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363. Deciphering Tulu-nadu place names

The readers would observe that many of the Tulu Place names may not convey, on the face of it, any specific meaning or apparent meanings...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

277. Pāvur, Pāvanje

Location map of Pavur, Pavanje and Todar

In a multi-lingual society like ours, tracing origin and meaning of ancient place names can be a complex exercise, often misleading to erroneous conclusions. One has to consider historical perspectives that complement with the logical conclusions, in case the aim of the explorer is to genuinely unravel and understand the course of history.
Let us take the example of two Tulu place names: Pavur and Pavanje.
Pavur
Pavur is a village located on the southern bank of River Netravathi in Mangalore Taluk, Dakshina Kannada. Similarly there is also a village known as 'Pavur' in Kasargod district of Kerala
Most of us, with a  general background knowledge of Kannada, would prefer to conclude that ‘Pavur’ (pāv+ur) is a village of snake, because ‘pāv’ in old Kannada represents a snake. The pāv of old Kannada has become ‘hāv’ or ‘hāvu’ (=snake) in modern Kannada as a consequence of p>h transition. One would normally believe in such an explanation since ancient cult of serpent worship (nāga aradhana) is explicit in Tulunadu.
However, this may not be the real or original meaning of the place designated and meant by our ancestors. First, the word pāv is not generally used in Tulu for snake.

Pāv, the river
The other possible source is the ancient Indiam word ‘pāv’ which means to flow or move.Thus pāv means river in Toda language. There are distinct signatures of existence of Toda tribes in Tulunadu in place names such as Todar.It has been suggested in older posts herein that the water buffaloes in Karvali that became the insignia of Kambala sport of Tulunadu were probably introduced by ancient Toda tribes.

Toda words
It can be inferred from the existence of Toda words that the Toda language was in use in parts of ancient Tulunadu during an unknown but specific time interval in the history of this land.
It can be seen that the root word pāv (=to flow, to move, to change position) has been adapted during the evolutionary history variously into different languages as seen from the following examples:
Pāv= to flow, to move, to creep.
Pāv=river, flowing water. (Toda  language). Compare with pāvana (=to bathe in river; to cleanse, to purify) in Sanskrit. And also ‘pavitra’(Sanskrit) = cleaned.
Pāv= snake , creeping animal. (Kannada language).pāv> hāvu
Pāv=leg or feet, body part used for changing position (Prakrit, Hindi, Konkani languages). Compare with ‘pāda’ (=feet) in Sanskrit.
In present Tulu, the root word ‘pāv’ for river, has not been retained, except in these place names. The equivalent Tulu words, based on flow of water, appear to be ‘par’ (=to drink) and ‘parapu’ (= to flow).
This could serve as an example to show how words preferences and languages change in an area, with socio-cultural evolution and dominance of certain tribes at the expense of others.

Pāvanje & Pāvur
Both of these place names, Pavur and Pavanje are located on the banks of river, justifying the explanation that pāv in these names means river.Thus the logical analysis of these placenames would be:
Pavur= pav+ur: A   village (‘oor’) by the side of river (‘pāv’).
Pavanje=pav+anje: A   land area (‘anje’) beside a river (‘pāv’).
The minor river flowing beside the Pavanje village in northern Mangalore near Surathkal is also known as Pavanje River.


Pavagadh, Pavagad
There are other places in India that carry the fluvial prefix of 'pav', like Pavagadh in Gujarath and Pavagad in Tumkur district of Karnataka.  Gadh, gad= fort. Pavagadh is located close to a river.Similarly Pavagad was on the bank of stream that has dried up in recent years.
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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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