Friday, January 31, 2014

330. Manki: Village names in India

There is a place known as ‘Manki stand’ near Mangaladevi Temple in Mangalore. The place acquired the epithet of ‘stand’ since it was used as station for ‘Jataka’ (Horse carriage) during the British administration period in Mangalore. I used to think that the name was Monkey till I found that place names like Manki exist in other places for example near Honnavar in Uttara Kannada District, Karnataka. Similarly there is a village known as Permanki near Gurupur and Ulaibettu.

Manki is a term connected with Munda tribes of Austro-Asiatic origin who were spread in diverse parts of India in the pre-Dravidian antiquity but presently restricted to parts of Bihar, Chattisgad, Orissa and Bengal. The term Manki represents a village or a habitation.
Thus the village name Permanki means a large village since pera means large in Dravidian languages also.

Manki Villages in India
Bihar: Manki, Mankidih, Mankiman
Chattisgarh: Manki
Jharkhand: Mankidih, Manki Bazar,
Karnataka:  Manki, Permanki,
Madhya Pradesh: Manki, Manki Salaiya, Mankiyai, Mankisar,Manki Ryt
Maharastra; Manki, Mankivalli
Meghalaya: Mankingiri
Orissa: Mankiria,Mankididihi, Mankidia, Mankidi
Punjab: Manki, Mankinvalli,
Rajastan: Manki, Mankiyas
Uttar Pradesh: Manki, Mankikhurd, Mankikalan, Mankiari.

Austro-Asiatic Munda tribes
The wide distribution of place names containing the term Manki and other place names containing Munda as prefix or suffix suggest that  habitations of Munda tribes were distributed all over India once upon a time probably before the advent and dominance of Dravidians in Southern India .


329. Garodi and Garodi

An interesting aspect in the study of origin and analysis of ancient historical terms and place names is that a word can have more than one meaning. This could have happened as a result of existence of similar sounding words derived from different tribal communities and time periods. For example, Odi is an ancient word with more than 17 meanings.
Some of these ancient words have the potential of opening and leading our minds into the obscure paths of the nature and evolution of words (and languages) in this land.

Garodi, the gymansium
The term ‘Garodi’ is generally considered to an ancient Tulu word for ancient system of gymnasia that dotted many villages of Tulunadu wherein young men were trained systematically in the martial arts. Interestingly in Tamil the equivalent word for Garodi happens to be karati because Tamil alphabet is devoid of consonants like Ga and Di. It has been speculated that Buddhist monks from south India carried the karati art form of martial arts to China and Japan where it was designated as karate.
Garodi, the Tulu word also means a large hall in front of the house according to Tulu Nighantu.  And this could be the actual origin of the word since martial arts were taught to disciples in large open halls called Garodi. The parallel term Kalari (kala+ri), vogue in Tamil and Malayalam region also means an open area or plot (kaLa) for conducting   exercises or games. Reference to bows, swords, spears and shields can be found in Sangam literatures like Akananuru and Purananuru. The word Kalari has appeared in Sangam literature (Tamil) like Puram and Akam to describe the war field or combat field. It can be seen that the related word kalaha means battle in languages like Kannada and Sanskrit.

Garodi, the snake charmer
However, the term Garodi is not exclusive to Tulunadu. There are persons having Garodi or Garodiya as surname and tribes known as Garodi in Western India. There are places known as Garodi or Garodiya in Gujarat and Maharastra.
The Garodis are a wandering tribe of snake charmers and jugglers in parts of northern Karnataka and Maharastra (Belgaum, Kolhapur, Sangli , Pune and Miraj). These have been considered to be a Muslim sect converted from Scheduled Castes.

1. Garodi1= A large open hall, gymnasium.  Gara= large. Garandal= large tall, person; stalwart. Garda= (flag on) tall post, [misnomer: Garuda kamba; It should be Garda kamba]. Garābu= greed; Garime= severity, magnitude. Gar (as in garpu) to dig soil or land to level etc.

2. Garodi 2= Snake charmer.
Gara= snake, Garala (Tulu etc)=snake poison. Garuda= snake charmer/catcher bird; Eagle, Gar=snake; Odi=charm, magic trick.
Gārudi= magic tricks; snake catchers tricks? ; Shri Krishna Garudi= Magical acts of Lord Krishna.



Friday, January 17, 2014

328. Pune, Punacha, Punchame villages.

Pune (Poona or Puna) is a burgeoning metropolitan city in Maharastra. However the place Pune is not alone. There are numerous places called Pune (or its variants like Puna , Puni, Punia or Punay etc)  in different parts of India in States such as Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland.
The term puNa in Tulu language means dead body (peNa old Kannada; heNa in modern Kannada). However this may not be the meaning of the word Puna in coastal place names such as Punarur, Punacha, Punchame, Punchapadi, etc. Because none of these place names are exclusive to Karavali Tulunadu but found all over the country.

Pun(a) Villages in India.
We can find numerous villages in India named after Puna (plural Punar) tribes, of course with assorted spatial suffixes, some of which are common all over India irrespective of its diversity.
Andhra Pradesh: Punaguda, Punjanur, Punnole, Punem, Punukudu, Punnum, Punubuchampeta, Punuvalsa, Punukuru, Punukollu, Punaraka, Pungami, Punganur, Punnepalli, Punaraka. etc
Assam: Punirmukh, Punicherra, Pundibari, Punia, Puniagaon, Punia, etc
Bihar: Punar, Punarwara, Punaura, Pundale, Punach, Punwa, Punsia, Punadiah, Punesra, Punha, Puna,Pundark, Punawan, Punaidili, Punaul, etc
Chattisgarh: Punnoor, Punpalli, Punadih, Pungarpal, Punarkasa. etc
Goa: Punnola. etc
Haryana: Pundrak, Puniska, Puntawar etc
Himachal Pradesh: Punto, Puntwar, Punal, Punani, Puni, Puner, Punyal, Pundar, Puna, Punahan, Punahli, Punnar, Punan, Pundras, Punang. etc
Jammu & Kashmir: Punjvari, Punachetar, Puneja, Punwal, Punara, etc
Karnataka: Punajur, Pundahalli, Punaje, Pundanahalli, Punjihalli, Punagumarana-halli, Punacha, Punchapady, etc
Kerala: Punnayur, Punnapra, Punnala. Ponnani etc
Madhya Pradesh: Punchhari, Punawali, Punchhi, Punduwa, Punolhar, Punyakhed, Punapada,Punakheda, Puni, Punasa, Punhai, Punoli, Punda, etc
Maharastra: Punoti, Pungaon, Punkhede, Punnur, Punnaguda, Punwat, Pune, Punir,Pundhe, Pundas, Puntamba, Punatgaon, Punewad, Pungani, Punwar, etc
Manipur: Punge, Puni, etc
Nagaland: Puneboqa etc
Orissa: Punesia,Pundra,Pundal, Punanga,Punipada, Punjam, Punger, etc
Punjab: Punsai, Punga, Punj. etc
Rajastan: Punirsar, Punny, Punata,Punyana, Punsar, Punali, Punera, Punwalia, etc
Tamilnadu: Punganur, Punnamalai, Pundi,Punnai, Pungar, etc
Uttar Pradesh: Pundar,Punnar,Punda, Punapar. etc
Uttar khand: Punar,Pungroli,Pundori,Punoli. etc
West Bengal: Punia, Puncha, Punra, Pungila, Punja, etc

Punarpuli, Punake
Wild maroon colored berries are known as Punarpuli (Garcinia indica) in Karavali region.(Elsewhere it is known as Kokam, or  Birinda etc). Similarly the tamarind is known as Punake in Tulu. (Tamarindus indicaPunase/Hunase in Old/ Modern Kannada). There is a probability that these berries/fruits are named after the extinct Puna tribes.
Similarly, Poonacha is  a surname among people of Kodagu region

The wide distribution of Puna place names suggest that these places could have been named after a tribe that dissolved its identity and seamlessly assimilated into the Indian Diaspora. We do not find direct historical evidences for the now extinct Puna tribes.
1. One of the possibility is that the name refers to Hun people of Mongoloid origin (Hun>Pun) who invaded India around 6th Century CE.
2. The other possibility is that they might have been the migrant Austro-Asiatic tribes from Southeast Asia, related to some of the Punan tribes.
3. One more possibility is that these could have been an ancient segment of African Punu tribes.
Readers having interesting additional data on the topic may share their views in the comments section.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

327. Ira, Irde, Iruvattur villages

The primitive words, employed by various tribes, were carried to different regions during the course of human migrations in the face of growing civilization in the world. The evidences  in support of this statement have been preserved even today like fossils in the form of  similar sounding primitive place names found all over the world.
Ira, Irde, Iruvail and Iruavttur are some of the place names based on the prefix Ira in Karavali Tulunadu. Most of us have no idea regarding the origin or meaning of these place names even though  a few may venture that ‘Iruvattur’ means twenty villages by analogy with ‘Irva’ for the number twenty in Tulu language. (In that case, if it was allusion to the cluster of twenty villages, the place name should have been Iruva-oor   instead of Irvattur.)
Tribes named after Ira like Irula probably were distributed all over India once upon a time. Presently, the Irula tribes (they speak Irula language) are found distributed in parts of Tamilnadu and Kerala. They are well versed in the art of catching poisonous snakes and collecting venoms from the snakes. Some people think that the name Irula is derived from the Dravidian word Irul for darkness. We shall also discuss other possibilities of the origin of the word in this post.
Wild mushrooms in Iravattur Village near Karkala.

The interesting and mysterious fact is that the Ira place names are not exclusive to Tulunadu but are found all over India and other parts of the world.

Ira and Iruva
Ira was the sky Goddess among Polynesian tribes. Similarly Iruva was the Sun God among the African tribes. Analogy between Ira (Sky Goddess) and Iruva (Sun God) are evident, even though now it is difficult to say who borrowed the concept from whom. However based on the cults, we can conclude that the primitive word Ira represented God/Goddess of the sky or the Sun God in primitive ancient cultures.
Also we can see that names of Iran and Iraq are based on this string Ira. Similarly, the name of the River Irrawaddy (also known formerly as Irāvati or simply Rāvi) in Myanmar (Burma) is also based on this string Ira. Myanmar has recently changed the name.
The term Ira also exists as a personal name among Munda tribal people of Orissa, Bihar and Chattisgarh region.

Ira place names in India
There are numerous places in different parts of India named after the ancient Sun God Ira.
Andhra Pradesh: Iruvada, Iravada , Iravennu, Irapadu, Iragai, Iradapalli,Iragavaram, Irgampalli, Irasalagundam, Irangal, Iranbanda, Iridi, Irvendi,  etc.
Bihar: Irki, Iruri etc.
Chattisgarh: Irai, Iraf, Iraikhurd, Iraikalen, Iragaon, Iraguda,Iradali, Irakadand, Irakbutta, Irakbatti, Irpanar,  Irpa etc.
Gujarath: Irana etc
Jammu & Kashmir: Irazi Samba, Irkamoo etc.
Jharkhand: Irawal, Irki, Irkia etc.
Karnataka: Ira, Iruvattur, Iruvail, Irde, Iranatti, Iragodu, Iraksandra,Iragasandra,  Iranghatta, Irangalu, Iravalli, Irankarhalli, Iralevalamudi, Iragapalli, Irakarahalli, Iragamuttanahlli, Iragabanhalli, Iragareddihalli, Iragapalli, Iruvakki etc
Kerala: Iravan, Irapuram, Irikkur, Iriveri, Iroopara, etc
Maharastra: Irri, Irala, Irla, Irle, Irapur, Irali, Iropara, Irpundi, Irpanpalli, Irpanar, Irapur, Iralad, Irlad, Irachivadi, Irur, Irgaon, Irle, Irlevadi, ruha, Irthal etc.
Orissa: Irapikote, Iralgonda,Irda, IRibina, Iripiguda, Irpiguda, Irpisaru, Irpikota, Iriputa, Iralgonda, etc.
Punjab: Irak etc
Rajasthan: Irniya, Iraniyan, Iras, Irniya, Irli, etc.
Tamilnadu: Iravancheri, Iravadanallur, Iruvappapuram Iranda(n)kattalai, Iraiyanur, Irangur, Iravimangalam, Irandayiravilagam, Iravancheri, Irungur, Iravinivayal,Irur, Irupp, Iravadnallur, Irichi, Iriniyam, Iraipuvari Irulancheri, Irumbedu, Irumbuli,  Iranyasidhi, Irukkur, Irungalur, Iruveli,  Irunjirai, Irulapatti, etc
Tripura: Irani, etc
Uttar Pradesh: radatpur, Iradat nagar, Iradatganj, Iran Gokulpur, etc.
Uttarkhand: Irak, Irani, Irawal gaon, Irailli, Irakst, Irha etc.
West Bengal: Irda, Irkha, etc.

Cult of Sun God
The ancient cult of Sun worship can be traced to primitive days of civilization all over the world. It is interesting that some of these primitive words have been distributed in different parts of the world thanks to the migration of ancient tribes in search of better pastures. Even though presently the ancient word Ira has lost significance in our culture as a consequence of evolution of   languages, it seems the string Ira evolved into Ravi in later years of the history. One of the rivers of Punjab is known as Rāvi. Similarly, the Myanmar (Burma) River Irrawaddy /Irāvati   is also sometimes known as Rāvi.

         327. Ira, Irde, Iruvattur villages.

Monday, January 13, 2014

326. Nāravi and Nāra villages

The Village Nāravi (in Belthangadi Taluk, Dakshina Kannada), known for an ancient Suryanarayana temple (Post 301), is located on the bank of a stream tributary to River Gurpur (or Phalguni).  It is said that the older name of the village Naravi was Narol.
The term nāra (in Sanskrit), means water; The best explanation for the relatively less known term ‘nāra’ is the divine name of Nārayana, which is explained as one resides in water (nāra + ayana). (Wiki page on ‘Narayana’). 
In 'Satyārtha Prakāsha', Swami Dayananda Saraswati expounds the meaning of  ' nāra ', which means water and also the soul of living bodies. According to him the 'Nārāyana' means, the one whose abode (ayana) is  nāra and thus he is considered as the all pervading God. One more meaning of  nāra  is knowledge.  Thus,  Nārada  means the one who spreads knowledge. Similarly, Narial or Narikela means coconut which contains water. 
 Some attribute the term nāra to white birds frequenting the water bodies.  In Uttar Kannada nyari (or neri) in local Kannada means grassy weeds growing in water. In Dravidian languages like Tulu and Kannada nār also means fiber or fibrous weed. An variant of the nāra, the  nāla also means stream or rivulet. Thus connection of nāra to water is clear. In Dravidian languages neer means water. Thus the parallelism between the words nāra and neer is quite interesting.
A similar sounding word nara (short na) represents man or human being and similarly nāri means a woman. In poetic lines we can see nār for nāri. (As in Hindi film Padosan: Ek chatur naar ..). Thus some believe that nāra also means living beings in general.

One more striking word in usage based on the word 'nāra' and commonly used in Tulu, Kannada and Sanskrit languages is  kināra which means the sea coast or river bank (wherein the possible word origin  was ki [= place, area] + nāra [=water]) . 

Nara villages
There are numerous villages in Tulunadu having names like Narla, Narsha, Narya, Narve, Naravi etc. Of these Nārla appears to be one of the most common village names not only in Karavali/Tulunadu but also in other regions of India. Thus Nārla or similar Nāra place names are not exclusive to Tulu or Dravidian language and culture but part of the pan-Indian evolutionary scenery.

There are villages named Nārla in different parts of the country like Karnataka,Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Maharastra, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Besides, we can also find Narlakantiguda, Narlapuram and Narlavaram In Andhra Pradesh, Narlavalas, in Andhra and Orissa, Narla-halli in Karnataka and Narlad in Maharastra, Narlai and Narlay in Madhya Pradesh. Etc.

Similarly, villages named Nārya can be found in other States of India like Haryana (Naryana), Madhya Pradesh (Naryaval), Himachal Pradesh (Naryaval), Uttar Pradesh (Naryanpur), West Bengal (Naryanpur), Rajasthan (Narya ka bas) etc.

Forgotten Episodes
Present generation of Tulu people have almost forgotten the word nāra, which means water, since it has been completely replaced by the Tulu-Dravidian equivalent word neer. However, the Nāra place names have remained immortally all over India since ages as in Karavali/ Tulunadu also. This paradox can only be explained by the existence of undercurrent layers of forgotten episodes in our past history.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

325. Ila and Ilantila

Ilantila is a village in Belthangadi Taluk. The village name is quite interesting as the word ila repeats twice in the place name. The suffix –ila represents a habitation as in place names Kedila, Baltila, Bardila, Manila, Uchila, Panapila, Nettila, etc. The term -ila is apparently related to the word illu (=house) present in Tulu and Telugu. Thus the word Ilantila means ila within ila;   (since, ant generally means within), wherein possibly it means habitation within the (larger) land mass . Alternately it could also mean a row of houses or house after a house.

Ila, the Earth
The word Ila or Ile in Kannada and Sanskrit generally means the Earth or landmass.  The Indian legends of Manu have also envisaged personification of  Goddess Ila Devi after a major deluge. Incidentally, the Ile   is an Earth Goddess according to West African (Yoruba) tribal mythology. Further, in Arabic language the word Ilah   represents God and the Ilahi means my God. The root word Ile from the ancient West African mythology could have been carried by the migrating people and adopted in early Indian languages.

Ila Villages in India
The northern Tamil part of Srilanka is known as Ilam or Elam. Besides, there are hundreds of villages all over India that carry the prefix of Ila. Some of these villages are:
Andhra Pradesh: Ilapur, Ilaparru, Ilapkuru, Ilapvulur, Ilavera, Ilavaram, Ilaganur, Ilaspur.etc
Chattisgarh: Ila, Ilaspur. etc
Gujarat:  Ilav, Ilampur, etc
Jharkhand: Ilaki, Ilami, Ilaspur. etc
Karnataka: Ilal, Ilval, Ilapur, Ilantila, Iladoni, Ilatore, etc.
Madhya Pradesh: Ilahipur, Ilaskhedi, Ilahi, Ilamkhedi etc.
Maharastra: Ilakhi, Ilane. etc
Orissa:  Ilaspur, Ilajanga. etc
Rajasthan: Ilahipura. etc
Tamilnadu: Ilamangalam, Ilangiyanur, Ilaiyalur, Ilandabanur, Ilayathgudi, Ilankhudi, Ilandamngalam, Ilaknnivayal, Ilanyangudi, Ilamnur, Ilangiyendal, Ilandikulam, Ilaiathanvayal, Ilankakoor, Ilanchembur, Ilambuvanam, Ilangulam, etc.
West Bengal: Ilaspur, Ilam, Ilamkuri,Ilampur, Ilamdanga, Ilashpur etc.


Friday, January 10, 2014

324. Kāntara vs. Kāntāvara

Kantavara is a remote sylvan village in Karkal Taluk of Udupi District. It can be approached from Mudabidri via Beluvayi or from Karkal or Belman via Manjarapalke or from Mundkur via Bola.
The village list in the Census of India shows it as Kanthavara. There is also a village known as Kantavaram in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh.
In Tulu language the village Kantavara is known as Kantara. The general impression among the people is that Kantavara is the actual original name of the village and the illiterate villagers tend to deform the place name as Kantara. We shall delve into these place names and make an endeavor to verify if this impression is correct or not.
Kāntāra means a forest in Kannada and Sanskrit.  According to Kittlel's Kannada Dictionary says, it is a Dravidian word. However,Kānt(h)ar or Kant(h)ara is not a place name unique to Tulunadu.  Kantar and its numerous variants such as Kant(h)a, Kant(h)an, Kant(h)ari, Kant(h)ari(y)a, Kanthal, Kant(h)ali, Kant(h)apada, Kant(h)a(va)ram, Katharpur,  Kantharia,  Kanthalur, Kantaoh, Kantaroli, Kantarda, Kantargre, Kantaranguri, Kantarabali, Kantharpata, etc are found in many parts of India suggesting its wide distribution in States such as Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Orissa, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttara Khand, Gujarat and Rajasthan apart from Karnataka.
The existence of more number of villages having the word Kantar in their name over Kant(h)avara(m) suggests that Kantara could been the original ancient place name which in some cases has been subsequently modified or Sanskritized into Kantavara(m) with passage of time during the history.
Incidentally, the word Kantara also represents a male personal name of among certain tribal people.
The word Kantara can also be found in African and Mediterranean regions. In fact village and streams named Kantar(a) can be found around Euphrates, Cyprus and Algeria. In Arabic language Kantara means a bridge. Whether the Arabic word Kantara is derived from similar ancient Sumerian word or does it has any genetic significance in respect of Indian place names is to be studied further.


323. Ajji biru, the Rainbow – An exposition

The rainbow is popularly known as, ‘Ajji biru’ (or Ajja biru) in Tulu language.  Literally, it means a ‘bow of grandma (or grandpa) or even bow of an old woman. This archaic word is still extant in local tongue in rural areas. So it has rightly and deservedly found an entry in the mighty Tulu Lexicon (page 51).  However, the origin of this word is obscure. An attempt is made here to find out the secret of this word in pursuance of our inquisitiveness.
We have been using this word during our upbringing in native villages.  Besides the natural ‘ajjibiru’ seen during rainy days, we used to create it while bathing near draw-well or pond. By standing opposite to the Sun, we puff out and splash the water collected in the mouth to create a magical imagery of rainbow for a few seconds.
Who has not seen a rainbow near waterfall or fountain on spraying water?  A rainbow means a bow or arc of prismatic colours.  It appears on eastern or western horizon when clouds are opposite to the Sun.  Rainbow is created by the refraction of the Sun’s rays through the drops of rain water. Momentary appearance of this natural phenomenon is encased in a Tulu Proverb:
ಅಜ್ಜಿಬಿರು ಅಜ್ಜೆ ಬನ್ನಾಟ ಕಾಪಂದು” (Ajjibiru ajje bannaata kapandu).
=A rainbow does not wait till grandfather comes.

Let us explore the origin of word ‘Ajjibiru’, which is also pronounced as ‘Ajjibeer’ erroneously by some:
1.   The most probable explanation is that the rainbow bending is compared to bending of an old woman (or old man)
2.   ‘Aje’ in Tulu means ‘a row’ or ‘raised line’ (as is used for clothesline). So it could be explained as ‘a row or range of bows’.
3.   Next explanation could be ‘bow created by ‘Aaji neeru’ (i.e. evaporated water).
4.   There is one more reason for originating this name.  Whenever a rainbow is seen on the horizon, it is elders, say grandma or grandpa, who point out first the rainbow to their young ones.
5.   Another explanation is ‘Aaji biru’, meaning ‘six (coloured) bows’.  But this is a highly improbable proposition, as rainbow has seven colours and not six. Could it be a mistake in counting when this word is coined by our forefathers?
6.   The phrase ‘Ajji biru’ might have originated as an  idiomatic phrase to represent the colorful bow (‘biru’ in Tulu) shaped rainbow shown to children as a momentary object of curiosity and intensive interest by grandmothers.

Aja biru
7. Another probable argument that   'Ajabiru' (= Brahma dhanu) has been corrupted to 'Ajjibiru' in the course of time  by illiterate rustics. Brahma, (= Aja), has the meaning of 'Big or Great'. So, Aja biru means 'a great bow'.  This reminds us the story of  'Tripura Samhara'.  After the death of their father Tarakasura by Lord Kartikeya, his three sons (Tarakaksha, Kamalaksha and Vidyunmali) after rigorous penance get the boon of invincibility in three worlds from Lord Brahma.  Brahma gives boon with a condition that they would be killed together with one darting of an arrow.  He orders them to get three citadels (fortifications) made through Demon architect Mayasura.  These three cities are movable in sky but they are not to align in a line, so that Shiva can destroy them (in Pushya Nakshatra) with a single arrow, as per the condition. They know that being devotees of Shiva, he would not kill them. They start troubling one and all in three worlds as Lord Shiva is also helpless single-handedly.  With three energies of Brahma, Narayana and Shiva put together, Lord Shiva destroys the three citadels altogether

Readers may not agree to our logical listing of reasons.We invite them to come out with the correct reasoning in coining the Tulu word ‘Ajjibiru’, i.e. rainbow. 
A bright display or event is also compared to a ‘rainbow’.  A visionary goal or ambition is alluded to ‘rainbow’. Example: “He went in pursuit of ‘rainbow’ of becoming so and so in life.”  It also means a range of things, groups, etc.  Rainbow is, therefore, a symbol of brightness, a dream and a logical connection for peaceful co-existence.

-Hosabettu Vishwanath, Pune

323.  Ajji biru, the Rainbow  – An exposition

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

322. Preposition ‘da’ in Punjabi & Tulu

“ Paani da rang vekh ke,
ankhiyan cho hanju rod de”.

-On seeing the color of the water tears rolled down from (my eyes).
The cited Punjabi lyrical lines penned by Anshuman Khurana’s and popularized in the Hindi   film Vicky Donor  has haunted me many times especially for the presence of preposition ‘da’. The common preposition da (pronounced as 'the' in English) in Punjabi as well as in Tulu Language represents the English preposition of !  Like ‘pāni da’ in Punjabi ‘neer da’ in Tulu means relating to water.

Punjabi and Tulu
Punjabi is a north Indian language belonging to the family of Indo-Aryan languages. Tulu is a Dravidian language. Even though the two languages are entirely different in structure and content, this particular preposition is common to the two languages. Many may like to consider this common preposition in Punjabi and Tulu as a mere coincidence.

Da, di, de

There are other prepositions related to da in Punjabi and Tulu. The equivalents in Hindi are ko, ki and ke. The feminine form di is used in Hindi as a suffix for Goddesses like Mātā-di. The feminine form di (ki in Hindi) or ti has also been vogue in Tulu in forms reverential feminine forms such as Ullaldi/ Ullalti, Shedti, Konkandi, Marakaldi/ Marakalti, Sapaldi/Sapalti, Baideti/Baidedi,  Baikaadi/Baikaadti', Maankaldi/ Mangaldi etc. It is also (especially the -de feminine form) there in Tulu usages in respect of feminine genders as in Dāda de ?  or Dāni de? or Anda de! ..etc.
In Tamil Da (masculine) and Di (feminine) suffix forms do exist; However these are pronounced as Da and Di (D as in Dog). In Kannada feminine suffix ti (instead of di) has survived, even though other forms (da, de) have apparently vanished during the course of evolution.

Migration route
One of the possibilities is that a component of migrating speakers of Tulu language who had lived in the northwestern Indian subcontinent during the ancient history picked up and absorbed this preposition. The migration of the people during the history from the North-western Indian subcontinent to the Karavali has brought the preposition da along with them.
It has been pointed out in earlier posts herein that the Tulu word pirak (=ancient) signifies the place name Pirak, which is a part of Pakistan now.

Mediterranean  roots?
The preposition da can be found survivng in a number of Mediterranean and European languages. The word da has varied meanings in some of the European languages such as : from or of (in Italian and Dalmatian), yes (in Russian), to (in Breton), surely, then, when, as etc (in Danish) and so on. Of these it can be seen that the meaning of da is quite close to that of Punjabi and Tulu in the case of   Mediterranean languages like   Italian and Dalmatian. Thus the Italian name Leonardo da Vinci means the Leonardo from or of the place known as Vinci.

In our older posts, Kaudur Narayana Shetty has contributed an essay outlining the similarities between the Italian and Tulu languages.


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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 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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