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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...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

281. Koda tribes: Kodavur, Kodagu


Our antique Place names have preserved invaluable vestiges of history that would have been mostly inscrutable otherwise in the absence of systematic documentation of our early ancient history.

Koda tribes

Koda tribes are a subgroup of Austro-Asiatic Munda tribes of India, presently their distribution being restricted to parts of Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Bengal and surrounding regions. However, our ancient place names suggest that once upon a time the Koda tribes were distributed in many parts of Tulunadu and southern India.
We have discussed about the origin and scope of the word Koda and Kodamanittaya in earlier post in connection with Kudupu and Kodavur. However, the identity of Koda tribes was not discussed.
Koda tribes are alternately known as Kora (Khaira, Khayara) tribes in northern India.In Bangladesh they are also known as Kuda tribes or Mirdha.In Kerala Koodan and Kootan tribes and Kota tribes of West Coast might be the other variants of Koda tribes.
We shall review some of the place names that bear the signatures of ancient Koda tribes in Tulunadu and surrounding regions:
Kodavur: (Near Malpe, Udupi Taluk). KoDa+Oor,  A village of Koda tribes.
Kodapadavu: (Near Vitla, Bantval taluk). KoDa+padavu, A   plateau inhabited by Koda tribes.
Kodakkal : (1.Near Padil, Mangalore; 2 .Near Mudipu, Bantval Taluk, etc.). KoDa+kal, A settlement of Koda tribes.The place names Kodakkal have another implication. Kodakkal also refers to umbrella (koDa,koDe) shaped Megalithic  rocky burial structures occurring as relics in many parts of peninsular India.We shall carry a separate post on these ancient burial structures.
Kotakkal: (Kerala). A variant of the place name: Kodakkal. Kota tribes appear to be another variant of Koda people.
Kodgi: (Kundapur taluk). KoDa+gi, A  village of Koda tribes.
Kodachadri: A hill range (part of Sahyadris) bordering between Udupi and Shimoga districts, near Kollur (famous for Mookambika Temple) and named after Koda-cha tribes.
Kodamogge : (A Village in Kundapur taluk).KoDa+mogge. , An area of Koda tribes.
Kodladi : (A Village in Kundapur taluk). KoDa+la+aDi, A tree covered hamlet of Koda tribes.
Koodige: (A Village near Kushalnagar,Kodagu). KoDa+i+ge, A village of Kuda/Koda tribes.
Kodettur: A hamlet near Ullanje, located between Kateel and Kinnigoli, Mangalore taluk.
Kodagu: (A district largely consisting of Kodaga tribes). Kodaga appears to be an evolved version of Koda tribes. (= Koda+ga). An area of Koda/Kodaga tribes. (Compare with Koraga=Kora+ga).
Kodiyala or Kodial: (1. A part of Mangalore. 2. A village in Puttur Taluk). Kodiyala might have been originally Kodayala (Koda+ala). It appears to a riverside settlement (ala) of Koda tribes. Since, Koda and Kuda are the alternate names of the same tribe in Bangaldesh, similarly   ‘Kudala’(=Kuda+ala) , the alternate ancient name of Mangalore, appears to be another variant of Kodayala. Compare with place name ‘Kudle’ beach near Gokarna, near Kumta, Uttar Kannda District.
KoDaikanal: A hillstation in Tamilandu. An arera of Koda tribes.

The words: Koda, Kodamani
1.Koda= ko+Da. Divine area or tribe (Ko= divine, God. Da= (a) settlement or (b) entity; as in Kovil= temple ; ko+yil=Gods house). 
Koda, the divine entity, possibly represented Naga, the snake God, considering that the word Kodamani as in Kodamanittaya possibly represents a Nagamani or the mythical gemstone on the hood of a cobra. 
2.The word 'koDe' means umbrella: 
3.Alternately hood of a serpent shape also can be liked to an umbrella, as we find instances of mega-serpents  described in Puranic lores like Adishesha forming umbrella to Lord Vishnu.
4. Koda may also mean an earthen metal or wooden pitcher, pot or vessel usually used to collect water. Usually known as 'Kodapaana' in Tulu.
5. Koda may mean an end or terminal part (as in kODi.)
6. Kodi  means a flag (like the one hoisted on temple post).KoDi-mara means a temple flag post.
7. Kodi  also means a sprout or younger offshoot of a plant.
The 'Koda' place names are not unique to parts of Southern or Eastern India. There are ancient places known as Koda in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Russia.

KőDaga, the monkey
The word KôDaga (long o as in port) in Kannada represents a monkey.The possible genetic connection between the words Koda and Kodaga may be explored further.
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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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