Thursday, October 21, 2010

256. Mangalore: Antiquity & Evolution -3

Evolution of an ancient primitive tribal village called Manki through Mangar to Mangala, Mangalapura and Mangalur along the evolutionary timeline, with all these vestigial toponyms still surviving, evinces the changing faces and episodes the city Mangalore underwent during the last five to seven millennia.
Another significant, though controversial, toponym attributed to the ancient Mangalore is Nitra or Nitria that have been cited in the ancient Greek travel reports.
Nitra - Nitria
Greek writers Pliny (ca.23-29 CE) has mentioned Nitria and Ptolemy (ca. 150 CE) cited Nitra in their descriptions of Indian ports in the geographic accounts they compiled from their contemporary sailors. Yule and subsequently Govind Pai and others have considered these place names as old names of Mangalore because of the affinity to the name of River Netravati that flows in Mangalore.
Thus it can been considered that the name Netra or Netriya (Nitra or Nitria in Greek versions) was the old original name of the river Netravati and the adjacent port town on the bank of River Netravati.
..A Map of ancient Mangalore to be added
Netra means eye in Sanskrit. Possibly the Sanskirt language had permeated to the southern India by ca. 500 BC.
The Phalguni River was flowing in Kodialbail and Netravathi was flowing in Attavara Pandeshwara valleys during the beginning of CE.(Posts 253,254). The resultant morphology or shape of the island like land mass between Phalguni and Netravati appeared like an eye shaped peninsula, giving it the name of ‘Netra’. Thus it appears that the River Netravati derived its name from the eye shape of the land (Netra =eye) during early years of the Common Era.
Apparently the the name Netra for the port land was abandoned after the migration of said rivers and concurrent loss of the netra (eye) shape of the land. Thus the river beside Netra must also have been named ‘Netra’ or ‘Netriya’ which was later in the due course modified to ‘Netravati’.
The only connected vestigial name preserved along the river course happens to be ‘Netra-kere’ near Maripalla to the East of Mangalore.
Alupas from Alupe vilage
The merchant kings who ruled Tulunadu probably during the first fourteenth centuries of the CE were known as Alupa Kings. The origin of the word Alupa has been widely debated. They ruled parts of larger parts of Tulunadu probably from the beginnig of 4th CE upto 14 century CE,as evident from various inscriptions of the period, until taken over by Vijayanagar Kings, It appears that it is logical to assume that the name suggest the name of their hometown ‘Alupe’ a village on the banks of river Netravati in Eastern part of Mangalore (Post .74 ). It can be recalled that Govinda Pai + and Gururaja Bhat++ while discussing the various possibilities on the origin of the word, ‘Alupa’, have also felt independantly in their respective works whether Alupa was connected with the village Alupe.
Besides the village name, there are additional proofs cited below to confirm that Alupas were from Alupe village.
(1) The territory of Alupa kings has been described as ‘Aluva-kheda’ or ‘Aluvakheda 6000’ in several inscriptions. Ptolemy described the ‘Olokhoira’ which has been interpreted as Greek version of the word ‘Aluva-kheda’.
It is interesting to note that ancient suffixes –pe (as in village names Alupe, Didupe, Bajape etc) as well as –va (as in village names Shirva, Kakva etc) represent village areas. Therefore, we can deduce that the ‘Alupe’ village was also known as ‘Aluva’ village sometimes.
The word ‘Kheda’ means a gorge like depressed area bounded by steep cliffs. (Compare ‘kheDa’ with ‘kheDDā’, a large pit used traditionally to trap and tame wild elephants.). The description of the word ‘kheda,’ can be rightfully applied to the village of Alupe and Maroli, that are located in a large depressed gorge area bordered with steep cliffs.Thus it appears that the word ‘Aluvakheda ‘ was originally applied to the geography of Alupe, the hometown of Alupa Kings.
(2). The rare Sun temple of Mangalore is located within the gorge of Aluva-kheda described above.
(3).The ‘Kulashekara’ area named after one of the later Alupa Kings, called Veera Kula Shekara, is close to the Alupe- Maroli region.
Alupa Emblem
The royal seal on the Belamnnu copper plate inscription of Aluvarasa II (dated 730-760 CE) as well as Alupa coins display an emblem of twin fishes. A single fish was the emblem of Tamil Pandya Kings.The fish emblems of Pandya and Alupa Kings appear to have been inspired by earlier civilizations of Sindhu Saraswati (Harapa Mohenjodaro) where a large number of fish symbols have been discovered. The fish was a divine symbol for early marine merchant cultures as evident from the adoption of Matysa as the first incarnation of Lord Vishnu by Veda Vyasa.Thus it appears that the fish was a symbol of divinity among the ancient marine traders of India since the period of Sindhu-Saraswati civilization.
Alupa coin samples. (after: Govindaraya Prabhu & Nityanand Pai, 2006)

Pandya Dhanajaya
Alupa Kings designated themselves as ‘Shri Pandya Dhanajaya’ in the coins minted during their regime.The phrase ‘Sri Pandya Dhanajaya’adopted by the Alupa kings in their coins apparently compared themselves to the Arjuna, the hero of Mahabharat. The surname ‘Pandya’ has also been adopted by the Pandya Kings of Tamilnadu.The Tamil Pandya Kings were considered by several authors as progeny of Pāndavas of Mahabharat. However, it seemly logical that the word ‘Pandya’ or ‘Pandi-ya’ was connected to ‘Pāndi’ rather than Pandavas. The large boats used for marine trade in ancient south India were known as Pandi boats. Thus, an owner of a pāndi boat would be known as a Pāndiya or Pāndya.This explanation seems appropriate in view of the fact that Alupa Kings were Pāndi based marine traders. Probably, this explanation also applies to the origin of ancient Tamil Pandya kings.The place name ‘Pondichery’ has preserved the vestiges of Pandi marine merchant culture in the East Coast as well.
Alupas deserted Mangalore
Epigraphic inscriptions have suggest that Alupa Kings ruled ancient Mangar(u) or Mangarur from ca. 425 CE to ca. 750 CE. ** Epigraphic data for the period prior to ca. 425 CE has not been available so far, hence the earlier period is rather hazy. During ca. 750 CE Alupas abruptly changed their capital from home town Mangalore to Udyavara for historically unexplained reasons.
It appears that Alupas abruptly changed their venue due to intimidating earthquakes and consequent migration of rivers that affected ancient Mangalore ca. 750 CE.
The Netravati River was flowing through the valleys of Attavara and Pandeshwara probably till beginning of 8th Century CE. Probably, during ca. 750 CE due to sudden earth movements the Netravati changed its course and began to occupy the present path. Consequently, due to southward migration of ancient River Netravati, the port of Pandeshwara was closed down. Thus Alupa rulers abandoned Pandeshwara port of ancient Mangalore and migrated northward and settled in Udyavara, which was a upcoming port at that time ( Post ).The Alupas further returned to hometown Mangalore from Udyavara during the beginning of Tenth Century CE.
One interesting place name has preserved this hereto undocumented historic change or migration of flow path of the ancient River Netrāvati for the benefit of posterity. That wonderful place name is Jeppu!
Jappu, Jappina Mogaru
The place name ‘Jeppu’ or ‘Jeppina Mogaru’, as is known now, has been much abused and misunderstood. It should be ‘Jappu’ or ‘Jappina Mogaru’. The Tulu word ‘Jappu’ means to decline representing the historical lowering of water level in the river. (On the contrary, the erroneous usage, ‘Jeppu’ means to sleep). And ‘mogaru’ represents a river bank. Hence Jappina Mogaru represents the name adopted by the people to the river bank where the water level declined abruptly during the history.
There is one more mysterious aspect connected with the geological history of the village Jappina Mogaru. The revenue survey maps prepared by the surveyors of British regime during 1894, show two halfs of Jappina Mogaru divided by the river Netravati. It means that the original village of Jappina Mogaru has been bifurcated into two pieces during the last century , separated by the present flow position of River Netravati.
Ancient Temples of Mangalore
Apart from the Mangaladevi we discussed in the previous post, atleast ancient seven of the well known temples in Mangalore were installed before 10th Century CE. All these temples were originally installed on the banks of ancient rivers or perennial water Springs of Mangalore.
Badami Chalukya epigraphs of 7th Century CE cited the name of ancient Mangalore as Mangalapura*.The name Mangalapura is popular among our Malayali neighbours even today.
To begin with, Mangalore was under the spell of Naga and Spirit worship cults since the ancient agricultural phase.Sun worship was evident during pre-Dravidian Munda cultural phase.Footprints of Buddhism were evident in the old place name ‘Mayi-kala’ for ancient Mangalore (Post 65,70). Early Skanda- Shiva- Ganesha cults collided with Buddhist cult. Bhagavathi cult evolved as a consequence of assimilation of Spirit cult and Buddhism. Rennaisance of Hinduism by Shankara led to the transition of Bhagavathi cult into widespead Durga cult.
With the advent of Arabs and later Bearys Islam made its presence in Mangalore.Some of the oldest Mosques of Mangalore (like Bunder, Kandathapalli) were also originally established during the period of 8-10 century CE. One of the old Buddhist names of Mangalore, ‘Mayikala’, has been preserved especially among the Muslim Beary community. One of the possible reasons for this could be that Mayikala existed in the Bunder region which was a major business area in the early history of Mangalore.Bearies, being a business community, frequented Mayikala area of Mangalore.
Kudupu appears to be an ancient village of ancient Kudu agricultural phase.It probably was an ancient center of Naga (serpent) worship. With advent of the Kumara-Skanda cult in the early centuries of CE it was developed into a temple dedicated to Kumara (Subramanya) worship. The old rivers flowing beside Kudupu changed its course with passage of time, leaving behind the evidences in the form of old river valleys that characterize the area around Kudupu.
In the olden days the large merchant boats engaged in trading rice, cereals and spices were known as ‘PānDi’ and the boat harbour was known as ‘PānDela’. River Netravati was flowing along Attavara- Pandeshwara valleys and joining the Sea near present Goodshed area where the ancient PanDela and the temple and township were located.
An Ishwara (Shiva) temple was built by the Alupa merchants in the PanDela (ancient port) area ca 4-5 century CE, and it was eventually known as PānDeshwara.
Another similar port place-name of ’PānDeshwara’ representing another ancient Alupa port exists near Hangārkatta, located between the coasts of Udupi and Kundapur.
Neere Shivalaya
The Neere-shivalaya Somanatha temple was originally an ancient Alupa temple devoted to Trimurtis- Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha according to epigraphs found near Gollarkeri.* Neere Shivalaya is located near the ancient, Alupa period, PānDela of Mangalore.Neera Shivalaya, (neer=water) as the name suggests, was a Shiva temple (on an island) surrounded by waters of ancient River Netrāvati.
The Sharavu village, now part of heart of the Mangalore city area is known for an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Ganapati. The place name Sharavu has been interpreted as ‘shara’ (=arrow) +’pura’ (=town) by legend creators of Stala-purana. However, the available geological evidences suggest that area could have been ‘Saravu’ (sara =lake, vu=village) to begin with. The waterworn pebble bearing sediments covering the Sharavu-Suchitra-Prabhat valley area suggest that area was under water (lake), connected with Phalguni river of Kudu and Kudla phase (post 253).
The original ancient temples appear to have been renovated during 10th to 11th century CE as evident from the study of idols in the temple.
Kadire means ear or corn of paddy.It was customary to distribute corns of paddy (‘Kadire’) during ‘New crop’ (‘Posatt’, Puddar, Puttari, Onam) festival among the farming communities since ages.Now, the area is known as ‘Kadri’. During the course of history, some of the legend writers have modified the place-name also to ‘Kadali’ (=banana) or ‘Kadali-vana’ (orchard of banana).
Earthquakes resulted in upheaval of Kadri plateau ca.400-600 CE. After the earth movements, the flow path of Kudla segment of river Phalguni was diverted to new path. And a few new perennial water springs originated on the escarpment side of the Kadire cliff. The village on the top of the Kadire cliff was called ‘Nantur’ (Post 175).
Kadire was a Buddhist monastery till being occupied by the Natha sages Macchendra and Gorakha Naths. Natha sages revived Hinduism and led the transition of Buddhist to Natha/Shaiva cults during 10 th Century CE. The date of installation of the Lokeshwara bronze idol  at Kadire that evinces features indicative of transition from Buddhism to Hinduism has been reported as 968 CE.
The unique name ‘Manjunatha’ for Lord Shiva was created at Kadire.Later when a Shiva Linga was taken from Kadire temple to Dharmastala (ancient name ‘Kuduma’) another abode of Manjunatha was created.Origin of the word ‘manju’ in ‘Manjunatha’ has been debated.The word manju means beautiful (Prakrit)or mist (Tulu); the Tulu word ‘manja’ also means an elevated plateau like region. However, Manja or Manju (as in Manjanna) was also an ancient male proper name among Dravidians and pre-Dravidians. It appears that Macchendra had a son named Manju who incidentally expired in the area and Macchendra erected a memorial shrine in his memory in the tradition of Spirit worship vogue in the region.The name was extended to the form of Shiva with the signature suffix ‘Natha’ that represented the cult popularized by Macchendra Natha.
The Manjunatha Temple of Alupa period has been renovated further during Vijaynagar rule (14th Century CE) and subsequent periods.
Maroli village, originally named after the ancient Marava tribes (Mara+Oli), is proximal to Alupe village, the home town of Alupa Kings. In this village there is a rare ancient temple, built by Alupa rulers and dedicated to the worship of Sun God (Surya-narayana).
The temple is located in a large circular valley formed after the migration of river path in the Maroli-Alupe villages.The structure of temple is said to be of ca. 11-12 century CE.
The origin of Sun worship in India dates back to ancient Munda tribal people.The cult of Sun worship (Singbonga) was also the tradition among Munda cultures that predated Tulu-Dravida civilization in the Karavali.
The Netravati River was flowing through the valleys of Attavara and Pandeshwara probably till 7th Century CE. Afterwards due to sudden earth movements the Netravati changed its course and began to occupy the present path.
There are two ancient temples in Attavara: One Uma Maheshwara, another Chakrapāni. The Uma Maheshwara temple is located on the banks of the old river course suggesting that originally it was built on the southern bank of the old river.Dr Gururaja Bhat suggested that the Ganapati idol of Attavara displays sculptural styles of Seventh Century CE. The original temples were renovated during subsequent periods.
Later Temples
Hanuman temple in the Gollarkeri, Mangalore was established in the 14th Century*. After the advent of Saraswaths from Portuguese Goa (ca. 16-17th Century CE), The Venkataramana (Dongarakeri, Car Street) and Mahamayi temples were installed in Mangalore. Māri temples (Halekote, Bolar and Urwa) were established during the regime of Keladi Nayaka Kings (15-17th Century CE).
Seventeenth Century also witnessed advent of Portuguese, German, French and British into Mangalore and the establishment of some of the oldest missions and churches in Mangalore like Basel Mission, Milagres and Rosario.
The Brahma Baidarkala Garodi at Kankanādi was established in the year 1874. The Kālikāmba temple, maintained by Vishwakarma community, was shifted from Mahakāli-paDpu, Jappu, to Car Street area.
Kudroli Gokarnatha temple was installed originally by Narayana Guru during the year 1912*.The anem ‘Kudroli’ has been analysed by some as Kudure+Oli (a village of horse). However, the geological data suggest that it was a ‘kuduru+Oli’ (a village of river islands) as the region was covered by the estuary of the ancient river Phalguni in the historical past.
Kudroli Gokarnatha temple has been renovated in recent years into a beautiful structure such that it constitutes presently a major tourist attraction in the city of Mangalore.The annual Navaratri/Dasara celebrations centered in this temple has been known widely as Mangalore Dasara.
Manohara Prasad. ’Nammuru’: (Serial articles on historical aspects of Tulunadu). Udayavani (Kannada Daily). Manipal.
*Temples of Dakshina Kannada (in Kannada) Ed: Murulidhar Upadhya Hiriyadaka & P.N. Narasimha Murthy. (2000). Ambalapādi. Udupi. 436 p.
**Govindaraya Prabhu, S. & Nityananda Pai, M (2006). The Alupas: Coinage and History.Sanoor, Karkala.200 p.
+ Manjeshwara Govinda Pai ( )
++Dr. Padur Gururaja Bhat (1963) Tulunadu. 228 p. Reprinted in 2009 by Dr Padur Gururaja Bhat Memorial Trust, Udupi.

Friday, October 15, 2010

255. Import of ‘kuda’ element in place names

Lexicography and Onomastics are two closely related disciplines. Each complements the other. Linguistic connections are noticed between territories from an unknown historical past. The word ‘Kuda’, found in various languages, is an example to drive home the point. ‘Kuda’, as a suffix or prefix, is seen in place names all over India in general and in coastal belt in particular. Place names in other Asian countries too bear testimony to this observation.
Multiple meanings:
Whereas Ravi gives (in Posts-253 and 254) more stress on Ethnonym or Eponym function of popular place name ‘Kudla’ for Mangalore in Tulunadu (i.e. coastal Karnataka), I still hold the view that this Toponym bears testimony to geographical features. Multiple meanings of word elements make it difficult to decipher overall meaning of a place name, which is invariably a compound word. It is subject to many influences – geographical, cultural, political, natural catastrophes, migrations and lingual. So, modern onomastics consider that ‘a name is not simply equivalent to the sum total of its parts, but mutates at the moment of coinage’.
Kuda – what it imports?
Several meanings are found in Dictionaries of Tulu, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Sri Lankan, and Maldives-Dhivehi, and in Dravidian Etymological Dictionary) for ‘kuda’, a Prakrit/Pali/Dravidian/Austro-Asian word:
Coastal Context:
Kuda/Kulhi/Kula/Ko(a)du: Used mostly describing coastal landscape, receiving sea water. It means a curve, bay, cove, gulf or sand-bank of sea or river.
‘Kuduma’ means ‘a ferry’ as per A. Manner’s Tulu-English Dictionary.
Kudaru/Kudiru/Kuduru (DED 1700) = Low ground, a hollow, bed of stream, stream. Kudura in Gond means ‘sand’. In Kurukh, it is ‘low situated rice-fields’.
‘Kuda’ in Tamil means West .(Eg. Kuda Kadal) and ‘Kuna’, East (Eg: Kuna Kadal).

Interior context:
It is also found in interior place names. In such instances, it means a hill ravine, river valley, and a nook, corner or remote and isolated place.
In Kannada, ‘Kuda’ means ‘a state of being crooked, bent, curved, a curve’. In Tulu ‘Gudke’ means crooked man. Tulu has more affinity to Kannada, especially old Kannada.
Kuda changes to Koota/Kooda when it means ‘meeting’.
In Prakrit, it means ‘a snare’ whereas in Kuwi, it is ‘cage, hen coop’.
Kuda and Kuru have the same meaning of ‘short or small’ in Tamil and Sri Lankan. Whereas in Kannada, kuru means ‘raised land or small mound or hill’.
Buddhist cave connection
Kuda means a retiring place, i.e. Buddhist Monasteries with stuptas, viharas and Buddhist cave arts. In Tulu Kude/gude (Kannada - Guhe, Sanskrit – Kuhara/Gahvara) means hole, secret place or hiding place.
Ku – a Root Word:
Reader may revisit the Post-193. It is made clear that ‘Kuda’ is a geographical term. Kuda > Kudtale refers to landed property. Place being close to water body, farming becomes important occupation of that area, besides fishing, toddy tapping and trade & commerce. So Kuda/Kudar/Kudaal/Kudla has acquired the meaning of agricultural land and people traditionally engaged in farming are called Kudva/Kuduma (Goa/Maharashtra cognate is ‘kunbi) in coastal area. Woodlanders in hilly tracks are called Kudiya > (Male) kudiyaru. Kodagu name is based on ‘Kuda > Kodu’.
Some examples
Kudla: Old name of Mangalore, still surviving in local tongue. It is coined for identifying the region, nestled in river basin/valley or at the confluence of two rivers, Netravati and Phalguni; hence has a ‘topographical signature’ of river basin. Its cognate is found in ‘Kudal’ in Sindhudurg District, Maharashtra and in ‘Kudār’, which is the old name of Malpe, a fishing town in Udupi District. The scarp, i.e. steep slope, of rocky islands, stands as true witness to ‘Kudār’. There may be a remote chance of these rocky crops having Buddhist caves before submerging. Evidences of Naga and Spirit worship are reported at these islands (See Post-182-183 – Uliyaragoli to Malpe 1&2 and Post-184 – The Magic of Malpe). It may, therefore, offer an interesting material for future research.
Kuda Caves
Kuda is a small village in Kolad at Janjira Hills Valley (Maharashtra). These rock-cut caves are classic examples of Buddhist cave art. In many of the caves in Kuda Hill, there are evidences to testify that monks used them as dwelling places. The inscriptions, letters and paintings in the Kuda Hill show that these caves are built between 1st and sixth Century BC (600-100 BCE). The Kuda caves give a magnificent view of the valley below. Hills terrain is a secluded place, hence an appropriate name ‘Kuda’ (Prakrit/Pali/Dravidian).
Kadri Hill
Kadri Hill caves in Mangalore, frequented by Buddhist monks for meditation and later on by Nath Panthi mendicants, make me to deduce Kuda>Kudla was a natural nomenclature for the area.
Hirakuda Dam is the longest earthen dam across Mahanadi River near Sambalpur in Orissa, started in 1946 and completed in, 1957. It has a touch of Sir M. Visveswaraya. Before the devastating floods of 1937, he proposed a detailed investigation for storage reservoirs in the Mahanadi basin to address to the problem of floods in Mahanadi Delta. It may be interesting to note that name of Orissa is derived from original name of Odra Vishaya/Odra Desa. (Significance of Od/Odi is discussed in earlier Posts).
It is in Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu. A Nuclear Power Plant is located here.
Naachichikhudai, etc.Tamil.Net explains that these Sri Lankan place names fit into geographical description, being having a cove and curved coastline.
This is a Sri Lankan place name for an isolated and remote place.Kuda Bandos, Kuda Hurra etc
These are atolls in Maldives. In Maldivian language Dhivehi, ‘kuda’ means marsh-land.
Kudamaloor (Kudam+al+oor)
It is located near Kottayam Town (Kerala) on the banks of Konakiri Canal. Konakiri Canal is a tributary of River Kudamaloor, which flows westward, forming a border line of Aarpookara and Kudamaloor. The land, being fertile, has many kinds of tropical trees. The greenery makes the place picturesque.
Dilation of ‘Kuda’ may be beyond the ordinary understanding and hence, may not be readily accepted. Classification of some of the place names may not be interesting but it may prove material to a serious Tulu researcher of future.
I have come across a Native American proverb of unknown tribe, which goes thus: “Tell me I will forget, Show me and I may not remember. Involve me, I’ll understand.” We have been urging our readers to involve themselves by making comments but in vain. This reminds me another quote, read in ‘Jumbled Words’ game in Indian Express (28.06.2010):
I honestly believe it is better to know nothing than to know what is not so” – Josh Billings.
As “All knowledge has its origins in our perceptions” according to Leonardo Da Vinci, isn’t the Billings’ statement a bit paradoxical? Search for meaning. It is an inspiration for a meaningful life. One can imagine the struggles of Siddhartha before attaining enlightenment and becoming a Buddha?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

254. Mangalore: Antiquity & Evolution -2

The place name ‘Mangalur’ evidently came into existence after ca. 1400 CE during Vijayanagar administration in Mangalore. Before that the port town Mangalore was known under various other names as documented by travellers from abroad. One of the odd names recorded by foreign travellers for Mangalore is ‘Mangaruth’. We shall explore some of these place names and the connected obscure pages of history of Mangalore.
Which was the oldest known inhabited area within ancient Mangalore?
Kudu phase
As discussed in the previous part of this post (No. 253), note that there are atleast two points that are likely to form significant temporal markers in the study of evolution of Tulunadu:
1. Early agricultural phase in Tulunadu, the Kudu phase, is correlated with published archeo-botanical data available for peninsular India.Thus the phase can be fixed at 3000-2000 BC timespan in general.
2. The Kudu phase and the formation of Kudu- villages (Kudla, Kudupu etc) were in turn correlated with the period when River Phalguni (Gurupur) was flowing westwards in the area now known as Alike-Kudroli-Kodialbail valley.Thus the period of flow of Phalguni has be equated with 3000-2000 BC period. (The existence of the river in this region could be still older, but it survived atleast up to the Kudu phase.Let us designate this ancient river segment as ‘Kudla River’.
Ancient Netravathi
Another interesting historical data that can be correlated to the Kudu phase is that the River Netravathi was flowng in the ancient river path of Phalnir-Attavara- Pandeshwara valley region. Then, it was joining the Arabian Sea near Pandeshwara Goods shed area. Let us designate this river segment as ‘Attavara River’. Pandeshwara, originally known as ‘Pandela’ (=port of ‘pāndi’ boats) was the sea-faring port for merchant boats during Alupa Rule.
There were atleast two ‘kudu’ hamlets on the bank of this ancient river segment of Netravathi: ‘Kudpadi’ (a part of Jeppu) and ‘Kudthadka’ (a part of Bajal).
You may be surprised to know that one of the oldest names of Mangalore was ‘Manki’! The place name is preserved as Manki stand near Mangaladevi temple in Bolar area of southern Mangalore. During the British period in Mangalore, the stand (station) for tongas and vehicles was designated as Manki stand. (Some people erroneously considered that it was ‘monkey stand’).
The ancient word Manki has been analysed as Mam+ki (in earlier posts herein), wherein Mam represented elevated area and ‘ki’ a spatial attribute suffix.However, revised studies suggest that the word should be considered as mang+ki wherein Mang represents an immigrant Austro-asiatic tribe and ki stands for village or a spatial suffix. The suffix ‘ke’ or ‘ki’ (=village) is an ancient (Neolithic Bronze age) Austro-asiatic word of Vietnamese origin. (Refer: Keith Weller Taylor: The Birth of Vietnam.).
Infact the place name Manki has been repeated along the West Coast as if tracing the migration path of these Mang tribes. There is one Manki near Honavar, Uttara Kannada district. One Permanki (Greater Manki, ‘peri’ or ‘peru’=larger, greater) village exists near Ulaibettu on the banks of River Gurupur. Similar manki place names have been found in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh as well in Nowshera district of Pakistan.One Manki is also found in the islands of Papua New Guinea.Besides these there are several Mankar, Mankapur, Mankarai, Mankatha etc place names in India, which appear as modified versions of ‘Manki’ village names.
The forgotten and vanished/assimailated Mang tribes have left behind one more signature village in ancient Mangalore close to Manki stand (Mangaladevi). The place was known as Mangar! If you are interested in fact finding personally, you can walk westward fom Mangaladevi (and Ramakrishna Mutt) and find the forgotten place name ‘Mangar’ mentioned as ‘Mangar kshetra’ in the signboards of Spirit shrines in the western part of Mangaladevi near Yemmekere. Mangar, possibly was Mang+ār, the field (ār) of Mang tribes.
Mang tribes
There were several village names along West Coast and peninsular India that have retained the signatures of the bygone Mang tribes. Place names like Mangra, Mankar, Mangaon, Mangliya gaon, Mangolpuri, Mangliyavas, Mangalagiri etc are the possible vestiges of the Mang era. Mangs were a nomadic tribe that migrated far and wide. Mangols might have been a derived or related tribes.
Māng tribes may have vanished from southern Mangalore, because of displacement by later occupants. However, several sects of Māng tribes are reported from Marharastra and Andhra regions.
Mangaruth, Mangar-ta
Traveller Cosmas who visited the West Coast during ca. 545 CE has recorded the place name of Mangalore as ‘Mangaruth’. (Post No 87.)
Manjeshwara Govinda Pai in one of his essays has reflected that ‘Mangaruth’ could be a misnomer for Mangalur.However the presence of place name Mangar even today, even though lesser known, suggests that Cosmas reference to ‘Mangaruth’ was not out of place.
Tulu PaDdana have also documented the ancient place name Mangar.PaDdana have described (as mentioned in Tulu Nighantu) Mangar-ta kaDapu, Mangar-ta ghatta etc. The ‘-ta’ in Tulu represents the ‘of’ preposition of English language.Theefore Mangar-ta kaDapu means the ferry of Mangar; Mangar-ta ghatta means the Hill of Mangar, Mangarta pānDela means the port of Mangar and so on. Overall, it appears that the word ‘Mangarta’ must have been documented as ‘Mangarut’ by Cosmas.
Sixth Century CE markers
We can now visualize that during the period of visit of the traveller Cosmas (ca.545 CE) the names documented in ancient Tulu PaDdanas such as Mangarta pānDela (port of Mangar) was at present Pandeshwar; Mangar-ta kaDapu (ferry of Mangar) was just North of and close to present Yemmekere (now a dried up tank); Mangar-ta ghatta (Hill of Mangar) appears to be the present Light house hill.
Conversely, the origin of these relevant ‘Mangar-ta’ paDdanas also can be traced back to not less than Sixth Century CE.
Several aspects of the word Mangala, its possible origin and scope, has been described (post 90. Mangala ). However, some additional interesting clues may be discussed here.
The spatial association of the place names Manki, Mangar and Mangala in southern Mangalore suggests certain new possibilities to the origin of this word Mangala. If Manki and Mangar are Mang+ki and Mang+ar, the origin of Mangala have been Mang+ala, which means Mang tribal settlement on the bank of River.
The evolutionay sequence of place names Manki> Mangar> Mangala were possibly employed by different generations of tribes of different origin that settled in this southern Mangalore region during different layers of time.
The diety of Mangaladevi has origin connected with Natha cult in Mangalore.Macchendra and Gorakha Naths (10th Century CE) are credited with the establishment of Manjunatha temple at Kadire, Mangalore (Posts.77,79,80,82,83,85,88,92). Macchendra had an ardent disciple in Kerala known as Queen Pingala. She followed the Natha sages and came to Mangalore; but due to adverse health conditions, she expired on the way while she reached Mangalore. The event occurred during the early part of 10th Century CE.
The locals built a memorial shrine in her name in the ‘Mangalā’ village, in the tradition of spirit Bhagavathi worship of that time and eventually it was reknowned as ‘Mangalā devi’ (The diety of Mangalā). The shrine of Mangaladevi was renovated subsequently by Alupa Kings and Mangaladevi has been adopted as a form of diety Durga Parameshwari.
Mangalādevi temple has become a major landmark of Mangalore since then. Vijayanagar rulers in Karavali during 14th Century CE renamed the town as Mangalur in honour of the diety Mangalādevi.

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Books for Reference

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  • Male kudiyaru. Dr B. A.Viveka Rai and D.Yadupathi Gowda, Mangalore University,1996.
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  • 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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