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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 ...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

282. On the quest of Kavrady



How an object interests a person for its antiquity and/or customs!  This is a matter for study.  This statement is proved true when the name ‘Kavrady’ (pronounced Kaa-vra-_Di) captured my attention in a wrapper of ‘chakkuli’ (Chakkuli is an eatable made of rice flour with black gram, salt, etc., circular shaped and deep fried in oil). I purchased this packet at Kundapur State Transport Depot when Pune bound KSRTC luxury bus stopped there for tea break during my return journey (May 20th).  My curiosity grew owing to the peculiarity of the name, unheard by me.
Kavrady in Kundapur
Kavrady (Kavradi) is a village in Kundapur Taluk of Udupi District (carved out of erstwhile Dakshina Kannada District).  Kundapur is Taluk Headquarters (36 km north of Udupi) and it takes the name from the Kundeshwara Temple around Panchagangavali River, built by Alupa King Kundavarma.  Kundapur is also famous for Kunda (i.e. jasmine) flowers.  Kunda also means a pillar.  Kundapur is a peninsula, surrounded by Panchagangavali River on the North, Kalaghar River on the East and Kodi backwaters of Arabian Sea on the West.  Basrur is a historical place and is a natural port. Traders from foreign countries used to bring their boats and ships in olden days, bartering their goods for pepper and fine quality rice.  Trading Guilds   were  powerful here in those days.
Place names are culture-centric, emerging from a specific time. It is perspicuous from our Posts on some place names.  Surviving trace or memorial of custom, period, people, etc. comes handy in discerning things existing in the past.  Let me explore some odd corners of history around Kavrady.
Examining Kavrady
1.On dissection of the compound word ‘Ka_vra_di’, we get Kavu (garden/forest) + ur (place/village) + adi (place). ‘Adi’ is apparently is a needless addition.  Kavu has traditional meaning of preserved and protected forest, holy or sacred grove or a forest area in simple sense. Firstly, Kavrady thus means a village area with protected and holy grove or forest. 
2.Secondly, ‘Kāva ’ could be keeper of kavu. It is also a  surname or clan name among Bunts (q.v.  Tulu Lexicon).  So ‘Kavradi’ could be bifurcated as ‘Kavara (Kava clan’s) + Adi (Dwelling place/Habitat).  
3.Thirdly, in Malayalam, ‘Kāvara’ is a tribe trading with glass bracelets and bangles, baskets, etc.  In Kannada, ‘gavariga’ means a man of the basket and mat-maker caste (Note the transformation of ‘ka’ to ‘ga’).   In Tamil, it is a ‘Balija’ caste among the Telugas. (DED 1118).
4.Fourthly, it could be a junction of two roads, overseen by a ‘Kapari’ (keeper or watcher). In olden feudal society, traditional boundaries of feudal lords are demarcated and road tax (ಸುಂಕ) (a precursor of modern day octroi or commercial duty was collected.


5.Fifthly , it may mean topographically a forked shape area (Y) on analyzing Kavrady as Kavar (= kabar or kabe, i.e. cloved or forked) +adi (place).  ‘Kavar’ or ‘Kabar’ could be a land split by a stream or river. (Note: No field study is done by me.  Locals could give us a feedback).
6.‘Kāvara’ is a mint, furnace or smith’s work-place since ‘kavu’ or ‘kavara’ also means heat/heating (besides desire or thirst). [Example: Please note the word ‘honnagaavara, i.e. honna (gold’s) + Kaavara (Mint) = Mint of golden coins, used by M. Govinda Pai in one of his poems in ‘Gilivindu’). There might have been once a mint of Alupa Kings or some metal works in Kavrady. Alupa Kings ruled over Tulunadu for more than thousand years (CE 5th to 15th).
A  vestige of sacred grove?
There are similar village names with prefix or suffix ‘Kavu’ in Tulunadu and other southern States, namely Kavoor (a suburb of Mangalore), Kavugoli (in Kasargod District), Mujumgavu (Mujum+kavu), etc.  This ‘Kavu’ (sacred grove) culture is an early tribal culture, probably pre-Dravidian in Tulunadu and in other parts of India. It is known later by other equivalent  names in Tulunadu, such as Bana, Kapu, Kaana and ‘devara kadu’ (in Kannada). They are mostly found near mounds, hilly areas, riverine places and within family and community properties.  ‘Kapiri Gudde’ (Kapiri Hill), which is explained as an Ethnonym in our Post-273: Kaprigudda, Mangalore, might have also been a sacred grove.     [ ‘Kapiri’ also means a Negro in Malayalam.]
Sacred Groves
‘Sacred Grove’ is a cult, practiced all over the globe, and invariably followed throughout India right from prehistoric period.  It is known as ‘Temenos’ in Greco-Roman, ‘hÕergr’(Note: ‘o’ is an umlaut and spelt ‘oe’) in Norse (Scandinavian), ‘Nemeton’ in Celtic (France), Baltic Russian ‘Romowe’ (Some are still surviving like ‘Sventybrasis’), in Lithuania ‘Alka(s)’, etc. In Nigeria, sacred groves are dedicated to Fertility God of Yoruba mythology. ‘Nemetons’ are fenced by means of ditch and wooden palisades in quadrangular shape. Particular type of trees or deities is worshipped with sacrificing of animals during annual rites in these groves.
In North-Eastern part of India (Orissa, Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, etc.),in Austro Asiatic Munda tribal communities, these sacred groves are called as ‘Sarana or Sarna’(1). In Kerala, these sacred groves are called ‘Kavus’.  It is habitual among Kerala Hindus to set apart some land around the house for Goddess Durga and create a small sacred forest (Kavu) (2).  In Tamil Nadu, Sacred groves are important traditional method of both in situ and ex situ conservation of economically and spiritually valuable tree species.  An extensive survey of 266 sacred Groves of Tamil Nadu was conducted in order to conserve them (3).  In village Minor, Kumaon Region of Uttarkhand, the Deity Golu Devata is venerated by restoration of Sacred Grove (4).  Birhor Tribe clans think themselves to have been descended from a common ancestor, belonging to a particular hill or mountain and feel kinship relation among them all (5).  Villagers in Kumaon, Himalayas, discovered that Gods were the best guards for their forests (6).  Folklore plays an important role in the preservation of Sacred Groves.  Not only tribal people but rural people also preserved the sacred groves by traditional customs, rituals, ceremonies and folk belief (7).  In Maharashtra it is called ‘Devari’ and ‘Varana’ in Rajasthan.
Original tribes of Tulu Nadu are Naga (snake) worshipping people.  Sacred groves are called as ‘Nagabanas’ here.  These are natural or reserved forests for Naga (Snake) worship, along with other divine spirits.   There are around 6000 Naga Banas in undivided Dakshina Kannada District (q.v. Dr.Paltadi Ramakrishna Achar’s book ‘Naga Berma’, p.27). In Kodagu too, there are many sacred groves.
Protection of sacred groves is one of the traditional conservation practices followed by Tribal as they are priceless treasure houses of some of the most rare and important flora and fauna. Tribal festivals, revolving around these groves, are linked to specific deities.  Orissa tribal worship nature for keeping the Nature satisfied.  Common objects of worship are the Sun, the Earth, hills, rivers, streams, rain, forests and trees.  ‘Sarna dharma’ is followed by Pauri Bhuyan, Kandhs, Santhals, Oraons, and Munda.  ‘Sarna’ is a Mundari word.  A tree in a Sarna is not damaged or felled. Pantheon of Munda is composed of ‘Sing Bhong (The Sun God) at the apex and the Nature Gods, ancestral spirits, village deities.  Tribals have imbibed instinctively strong and deep sense of love for the Nature from primeval days.
These days, ‘corridors of power-that would be’ are ignoring the utilitarian, ecological and environmental and socio-cultural importance of such protected groves.  Rapid industrialization of rural areas is playing havoc on the lives of project-affected people.  Vitiation of marine life, trees and water resources is detrimental to the economy of local people of such regions, as is evidenced in coastal belt of Mangalore and Udupi.  Readers would do well if they read the Seminar Paper of Jayakara Bhandary to find out the reasons for degradation and destruction of sacred groves. Theme: ‘Tussle between Development and Displacement’ is rightly depicted in the Tulu Film ‘Oriyardori assal’ (ಒರಿಯರ್ದೋರಿ ಅಸ್ಸಲ್, i.e. One is smarter than the other), based on a Tulu Drama.
Mercantile, Cultivator & Warrior Class
Hunter-gatherer man is a classless entity in the pre-historical past. How elitism had a sway on masses on basis of customs, religion, ruler & ruled, and professions is subject-matter of history. Power-clash between Vedic and Non-Vedic societies/cults is etched in history. Fermenting and transition period culminated in fusion of all beliefs in Hinduism, showing the sagacity of our seers from time to time. This is visible from scriptures, inscriptions, legends, fossils, surrounding Vedic and Non-Vedic Society. Evolving Hinduism gave birth to Chaturvarna system that is four classes of Society (Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra) with scriptural injunctions for righteous living in four stages of life. Cults of original inhabitants were accepted by Aryans (say Brahmans) and gradually assimilated.  This can be seen in the addition of fourth Veda, say Atharva Veda.  The first three Vedas are on cosmological knowledge and the fourth on mystic and magical knowledge of non-Aryans. Hierarchical order resulted in the Supreme class disliking the royal class (Kshatriyas) and vice versa. These are seen in curses by priests (in Puranas).    This led to emergence of new merchant class, who were either supporters of Vedic class or adherents of non-Vedic Sects, such as Jainism and Buddhism.  Migration, cross-fertilization and assimilation were seen as a continuing process.  Being warrior class, merchants had their own security system in the guise of merchant or trade guilds, located near rivers and sea ports. Being landed gentry, they worked as cultivators and also warriors when a need arose.  Some of the trader-cultivator-warrior group could build kingdoms, as we see in Alupa Dynasty of Alvakheda, i.e. Tulu Nadu.
Coming to ‘Kava(s)’, we can deduce that they were trader-agriculturists, shouldering the mantle of soldiers in times of war.  Sea trade was an essential part of their mercantile profession, making them to settle down in different regions and countries.  Kavara tribe is mostly spread in the South. 
Among Balija of Andhra, who share history with Bunts, Kunubi of Maharashtra and Kapus of Telugu, has following sub-groups:
(1)       Balija Chettis or Setti (aka Shetty Balija): In the Annals of Vijayanagara Empire, they were said to be wealthy merchants, who controlled powerful trading guilds.  Vijayanagara Kings made them Desai’s or Superintendents of all castes in the country to secure their loyalty.  There is another view (by David Rudner) that Balija Chettis branched off from Balija Nayakas, having close relationship to Nayakas.  Veera Banajigas were mentioned in the inscriptions of the Chalukyas.
(2)       Gajula (Gaju = Glass) Balija/Kavara Balija/Sugavansi (pure) Balija:  Myth is that Parvati, Lord Shiva’s wife, did a penance for looking prettier to please Shiva.  A man sprang from the sacrificial fire bringing forth cosmetics for her.  Thus, this man became ancestor for Gajula Balija.  The Gajula Balijas are known as ‘Kavarai’ in Tamil Nadu, having Titles of Naidu, Nayakan, Chetti, Sethi and Nayaka.  They claim connection to Kurus of Mahabharata and that Kavarai is corrupt form of Kauravas.
(3)       Kambalattars/Thottiyars: Refers to cultivators.
(4)       Gopita (Gopa/Golla = Cattle-herder) Balijas.  [Note: ‘Gopita’ may be ‘Gupta’, as I had a Telugu acquaintance from Andhra, having this surname when I was staying in a Lodge in Pimpri in initial years of my arrival (July 14th, 1968) in Pune.  I thought him to be a Marwari Maheshwari (Vaishya) as my boss was Jagan Nath Gupta ].
(5)       Rajamahendravaram Balija or Musukkama Balija – They are traders in ear ornaments.
(6)       Pusa/Poosala
(7)       Kannadian / Ravuth
(8)       Adi Balija.  A sub-caste in Hyderabad Karnataka.
There are numerous branches of Balija.  Some were named after Villages.  Some are odd names, like Mulaka, a tribe, Meriyala (pepper traders), Vyas and Tota.  Difference between sub-castes appears to have been wiped out in the sands of time.  (Note:  Mulaka may give us a lead to decipher the place name Mulki, which was earlier known as Mulaka.)
In divine spirit worship in Tulu Nadu, some spirit impersonators address local feudal chief as ‘Baler’.  This ‘addressing’ is also available in Tulu PaDdanas. We can definitely draw a kinship between Balija and Baler (Child).  This 'Bale' in Tulu or Bala (Child) has parallel in Maheshwari Vaish’s of Rajasthan.  Maheshwari means ‘Children of Shiva’, as he is instrumental in bringing back the Kshatriya Prince of Khandela and his 72 trusted soldiers, who were turned into statues by the curse of seven Rishis, to life. In short, they are called as ‘Bala’.  Legends about transition from Kshatriya to Vaishya are available in web-pages.
In Rajasthan, the mercantile community (Bania) is generally divided into two groups: (1) Shravaks (Jains) and (2) Meswari, i.e. Maheshwari (Hindu).  Maheshwaris are predominantly found in Mewar of Rajasthan and in Gujarat.  The nomenclature ‘Maheshwari’ is derived from Mahesh as they are followers of Shiva.  They are originally Kshatriyas but later on converted to Vaishyas, a community of traders with 72 clan names in the beginning, such as Agarwal, Bidla (Birla), Bajaj, Gupta, Khandelwal, Kabra, etc. Birlas are the first Maheshwari community who started a jute mill in Bengal in 1918.  Mark the similarity between ‘Kabra’ (one of the surnames of Maheshwari community) and ‘Kavara’. 
How maritime trade was prospering during days gone by in Tulunadu is still found in the following expression, made when a man sits downcast. "Daane ancha kudondini? Ninna kappal murukuduna?" (Why you are sitting like this.  Is your ship sunk?)
Kavaratti, a cognate
Mark the cognate of Kavradi:  Kavaratti, a blue lagoon island and a favourite tourist destination.  It is an island town/city and the smallest Capital of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep, an archipelago of 36 corals islands, off Kerala coast. It is famous for ornately carved pillars and roofs of 52 Mosques, lining the unspoiled beach.  Last ruler was Cheraman Perumal of Cannanore in 8th Century. Fishing, cultivating coconut trees and coir making are economic activities here. Until State re-organization in 1956, local administration was partly under erstwhile South Kanara (Dakshina Kannada) and partly under Malabar Districts.
Conclusion
Kavradi could have been  an ethnonym referring to the habitat of Kavar(a) people.  ‘Kavar’ could be (1)a keeper of ‘kavu’ groves   or(2) a professional connected with smelting metals. 
Political and socio-religious changes have a bearing on place names. This can be applied to ‘Kavrady’.
References
ENVIS Centre on Conservation of Ecological Heritage & Sacred Sites of India, quoted following sources:
1.       Hindu Survey of the Environment, pp.120-130, 1998)
2.       The Sacred Groves of Kerala/The WWF India Quarterly Vol.11, pp. 3-4, 15-16)
3.       Sacred Groves in Tamil Nadu – Annual Report 1996-97 (p.28-35)
4.       Adhikari S.S. & R.S. Adhikari – Journal of American Science Vol.3 (2), pp.45-49 (2007)
5.       Adhikari A.K. – Society & World View of Birhor, Memoir No.60, Anthropological Survey of India, Calcutta (1984)
6.       Agarwal R. – ‘Divine Protection’, Down to Earth, Vol.11(11), p.44(11.10.2002
7.       Amrithalingam M. ‘Folklore of Sacred Groves’, Indian Folk Life, Vol.1(3),  pp.8-9 (Oct. 2000)
Jayakara Bhandary, “God’s own pharmacies – The Sacred Groves of Udupi & Dakshina Kannada as the Treasure Houses of Medicinal Plants”, a Paper read on Oct. 4 & 5, 2008 at MM Science College Sirsi during National Seminar.
-Hosabettu Vishwanath, Pune 

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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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

280. Last Rites : A book review.


 “Tuluvara Maranottara Kriye – Tulu Jānapada Samskāra”, (Kannada ). By Narayana A. Bangera, Mitrapatna. Dombivli Tulu Welfare Association, B/6, 1st Floor, Mai Mauli C H Society Ltd., Opp. Gaodevi Mandir, Manpada Road, Dombivli (East), Mumbai- 421 201.

 Price: Rs.50/-(postage not inclusive)

 In a simple and straight-forward style, Narayana A. Bangera, presents in Kannada the Tulu psyche behind the customs of the last rites and rituals for the departed souls. For non-Kannada readers, the meaning of the Kannada Title of the book is “After-Death (or Last) Rites of Tuluvas – a Tulu Folk Cultural Tradition”.  It is a welcome addition and we thank N.A. Bangera for rendering this unwritten law on purification process of body and soul of a departed person, percolating down the ages, to Tulu/Kannada speaking world. According to Hindu traditions, the Samskāra, (performance of purification rituals) is applicable only to a man and a Nāga (a serpent worshipped by Hindus). The book is an outcome of a symposium arranged by Dombivli Tulu Welfare Association.
Life and death are an eternal process – a cycle of birth and death of a body. Birth is a matter of rejoice whereas death is gloomy and sorrowful. One becomes nonplussed on the death of a beloved.  Even a sympathizer is speechless but shows his sympathy being present at the funeral. How a man of different geographical region distinguished by customs (of caste and community), language, religion, environment, etc., behaves and deals with death is a subject of study by ethnologists and anthropologists.
It is a book on specific cultural group, i.e. Tulu speaking people of Tulu Nadu, variously described  as ‘Pātala’ or ‘Nāga naDe’ (or Loka), ‘Satiyaputra/Satiyaputo’, ‘Alvakheda/ Alvakheta’, etc. during historical past, now covering essentially  the districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada in coastal Karnataka.
Glossary of ritualistic acts
The book deals with the procedural social codes and customs, prevailing in Tulu Nadu.  Step by step acts to be performed, right from a time when a man is in death-bed to post-funeral, are elucidated. A drift in trends is ridiculed or supported, as the case may be, by the writer. The  book is a timely reminder to present generation to understand and uphold the systems (in spite of ineluctable changes taking place in physical and mental characteristics because of gradual and steady crossings among so called races, caste and tribes, communities, etc).  Considering the fact that Tuluvas (Tulu speakers) are scattered in nook and corners of India and abroad, a Tuluva is prone to lose contact and forget the significance of these unwritten codes of conduct. He performs such acts perfunctorily and exigently.The book brings out essential facts, which are unwritten so far, in a fair measure of success. It is evident in the Q & A Session (Note: P. 51-66 are bound in reverse, i.e. descending order as 66-51).  As Ashok Suvarna, Editor, Mogaveera (Mumbai) rightly says, the book is a helpful compendium for diaspora of Tuluvas.
Glossary of oral technical terminologies, used from time immemorial in Tulu Nadu, is mentioned consecutively with elucidation in Kannada by the author.  In this Post, equivalent Tulu phrases are used with brief elaboration for the benefit of its readers owing to space constraints.
Marana – Bayigu Niru Korpini: When death is imminent to a person on death-bed or is dead, family members offer drops of water (equated to Ganga water) into his mouth with Tulasi (Basil) leaves or Durva (a type holy grass).  Water is dropped in proxy for absent members, by uttering their names and God’s name as ‘Achuta-Ananta-Govinda’.
Mannigu Paadunu: To lay straightened dead body on the floor, without under garments, chest upward, head southward and drape a white cloth over the body leaving face portion open.
Marana saarunu (Beri barpini): This is an errand of informing village (specifically village heads), neighbours and dear and near ones.
Chatta Kattunu: To prepare a bier made of bamboo poles and splinters to carry corpse to cremation ground.
Puna Meepavunu:This is an act of washing dead body with specific injunctions by the ‘Gurikara’ (Village head/leader).
Punonu singara malpunu:  On washing the corpse, Bhajane (devotional songs) starts.  Washed body is either seated in a chair or laid down on floor (as said above) and draped with clean white cloth or attired with normal dress.  If dead woman is not a widow, she is decorated with her bridal attire.  Prominent person places a garland of Tulasi (basil) leaves.
Paada Tirtha: This is a sacred act of washing legs of the deceased and drinking washed out water.
Muttesana kalepini/deppunu: This is a pathetic scene of removing all things of married symbols of a woman. (Here the writer explains the auspicious ceremony of bestowing these symbols during a woman’s marriage).
Neeru Korpini:Assembled mourners pay homage to departed soul by offering new white cotton/silken cloths, laying wreathes and soaking mouth of corpse by means of basil leaves. 
Puna derpunu: Lifting bier, following the tradition, and taking it to crematory.
Kata Ooruni:  Preparation of pyre is done at designated places.
Punonu Katodu dippini: Laying corpse on pyre for burning following traditions in practice. Remaining mourners put water into corpse’s mouth at this stage, as said above.
Prarthane Malpunu:It is a prayer on behalf of the deceased, requesting the Almighty to forgive sins of the dead when alive and bestow him a position in the Heavens accordingly. 
Punoku kolli deepuni:  Putting fire to pyre following Tulu traditions.
Mannu korpuni:  This is called as ‘Bali Mannu’, showing respect to Bali Chakravarti, ruler of Sapta Konkana in ancient period.  This is an action of throwing fistful of earth (three times) at the pyre before leaving crematory.
Dooloppa:  This is a conventional procedure on third or fifth day of cremation. This is heaping of ash and remnant bones and offering Bonda Neeru (Tender coconut water) and other favourite eatables of the deceased.  This is normally done with help of traditional priest of Tuluvas, i.e. Madyala (washerman) and Village  Head.  Bones are collected procedurally for future rites on 13th or 16th day.  This act is also called as ‘Bonda Kodatu dippini’ and ‘Kolli magapuni’.
Bojja:  This is 13th or 16th day ceremony of ‘saying farewell unwillingly’.  The Book explains significance of  various aspects of this procedure, such as (1) Drum beating by ‘Koragas’ (original inhabitants of Tulu Nadu), (2)cutting unripe banana and ash coloured gourd, (3) eating ‘dukkada ganji’ (conji as a mark of mourning) in the morning after (4) ‘Tila Homa’ by Brahmin priest, (5)‘Neeru Neralu’ (Emotion-packed act of creating an hospitable place for departed soul at main hall of a house), (6) ‘Neeru Kuntu’ (Token Wet cloth being offered by departed soul through the priest as a mark of satisfaction), (7) cooking the feast, (8) ‘Doope’ (a structure in the form of a car erected outside or at the place of ‘Dooloppu’.  This a procedure of calling the departed soul for ‘car festival’), (9) ‘Kaka Pinda’ (Offering cooked food to crows), (10) Prayer for ‘Pitru Dootas’, i.e. crows, representing Yama, the Lord of Death,  to accept the offerings without minding the lapses in preparation by bereaved family, (11) ‘Tala Lappunu’ (This is a symbolic measuring of earth by Vamana in the Bhagavata story of Bali Chakravarti), (12) Tasting the sumptuous meal, considered as pure after eaten by crows, (13) ‘Kanistharpane’, i.e. offerings made to Koragas present, (14) ‘Made-pojja’ or ‘Ulayi Leppuni’, an evening ceremony of ‘agelu balasuni’, i.e. offering meals, new cloth and favourite things enjoyed by departed soul during his/her life time.  (This invitation to the departed soul, along with manes of the family, is emotional and heart-rending.  British Historian Dr.  Buchanan had expressed his awe over the practice of remembering the dead by Tuluvas.
Highly Emotional
Some may be cynical about the practices faithfully followed by Tuluvas for ages as ‘avaidik’ ,not according to Vedic practices.  Now-a-days, some of the rituals are performed through Brahmins.  Irrespective of ‘Avaidik’ or ‘Vaidik’, it is matter of heart.  The ritual of bidding farewell to the departed ritual is an ancient emotional expression from the heart of the heart.  Chanting Sanskrit slokas (hymns) is another thing but ultimate purpose is served in the form of mental satisfaction to the performer (mourning family).
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Copies can be had from the Publisher or the Author at following address:
Mr. Narayan A. Bangera
4, Rajaram CHS, Gaodevi, Ghanashyam Gupte Road
Dombivli (West)-421 202 (Dist. Thane/Maharashtra)
Contact: (R) 0251-2403151, Mobile: +919819778727
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About the Author
Mr. Bangera is born on 10th February, 1939 at Mitrapatna of Mukka-Suratkal, Karnataka. Studied at native place and Mumbai and is a Commerce Graduate.  Became Kannada Pandit under guidance of Suratkal Subbarao and Ramachandra Uchil.  Taught in Kannada Free Night High Schools (of Mogaveera & Kanara Vidyadayini) and also in M.L. Dahanukar College, Mumbai.  Retired from Air India after a meritorious service of 40 years.  Being good orator, he is an interpreter and narrator of holy epics (ಪ್ರವಚನಕಾರ)over 50 years at Shri Madbharata Mandali of 133-year standing.  Regular contributor of articles in Mogaveera Kannada Monthly.  Written Nelli Tirtha Kshetra Mahatme, Kandevu Kshetra Mahatme (Prose), Shri Satyanarayana Vrata Katha (in Kannada Vardhika Shatpadi).  Exposition of “Kanakadasara Hari Bhakti Sara”is appearing serially in Mogaveera.  ‘Naga Charitre’ is under print (earlier published in Mogaveera serially).

-Hosabettu Vishwanath.

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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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