Sunday, May 27, 2018

404.‘Dara’ in Kundara, Kandara, Dadara, etc – A review

A word can have many meanings as seen in almost all languages of the world. Does our style of understanding is just on the word meanings?
  Yes, it is true as our thoughts are translated into words with specific and mystic meanings.  Expressive words also give description of things clearly.     As seen in comparative etymological dictionaries, some words have the same phonetic sound and meaning, barring some corruption in spellings or pronunciation.  We have given examples of such words in some of our earlier Posts.    Here is a term ‘dara’ (where ‘a’ is a short vowel, as in word ‘Kannada’ = ಕನ್ನಡ), which has been attracting my attention for long. This term ‘dara’ is used as a prefix or suffix in describing a land or place near water bodies.

Mattu Kundara
Mattu Kundara (ಮಟ್ಟು ಕುಂದರ) is a hamlet in Katapadi.  It is on South-West part of Katapadi-Mattu feeder road to sea coast from Highway before traversing the bridge on Pangala Rivulet (which joins the Udyavara River at Mattu.  On the other side of the road is Kote-Katapadi, skirted by ingress of the Udyavara River.  Kundara is akin to ‘Kandara’ (ಕಂದರ), Kandaka (ಕಂದಕ). We firmly believe that it has no connection to Kunda Kunda, a famous Jain Muni, who was meditating at Kundaraadri, a mountain of Sahyadri range around Shimoga. He was famous as a writer on and preacher of Jainism in (erstwhile) Dakshina Kannada.
What is surprising is the ramification of place-name Kundara in coastal belt.  There is a town ‘Kundara’, located on the shores of Kanjiracode Lake, a branch of Astamandi Lake in Kerala.  This is a part of Kollam Metropolitan Area.
‘Kundara’ is a surname in most of the castes and sub-castes of Tulu Nadu.   Does the origin of this surname have any bearing on Kundara, a word describing landscape of an area?  We think so. In the first instance, Kundara/Kundaran must have been used as a surname among fish-mongers to mean ‘a man from Kundara geographical features’. 

Meaning of dara
Action word (verb) is dari (ದರಿ) in Tulu. It means ‘burst, break or spring open’.   Derivatives of ‘dari’ are ‘dara’ and ‘dare’ (ದರೆ = an earthen parapet or compound wall, embankment or earth/land). It was dealt with in our Post-162 of 29th November 2008 in a passing manner.
 Dara has many shades of meaning; some of them are listed below:
1.       A breach or mouth when a river joins sea, as in Bandara (port, harbour), Dadara, Bhayandara, etc.
2.       A hole in the ground, creating ponds and lakes, as in kandara (ಕಂದರ) or kandaka (ಕಂದಕ), meaning a moat, valley, neck, and cave. Mark the word ‘dariya’, in many languages, meaning sea or river (Eg. Dariya Daulat, a palace of Tippu Sultan on the bank of River Kaveri at Shrirangapattana, Dariya Gad in one of the islands in sea at Malpe (Udupi).  
3.       A furrow, trench in the earth made by a spade or picks axe, esp. for growing vegetables.
4.       A dragging sound ‘dara dara’.
5.       Price or rate.
Prakrit was a vibrant language widely spoken and it has influenced many languages.  We think ‘Dara’ has its origin in Prakrit.
{Ref: Tulu Lexicon, p. 1563-64 (TL) and Dravidian Etymological Dictionary (DED)}
Kundara:  It is clear that the place name is made of two words: Kun + dara.  ‘’Kun’ means a bow, stoop, to bend, curve, bent or curved ground, curvature (N), semi-circle, crook-backed, hunchback (goonu), hump, a hollow place where water accumulates.  The meaning of ‘dara’ is explained above. So we deduce that it could be a curvaceous bank of a river with rippling sound during web and wane.
Note the topography of Kaipunjal-Pangala.  The entire stretch right from Kaipunjal (Hamlet of Uliyaragoli) to Mattu is full of ponds or lake-like water bodies.  Some of the water-bodies are being filled up as a sign of development on west-side of Pangala River Bridge on the National Highway No.66.  Would the (gradual) unplanned development augur well to natural environment?  It is a matter of conjecture and clash of interests (Read our Posts on Uliyaragoli to Malpe).

Kandara/Kandaka: It means a precipitous slope, valley, neck, cave, etc. ‘Kan’ or ‘Kani/kuni’ has the meaning of hole, valley, etc.  (Note: As an afterthought, we can apply one of the meanings of ‘Kana’ to ‘Kana’ in Kanakode in our last Post-403/19.03.2018).  When an area is dug, naturally there is presence of water. So ‘dara (= dra)’ here means ‘water’ (as in Dravida). 
Kandarapada is one of the ten hamlets of Dahisar and hence the nomenclature ‘Dahisar’.  In Dahisar (Northen limit of Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation), there is a rivulet/river Dahisar - now a relict of a river, which is hidden from view because of a bridge.  Thanks for the development!  It joins the Arabian Sea at Kandarapada {Dahisar (ದಹಿಸರ್) West}. It is a part of Manori Creek.
We have also noticed many Villages by name Kandara. To name a few, Kandaragi (Karnataka), Kundarakottai at Cuddalore district (TN), Kandarasingha at Denkanal (Odisha), and Kandara in Kenya (Africa).      
Kandaka has the meaning of trough, dike, ditch, moat, pitfall, trench and so on. There is a Village Kandaka at Narasimharajapura in Chikamagalur.

Dadar was a part of Dadar-Mahim (Mahimapura), which is one of the seven islands.  These islands were joined during Portuguese-British colonial time.  In Marathi, Dadar stands for ladder as it was an important doorway, opening or connection between main Mumbai Island and surrounding islands before joining of seven islands.
It is where Ulhas River (Main Branch) debauchs into Arabian Sea.  It was a doorway to Kalyan, which was a famous port for marine trade in olden days.  Ulhas River first branched off at Kalwa before storming into Thane Creek.
Darawade (ದರವಡೆ)
It is a village near Rajgurunagar, Khed Taluk of Pune District of Maharashtra.  It might have been named as such because of Bhima River flowing nearby. 
Darbe is a hamlet near Puttur in Dakshina Kannada.
Summing up
Place names have meanings and not definitions, as said in our earlier Posts on Onomasticon. We have made an attempt to unpack the mystery on place names with ‘dara’ element.
-Hosabettu Vishwanath, Pune

Blog Archive

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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