullal in the southern part of Mangalore.It appears that this village was ‘PeramāNu’ to begin with like MuddāNu , KemmāNu etc and later another additional suffix ‘–ur’ was appended to make it ‘Peramanur’ or ‘Peramannur’.

Spatial suffix ‘Ne’
A variant of the spatial suffix ‘-aNu’ exists in the form of ‘-Ne ‘ (pronunciation: heavy N ) in some parts of Tulunadu. Examples are village names like ‘Marne’ (=mara+Ne), ‘Perne’ (=per+Ne), ‘Kokkarne’ (kokkar+Ne), etc. The village name ‘Pernankila’ (=per+Na+nkila), apparently an extended version of the toponym ‘PerNe’ also exists.
Note that most of the village names having '-aNu' or '-Ne' spatial suffix are ethnonyms or village names based on the name of tribes settled there in the remote past.

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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