The Padanagdi (alias Padavinangadi) is a vibrant locality on the Airport road leading from Yeyyadi to Bondel- Kavur in Northeastern part of Mangaluru city.
The “Padangadi” ( padangaDi : first d pronounced as in English word: the; second D as in English Dog) is an ancient Tulu locality name that is also known by its Kannada version “PadavinangaDi”.
There is also a serene village known as “Padangadi” (pronounced paDangaDi: both D as in Dog) in Beltangadi Taluk of Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka.
|Location map of Padangadi, Mangaluru.|
The words in ancient place names are like preserved old coins that are useful in understanding stages of generally masked or obscure pages of early history of this land which has not been documented otherwise. In other words, the surviving ancient words can be compared to fossils in the science of paleontology that throw significant light on the reconstruction of bygone days of past life history, paleo-ecology and environment.
Padangadi vs. Padavinangadi
Now, of the two (Tulu- Padangadi /Kannada- Padavinangadi) names for the Mangaluru locality under study, which one is the older?
Going by the regional linguistic evolutionary analysis carried out in the older posts in this blog, it can be summarized that during the early three to four centuries of the Common Era, Prakrit was the dominant/administrative language in Karnataka including coastal Tulunadu. During fourth century CE onwards old Kannada (“Halegannada”) was introduced by Kadambas as administrative language as we find in Halmidi inscription. At that time, Old Tulu was in usage in coastal Tulunadu. Old Tulu and Old Kannada were closely related languages by then, more like regional variants of a single language, as we find many Tulu equivalent words ( that are now obsolete or modified in modern Kannada) in the Halmidi inscription.
Subsequently, Kannada was imposed as administrative language in coastal Karnataka (Tulunadu) by the Vijayanagar Kings during and after 12th century CE. Under this program parts of Tulu regions around Barkur were brought under the intensive influence of Kannada. During the Kannada period, most of the local names were translated to Kannada prevalent in the period.
Therefore, the Kannada version of the locality name Padavinangadi can be dated to 12th Century CE or later, attributable to the influence of ambient Kannada kings.
What could be the original meaning of the composite word Padangadi ?
For a simplistic analysis, if you split the word into pad(a) + angadi: we can find 9 possible meanings for the words ‘pad’ and ‘pada’ in Tulu Nighantu, Vol. 5 .
Pad = (a) ten (b)shrink;
Pada =(c) level, status (d) word (e) song (f) maturity (g) square pattern (h) tranquility and (i) sole or foot step.
It can seen that those who translated the original Tulu word ‘Padangadi ‘ into ‘Padavinangadi’ under the regional “Kannadaization” program, utilized the meaning #(c) ie., the level ground. The Tulu geographic term “padavu” represents a lateritic plateau or a planar open field.
As a contrast, the term “angadi” (pronounced: angaDi) is a common word for a shop or a marketing stall in most of the Dravidian languages, including Tulu and Kannada.
If you analyze this particular word as ang+Di, you get the meaning of an open area or open field. The ang means open; as in angai (ang+kai=open hand; palm of hand). Or as in Tulu phrase: bāyi angāvu open (your) mouth.
~Di , as in angadi, is a spatial suffix in ancient Indian languages. (Examples: Garodi, Gardadi, Tadadi, etc). From the suffix ~Di, further suffixes ~Adi and ~Odi have evolved.
The original meaning of the word angadi, as courtyard or open field is still preserved in Parji language.
Since early days of civilization open fields or yards were used for selling goods on a designated day of the week. The open market was known as “santhe”. From the ancient markets in open yards, the usage of the word angadi was later applied to shops.
There is another interesting twist to the story offered by the “Padangadi”, name of the village in Beltangadi Taluk, located on the Guruvāyana-kere - Venur stretch of road. This particular village name is pronounced locally as “paDangaDi” (D as in Dog) adding a tinge of dilemma to our derivation of the meaning of the place name.
Which of the two toponymic pronunciations: padangaDi and paDangaDi - is original one and which one was modified with passage of time?
Padang : Southeast Asia connection
Since ~Di, is an ancient spatial indicator suffix, we can also think of analyzing the word Padangadi as Padang+Di or Padang+aDi. Thus, we confront with a new word Padang.
A recent visit on tour to Malaysia and Singapore, enlightened me regarding the word Padang. The Padang is a usual toponymic word in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Mynamar and other Southeast Asian countries. Besides, the place name “Padang” also means an open field in Malayan language.
Incidentally, there are many place names in these Southeast Asian countries that contain the suffix ~ang, such as Padang, Penang, Kallang, Cenang etc.
By the bye, the words containing Padang are not limited to coastal Tulunadu alone. Similar place names are also found in parts of Orissa and Rajasthan suggesting the wide distribution of early phases of Austro-Asiatic cultures in different parts of India.
Thus after an overall analysis, we can conclude that the ancient place name Padangadi evolved from the words of Austro-Asiatic- Munda origin, namely: padang+adi .
Early forms of Munda languages had their sway in southern India during and before the early centuries of the Common Era, as evident from the existence of umpteen fossil Munda words and related cultural vestiges preserved in Tulu and other Dravidian languages. ( Older posts in this blog.). The Munda languages of India (now surviving mainly in central and eastern parts of India) are considered to be a part of the ancient Austro-Asiatic language family.