Wednesday, January 5, 2011

266. Kordel 2: Archaic Kulshekar, Mangalore

It appears that there are several ‘Kordels’(pron: korDel) in Tulunadu and at least two of these are in Mangalore city only! Apart from the disused place-name ‘Kordel’ (for archaic village of Tannirbavi), there is another ‘Kordel’ (also written as ‘Cordel’) on NH 13, near Kulshekar Church, Mangalore. Old name ‘Kordel’ for the Kulshekar area suggests that it was ancient colony of ‘Kor’ (>. Koraga) tribes, probably well before being ruled by Alupas.
There is one more Kordel hamlet on the way to Kuppepadavu from Yedapadavu in Manglore taluk.
Kulshekar Kordel
The location of Holy Cross Church, Kulshekar (also written and pronounced as ‘Kulashekhara’), Mangalore, is also known as ‘Cordel’ (Kordel).  The Church was founded by a French Catholic Friar Fr. Alexander Dubios on September 14, 1873.  He was fondly called as “Frad Saib of Franco Cordel”, locally known as Kulshekar.  He was also known as “Kullerda Ajjer” in Tulu (meaning ‘grand old man of Kuller’).
 Kulshekar area of Mangalore, was named after Alupa King Vira Kulashekara (ca 1115-1155 CE). He was apparently known as ‘Kuler’ among the aborigines, possibly the word ‘Kuller’ being kings nick name.
Alternately it may be argued that the origin of the name Kuller as:  Kul+er. (‘kul’=lake, ‘er’=edge). ‘kuller’= raised edge of a lake. Another place name in the proximity ‘Saripalla’, also hints at the presence of a lake. However evidence for existence of a dried up lake in the area is yet to be traced.
Agonies of Conversions
The parishioners were migrated Goan Catholics and also the then newly converted down-trodden people of surrounding area. It can be presumed these new converts were mainly from ‘Kor’ or ‘Koraga’ tribes and other backward classes. There was a tinge of stigma connected to older generation of Christians of Mangalore.  Suspecting their allegiance to Europeans (esp. British), Tipu Sultan ordered that  60,000 Christians be taken as prisoners and were kept in captivity (from 1784 to 1799) at Srirangapatna, Mandya district (formerly, Srirangapattam).
 Note the irony of fate!  Goan Catholics along with Hindus fled Goa to Konkan and Tulunadu to escape hardships at the hands of colonialist force. Last major migration took place when fierce battle was raging between Portuguese and Maratha forces. They suffered untold miseries from both the forces).   They suffered loss of many lives on their journey through rugged terrains - to and fro on foot.  Those who remained at Srirangapatna were converted to Islam and married Muslims.  It is reported that this group is now speaking a pidgin Konkani, mixed with Kannada and Urdu.
Nandaraya- Nannan-Nandavara
Apart from Habsiga, in Tulunadu we have anecdotes of another Harijan King called Nandaraya. Possibly, the Tulu King ‘Nannan’ referred to in Tamil Sangam literature refers to ‘Nandan’ or the ‘Nandaraya’. He was said to have been born of a Brahmin woman and a Koraga man. The village name ‘Nandāvara’, Bantval Taluk, Dakshina Kannada, located on the southern bank of River Netravati) probably was derived from the name of ancient King ‘Nandan’ (or ‘Nannan’). There is also a possibility that Nanda(n) was a surname of former rulers of Tulunadu like Nanda of Magadha.
Story of Nandaraya is well-known in Tulunadu from the popular proverb: “Nandurayana badku nari-nayi thindindu” (Kannada version: ‘Nandurayana baduku nari-nayi thinditu’.  English:  ‘The inheritance of Nanduraya was eaten away by foxes and dogs).
Nanduraya was said to have raised a fighting force of hunting dogs to vanquish enemies and introduced leather money.  Ultimately when he was vanquished and his palace was in ruins, the decayed leather currency of his period, provided good food for foxes and dogs.
Nanaya, Nonaya
Nanaya  is an old proper name among Tulu and other Dravida people. A teacher in Tulu Garadi (School of Martial Arts) is traditionally called  'Nanaya'.  'Nonaya/Nanaya' proper names were in vogue till  twentieth Century.  One of my childhood and school days friend is 'Nonaya'., hailing from Doddakoppala (near Surathkal) and his father was a Mendon (a surname) then living just near my house.  I was wondering about the meaning of this name. Similar 'Nanaya'  names are found in Andhra also.   Nannaya was an Andhra Poet during Vijayanagar period.  Names like Nannayya (Bhat)  are found in Brahmins too.Apparently Tulu and other Dravida tribes acquirred this proper name from prior Kor / Koraga aborigines of this region.
It would be interesting to study further if these names Nannan/ Nandan and Nanaya/ Nonaya are related old proper names.
-Hosabettu Vishwanath, Pune.


  1. On the high way, near katpadi there is one place called hose called pangal 'Nanayar Garodi'. As you say Nanaya means guru. On those days this Garodi was training center of warriors. ( for detail See Dr. Indira Hegde: Bantaru Ondu samajo samskritik Adhayana C.8. Kannda pustaka pradhikar 2010)

  2. Welcome to the blog, Dr.Indira Hegde!
    We were also wondering whether 'Naanaya,'the designation was related to the names Nannaya or Nanda(yya).

  3. Dr.Indira Hegde,
    I invite you to contribute some posts in this blog, if you like the format,content and approach.
    I liked your work on 'Agoli Manjanna (Naiker)' more than that on 'socio-cultural aspects of Bunts'. Infact, I was planning to make an extract of your work on Manjanna Naiker, from a different angle.
    However, since you have visited the blog, I wish you write some illuminating posts herein.

  4. Thank you Ravi,

    About Nanaya your view may be relevant. Most bunts sir names are similar to north Indians sir names. Also they are equal to Bunts. Even in North east India some sir names are same as Bunts. I think these sir names added in the later period. Because these are derived from Sanskrit. But in bali only few sir names are Sanskrit origin. Like Ranoji bali, Gurjar bali etc.

    Your interest About Agoli Manjann is welcome

    One thing, I am not expert in blog writings, in the mean time I am not good in English. You have correct it and read.

  5. Dr Indira, I feel that north Indian surnames surviving among Bunts reflect migration of north Indian tribes into Tulunadu in the antiquity and eventual merger with native Bunts.
    I have noted in your works that you are a skilled researcher with sharp observations and analysis.
    You are welcome to contribute posts on varied items of your choice related to our culture and evolution.


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 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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