Sunday, March 17, 2019

416. Mogaru: villages on the river plain

 In several parts of Tulunadu we can find a specific place name of geographic significance designated for villages and hamlets located on the river plains or river banks. The toponym is Mogaru. Alternately the toponym is Muger in Tulu. Though both of these are Tulu words, Kannada speaking people preferentially have adopted “Mogaru” (ಮೊಗರು)  into their diction. The alternate Tulu word “Muger(u)” (ಮುಗೇರ್), somehow,  is missing in the mighty work Tulu Nighantu (1997).
Geography of a Mogaru (river plain): River Netravati plains viewed from Ullal, Mangaluru.

Mogaru/Muger Villages
Some of the Mogaru villages or hamlets are enlisted below:
§  Ajila mogaru, near Maninalkur, Bantwal Taluk, on the northern bank of R.Netravati.
§  Ambla mogaru,(Ambala Mogaru) near Konaje Mangaluru , on southern bank of R.Netravathi.
§  Jeppina mogaru Mangaluru, on the bank of R Netravathi
§  Kallimogaru. (Location to be traced).
§  Kodla mogaru, near East of Manjeshwara, Kasargodu district, Kerala
§  Kolla mogaru, near Subramanya, Sullia Taluk on the banks of a tributary to River Kumardhara
§  Kuduta mogaru,(Kudta-mogaru) Bajal, Mangaluru, on the northern bank of Netravathi
§  Mogaru ( Muger) hamlet of  Mundkur village, on banks of R. Shambavi (Mulki)
§  Mogaru, near Muthur, Mangaluru taluk; on the bank of Gurupur River
§  Mogralputhur (Mogral Puttur) in Kasaragod dt Kerala on Madhuvahini River East bank.
§  Nari mogaru,(Nari Mogaru), near Uppinangadi, Puttur Taluk, on the banks of R. Kumardhara
§  Panji mogaru, near Kulur, Mangaluru on the southern bank of R.Gurupur

Etymology of  Mogaru and Muger
The toponym Mogaru can be analysed as moga+aru, wherein “moga” means face or literally the plain or bank facing the river.; “aru” means the edge or the bank of the river. Therefore mogaru means a (river) facing plain.
There is a related word “ara” (plain or open area) which occurs as a common suffix in place names such as avara (av+ara) as in place names: Attavara, Brahmavara, Pejavara, Neelavara, etc. The suffix   aru also might have been a alternate or derived form of ara the plain or open area.
The alternate Tulu toponym Muger can be analysed as muga+er, wherein muga means face (an alternate form of moga) and er means eri or the ridge or slightly raised or elevated area.
The two parallel but equivalent words “Mogaru” and “Muger” could have come from two different tribal sources of antiquity to present form of Tulu. However, nowadays the toponym “Mogaru” is usually considered to be a Kannada word and “Muger” as its Tulu equivalent.

Etymology of Associated words
In many of the Mogaru/Muger toponyms cited above, we can find an associated word  occurring in the beginning part of the place name. 
“Ajila” in Ajila mogaru refers to an ancient tribe probably that inhabited the river plain referring to. “Ajila”, now is also a lineage surname among Jain/Bunt families.
“Ambala” in Ambala Mogaru possibly refers to an temple (Ambala) that existed during the past historical period. “Am” can also refer to a past tribe that inhabited these areas. (These aspects can be discussed later in another post in detail)
 “Jeppina” or” jappina” in Jeppina Mogaru in general refers to slope of the land. It can also mean fall in the level of river or precisely a shifting of the river plain. In fact there are specific geological evidences in this area for earlier existence of  a river (Netravati) which has changed its course further southwards (as found now) due to geological and tectonic  causes in the past history.
“Kuduta” in Kuduta-muger represents horse gram (kuḍu in Tulu; huruli in Kannada) which was one of the earliest type of agricultural crops cultivated in Tulunadu as well as in south India.

“Kodla” in Kodla Mogaru appears to be an alternate form of ‘Kudla’. The term ‘kudla’ is sometimes explained as variant of “koodla” or river confluence. However, if the location does not have a confluence of river it can have an etymology such as: kudu+ala, wherein kudu means horse gram ( earliest grown agricultural crop in these regios)  and “ala” refers to habitations on the bank of water bodies or rivers.

“Kolla” in Kollamogaru relates to an ancient tribe of Kols, (a) versed in metal smelting and /or (Kolli tribes)(b) adapted to fishing.

Kalli in Kallimogaru represents an alternate form of “kallu” which means rocky or stony land surface on the river plain. We find “kallu “ in place names like: Kallamundkur, Kallya, etc.  The Tulu word “kalli” can have alternate explanations as we find in Tulu Noghantu such as (1) a network bag made of the coir fibres, usually used by fisher folks for carrying food/meals in olden days.(2)A measure of length for threads or (3) A cactus plant. However none of these explanations suit the environs of the place name. For example cactus being xerophyte   plant  usually grows in dry lands; however stony surfaces are usual along the coastal terrain.

Mogral in Mogral Puthur is again a compound word ( Mogaru+ala) , etymology of these words/word units  has been explained above sections.

“Nari” in Nari-Mogaru can be (1) a  jackal or (2) tiger. See Post:410
“Panji” in Panji-mogaru refers to pig or hog. Incidentally Panjurli is a reverent Spirit deity in Tulunadu.

Homonyms of Muger
While analysing the “mogaru/muger” place names, one should be aware of the homonyms of the word “Muger”. A homonym is a similar sounding term but having a differing meaning. Tulu language has many homonyms, possibly due its prolonged existence and contact with many tribal groups.

The known homonyms of the term mugger(u) are as follows:
Muger(u)1: Mogaru (described above)
Muger(u)2/Mugger/Muyyer/Mer(u) : A rabbit; hare
Mugger/Muggera/Muggeru/Muger(u)3: refers to (1) members of Mugera (or Mera) tribe or (2) the martyred tribal heroes Mudda and Kalala worshipped by Muggera/Mera community. This is an different word
Though generally some of these alternate term are  pronounced with emphasis on “g”, some regional variants are pronounced very similar to Mugera (ie equivalent of Mogaru/Muger1). Therefore these alternates should not be confused with Muger1.

Geographic significance
Since the place name Mogaru or Muger, specifically addresses an area on the river plain, we can use it for identifying places where the ancient rivers have changed their courses along the historical timeline. For example the Mogaru village, near Muthur  (East of Gurupur Kaikamba) cuts across the Gurupur River. This possibly suggests shifting of the river course since the formation of administrative boundaries of the villages about 200 years ago. Similarly we find that the Narimogru village is found away from river bank which indicates shifting in the course of River Kumardhara in that area. Similarly near the  Kodlamogaru village we do not find any  river now as it has been  shifted. 
The shifting of Netravati River by the side of  Jeppina Mogaru, near Mangaladevi area, Mangaluru, has been discussed in earlier posts in this blog.
The village of Mogral, near Kasargodu, Kerala, is found on the bank of Mogral/Madhuvahini River. Into this old village, the newly grown village area was added subsequently as Mogral-puthur (new village of Mograu+ala) which has grown towards Eastward and consequently we find a large part of the village now  existing away from the flank of river Mogral (or Madhuvahini river). 

Borrowed words
 We have given only a list of Mogaru place names existing in Tulunadu which gives an impression that Mogaru or its variant Mugeru  is an exclusive Tulu word.
In that case, you will be surprised to know that there are about a hundred different places in India that carry the tag of Mogar or any of its variants. How that can be possible? The fact that there exists many such place names all over India suggests that (1) Mogaru is a borrowed word in Tulu and (2) place names in Tulu are not unique to Tulunadu as assumed by some but are part of the pan Indian evolution of languages and culture.
Before Tulu took up a place of pride in Tulunadu there were other languages in these areas, like variants of Prakrit and Munda languages. 
Words along the timeline of prolonged history have  survived   like resistant coins and have been reused by later introduced languages with or without minor changes.

 In this case it appears that Tulu has borrowed these words from Prakrit language that prevailed in the land up to the early centuries of the Common Era.

Related place names
Patla-kanda (ಪಟ್ಲ ಕಂಡ).
Ala (as spatial suffix or prefix).

- Hosabettu Vishwanath
  With  Ravindra Mundkur

Sunday, March 3, 2019

415. Uma-Maheshwara at Attavara

Temples in India have a regular traditional system of renovation usually in a period of twelve years and this is known as Brahma-kalasha ceremony.  Most of the temples have thus been and are being subjected to this classical process of renovation and updating, and as a consequence,   it is but natural that   specific evolutionary features of historical significance embodied   in the ancient temples since their initiation are likely to be modified or subdued. This issue is further complicated by absence or lack of systematic preservation of historical data relating to temples. Dr. Padur Gururaja Rao (19xx ) has made an extensive study of idols installed in temples of Tulunadu and attempted to roughly date them according to the characteristic sculptural features displayed . However, still lot of further work is needed to be done to refine what has been already contributed by Gururaja Bhat. One of the issues faced by researchers appears to be is the lack of access to the idols. To assist genuine students of history those in charge of these sacred renovation ceremonies may (1) provide opportunities for gathering data directly and/or (2)  provide or publish historical information available at their disposal.
This year a number of temples in the region have undergone Brahma-kalasha ceremonies with active participation of the devout public. The temples of Mundkur, Palimar, Polali and Attavara (Mangaluru) have recently have undergone the brahma-kalasha ceremonies.
Uma Maheshwara Temple (renovated)

 Uma Maheshwara
The poster advertisement put up in newspapers on the brahma-kalasha celebration of ceremony of Uma Maheshwara temple at Attavara, Mangaluru, contained an interesting piece of information. It reported that about 200 years ago, while excavating for the construction of District Collectors office in Mangaluru (near the present site of Deputy Commissioners Office) they recovered an idol of Shiva. The idol was shifted to Attavara and was installed in a temple dedicated to Uma-Maheshwara. It is interesting to note that the ancient coastal village around DC office and old port/ Bunder area in Mangaluru was known as Nireshwalya (ie. Neere-Shivalaya)  in old records. (The village name has almost been obsolete and forgotten as people are calling the  locality simply as “ Bundar”.) Anyway, the piece of information suggests that the idol could be a part of the ancient Shiva temple in the ancient  Neere Shivalaya village. Shivālaya means a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Neere means the water or the tidal reach between the village and the Arabian Sea. Thus the original idol of Shiva apparently was reinstalled at Attavara as Uma Maheshwara as per the popularity of the deity during the time of reinstallation. Unfortunately, we do not find any temporal analysis or allied information on the idol in Gururaja Bhat’s famous work on Tulunadu temples. Therefore anyone who has additional information on the issue may kindly share it in this blog.

Uma Maheshwara Temple

 However this piece of information may be useful for students of history as it reveals how several  ancient idols and even temples might have been shifted during the course of (unfortunately unrecorded) history. Similar local information on Bappanadu temple, Mulki, suggests that original Bappanadu temple was near the bank of Mulki port which is about 500 meters interior of the present location of the temple.
Since most of the ancient temples have been updated every 12 years, as per the prevalent custom of brahma - kalasha ceremonies, basically designed for stabilization of temples apart from other issues, it is obvious that many of the original aspects of historical significance might have been lost over the years.

Sri Uma Maheshwara Temple Attavara, Mangaluru

Sapaliga-Ganiga community
A note on the Sapaliga –Ganiga community that manages the temple at Attavara, Mangaluru, evidently, since last two centuries appears pertinent here. The interesting note apparently throws light on the tidbits of traditional aspect on how the initial “ bari“ lineages were converted into castes or communities and how the castes in turn were bifurcated into subdivisions  during the past history in our country.
The temple of Uma Maheshwara at Attavara is managed by people of Sapaliga- Ganiga community, probably since last two centuries since the idol was brought from Nireshivalaya (near old Bunder /DC office area, Mangaluru) and installed here.
Members of Sapaliga community are associated with temple music activities in Tulunadu since several centuries, probably dating back to the ancient days of Kadamba king Mayura Sharma (ca. 400 CE), who is credited with rejuvenation of Hinduism and initiating a popular culture of temple based worship. The word “sappaliga” means one who makes sounds (“sappala”) or the music.
The Ganigas in Tulunadu  are traditional  oil extractors, known for drawing oil from coconuts  abound in the coastal region.
The common association of Sapaligas and Ganigas especially popular in Mangaluru and Bantwal region suggests that members of these communities shared professions in the historical past.

Offshoot of Mogaveera community
However it is interesting to note that matrimonial alliances between members of Sapaliga and Marakala (Mogaveera) communities are commonly accepted even today, especially in Udupi-Karkala and northern part of Mangaluru   regions. Old people in the community used to report   that during olden days volunteers for the temple service, as  Sapaligas, were drawn from the members of Marakala/Mogaveera community during the historical period. And as a vestige of the old custom even today matrimonial relationships continue among these community members. It can be seen that members of these communities share similar and common bari lineages which are older in historical perspective than the castes proper.

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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