Vote for Ooty Campaign

Giving Ooty back its name makes economic sense

Dharmalingam Venugopal  – Coordinator – Vote for Ooty


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According to latest statistics, over 26 lakh tourists visited Ooty last year. Of this, 60% were from Kerala and Karnataka. Others came from all over India and outside. Ooty is the only name known to them. In the future several lakh more visitors are likely to come from various parts of the country and the world. They are being attracted only by the name of Ooty.

Therefore, continuing to call Ooty officially as Udhagamandalam makes no economic or cultural sense.

The name Ootacamund (spelt variously over the years as Hottegemund, Utakamand, Whatakaimand, Whotakamund, Wootaycamund,   Wotaycamund, Wotokymand and  Wuttacamund)  has been in use since 1821. Over time,   it got shortened  snuggly  to Ooty, by which it is known world over.

In 1972 the name was abruptly changed to ‘Udhagamandalam’. The change of name has since been a source of confusion and inconvenience for the millions of tourists who visit the hills every year. Many think Ootacamund and Udhagamandalam are two different places. Besides, visitors often mistake ‘Udhyogomandal’ in Kerala for Udhagamandalam!


M.B. Emeneau, the authority on all Dravidian languages, had clearly documented the origin of the name several decades ago.  Where Stonehouse (the first house built in Ootacamund by its founder John  Sullivan) now stands, there was formerly a Toda mund, called by the Badagas as “Hottegemund” and later as the British developed the place, the whole town was called by that name.

Sir Frederic Price in his, ‘Ootacamund. A  History’ published in 1908 dealt at length with the origin of the name and agreed that, ‘ The word is certainly no corruption of the Tamil tongue, nor has it its origin in anything derived from the English language’.


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The Tamilised name Udhagai is only a corruption of the Badaga word Hottagai for Hottegemund.

There is absolutely no mention of the name ‘Udhagamandalam’ in Tamil literature or other historical records.

Considering the national and global importance of Ooty, the state and the centre should accept the inadvertent mistake and restore the name OOty in English and Udhagai in Tamil.

It will be most appropriate if the change is made this year as Ooty Municipality celebrates its 150 anniversary.

Voteforooty, a coalition of local stakeholders, will raise this as an election issue in the coming Assembly polls.

The Mudumalai Forest

photo – Wg Cdr JP



photo – Wg Cdr JP

The ‘HARD’ fact

The Nigiris, the famous tourist hill station, known as ‘Naakku Betta’ to the native Badagas, is indeed a Nature’s gift and  piece of Paradise on earth.

Unfortunately, the district does not offer many if not any job opportunities to the increasingly aspiring and educated youth. They have to go down to the plains like Coimbatore, Tirupur etc. And, in the bargain, many Badagas have relocated to the plains on a permanent basis.

Another unfortunate fallout is, with the falling price for unprocessed [green leaf] tea, Badagas have been selling their tea estates [‘Thotta’ to them], usually small holdings of a couple of acres as a sort of distress sale. The outsiders mainly from big cities are always willing to grab a piece of ‘Paradise’ as their holiday vacation destination.

Added to the misery is the exploitation by the ‘middle men’ who literally make a ‘killing’ in both selling of plots/houses in the plains for huge prices or buying the land [small tea estates] for a song.

Over a period of time and after a lot of discussions, I have identified VEDA PROPERTIES, owned by a Badaga, to be one of the transparent and reliable concerns who can offer very good services. They have tied up with many reputed property developers.

Veda Properties can help in buying/selling plots and built houses both in the Nilgiris and in Coimbatore districts including the much sought after destinations like Veerapandi, Peria Nayakkan Palayam, Vada Madurai, Thidialur etc

What is more, Veda Properties have agreed to offer special discounts to the readers of our website

If interested in special discounts please contact This is a FREE service for a fair deal and an initiative to prevent exploitation.

Badaga Bangara – Appra Singara !

Badaga Jewellery

Badagas, especially the women, have some exotic and unique jewellery that they wear on their person.

It was a chance but a wonderful meeting with Mrs.Gangamma, aged 78 years, daughter of Karibajja Kari Gowder of Pedduva Kallatti who was associated with Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder (‘Ari Gowda koottuda maathu adile, Koodi ebba ella bae muchindu unnippa ortara endu appa hegina’, she remembered] and wife of late Kari Gowder of Kerben Village (Kotagiri) who passed away about 40 years back, at Mettupalayam in Feb,2007.

She was wearing traditional Badaga Jewllery – ‘Mookkuthi [nose ring & Chinna [ear ring]’ which made me ponder and wonder about Badaga Jewellery.

click here to see plenty of photos and read the complete article about the wonderful ‘world’ of BADAGA Bangara – Jewellery

About Badagas


Badagas 1

A lot of research has been done on BADAGA, both the people and the language. One of the early westerners whose research on Badaga is very authentic, interesting and educative, is Edgar Thurston. His article about Badaga Tribe in ‘Castes and Tribes of Southern India (Vol.!)‘ published in 1909 with a lot of photos, is a must read.

Castes and Tribes of Southern India is a seven-volume encyclopedia of social groups of Madras Presidency and the princely states of Travancore, Mysore, Coorg and Pudukkottai published by British museologist Edgar Thurston and K. Rangachari in 1909. [Wikipedia]’

The ebook, as part of Project Gutengerg, produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at is freely avai0lable.

“This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.

Dr.R.K.Haldorai has done an excellent translation on the info on Badagas into Tamil.

I have great pleasure in including the same with the original in the New Page About Badagas.

 – Wing Commande JP


Trying to trace BM Babu, Ex- Indian Air Force

Our site has helped in tracing and uniting long lost friends. Can some body help trace BM Babu – Wg Cdr JP

Dear Sir,

I happened to stumble upon your website when I was searching for a long lost friend of mine.
I am Ex Sgt M Satish from Bangalore working in Bank of India. I  request you to kindly help me, in any way possible, to trace Ex JWO BM Babu(657208). He was a SEW tradesman and has helped me a lot when we were posted together in PTS in 1992 to 1996.
He is a Badaga, and has two sons, Karthik and Gopi. I had approached AFRO and the address given is Belithala thair, Manjoor, Niligiris-643204. Letters have been returned undelivered.
I request you to kindly help me in to trace him as I am very fond of his sons (must be married too by now)
Expecting to hear from you
Thanking you,
Yours truly,

At the cross roads and in a catch 22 situation

There was a time when every Badaga household got their FRESH vegetables from their own holas [vegetable gardens next to their houses or a little away from the hatti [village].

2-8-15 008

Be it Avare [beans], gaasu [potatos] or kadaley [peas] or the healthy Keerey Soppu. They were part of the daily menu. Ganji Godhumay [wheat] and baththa  were grown, harvested and made into flour so that Eragittu, Pothittu and baththa hittu could be made very often if not daily. There was no dearth of haalu [milk], majjigay [butter milk], mosaru [curd] and thuppa [clarified butter].

But now, all these seem to be a dream. The basic reason  could be the INVASION of the koda and kaadu emme [monkeys and bisons] which would not spare any thing green. The strict laws related to wild life and their implementation had become a big deterrent in growing vegetables. A family’s wealth was based on the Banda [cattle -number of buffalos and cows] owned. Tho and kottagay [large and individual cattle sheds] were part and parcel of a hatti.

Every Badaga family had atleast a small patch of thotta [tea estate] that would give an assured income. The steep fall in green leaf tea prices and steeper labour wages have made owning and maintaining the estate more of a burden and headache.

Now, everything is uncertain. Health and wealth have become big casualties.

Life in the Naakku Betta [the Nilgiris, the blue mountains] has really become very difficult. Badagas are at the cross roads and in a catch 22 situation.

Future is a big question mark now?? What can we do about it???

Open Letter on OROP

Open Letter to Prime minister Modi on OROP (One Rank One pension)

Dear Prime Minister,

I feel deeply feel pained and betrayed. By your action, rather your inaction, on the OROP issue. For the First Time, I have started having doubts on your ability to solve the issues facing this great Country and its people.

I have been an unabashed supporter of you even before you became the Prime Minister. Never doubted your ability to solve the problems of this country. Definitely, never doubted your words or promises. I was under the impression that before you promised and  said anything, plenty of thought and preparation went into it.

The dillydallying and delaying tactics of announcing the One Pay One Pension has deeply hurt me. How can the IAS lobby, through the Finance Minister Arun Jaitly, convince you to backtrack and betray the Ex-Servicemen, the fauji that fought for this country without fear by giving up their youth, the best years of life?

Do you realise that you are losing an enormous amount of Good Will ? Do you understand the repercussions and the rippling effects that will have on the ‘serving’ Defence Forces when the ex-fauji is neglected and OROP issue relegated and reneged?

Sir, I feel totally betrayed and deeply pained.

Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash  [an ex-fauji]

World Photography Day


On the day of World Photography [19-08-2015], here is a  candid shot of Kannerimukku village [a Badaga Hamlet] at 6-30pm, the first ever settlement of the British Raj in any hill areas of India. The concept of a Hill Station began here. Welcome to the Nilgiris !!!

Dharmalingam Venugopal

Burning Issues

[This article/page was published a few years back. But, most of the issues touched upon have a great relevance even today – Wg.Cdr.JP]


Many Badagas are under the mistaken impression that if they are brought under the “Scheduled Tribe”, it is a degrading step. I do not think so. Badagas are one of the ‘ORIGINAL’ tribes of the Nilgiris along with Todas, Kothas and Kurumas.

The enormous improvements achieved by Badagas in all social factors, in spite of many impediments, should make us feel proud. This success is attributed to one SINGLE factor. Education. For that we must remember with gratitude the pioneer, visionary and philanthropist Rao Bahadur [Hubbathalai Jogi Gowder] Bellie Gowder who built the first School for Badagas – along with free hostel accommodation for Badaga students in Hubbathalai and his son Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder who fore saw that in educating a girl, indeed we are educating a family and society, insisted on education for girls and encouraged it fully.

Now, the good news is that, one of the major political parties – AIADMK – has publically announced that ST status would  be recommended for Badagas if they are elected to govern the Tamil Nadu state for which elections are being held on the 13th April, 2011.


‘Scheduled Tribe’ status for Badagas ?!

March, 2008 : Why the latest Tamil Nadu website,
on the Nilgiris is getting on my ‘goat’ is the fact that till recently Badagas were shown as a tribe along with Todas, Kothas, Kurumbas and others. In fact, the following photograph displayed in my website [ see the page ] was taken from that portal.
But the same has been removed from now.
Mind you, calling Badagas as a separate tribe and included with others,does not automaticaly give the status of a schedule tribe. And hence, the champions among ourselves who are opposed to ST status, need not feel small
The above website of TN govt is accessed by many tourists mainly foreigners and they are agast not to find anything on or about Badagas.

Many readers may not know that Badagas were listed as a separate entity in the CENSUS till 1981 but after, that courtesy some idiots, Badaga are grouped under Kannada (speaking people). What this has done is the huge loss of information of knowing how many Badagas are there [along with all other details like literacy rate, gender wise population etc]. That, SIMPLY MEANS BADAGAS DO NOT EXIST.

What is highly hurting is the fact we have many Badagas including a minister, MLA, many ex-MPs & ex-MLAs who seem to do nothing. Can they not, ATLEAST, shoot out letters to all concerned ? Or, have they forgotten the fact that they are getting a fat pension because of us? I know of an EX-MP who writes to the local police station every now and then emphasising the EX-FACTOR when it comes to grabbing others land for her own kith, but does nothing about the community welfare.
What about the many self appointed leaders of Badaga community, including ex-MLAs, who claim that they are very close to the DMK party leadership ? Why can’t they initiate some action and show the same enthusiasm when they ‘fleece’ the public for money in the name of donation for the party [but lining their own pockets]?
What about many senior government officers, including the only IAS officer who can influence the party in power to take some action ? Firstly, the IAS officer should correct his mother tongue being Badaga and NOT as Tamil as is given in the government official info { a fact I have mentioned in FIRST BADAGA also}.
It is a well known fact that late Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder would seek an immediate appointment, to highlight the problems concerning Badagas, with the Collector as well as the State ministers of his time including the great Rajaji who was the CM. Do you know that Rajaji had to apologise to Ari Gowder when he (Rajaji) was delayed for an appointment and Ari Gowder, as MLA, threatened to walk out. I believe, many Collectors of the Nilgiris, would not only address Ari Gowder’s concern expressed over the phone but would consult him on any issue on Badagas.
The local correspondent [for the Nilgiris] of one of the most widely read national news papers of India, ‘THE HINDU’ is a Badaga. Can we request him to highlight this issue in his columns?
Why are we keeping quiet ? Why are we behaving like ‘HEBBATHES’ – cockroaches- running away from light and hiding ourselves in darkness??

Badagas under Schedule Tribes ???

I have very strong views on this subject. Before I elaborate on them, I feel that we should first of all be identified as BADAGAS which is not the case as SANTHOSH has rightly mentioned in www:// “. . our community’s name is not in the list of communities under the BC category. In fact, it is not mentioned under any of the categories.”

I also agree with the views of ‘bhojvija’ who feels that ST tag for Badagas is humiliating…
“…Badagas living in cities and doing/completed education in cities and are upper middle class family and for them it’s not at all a matter if Badagas are non ST. But we have to talk about our entire badaga community. For example an SC/ST guy simply getting govt job if he passed just degree. And government providing more facilities like scholarship, free hostel, books, notebooks etc… In our community so many have stopped their education due to lack of economical support and their entire life style also has been changed as they have to work just as ordinary labourers…. “.

Most of us feel that getting ST status is demeaning and meant mainly for getting admissions to educational institutions and getting jobs easily. The truth could be entirely different.

Even in our own district of the Nilgirs, do you know that we are not taken as a separate community as BADAGAS but are clubbed with other non tribals??? That is one of the reasons why the exact number of Badags is not available? When census is taken Badags are clubbed under Kannadigas / others.

I am afraid ,if this sad state of affair continues, after a few years, we will come under the “extinct” community.

Being from an above average Badaga family – economically [God’s grace], having done my professional studies of engineering and business administration etc and having served in the defence services and having mostly lived in big cities like Delhi, Bangalore & Madras for the past forty odd years or educating my children in the elitist schools, colleges and now abroad, I had no occasion to seek the tag of BC.

BUT.. yes this is a big ‘but’ [no pun intended]…


  1. First, we should be identified as a separate group as BADAGAS like Todas, Kothas,Kurumas etc when the people(tribes) of the Nilgiris are referred to.
  2. For the larger good of the community, Badagas should get the ST status for the benefits available are too many to go into detail.

Nearly eighty years back, Nakku Betta Leader, Rao Bahadur (Rao Sahib then) Bellie Gowder on whose invitation the Governor of then Madras Province visited Hubbathalai Village was presented a memorandum on the Hill Tribes of Nilgiris which included Badagas, Todas & Kothas. In a grand cultural show organised on that eve Badaga dance was presented [by school boys] in their ‘DODDA KUPPACHA”.


Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder, incidentally, was not only the leader of Badagas but represented as leader of all the tribes of Nilgiris (a relatively remote hilly & jungle area and unexplored at that time in early 1900s). The folder he presented to the British Governor, on the occassion of his vist to Hubbathalai [on the invitation of Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder] containg some rare photos of all the tribes of Nilgiris INCLUDING BADAGAS

Badagas as a Hill Tribe

What do you think?


Let us be FAIR to the fair gender

As I sit down to ponder over the ‘burning issues’ that are bothering the Badaga Community, three issues pop up as very important. The FIRST one is the inequality with which we seem to be treating our women today. Though, this malaise is affecting all the communities in our country, I am concerned that the Badagas who treated their women folk with so much respect and love in the olden days, are slowly but surely pushing them into the second class citizens category.

In earlier days, the girls were married off at a much younger age [Kannu Hoottadha Henga] but with the firm understanding that they [the girls] could seek divorce at any time if there was matrimonial disharmony and that they would be accepted back into the society without any blame and reservation. Getting married again was no big issue. She, always, had the backing of her parents and her brothers as ‘guru mane’ gave unflinching support in all respects mainly financial. This was probably the main reason that the girl children were not given any share in the property.

Being brought up in an atmosphere where complaining and cribbing were not considered as routine, the Badaga women accepted life as it came and were always ready to sacrifice their own comforts. But then, the Badaga men, at least a majority of them, were, also, simple and hard working. Then came the curse of ‘drinking’. And with that, the problems and troubles of Badaga woman increased many fold and took a dramatic turn for the worse. The men folk took full advantage of the vulnerable nature of the women who had the additional burden of bringing up the children. Here, it must be mentioned that a Badaga girl was expected to be pregnant within a few months of marriage and invariably, there was a child to ‘celebrate’ the first wedding anniversary. Followed, of course, with many more children. “Mane thumba Makka” – House full of children – was part of the ‘blessing – Harakkay’.

This put the women in a very disadvantageous position. With many children, divorce was not a choice. Thus, they accepted suffering without complaints.

Education changed the fundamental thinking of girls. Though still faced with the compulsion of early marriage, many girls accepted ‘two children per family’ norm as the best option. But, there was and is still discrimination when it came to giving them share of property. The present law of the land is clear. Girls should get EQUAL share of the property.

The Badaga thinking, mainly mandated and manipulated by men, has found the clumsy excuse of not giving share of the property to the girl children by quoting outdated traditions. This is the problem.

I am convinced that one of the most important and burning issues facing us today is GIVING EQUAL SHARE TO THE GIRLS AS THE BOYS. I am firmly of the view that we have to resolve that we will give equal share to the girls if we have to save our community from falling into disgrace. Let us take that resolution, HERE and NOW.

No articles, images and other material in this website can be reproduced without the permission of
Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash B.E.(GCT,Madras Univ).,M.B.A(FMS,Delhi Univ)


Contact :


Badaga Names

Badaga Names

“What is in a name, a rose smells the same by any other name” so said a great poet. But is it so ? In the context of preserving the culture of a community, the names given to both persons and places can play a very crucial part.

In our history of many thousand years, naming of places was generally and literally linked to NATURE. Be it on names given to villages like ‘Bikka Mora Hatti [Olive Tree Village]’ or ‘Hubbathale [Chinese Pagoda tree/grass]’ or ‘Osa Hatti [New Village]’.

Badagas had [ I am very sad to use ‘past tense’ here] a great tradition of naming their children after their ancestors, usually a deceased grand parent. By this they not only ensured that the dead are constantly remembered but also to differentiate Badaga as an unique entity as a tribe with their own traditions and customs.

Jayaprakash, Sabbarish, Yudhister, Abhishek, Parmesh, Ramesh, Satish, Vivek, Vinodh Bhuvanesh or Shalini, Shakila, Sudhalini, Nivideta, Kaushalya etc are, hold your breadth, some of the names of the so called modern(?) Badaga men and women. If you have to identify persons only from the names, then the above mentioned could be from any part of our country.

Contrast these with names like Bellie, Jogi, Kada, Hala, Sevana, Jevana, Moracha, Nandhi, Ari, Boja, Bella, Ajja, Madha or Kangi, Nanji, Madhi, Kade, Masi, Dhali. Straight away, these names not only point to Badagas but also remind us of our great ancestors.

I have always wondered, why being from a ‘STAUNCH BADAGA’fied family I was named Jayaprakash. My mom told me that when I was to be named in 1948, a much elder cousin who was both a bully and the first of his generation, insisted on this name because he was a follower of Jayaprakash Narain. Of course, the consolation is that in our generation (one earlier to the present one) everybody was compulsorily given a Badaga name also. For example, my Badaga name is JEVANA. Unfortunately, while registering the name for joining the school, the Badaga name was not included and hence Jayaprakash -and the short form of JP -got stuck. In one of those ironies of fate, when I had to give the [initials expanded] name to join the Indian Air Force as a commissioned officer, my father’s name Bellie became my first name [and since we do not have a family name common to all brothers and sisters], Bellie is how I am known these days and yes, I am quite happy about it.

If we continue to name our children as we do now by following the blind and bad advise of some ‘IYER’ who advises that the name has to start with X or Y, we can surely and sadly bury one of our best traditions of NAMING our children only with Badaga names and thus preserving and protecting our culture and KULA (clan).

The least we can do is, while naming the new born babies, ensure that a Badaga name is also given and that Badaga name is definitely included in the school records as well as for other important requirements like voter ID, passport etc.

[On a personal note, on our part we (my wife & I) have ensured that our children’s names include Badaga names ARI & NANJI [Rao Bahadur Ari Gowda was great grandfather to my son from my wife’s side and Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowda’s wife Nanji was great grandmother to my daughter from my side] along with their other names which were chosen by the ‘modernists’ in which I had no say (sob sob)]

As a first step, may I request the readers to list out all the old, original and exclusive Badaga names (both male and female) and give a serious thought to this serious problem. The names of all GODS/GODDESS is not considered original / traditional.

Some names that come to my mind :

Male names :

◾Ari, Ajja, B(h)oja, Bellie, Bela(Mada), Bella, B(h)eema, Bidia, Bulla, Dona, Gedda, Gujja, Hala, Hiriya, Jevana, Jogi, Kada, Kariabetta, Kakkamalla, Kalla, Kari, Kulla, Linga, Madha, Madiya, Moracha, Nandi, Nanja, Pada, Pokka, Raju, Ranga, Sevana, Sele, Thatha, Thippa.

Female names :
◾Beeki, Bulli, Chenne, Chinna, Doni, D(h)ali, Gange, Gangamma, Gauri, Giriji, Hali, Hallamma, Hui, Jevani, Kade, Kangi, Lingi, Madi, Malle, Masi, Nanji, Panne, Paru, Rukki, Sevani, Sing(a)ri.

Found this info in the special issue of Kovai Badagar Sangam [1982] – by M.Parvathi and B.Ramamurthy

Popular Badaga Names

Male :
◾Ajja, Andi, Appi, Ari, Bella, Bellie, Bemma, B(h)oja, B(h)ola, Bijja, Bulla, Chevana, Dhona, Dhooma, Dhunda, Dolla, Gedda, Gejje, Gilla, Gowda, Gujja, Hala, Halli, Hiriya, Hucha, Huchi, Joghee, Jogha, Kada, Kakkamalla, Kala, Kali, Kalla, Kari, Komb, Konga, Krishna, Kunda, Linga, Macha, Madha, Madia, Malla, Malli, Matha, Morcha, Nanja, Nandi, Pamba, Peela, Rama, Ranga, Sakkarai, Sakkolai, Selai, Senna, Setti, Sevana, Singri, Sirangi, Thippa

Female :
◾Akkama, Beeki, Bijji, Chevani, Chinnamma, Devi, Dhundi, Gangi, Gavari, Haalamma, Haali, Honni, Jevani, Kade, Kali, Keppi, Lingi, Madhi, Mallai, Maanikka, Mallajji, Maasi, Michi, Nanji, Peeri, Rangi, Rani, Rukki, Sennai , Sirigi, Thippi

[please also read the page BADAGA NAMES ]

You are an inspiration in life and death

Death anniversary of Mrs.Idyammal Bellie Gowder

mom-6a_edited-lb.jpg02-10-1912  — 13-07-2011

You gave everything to us when you were alive – the greatest of them all being EDUCATION. You ensured that all your eight children, including three girls, got both school and college education even when the times were difficult and hard. Your elder brother Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder was a solid support to our family.

In life, You were an inspiration. In death, you are a greater inspiration.

Mom and Hethe, we miss you. We bow our heads in respect and seek your blessings – wherever You are!

Taking life for granted

Please spend a few minutes to read this – it may make a HUGE difference in life (after death}

Letter written by a wife after her husband’s death in an accident

“Few things I learnt after my husband’s death:-

We always believe we will live forever. Bad things always happen to others.

Only when things hit us bang on your head you realise… Life is so unpredictable….

My husband was an IT guy, All technical. And I am a chartered accountant. Awesome combination you may think.

Techie guy so everything is on his laptop. His to do list. His e-bill and his bank statements in his email. He even maintained a folder which said IMPWDS wherein he stored all login id and passwords for all his online accounts. And even his laptop had a password. Techie guy so all the passwords were alpha-numeric with a special character not an easy one to crack. Office policy said passwords needed to be changed every 30 days. So every time I accessed his laptop I would realize it’s a new password again. I would simply opt for asking him ‘What’s the latest password instead of taking the strain to memorize it.

You may think me being a Chartered Accountant would means everything is documented and filed properly. Alas many of my chartered accountant friends would agree that the precision we follow with our office documents and papers do not flow in to day to day home life. At office you have be epitome of Reliability / Competent / Diligent etc but. At home front there is always a tomorrow.

One fine morning my hubby expired in a bike accident on his way home from office.. He was just 33. His laptop with all his data crashed. Everything on his hard disk wiped off. No folder of IMPWDS to refer back to. His mobile with all the numbers on it was smashed. But that was just the beginning. I realised I had lot to learn.

9 years married to one of the best human beings with no kids just the two of us to fall back on but now I stood all alone and lost.

Being chartered accountant helped in more ways than one but it was not enough. I needed help. His saving bank accounts, his salary bank accounts had no nominee. On his insurance his mom was the nominee and it was almost 2 years back she had expired. But this was just a start. I didn’t know the password to his email account where all his e-bill came. I didn’t know which expenses he paid by standing instructions.

His office front too was not easy. His department had changed recently. I didn’t know his reporting boss name to start with when had he last claimed his shift allowance, his mobile reimbursement.

The house we bought with all the excitement on a loan thought with our joint salary we could afford the EMI. when the home loans guys suggested insurance on the loan, we decided the instead of paying the premium the difference in the EMI on account of the insurance could be used pay towards prepayment of the loan and get the tenure down. We never thought what we would do if we have to live on a single salary. So now there was huge EMI to look into .

I realised I was in for a long haul.

Road accident case. So everywhere I needed a Death certificate, FIR report, Post Mortem report. For everything there were forms running into pages indemnity bonds, notary, surety to stand up for you. No objections certificates from your co-heirs.

I learnt other than your house, your land, Your car, your bike are also your property. So what if you are the joint owner of the flat you don’t become the owner just because your hubby is no more. So what if your hubby expired in the bike accident and you are the nominee but if the bike is in a repairable condition .you have to get the bike transferred in your name to claim the insurance. And that was again not easy. The bike or car cannot be transferred in your name without going through a set of legal documents. Getting a Succession Certificate is another battle all together.

Then came the time you realise now you have to start changing all the bills, assets in your name. Your gas connection, electricity meter, your own house, your car, your investments and all sundries. And then change all the nominations where your own investments are concerned. And again a start of a new set of paperwork.

To say I was shaken my whole life had just turned upside down was an understatement. You realise you don’t have time to morn and grieve for the person with whom you spend the best years of your life. Because you are busy sorting all the paper work.

I realised then how much I took life for granted. I thought being a chartered accountant I am undergoing so many difficulties, what would have happened to someone who was house maker who wouldn’t understand this legal hotchpotch.

A sweet friend then told me dear this was not an end, you have no kids, your assets will be for all who stand to claim. After my hubby’s sudden death. I realised it was time I took life more seriously. I now needed to make a Will. I would have laughed if a few months back if he had asked me to make one. But now life had taken a twist.

Lessons learnt this hard way were meant to be shared. After all why should the people whom we love the most suffer after we are no more. Sorting some paperwork before we go will at least ease some of their grief.

1. Check all your nominations.
It’s a usual practice to put a name (i.e in the first place if you have mentioned it) and royally forget about it. Most of us have named our parent as a nominee for investments, bank accounts opened before marriage. We have not changed the same even years after they are no longer there with us. Even your salary account usually has no nomination.. Kindly check all your Nominations.
– Bank Accounts
– Fixed Deposits, NSC
– Bank Lockers
– Demat Accounts
– Insurance (Life, Bike or Car or Property)
– Investments
– PF Pension Forms

2. Passwords.
We have passwords for practically everything. Email accounts, Bank accounts, even for the laptop you use. What happens when your next in kin cannot access any of these simply because they do not know your password… Put it down on a paper.

3. Investments.
Every year for tax purpose we do investments. Do we maintain a excel sheet about it. If so is it on the same laptop of which the password you had not shared. Where are those physical investments hard copy.

4. Will.
Make a Will. I know you will smile even I would had I not gone through all what I did. It would have made my life lot easier a lot less paperwork. I wouldn’t had to provide an indemnity bond, get it notarised, ask surety to stand up, no objections certificates from others…

5. Liabilities.
When you take a loan say for your house or car. Check out on all the what if, what if I am not there tomorrow, what if I loose my job. Will the EMI still be within my range. If not get an insurance on the loan. The people left behind will not have to worry on something as basic as their own house.

My battles have just begun… But let us at least try and make few changes so that our loved ones would not suffer after we go. We do not know what will happen in the future. But as the Scout motto goes: Be prepared ”


[recd as fwd email]

Ari Gowda – the great Badaga Leader

Ari Gowder

Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder from Hubbathalai remains to be one of the greatest leaders of not only Badagas for for the entire district of the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu. His services to the community and his philanthropic deeds are still spoken about, though he passed away in 1971. One of his most important achievements was the establishment of NCMS – Nilgiris Cooperative Marketing Society at Ooty that helped a large number of small farmers by releasing them out of the clutches of middlemen. NCMS was considered as the best Co-Op Society in India. Read more about Ari Gowder here.

On the 45th anniversary of his death on 28 June 2015, a function was held at NCMS, Ooty to remember and pay respects to Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder.

DMalar AG[Above report from Dinamalar 29-06-2015]

On behalf of Ari Gowder family, we put on record our deep gratitude and appreciation to the organisers of the above function.

Come let us do YOGA – Baarivi YOGA maaduvoe

The recent post on International Yoga Day (see below) has brought a lot of positive feed back. YOGA is not an one day ‘affair’ but must remain as a life long practice that should become a daily routine, I take great pleasure in choosing some of the best (out of the hundred of videos available on the net) and presenting it here.

Chosen for ease of explanation and follow up.

Pran Oorja – Anulom Vilom Pranayam

Pawan Muktasana

Your health is in your hands and feet, in a manner of speaking. Take it now for a healthier and happier life.




Today is International Yoga Day that is being celebrated all over the globe.

Join with your friends if possible, otherwise, do a few YOGA exercises including systematic breathing in your home. Relax. Spend atleast 30 minutes on Yoga.

It is for your health and happiness.

Do it everyday just like brushing your teeth and make it a habit.

See and feel the difference in a month!

Go here to know What is YOGA ?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing an asana at Rajpath on Sunday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing an asana at Rajpath on Sunday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Photo: The Hindu

Yoga to reduce weight




Health and Badagas

Badagas of the Blue Mountain in the Nilgiris [Southern India], in earlier days, have given great importance to health. This was amply reflected in their life style. Walking was part of life. Be it going to the fields, hola or thotta, or going to the forests for gathering firewood or long trekking to gather honey and fruits [hannu koovadhu]. Since, festivals, weddings or funerals were essentially social gatherings, relatives would walk long distances to reach the destination usually a hatti/villages located far away.

Known of boys coming all the way from Edapalli & Eethorai to study in Hubbathalai School, located a few kilometres away, in the 1960s. In those days, one had to walk a considerable distance to catch a bus to go to Ooty or Coonoor. Unfortunately, laziness came along with introduction of mini buses connecting the hattis with towns in the Naakku Betta Nilgiris.. Even to go to a shop located a few hundred yards away, mini bus was awaited. Thus, a major source of exercise/good health viz walking became a casualty.

Anyway, here are the benefits of walking. Walking for health and happiness.

  • The human body is made to walk.  
  • Walking 30 minutes a day cuts the rate of people becoming diabetic by more than half and it cuts the risk of people over 60 becoming diabetic by almost 70 percent.  
  • Walking cuts the risk of stroke by more than 25 percent. 
  • Walking reduces hypertension. The body has over 100,000 miles of blood vessels. Those blood vessels are more supple and healthier when we walk.
  • Walking cuts the risk of cancer as well as diabetes and stroke.  
  • Women who walk have a 20 percent lower likelihood of getting breast cancer and a 31 percent lower risk of getting colon cancer.  
  • Women with breast cancer who walk regularly can reduce their recurrence rate and their mortality rate by over 50 percent.  
  • The human body works better when we walk. The body resists diseases better when we walk, and the body heals faster when we walk.  
  • We don’t have to walk a lot. Thirty minutes a day has a huge impact on our health.
  • Men who walk thirty minutes a day have a significantly lower level of prostate cancer. Men who walk regularly have a 60 percent lower risk of colon cancer.  
  • For men with prostate cancer, studies have shown that walkers have a 46 percent lower mortality rate.  
  • Walking also helps prevent depression, and people who walk regularly are more likely to see improvements in their depression.  
  • In one study, people who walked and took medication scored twice as well in 30 days as the women who only took the medication. Another study showed that depressed people who walked regularly had a significantly higher level of not being depressed in a year compared to depressed people who did not walk. The body generates endorphins when we walk. Endorphins help us feel good.  
  • Walking strengthens the heart. Walking strengthens bones. 
  • Walking improves the circulatory system.  
  • Walking generates positive neurochemicals. Healthy eating is important but dieting can trigger negative neurochemicals and can be hard to do.  
  • Walking generates positive neurochemicals. People look forward to walking and enjoy walking.  
  • And research shows that fit beats fat for many people. Walking half an hour a day has health benefits that exceed the benefits of losing 20 pounds.  
  • When we walk every day, our bodies are healthier and stronger. A single 30 minute walk can reduce blood pressure by five points for over 20 hours.  
  • Walking reduces the risk of blood clots in your legs.  
  • People who walk regularly have much lower risk of deep vein thrombosis.  
  • People who walk are less likely to catch colds, and when people get colds, walkers have a 46 percent shorter symptom time from their colds.  
  • Walking improves the health of our blood, as well. Walking is a good boost of high density cholesterol and people with high levels of HDL are less likely to have heart attacks and stroke.  
  • Walking significantly diminishes the risk of hip fracture and the need for gallstone surgery is 20 to 31 percent lower for walkers.  
  • Walking is the right thing to do. The best news is that the 30 minutes doesn’t have to be done in one lump of time. Two 15 minute walks achieve the same goals. Three 10 minute walks achieve most of those goals.  
  • We can walk 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night and achieve our walking goals.  
  • Walking feels good. It helps the body heal. It keeps the body healthy. It improves our biological health, our physical health, our psychosocial health, and helps with our emotional health. Walking can literally add years entire years to your life.
[recd as a fwd email]

Badaga Singers – Bikkatti Nandakumar


There are many talented Badaga singers whose captivating voice can keep the listeners enthralled. One such good singers is Bikkatti Nandakumar whose devotional song ‘Baa Kanna’ is a pleasure to listen to.

041 This live recording was done at Hubbathalai Hatti.



Health Tips – Karembay Soppu

10 reasons you should eat Curry Leaves [Karembay Soppu] instead of discarding them

Benefits of curry leaf

Curry leaf (Karembay Soppu in Badaga, kadi patta or kari patta in Hindi, kariveppilai in Tamil, kariveppila in Malayalam, kariveppaku in Telugu) is one of the common seasoning ingredients that is added to almost every dish in India to enhance its taste and flavour. However, rather than eating this humble leaf (which is slightly bitter in taste) along with the dish, most of us segregate it and just throw it away. Have you ever wondered why our ancestors used to add this leaf to every food preparation if you have to just throw it away? Well, it is because kadi patta is packed with numerous nutrients that are actually good for you. Right from helping your heart to function in a better way to enlivening your hair and skin with vitality, it is loaded with health benefits. Here are some of them:

1. Helps keep anaemia at bay Kadi patta or curry leaves are a rich source of iron and folic acid. Interestingly, anaemia is not only about the lack of iron in your body but also about the body’s inability to absorb iron and use it. This is where folic acid comes into play. Folic acid is mainly responsible for iron absorption and since kadi patta is a rich source of both the compounds, it is your one-stop natural remedy to beat anaemia. Tip: If you suffer from anaemia, eat one date (khajoor) with two kadi patta leaves on an empty stomach every morning.

2. Protects your liver from damage If you are a heavy drinker, or eat a lot of fish or indulge in other activities that could be damaging your liver, then you must eat curry leaves. This is because, according to a study published in The Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, curry leaves protect your liver from oxidative stress and harmful toxins that build-up in your body.  Kaempferol, the highly effective anti-oxidative property of curry leaves, when combined with Vitamins A and C, not only protects the liver but also stimulates the organ to work more efficiently. Tip: Heat one spoon of homemade ghee, add the juice of a cup of kadi patta, some sugar and freshly powdered black pepper and take it regularly . Make sure you heat this mixture slightly (and not overheat it) as kaempferol boils at a very low temperature.

3. Maintains your blood sugar levels A study published in the Journal of Plant Food for Nutrition found that curry leaves lower blood sugar levels by affecting the insulin activity. Apart from this, the presence of fibre in the leaves plays a significant role in controlling your blood sugar levels. Additionally, kadi patta is known to improve digestion and alter the way your body absorbs fat, thereby helping you lose weight. This is particularly of significance for people who are obese and suffer from diabetes. Tip: To help keep your blood sugar under check, you should ideally add kadi patta to all your meals. Alternatively, consume fresh curry leaves on an empty stomach daily. Continue reading

Relax and have some fun

The Ukrainian Card Trick. Performed by: Shlovko

Pick one of the following cards.

Don’t click on it; just keep it in your head

Scroll down when you have your card….

Think about your card for 20 seconds in front of Shlovko

Shlovko will attempt to read your mind!

The Great Shlovko Has Removed Your Card!


Now scroll up and do it again before you try and work out how its done.

[recd as a fwd email]

JP adds : By the way, have you found out how this freaky trick is done?……ah…ah..
Look beyond what you see…some times what you see is only a perception and not the truth..GOT IT?


You must have heard of the great mathematician Ramanujam’s Magic Square given below :

You add up any row, column, diagonal, or ‘four adjacent squares’, you will get 139.

The beauty is that the first row gives his Date Of Birth – 22 Dec 1887.

Well, inspired by this I made a magic square with DOB 24 Apr 1948

Where the addition of the four numbers in each row, column, four corners, diagonal or small squares of adjacent numbers add upto 95.

If you look closely on the above two squares, you can realise that you can easily ‘crack this code’ and MAKE A MAGIC SQUARE with your DOB – where the four numbers will add upto a specific number.

Got it ? If you are too lazy to make your own magic square, send your DOB to me, I will make the magic square. You will find my email id elsewhere on this page.


21st June 2015 is International Yoga Day!

Today is International Yoga Day that is being celebrated all over the globe.

Join with your friends if possible, otherwise, do a few YOGA exercises including systematic breathing in your home. Relax. Spend atleast 30 minutes on Yoga.

It is for your health and happiness.

 Do it everyday just like brushing your teeth and make it a habit.

See and feel the difference in a month!

Go here to know  What is YOGA ?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing an asana at Rajpath on Sunday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing an asana at Rajpath on Sunday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Photo: The Hindu

Yoga to reduce weight




Badaga Funeral – away from the Hatti – 2

A Badaga funeral at any Hatti(Village) can be broadly divided into the following rites :-

  1. At Maney (home) மனெ – where the death has occurred.

At M

  1. At Dhodda Maney (the Sacred/Big House) தொட்ட மனெ – where the body is kept in a decorated Kattilu (cot) for paying homage.


  1. At Haney (the Village grass ground) ஹணெ – where the most important rites – Karu Harachchodhu (rendering of the Funneral Prayer) கரு ஹரச்சோது, Olay Kattodhu ( formal declaration of Widow/Widower) ஓலெ கட்டோது and Akki Eththodhu (Putting rice/baththa on the face of the deceased) அக்கி எத்தொது take place.

At Haney

  1. At Dhoovay (the grave yard) தூவே – where the formal burial or cremation (in the olden days only cremation) is carried out followed by Baththa Beerodhu (sowing of millet) பத்த பீரோது

At Dhoovey

Let us elaborate on each of these rites in the subsequent posts.




Badaga Funeral – away from the Hatti

Though, comparatively a small community, Badagas have settled in many towns and cities, away from their Hattis -Villages in the Nilgiris, both in India and abroad.

When a death occurs in any family that is settled outside, the first and the most appropriate action would be, to take the dead to his/her hatti in the Nilgiris where the Last Rites – Funeral Ceremony would be conducted by the concerned hatti in the traditional manner.

What happens, if the option of taking the body to the concerned hatti is not possible for some reason?

Is it not possible to conduct the funeral -SAAVU MAADODHU wherever the death has occurred and give a decent and honourable cremation with all the traditional rites like Karu Harachchodhu, Akki Eththodhu etc?

In the followup UPDATES to this post that will be added, let us see how we can go about conducting a traditional Badaga Saavu away from the hattis.


Update -1

A Badaga funeral at any Hatti(Village) can be broadly divided into the following rites :-

  1. At Maney (home) மனெ – where the death has occurred.

At M

  1. At Dhodda Maney (the Sacred/Big House) தொட்ட மனெ – where the body is kept in a decorated Kattilu (cot) for paying homage.


  1. At Haney (the Village grass ground) ஹணெ – where the most important rites – Karu Harachchodhu (rendering of the Funneral Prayer) கரு ஹரச்சோது, Olay Kattodhu ( formal declaration of Widow/Widower) ஓலெ கட்டோது and Akki Eththodhu (Putting rice/baththa on the face of the deceased) அக்கி எத்தொது take place.

At Haney

  1. At Dhoovay (the grave yard) தூவே – where the formal burial (in the olden days only cremation) is carried out followed by Baththa Beerodhu (sowing of millet) பத்த பீரோது

At Dhoovey

Let us elaborate on each of these rites in the subsequent posts.




Sad Demise of Justice EJ Bellie, First Badaga High Court Judge

Regret to record the sad demise of Justice EJ Bellie, the First and so far only Badaga  High Court Judge at Chennai. After his retirement from Madras High Court, he became the First President of Tamil Nadu Consumer Courts. He was 83

iyya 2

He was from Eethorai Village and  the son of Late Thembala Joghee Gowder  and Maasi Ammal.

He leaves behind his wife Vimala Bellie (daughter of late Mrs.Idyammal and Mr.B.K.Bellie Gowder and niece of Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder) and son Ramesh Bellie

May his soul Rest In Peace !

Welcome to this site which is all about the

Badagas of the Blue mountains

 1.Badaga Origin [What we DO NOT know about Badagas is more than what we know about them. Such is the mystery of Badaga Origin. Read the complete article here]

2.Badaga Language [“It appears that there are none who know ‘PURE’ Badaga. This is not due to lack of words in Badaga. Lot of Badaga words have been forgotten [due to the influence of Tamil and English] and hence become extinct”.]

3.Badaga Names[What is in a name, a rose smells the same by any other name” so said a great poet. But is it so ? In the context of preserving the culture of a community, the names given to both persons and places can play a very crucial part.]

4.Badaga Songs [Music and Badagas are inseparable. Be it the ever green dance (aatta) numbers, the sad savu (funeral) songs or the beautiful ballads…sky is the limit. For some nice Badaga songs click here

5. Badaga Villages – Hattis[Badagas, generally, refer to their village or hamlet as ‘ HATTI ‘ spread around ‘Nakku Betta’ (the Nigiris). Nakku Betta literaly means four (Nakku) Mountains (betta) though there are many hills around which the villages are located]

6. Hethay Amma History [Hethay Amma is the deity of all Badagas. Hethai Habba is always on the first MONDAY (SOVARA), the most sacred day of Badagas, after the full moon (paurnami – HUNNAWAY ) that falls in (Tamil) Margazhi month, that is the 9th day after eight days of ‘Kolu’]

7.Badaga Jewellery  [The main ornaments are the nose ring called ‘ MOOKUTHI ‘ and the ear ring known as ‘CHINNA’ . Chinna , literaly means gold but usually refers to ear rings. The type shown above is worn both by men and women. Of course, the ‘ BELLI UNGARA ‘ [silver finger ring] has a special place in Badaga tradition and considered to have medicinal / health benefits]

8.Badaga Wedding [Badaga customs and traditions are known for their simplicity, adaptibility and practicality. In this respect a Badaga wedding follows a set of simple rules that has been almost the same over the centuries. But for a minor change here and there, it has been almost the same in all the villages spread across the Nakku Betta or the Nilgiri Hills]

9.Badaga Funeral  [Ever since I became aware of the verses of ‘Karu Harachodhu’, I felt how nice it would be if these beautiful words could be given in English [ both in script and as translation] so that the present day youngsters could understand one of the most important and significant part (prayer) of Badaga funeral rites]

10.All about Ari Gowder [Rao Bahadur H.B.Ari Gowder, the first Badaga graduate, first Badaga M.L.C & M.L.A for a long time who had brought many reforms in/to Badaga Community including ‘prohibition’ (no alcohol – kudi to Nilgiris in British days itself. Ari Gowder lead the Indian contigent (yes, “INDIAN CONTIGENT) to World Scouts Jumboree held in Europe in the 1930s]

11.First Badaga It will be very interesting [I hope as well as informative & motivating] to list all those BADAGAS who were / are the ’FIRST’in any field.Where I am not sure, I have put a question mark, so that someone may supply the correct or corrected info

12. Rare Photos [..The title says it all ..]

13. Badaga Day [May 15th is celebrated as Badaga day, every year. Many may not be aware that this has been done from 1993 onwards. The Porangadu Seeme (Mainly Kotagiri Area) has been celebrating this day as ‘Ari Gowder Day’ also, in honour of Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder…]

14.Badaga Poems [One of the enchanting aspects of Badaga Language is its disarming simplicity. But though the sentences are swathed in sweetness of simple words, it can contain deep expressions of emotions conveyed in the proper usage of rhymes [holla – alla] or pair words [huttu – nattu] apart from other attributes]

15.Badaga Elders [There are a few elderly Badagas spread among our Hattis and Cities who are so well informed about us. May be due to their age or the personal interest and individual atrributes, they know about our origin, customs, culture or anything connected and concerning Badagas. It is a shear blessing to meet them.]

16. Badaga Recipes [Badagas usually grow vegetables in their small patch(es) of land called ‘HOLA’ (see photo) for their regular use apart from other commercial crops like potato, cabbage, carrot and cauliflower etc. These would also include many varities of beans, peas, greens, corn etc]

17.Badaga Proverbs [One of the fascinating and interesting aspect of Badaga [both people & language] is the free use of delightful but deep meaning proverbs called “ DODDARU SHLOKA”. When you engage an elderly Badaga into any conversation, you are sure to hear a lot of these proverbs thrown in to make / emphasis a point]

18.Badaga Calendar [Badaga month should start on the 10th of an English month as far as possible and also to ensure that the number of days in a month is either 30 or 31 days. Since Badagas consider ‘Sovara’ (Monday) as the most auspicious and ‘holy’ day, they have attached a lot of importance to that day]

19.Badaga Script  It has always been felt that for a language to survive, it should have its own script. It cannot remain only as a spoken language for long. But of course, the script need not be peculiar and specific one pertaining to that particular language. So too is the necessity of a script for Badaga. Many have attempted to achieve this objective with various degrees of success. But unfortunately, to my knowledge, no records exist. I am no expert on phonetics or languages or much less innovating an unique script. But the urge to have a separate script has convinced me that it is very much possible to ‘ADOPT’ an existing script and ‘ADAPT’ it to Badaga language.

20. Badaga Poetry

21. General



The beauty of HA in Badaga

Learnbadaga ___________

Grass ground/Flat
Lie Down

Haalu -ஹாலு - Milk
HaaLu -ஹாளு - Curse



Badaga Poems

Badaga/Badagu is a rich and sweet language spoken by the Badagas of the Blue Mountains!

Many BALLADS rendered by a singer in any Badaga gathering had added richness to this unique language apart from bringing out many traditions that were passed down many generations.

Though, not having a script of its own is a handicap, many Badaga poets have kept the great art of blending beautifully the Badaga words, by composing many poems where the play of words rhyme so well and sounds musical.

One such poem is ENNA AVVAY – MY MOTHER by Kunna Bikkatti B.MOHAN (published in 1993) that brings out the true and pure love of a mother for her son.

Enna Awai
by B.Mohan [of Kunna Bikkatti]

(From ‘Mandhadha Maathu’ – Published by Badaga Welfare Association, Madras, issue dated 1-4-93 (Hannu 3,- Hoo 10)

Kettu Muridhu Naa Kerio Kulibaneyu,
Huttu Nattu Enna Hollandhu Hegoneyu,
Hethu Thathi Saakidha Awai Enna,
Hollandhu Hegule Maathi Allandhu thallule.

Goonu bhuddu Naa Cooli Geevaneyu,
Huttu Kettu Naa Maasi Kulibaneyu,
Pattu Beetha Batte Ekkoneyu,
Kettandhu Hegule Awai Enna Mattandhu Thallule.

Kottage Huggi Naa Geria Baakoneyu,
Araya Kulidu Naa Danava Mesoneyu,
Horia Thookki Naa Hotte Kaibeneyu,
Gorey Endhu Hegule Awai Ondhu Ariandhu Nudivile.

என்ன அவ்வை

[ பி .மொஹன் – குன்ன பிக்கட்டி]

 (மந்தத மாத்து, படக வெல்ஃபெர் அசொசியெஷன், மெட்ராஸ்,1-4-93 ,(ஹண்ணு 3, ஹூ 10)

கெட்டு முரிது நா கேரியோ குளிபனெயு,
ஹுட்டு நட்டு என்ன ஹொல்லந்து ஹெகொனெயு,
ஹெத்து தத்தி சாக்கித அவ்வை என்ன,
ஹொல்லாந்து ஹெகுலே, மாத்தி அல்லாந்து தள்ளுலெ.

கூனு புத்து நா கூலி கீவனேயு,
ஹுட்டு கெட்டு நா மாசி குளிபனெயு,
பட்டு பீத்த பட்டே இக்கொனேயு,
கெட்டுண்டு ஹொகலி எந்து அவ்வை
என்ன மட்டாந்து தள்ளுலெ.

கொட்டகே ஹுக்கி நா கோரய பாக்கோனெயு,
அரய குளிது நா தனவ மெசுவொனெயு,
ஹோரிய தூக்கி நா ஹொட்டே கைபெனெயு,
கொரெ எந்து ஹேகுலெ அவ்வை
ஒந்து அரியாந்து நுடிவிலெ

English Translation of the above poem by Bellie Jayaprakash

My Mother

Even when I was down with poverty and sat at the front court yard,
Even when the near and dear ones despised and deserted,
My mother who gave birth, cared for and brought me up,
Did not blame me and did not reject me – her son, as bad

Even when I toiled as a Cooli with a bent back,
Even when I sat down with my looks dulled and dirty,
Even when I wore patched up old clothes,
My mother never said that I was down ; never rejected me as poor!

Even when I entered the stables and cleaned the dung,
Even when I sat on the rock and tendered the cows,
Even when I lifted loads to earn so as to suppress the hunger,
My mother never found any fault ; never scolded me as ignorant.

I have great pleasure in ‘putting’ that poem in the following audio/video


Badaga Script

Of late, there has been some serious efforts to have an unique script for Badaga. Though welcoming the initiatives, I do not know how effective it is to make it known/understood ‘universally’ in the short term.

Since most of the Badaga children are studying/sent to English medium schools and many Badaga elders are familiar with both Tamil and English, is it not possible to have an effective communication by simply using English and Tamil ?


JP’s Badaga ‘Script’ – BADDU

Though some friends may feel odd about my adopting an existing Language – English – and adapting it to write in Badaga, for the time being, I will stick to English to express in Badaga (Script).

The conventions used are;

  1. Capital letter brings out emphasis – like o is just o – ஒ [ like in only] but O is OH – ஓ [like in old].  For example, oday – break -ஒடெ,  Odhivi – read – ஓதிவி
  2. OHdhidhama niddhana, OHdidhama erindina – ஒதிதம நித்தன ஓடிதம எரண்டின   – one who is educated stops [to analyse the situation] but one who is hasty – trips [to fall]. See the subtle difference of OHdhina – ஒதின and OHdina – ஓடின
  3. Extra ‘a’ is stretching the letter – like kade [move] is கடெ but  Kaade [a female name] is காடெ
  4. Letters which are not in English alphabet but available in Badaga (and Tamil) can be accessed by using the shift key(Capital) – like l is ல but L is ள , n is ந but  N is ண் . zh is ழ
  5. Capital S is ஸ, small s is ச (ch will also brings out ச)

Now some sentences typed in English and what they bring out in Tamil [I have used ‘Azhagi’ translirate software which when installed, lets you to type in English to convert  the same into Tamil script] to show my ‘Badaga Script – Baddu

  • enna heNNU enna kaNNU maakke – என்ன ஹெண்ணு என்ன கண்ணு மாக்கெ- My daughter is like my eyes
  • ELaya nOdi Edasa bE da – ஏளய நோடி ஏடச பேட – Donot redicule the poor
  • Kalla maaththi kaLLa alla – கல்ல மாத்தி கள்ள அல்ல – Kalla’s son is not a thief.
  • Maadhi mammi madhi kettudhuve – மாதி மம்மி மதி கெட்டுதுவெ – Madhi aunty’s mind is gone

Baarivi, Nodivi, Odhivi & Oridivi !

[Come, See, Read & Listen!]

பாரிவி, நோடிவி, ஓதிவி & ஓரிடிவி

What do you think?


I had written some time back

It has always been felt that for a language to survive, it should have its own script. It cannot remain only as a spoken language for long. But of course, the script need not be peculiar and specific one pertaining to that particular language. So too is the necessity of a script for Badaga.

Many have attempted to achieve this objective with various degrees of success. But unfortunately, to my knowledge, no records exists, if any. I am no expert on phonetics or languages or much less innovating an unique script. But the urge to have a separate script has convinced me that it is very much possible to ‘ADOPT’ an existing script and ‘ADAPT’ it to Badaga language.

To know more about the BADAGA SCRIPT or rather the need for one go here

Badaga Language and the need for its own script

A Place For Writing: Documenting, Cultivation and Literacy in Badaga Language’s domain
haldorai– Dr.R.K.Haldorai

In the Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu alone, more than ten tribal/unlettered languages are spoken and one among them is Badaga. In the Nilgiri linguistic area, Badaga tops in the number of speakers. Badagas have separate hamlets of their own and due to this almost all the Badagas who live in these hamlets, for at least a few years, can speak and understand Badaga language. During the recent past many Badagas have migrated to other places and the Badagas who are living outside the Nilgiris, identify these hamlets as their native place. Hence, except a few, all are having the natural inclination towards this language and culture. With over four hundred Badaga villagers and few others, Badaga consolidated its language domain and kept its linguistic area almost intact despite many strong negative influences. In recent times, the idea of cultural awareness has increased and this trend induced many indigenous people to look to Badaga as prestigious.

Making Badaga as a written language, in addition to the desideratum of the community, is to actually use the language and to expand its domains. Of course as a spoken language, Badaga speech area expanded its territory considerably over the last few decades. Badaga population too is increasing day by day and now the Badaga speakers are more in numbers compared with the Badaga population found in beginning years of last century. The definition of the Badaga as a single language is not a problematic. Since whatever major dialect language variations may have existed earlier, now the language is spoken more or less uniformly in all Badaga hamlets, which are sparsely located in the entire Nilgiri hills. Continue reading

Listen to these great songs on Hethe – the deity of Badagas

I am not a very religious person in the ’strictest’ sense of the word. But I am a proud Hindu and a staunch believer of HETHAY [HETHE Amma] – the deity of Badagas. In my [late] mother, I see the great Hethe and pray to Her everyday. 
‘GAYATRI CHALISA’ is supposed to be the most powerful 40 verses of prayer along with GAYATRI MANTRA. They are in Sanskrit and I do not understand them fully.[The English translation gives some idea]

The similarities of HETHAY AMMA and GAYATRI MATA are striking and too numerous to list, elaborate and explain.

For one, BOTH are clad in spotless white and formless.

Listen to these great Hethe Songs if you want to be truly blessed

Songs uploaded in Soundcloud by Suresh M

Can somebody help in giving the name of the SINGER so that due credit can be given? – Wg Cdr JP

Gayatri Mantra


ॐ भूर्भुव: स्व: तत्सवितुर्वरेन्यं ।

भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि, धीयो यो न: प्रचोदयात् ।।

ஓம் பூர் புவ ஸவ

தத் ஸவிதூர் வரேண்யம் |

பர்கோ தேவச்ய தீமஹி |

தியோ யோன பிரசோதயத் ||

[Oh God! Thou art the Giver of Life, Remover of pain and sorrow, The Bestower of happiness, Oh! Creator of the Universe, May we receive thy supreme sin-destroying light, May Thou guide our intellect in the right direction]

Gayatri Mantra, the most  important prayer, inspires wisdom and is also a prayer to the “giver of light and life” – the sun (savitur), ‘Hothu’ in Badaga.

Aum = Ohm [Brahma] bhoor = embodiment of vital spiritual energy(pran) ; bhuwah = destroyer of sufferings ; swaha = embodiment of happiness ; tat = that ; savitur = bright like sun ; varenyam = best choicest ; bhargo = destroyer of sins ; devasya = divine ; dheemahi = may imbibe ; dhiyo = intellect ; yo = who ; naha = our ; prachodayat = may inspire!

Listen to Gayatri Mantra here

[Information above, from various sources, is taken from the net]

Go here for more information and to see the complete Gayatri Chalisa

Seemay and Hattis

nakku-betta1.jpg In an effort to give the exact and correct names of hattis/villages under each of the four SEEMAYS, given below is the list of all hattis under the four Seemays.

The names are given, to the extent possible, as pronounced by Badagas and not as ‘badly twisted’ by others. Like – the original name of Eethoray being called Elithorai.

There may be some omissions/additions/corrections required.

I would request all friends to verify and vet the list and send corrections to or add them as comments to this post – LEAVE A REPLY box given at the bottom.

We may separate the hattis as per Badagas, Odeyas and Thorayyas and group them under ‘OORU’ [a group of hattis form an ooru and many oorus constitute a seemay]. At present the focus is on hattis of Badagas [Gowdas] who can marry Badagas from other seemays.

Now, marriages between Gowdas with Haaruvas,  Lingaites, Kanakkas etc sects from different seemays [ in some cases, within the seemay] are common. In my opinion, it is high time, we had only three broad groups among Badagas. Namely, Gowdas[including the other sects mentioned above], Odeyas and Thoraiyas and in the distant future, just BADAGAS.

Please note that some hattis like HOSAHATTI appear to be repeated but there may be more than one HOSA Hatti in a seemay.

Please also see the page on HATTIS for more and exhaustive info.

1.’Thodha Naadu Seemaythodhanadseemegudi (Supposed to be our “Dodda Ooru”. Also known as ‘Raja Padagiri Seemae’. The boundaries are from Solur to Kookkal Thore. The names given as known and pronounced by Badagas)

Oorus under Thodhanaadu Seemay : Thooday Gui, Kadanaadu, Ebbanaadu, Solur, Kagguchi, Honnadhalai, Kookkal,  Poosay Coonoor, Thrichigadi [??}, Solur Kokkal [??]- these appear to be Kotha settlements.

Athi kallu
Bana hatti
Bara mannu
Batta kore
Bikke Kandi
Bikke mora hatti
Billi kambai
Edu hatti
Hanni Kore
Hosa hatti
Hosa hatti [Repeat? – or are there more than one Hosahatti?]
Kada Naadu
Kada sole
Kalingana hatti
Kara pillu
Kei Kau hatti
Kengamudi [Kenguvamudi?]
Kodhu mudi
Kookal Thore
Kundha Chappai
Kuruthu kuli
Malli gore
Mara kallu
Mavu kallu
Mel Kau hatti
Motha kambe
Nadu hatti
Nelli Mandu
Ode hatti
Ooru malai
Panju mora
Poose kunnur
Soluru [Sholur]
Thalai male
Thatha benu
Thore hatti
2.’Porangaadu Seemay’
hubbathalai.JPGHubbathalai Hatti – Photo by JP
“Porangaadu Seemay”
Ane ode
Are hatti
Banni ooru
Batta Kore
Bettatti (repeat?)
Dhabba kambe
Dhodda mane hatti
Eruppu kallu
Hayoor [Ali Ooru]
Hora sole
Hosatti (repeat?)
Hubbathale Hatti
Hubbathale Ooru
Imbi mora hatti
Jakka kombe
Kada kodu
Kade kambatti
Kanneri mookku
Kari mora
Katta bettu
Kei Odenu
Ker bettu
Ker kambe
Kil Ane hatti
Kil Bikkatti
Koon sole
Kottuvana hatti
kunni hatti
Lilli hatti
Marle Kambe
Mel Ane hatti
Mel Bikkatti
Mel Odenu
Mudia kambe
Nadu hatti
Nara giri
Natta kallu
Odeyaru hatti
Onnatti (Honnatti?)
Pudu mandu
Samil Dittu
Sippili kambe
Sulli goodu
Thantha Naadu
Thinni ooru
Thotha mokke
Thumbi male
Yeda palli
Yettakallu [?]
3.’Mekku Naadu Seemay’

‘Mekku Naadu Seemay‘
Also known as ‘Asala Bisalagiri Seemay’

Please also see the page on HATTIS for more and exhaustive info
Porere – photo by JP
Aadakore (Thulidale)
Ane hatti
Angidi hatti
Are hatti
Attu Bayilu
Bengal Matta
Bingisa Kallu
Byge mandu
Dhodda Appukodu
Hosa Attubayulu
Ken Kundhe
Ker Kandi
Ketti Ooru
Kil Hosatti
Kothi ben
Maasi kandi
Mani hatti
Manja kambe
Mel Hosahatti
Mel Koderi
Melur Hosatty
Mutti nadu
Nadu hatti
Nai hatti
Oor thittu
Oranai (Kattery)
Panne bennu
Sora gundu
Theda hatti
Umar kandi

Murugesh Halan writes :- ‘Melur Hosahatty is missing. I want to know to if Haruvas and Badagas of Mekkunadu are in brotherly relation. If yes, how are they different?’Melur Hosahatty added. As far as Haruvas and Gowdas are concerned, in the early 1900s, Badaga community got vertically split into two main factions called Haruva Katchi and Kotha Katchi. One faction was lead by Hubbathalai and the other by Thangaadu. Those days, funeral expenses were borne by the family of the deceased and NOT by the entire hatti, as prevalent today. Kotha musicians had to be compulsorily called. Since, the funeral ceremonies extended even upto a week, till the ‘KORAMBU kaibathu’, the expenses involved were enormous as the guests from all over the ‘Naakku Betta’ had to be fed and ‘feasted’. Many families of the deceased had to sell their property. Realising that a death in a family is driving it to untold misery, Hubbathalai Bellie Gowder and his son Ari Gowder, who were given the title Rao Bahadur later, brought in the revolutionary reform by which the expenses of the funeral were met by the entire village by means of a ‘tax’ called ‘saavu vari’ and inviting the Kotha Musicians was donw away with. But the leaders of Thangaadu and other mainly ‘Haaruva’ hattis opposed this move. Marriages between these groups stopped.

Fortunately, this difference has gone away. Now, marriages between Haaruvas and Gowdas, as well as Lingaites and Gowdas sects from different seemays [ in some cases, within the seemay] is common. There have been matrimonial relationships established even between Hubbathalai and Thangaadu. In my opinion, it is high time, we had only three broad groups among Badagas. Namely, Gowdas, Odeyas and Thoraiyas and in the distant future, just BADAGAS. – Wg Cdr JP

4.’Kundhay [Naadu] Seemay’


Kerapaadu (2)

Kerappaadu – Photo by JP

Please also see the page on HATTIS for more and exhaustive info

Attu Mannu
Edakkaadu Nadu hatti
Edakkaadu Thale hatti
Gai kandi
Hosa hatti
Kei Kundhe
Kora Kundhe
Mani Kallu
Matta Kandi
Mel Kundhe
Mukki Male
Mulli Male
Nadu hatti



Badaga Jewellery

Ravindran Jevanah( writes to ask :-
Ravindran Jevanah's profile photoComing to Jewellery, apart from Chinna, Mookuthi, Belli Ungara, I would like to know about the ‘Cheripenigai and the other broad Belli Bangle which the ladies wear on the lower arms. The Cheripenigai is of two or three designs nowadays we do not see any. Can we have a picture of these if possible?

Please see  Badaga Jewellery and the links given

The gold or silver bangle or rather bracelet around the wrist is known as ‘ KADAGA ‘ or ‘ CHIPPU BAE ‘ and the thick flat armlet just above the elbow is ‘BAE’.

When I took this picture of late Kothiben Hatti Laxmi ‘Karuppi’ Hethai on 09-04-07 and mentioned that the photo had come out well, she mentioned with a great sense of humour, ‘ potto olange bandu ena maaduva, utti enbudhu tha kappu edhaga’ – So what can we do if the photo has come out well, but from birth [I am]  black [colour]’

Thank you Kothiben Karuppi Hethe, it was wonderful meeting you !

– Wg Cdr JP

Nanga Naakku Betta – Neelagiri (Nilgiris)

Today is a clear day with bright sunlight in the hills. The hills, I am referring to is the Nilgiris, my native place. Every time I drive ‘into’ the hills, either from Mysore via Bandipur and Kallatti Ghats or from Mettupalayam via Kotagiri Aravenu and Haakeri or from Karamadai via Mulli and Geddai [Kundah], my heart is filled with happiness and joy. Such beauty is bestowed on these blue hills by the Almighty. Probably, the Nature wants to show off or should I say, show case its glorious exterior in a truly grand fashion.

The Nilgiris – Neela [Blue] Giris [Hills] – literally ‘The blue mountains’ is popularly known to Badagas as ‘Naakku Betta’ – though Naakku Betta means Four Mountains, in fact it refers to all the mountains, hills and hillocks spread around the Nigiri range.

Badaga Villages, called Hattis, are spread far and wide in these hills. These hattis exists ONLY in these hills. In short, there can be no Badagas without the Nilgiris and no Nilgiris [history] without Badagas. Every Badaga, where ever he/she may be, can always trace the roots to some hatti/town in the beautiful blue mountains.  

Blessed are the Badagas. Yes, indeed!

Here are some pix taken by Wg Cdr Bellie Jayaprakash

The surreal


Mudumalai Forest


So, to say the least, all of us, the natives of the Nilgiris, have a stake in the ‘well being’ of our district and save it from the mindless destruction of its beauty and eco system. Hence, we must lend our supporting hands to any one who has taken to ‘DO SOMETHING’. Be it, Mª Teresa Llop Navarro (from Spain) who has started a NGO – “Es Purna” to help out the poor especially in the field of girl-child education in the Nilgiris, the NDC of Venugopal Dharmalingam or the bunch of youngsters lead by Prabhu Purnan who have created ‘WOW Nilgiris – now, has the mankind seen any place better then this?’.

‘Wow, the Nilgiris’

What strikes one at the first glance of their web sites is the most beautiful pictures of the Nilgiris. Though born and brought up in this ‘nature’s gift’, some of the pics made me wonder whether they are really taken here.

As ‘WOW Nilgiris’ describes, ‘ Mak’ing YOU wonder if these places do exist in Nilgiris, an out and out “off the regular” escapades, taking you in to the world of sholas, grasslands, thickets and breathtaking vistas to chase the clouds, sight the unique Nilgiri Thar and Martens squirrels’.

Congratulations to Prabhu Purnan and his friends. I understand Deepak Bhojraj, a Badaga, is another gifted photoghapher, and an article on him appears in ‘TheLOCAL’, [Dec, 2009 issue] a monthly published from Aravankadu.

Photos  by Prabhu Purnan (copyright)
On my request to reproduce some of their pictures, Purnan has kindly sent me his consent and writes > hello mr JP. i am in fact following your blog keenly. its my pleasure to be profiled in your blog, the very purpose of this blog is to send across the messages to folks around. yep you can use any of the fotos you want and let me know if you need any specific fotos from here as well. another thing myself and deepak bhojraj are good friends he keeps telling me that your blog is really informative but cultured a small suggestion thats it you can mail deepak on more about it. With warm Regards, Prabhu Purnan D
Visit their websites where you will not only find some extraordinary photos but also a wealth of information on the beautiful Blue Mountains. I am sure that they will make you say ‘WoW’. ,

[This post is reproduced)

Badagaru Hittu

A taste of the hills – K. JESHI [The Hindu – ]

There is unusual fare at The Taj Vivanta as its Badaga Chef prepares a traditional Badaga feast for you The Badaga platter Wholeseome and packed with nutrients Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

The Badaga platter Wholeseome and packed with nutrients  (Photo: S.Siva Saravanan – The Hindu)

It’s a combo of bathalu, sandege, and uppukorai that introduces us to the traditional Badaga fare at Vivanta by Taj Surya. Bathalu is crispy sun dried potatoes, sandege is the tangy onion and garlic chutney that we dip into, and uppukorai is steamed and salted beans. That’s starters for you and they score high on taste. It gets better with a cup of hot rasam or maasu neeru, as the Badagas call it. The Badaga farmers are known for their mixed farming of millets, barley, wheat, and commercial vegetables including potato, carrots and cabbage, and hence the food they eat often uses seasonal and locally grown vegetables.

Continue reading

Badagas at the cross roads

Three main factors were high lighted in the last post – Badagas at the cross roads, about the need to change with changing times. One of them is the problem of ‘outside’ marriages and the root causes. ‘Moray’ being one of them.

 Our friend Sivakumar.B (Muckimalai) writes:Sivakumar B's profile photo If we want to remove the restrictions levied by elders, convincing ourselves that they are outdated, then all the customs including blessing, karu haruchodhu, chanting, etc, may  also get removed as outdated.   I think customs and systems are the sovereignty of a community. These are NOT Regulations/Constitution/Law which we can amend from time to time at our will and wish.

Within `Seemay’ means brotherhood (one blood).So, marriage within the `Seemay” will lead to lot of complications. Removal of `moray’ will not be the solution for ‘outside’ marriages. Running to outside is Sick/Crazy and I think it will continue even if `moray’ is removed.

திருடனாய் பார்த்து  திருந்தாவிட்டால்  திருட்டை  ஒழிக்க முடியாது.

Though, I can understand the strong feelings of Sivakumar, some clarifications are called for. Moray, in my opinion, is a very scientifically significant restriction brought in by our Muthappas/Hethappas. This restriction has avoided a lot of health problems associated with ‘in breeding’ and may be one of the reasons for a better health prevailing among Badagas as compared to other native tribes of the Nilgiris.

But, it is mistaken by many that marriages do not take place among people belonging to the same ‘seemay’. Let us elaborate.

A typical Badaga Village [hatti] consists of houses of brothers [both blood brothers and cousins]. Their chiildren are ‘anna thammaru and akka thangairu – brothers and sisters’. So, the ‘moray’ restriction is very much required as otherwise, one will land up in literally marrying a ‘sister’. Many hattis, not necessarily congruent or geographically adjacent, form a OORU. Many Oorus form the Seemay. The number of villages/hattis in one ooru to another differs. Marriages between OORUS within the same Seemay is very much possible and is in vogue. Like for example,  in Porangaadu Seemay which has many oorus, HATHTHOMBATTU OORU [19 villages] and AARU OORU [6 villages] have marriage relationship. See the page on Hattis for more information.

[to be continued]

At the cross roads?

Are we, the Badaga Community, at the cross roads?

With drastic changes that have engulfed every thing around us, how long can we stay and live unaffected?

With farming, especially growing vegetables [potato in particular] becoming a nightmare with monkey menace and green leaf tea prices on a free fall [mind you, still the tea leaf agents, tea factories, tea brokers are all making money when the actual small tea growers are feeling the pinch of  low price that has fallen below Rs.10/- per kg], agriculture that has always associated with Badagas has become an alien word.

With more and more people being forced to leave their villages/Hatties, both for economic and unimaginable reasons [like what happened in Nanjanaadu], following centuries old customs and traditions are becoming difficult.

Added to this is the growing ‘fashion’ among the young and eligible adults to marry ‘outsiders’ that is driving a society to the brink.

Last but the most disturbing is the conversion to ‘another religion’ that has not shown any decline.

Will there be a Badaga Society that is so proud of its unique history, origin, culture, customs, rituals, language and lifestyle, fifty years down the line?


?   +   ?


Classical Badaga song and Dance

Very pleasantly surprised to see a classical dance by two Badaga sisters K.Niveditha and K.Kavyaa in the following youtube video [uploaded by Krishnamurthy Hallan] to a very classical song in Badaga.

What a fantastic performance both by the sisters and the singer. Can somebody give more information about them?


4th December is the 121th Birth Anniversary of Ari Gowda

Bowing our heads in silent reverence and respect for all that he had done for our community

Ari Gowderrbhbag.jpgAri Gowder2Ari Gauda[above – text] From the book ” A BADAGA – ENGLISH DICTIONARY ” by Prof.Paul Hockings and Christiane Pilot-Raichoor]

Rao Bahadur H.B.Ari Gowder, the first Badaga graduate & first Badaga M.L.C & M.L.A for a long time  including the British time. He brought many reforms in/to Badaga Community including ‘prohibition’ (no alcohol – kudi) to Nilgiris in British days itself.

Ari Gowder lead the Indian contigent (yes, “INDIAN CONTIGENT”) to World Scouts Jamboree held in Europe in the 1930s.

Ari Gowder was associated with the Nilgiri Mountain Railways, now an UN Heritage,  right from the time this great and beautiful track was established in early 1900s till his death in 1971. In fact his father Rao Bahadur H.J.Bellie Gowder was contracted by the British to lay the mountain railway from Mettupalayam to Ooty. Also, probably, Bellie Gowder and Ari Gowder are the only father -son duo who were conferred with Rao Bahadur title in India, though Ari Gowder hardly used the title being a great nationalist.

He was not associated with any political party  but was a true representative of the people, a powerful orator and  welfare minded  social reformer’ – says A.Kari Gowder [“Prongadu Seeme Welfare Association”] in his booklet published in  May 2006.

                                        AG1 bridge

He was the President of the Nilgiris District board in 1930s and 1940s and carried out a lot of welfare measures for the upliftment of the residents of the hill district, mainly tribals in those days. To remember his contribution to the society, the bridge connecting Tamil Nadu [then Madras] state and Karnataka [then Mysore] state, built in 1936, is named ARI GOWDER bridge (above pix).

Ari Gowder was listed as one of the famous leaders of South East Asia – Who’s who in India, Burma & Ceylon. Who’s Who Publishers. 1940. p. 681.

H. B. Ari Gowder’s name figures in the Famous Madras Christian College Alumni list along with people like Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Continue reading

Nilgiri Mountain Railway

  <a href="/channel/UCXOhrdRpgxCo9jOiORYm9Qw" class=" yt-uix-sessionlink     spf-link  g-hovercard" data-sessionlink="ei=O1V5VIz6ON38oAO08oDQDw" data-ytid="UCXOhrdRpgxCo9jOiORYm9Qw" data-name="">BoxKite Films</a>

What a beautiful documentary which offers not only a great visual treat but valuable information about the ‘Toy Train’ – Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Being a native of the Nilgiris and belonging to a family that is deeply involved in the construction of this unique railway system of the world, [my maternal grandfather Hubbathalai Bellie Gowder was involved in the construction and maintenance of this railway line from Mettupalayam to Ooty, till his death in 1935 and later by my uncle, the H.B.Ari Gowder [till  1971] and both of whom were great Badaga Naakku Betta leaders and recognised for their contribution and conferred with the title of RAO BAHADUR by the British], my mind and memories are filled with thrilling thoughts.

Not only that, traveling in this train from Aravankadu to Ooty everyday in 1964-65 while doing PUC in the Govt.Arts College, Ooty, the journey was nothing but a carefree but enjoyable experience of an adolescent in the company of other students and later in 1970-71 as a junior engineer, in the PWD along with other colleagues working in different fields – the travel would steer around with discussions of worldly affairs and politics, the days are still fresh in mind. I remember the  return journey to Ooty from Aravankadu would cost a ‘royal’ sum of Rs.3 for three months in 1964-65 for what was known as student pass.

A must see documentary for all. Hearty congratulations to Mohan Krishnan!

Mohan Krishnan’s film on NMR is commendable and well documented. That it is by a son of the soil makes it all praiseworthy. May other competent sons of the soil go about documenting visually other treasures of the Nilgiri hills. Best wishes

Dharmalingam Venugopal,

Nilgiri Documentation Centre,Kotagiri


‘Morey’ and marriages….

Sangeetha  Sir, can we get married from Kundhae semae to Ketti.Both are entirely different semmae and its so strange about this restriction. Please can I know more about this?

There are a lot of emails I get from youngsters wanting clarity on Morey and its ‘unjustified restrictions’ on marriages. While we see the alarming trend of many Badagas getting married to outsiders, atleast, some of these ‘naadu jana madhuvey’ is due to the confusion and complications created about Morey. With the changing times, it is high time, we give a serious thought to this system. What was intended by our fore fathers to be scientific restriction to stop ‘in breeding’ among close relatives, has unfortunately, gone a bit too far – unreasonable restriction by the un/semi informed.

If at all, there are important ‘reforms/reinventions’ to be done about certain traditions and customs, ‘Morey restrictions’ should come on top.

An informal assembly of informed and educated Badagas from all the four Seemays that includes both MEN and WOMEN should deliberate, discuss and decide on this issue on high priority.

Million dollar question is – who will bell the cat?

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In our constant efforts to make this website a great one, we try our best to get the most suitable theme with widget options !

You, the regular visitors, numbering more than 150 per day, are the true motivation.

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The problem is, I do not know how to thank you !


Badaga Recipes

ErigittuErigittu with Thuppa, Avare Udhakka and Keere Soppu

Thuppadha hittu or Enne Hittu

Badagas usually grow vegetables in their small patch(es) of land called ‘HOLA’ (see photo) for their regular use apart from other commercial crops like potato, cabbage, carrot and cauliflower etc. These would also include many varities of beans, peas, greens, corn etc. Every variety of avere(bean) has a specific (sometimes unique) badaga name. No Badaga wedding meal is complete without ‘Avare & Gaasu udakka’ [beans & potato curry]. Incidentally, Badagas do not serve non-vegetarian (meat) dishes on the wedding day , main meal is called – ‘maduve hittu‘. Another great trait among these simple peasant people is called ‘nattu‘ – a sort of gift (again mainly the home grown vegetables & grains) given to relatives, friends and guests.

Tea >>Tea Leaves… the crop on which Badaga ‘economy’ depends so much..

The agricultural produce, food, dishes, eating habits and some interesting recipes of Badagas.
Apart from, I am thankful to N.Bellie, R.Ramachandran (Kekkatty) and others for their imputs. A lot of info is from Prof.Paul Hockings’s books.
I have tried to discuss and describe, not only of authentic recipes on Badaga dishes but also on their agricultural produce, known in Badaga language as BAE – like for example Badagas used to grow wheat, barley, millet – GHODUME, GANJE, ERAGI, BATHA –etc but have almost completely stopped now.

The food, eating habits, preparations of some dishes as well as the ingredients used are covered. along with the methods used in cooking (like in a mud pot known as MADAKE in traditional fire place – OLE)

It must be mentioned that though many masala powders are available in the market, the Badagas use a specially prepared curry powder known as ‘ BADAGARU MAASU HUDI’ in their preparations.

I remember my childhood days when the dried GANJE / GHODUME (barley/wheat) used to be spread in the fore court of the houses called KERI (street) , between two groups of Hatti HEMMAKKA (ladies) squatted opposite to each other with GANJE DHADIS (sticks of about four feet long and an inch thick) systematically & alternatively beating to remove the chaff. The rhythmic ‘tak tak’ noise would be accompanied by some folk lore Badaga songs. This is known as GANJE SACHODHU.

How can anyone forget the GANJE that would be HURUTHU fied (fried) in a HURI MADDAKKE (mud pot with a hole on its side) through which a HURI KOL (a short stick with cloth tied at one end as a ball) would be inserted and the contents stirred constantly for uniform frying?

Huri Maddakke >

The fried ganje called GANJIKKE would be taken with BELLA (jaggery) and THENKE (coconut). The taste of this would increase if hurutha keerai is added. Used to be a very common snack during the “kodai” season when no one can venture out on account of severe wind and rain.

This ganjikke would be powdered in a ‘ BEESA GALLU ‘ or ‘BEESARAN KALLU’ ( grinding stone ‘flour mill’) that was a permanent feature in the EDHA or NADU MANE and stored for furture use. People who go on long journeys (in olden days travel was by foot only) took this powder along with them, a very handy and healthy meal. This powder would be mixed with hot water to make a gruel. Salt and jaggery could be added to taste.


[Illustration by Bellie Jayaprakash]

Edha Mane (notice the Beesa Gallu (Grinding Stone-mill) at the right bottom corner. The corner is called GOTTU MOOLE)

(Buttermilk) MAJJIGE [ also known as – Pay’ray’] KADANJODHU or HAALU SORAKKODU( milk churning ) used to be a routine job and great fun for the children in trying their hands. The BENNE (butter) and THUPPA (ghee or clarified butter) are very healthy. When taken with ERAGI HITTU (wheat ball in the size of cricket/hockey ball), it is very tasty.

EEGAVE THIMBUDHUGA AASE BANDHARAVA ? (don’t you feel like eating now)?

POTHITTU (wheat dosai) has to be an all time favourite of Badagas. During SAKKALATHI HABBA (the last festival before HETHAI HABBA ) POTHITTU with THENKE NEERU (coconut water) is the main dish.

What about dishes like OTTU KUDI UDAKKA (bamboo shoot curry) which can put any BAADU UDAKKA (non veg curry) to shame?And KOONU (mushroom) preparations?

There are many side dishes like SOPPU, BARRATHA AVARE , GAASU SANDEGE Then the question of how to ERAGI HITTU HOKKUDU (make wheat ball?) or make HABBA (festival) specials like BADE (vadai) KAL KAL (sweets made out of maida) etc etc.

Talking about chutney – GAASU SANDEGE , when GAASU (potato) is cooked in KENDA (ember) – SUTTA GAASU – and mixed with UPPU & OLLIYA MAASU (salt & pepper) it really tastes great ……umm…really mouth watering.

Incidentally, a DODDARU SHULOKA (Badaga Proverb) goes like this ; GHANDA (GHANDU) ILLADHA MANE HOLLA, GAASU ILLADHA UDAKKA HOLLA” meaning : -” without a man(husband), house is bad ; without potato, curry is bad”

I was pleasantly surprised to know that Taj Garden Retreat hotel in Coonoor (in the Nilgiris) serves some exclusive Badaga specials like THUPPADITTU & OTTU KUDI curry.

“Since the British lived here for long, there was a mix of the English food with the local ingredients – mostly, the native Badaga food. Thuppathittu, is an example. That makes it different from the typical English food…..For vegetarians, … Ottakudi Gassu poriyal ( a typical Badaga food of potatoes, spices and bamboo shoots), …. Avarai Uthaka (traditional Badaga speciality), Khuni khichri (spice preparation) and Gassu Dhotti (boiled potato preparation)”

Rasam is called MAASU NEERU ( milagu thanni in Tamil that has found its way into dictionaries).BATHA HOKKUDHU was done by elephants in ancient period, and till a few decades ago, by 50 to 60 bulls and cows brought from the plains (mainly Avinashi near Coimbatore) to the villages and mostly done during night time. One of the methods/processes in storing/pruning our farm produce ERAGI (millet) is known as ” ERAGI METTODHU ” (Stamping).

This is done on the green ERAGI stems freshly harvested from the fields. A bunch of this is put indoors on the floor and squeezed by bare feet . This is done mainly in the night in the EDHA MANE (middle room) and stored in the DHARSAE PETTI / BALLA (storage basket) which is located on top of the HAGALAE (permanentally fixed long wooden plank from wall to wall that also served as a huge cot) in the EDA MANE . See the illustration above.

BALLA or BALLA PETTI is a big cylindrical basket for storage and fixed to the wall/floor by cow dung. There would be hole at the bottom to take out the grain. The hole is sealed with cow dung and removed whenever required. Smaller storage basket is called KUKKE. Depending on the usage they are known as BENNE KUKKE (butter basket), HUYIGAL KUKKE (multi utility basket), DODDA KUKKE (big basket) with a handle to carry mud to clean the temples before puja in the olden days and of course, the GANJIKE KUKKE with smaller baskets attached to a central bigger one used in SAVU (funeral) rites. MAKKIRI was a larger basket used to carry food items to fields (HOLA) and on long journeys.

BESAKATTI is a large flat basket, used for drying grains, hung above the fire place/ hearth ( OLE ) in the inner room (OGE MANE) of a Badaga Home during earlier days.The basket is suspended from the beam with wire rods /ropes (KANNI).

There are a lot of DODDARU SHULOKAs on BALLA (storage container for grains). A couple of them are listed here :

Ballada hattale siri, Kukkeya hattale uri” ,

Baavava balla ethone getta, badava baathu satha

visit Badaga Recipes for more

Continue reading



Badaga Inspiration

I love watching the Badaga dance in Coimabatore. Two years back when Amma last was here, and again during Amma’s 53rd birthday celebrations in Amritapuri, they also enchanted the crowd – inspiring westerners, students, and Ashramites to join in . The same happened again this year. Young and old, men and women. Their rhythmic movements, graceful flowing hands and bodies, the beating of drums and call and response voices calls to the dancer inside us. It’s so primal, so natural, and so beautiful. 

One wonders how long these people have been dancing like this – how far back in time? How wonderful that India has been able to preserve these
timeless traditions.

For a while, I was content just taking photos, or watching from the sidelines – focusing on their movements. But I found my inner self wanting to join in. I stood there – conflicted – trying to overcome my inhibitions – people would look at me – a westerner in white awkwardly throwing his body around. But then some westerners did join in, the Badaga happy to show them the movements even as they were ‘throwing a wrench’ into the coordinated movements of those already dancing.

Still, I stood by the sidelines. Then, at the end of the first night, as Darshan ended, and the Badaga still playing, Amma Herself stood up to leave the stage – and made a full circle – turning round with the beat, no inhibition, no concerns. Just dancing…..

The next day, I knew the Badaga would be there again. Would I join in?

Around 2am, they were singing and dancing again. Again, I stood by the sidelines, thinking about how Amma was so natural, innocent when She danced. I recalled how Amma says it’s just not enough to stand at the shore of the ocean and just get your feet wet. You have to dive in. I recalled how I overcame my fears when I used to go firewalking (walking on hot coals) – I would stand there trying to convince myself that it would be fine. It just takes a leap of faith…

In a moment of surrender, I joined the line. I found myself behind a Badaga man who was more than happy to call out the movements and changes as we made our way around the circle. I loved it. At times, it was awkward, but once I got the jist of it, it seemed so natural, so beautiful. When we were in synch -hands, legs, arms, – it was so nice – like a huge drum circle when they reach that magical moment when all the drummers are connected and the music just flows. So did our bodies-around and around, faster and faster.

I can’t wait till the next time..

Sri Pati, USA
Coimbatore, 23 January 2007

Enna Alli Mutta Beda…

A couple of days back I received the following email  from David McCreedy :

I’m looking for translations for four sentences in Badaga to add to my web site:

Currently the site lists over 500 languages in their own writing systems, everything from Afrikaans to Zulu, ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics to Braille.

I realize this request is rather odd…  Please let me give you some background:  My best friend from college has, since graduation, traveled extensively for her employer.  So much in fact that she JOKES she only needs to know four phrases in the local language to get by:

1)  Where is my room?
2)  Where is the beach?
3)  Where is the bar?
4)  Don’t touch me there!
I am hoping that you can provide me with translations preferably using the native/normal writing system for the language as well as the Latin alphabet.
I will appreciate any effort you can make. Thank you,

And here is my reply :

Your email to me. Quite interesting. Here are the Badaga – equivalents –
1)  Where is my room? – Enna Roomu ellie? என்ன ரூமு எல்லி?
2)  Where is the beach? – Beechu ellie hadadhey? பீச்சு எல்லி ஹடதெ?
3)  Where is the bar? – Baaru ellie hadadhey? பாரு எல்லி ஹடதெ?
4)  Don’t touch me there! – Enna allie mutta beda! என்ன அல்லி முட்ட பேட!

You can ‘see’ the Four Essential Travel Phrases at



Microsoft on Badaga Language….



Limerick on Badaga

[found on the net]



This must be the first book(let) published in 1925 about a very pressing and serious problem that split the Badagas vertically

[Original Cover page in Tamil ]



[English translation interposed]


I came across this interesting article while searching about Badaga music that goes with the unique dance form,

[H]ethai amma in Kovai [by Sakshi]

Seventy kilometers north of Coimbatore, in the Nilgiris hill town of Ooty, resides a community of people known as the Badaga. The Badaga trace their ancestry back to Ethai Amman, a pious woman from Mysore who fled the city when a Muslim king wanted her as his prize. Theirs is a somewhat cloistered community, stretching across some 500 villages in the Nilgiri Hills, which make the border of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The Badaga have their own customs, codes, traditions and language. Dharma, faith, compassion and service—these are the hallmarks of the Badaga. They will proudly tell you that one will not find a single beggar among their “brothers and sisters” and rarely are any of their children born handicapped. (They attribute both of these to their culture, which nurtures service-mindedness.)……

…..A central element of Badaga culture is music and dance. When inspired, the Badaga will spontaneously begin improvising melodies and lyrics. “It is our way of expressing our fondness for someone,” explains Smt. Sivagami, [a Badaga teacher].

Their often-ecstatic music comes in the form of call-and-response, and some say the Badaga even have a form of telepathy, which enables them to improvise cohesively. The words and melodies are ever new, but the dance steps remain the same, regardless of the occasion. The Badaga sing and dance at weddings, births, funerals and nearly all other occasions……..

The music was an onslaught of drums and cymbals. It was an earthy, powerful and glorious ruckus to which the Badaga’s synchronized slow-motion dance served as a stirring and poignant counterpoint……

Read the complete article here




by James George Frazer – 1918

The Badagas, a tribe of the Neilgherry Hills in Southern India, belieive in a deity named Gangamma, “who is supposed to be present at every stream, and especially so at the Koonde and Pykare rivers, into which it was formerly the practice for every owner of cattle, which had to cross them at their height, to throw a quarter of a rupee, because their cattle used frequently to be carried away by the current and destroyed. It is enumerated amongst the great sins of every deceased Badaga, at his funeral, that he had crossed a stream without paying due adoration to Gangamma.


Crossword in The Hindu about BADAGA

In ‘The Hindu’ newspaper of June 17,2008, crossword No.9252 carries the following clue for a six letter word for 5 Across:….. ” SHEEP’s CRY CAPTURES GADABOUT, A TRIBAL (6)”….. Yes. your guess is correct. Sheep’s cry is ‘BA’….. [Of course, as usual the answer to the crossword 9252 was given the next day June 18, 2008 in crossword no.9253]. Info Courtesy – my wife who is more fond of crosswords and sudoku than me – sob sob !! ….. See the crossword here !

No articles, images and other material in this website can be reproduced without the written permission of
Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash B.E.(GCT,Madras Univ).,M.B.A (FMS, Delhi Univ)
Contact :


Happy Birthday, Hethey [Grandma]!

2nd September,2014

Idyammal Bellie Gowder

Mom, you would have been 104 years today and we would have celebrated your birthday in style.

Your children and grand children would have called from all over the world to wish you Happy Birthday – a daughter from Kundey Kettchigatti, another daughter from Chennai/Madras, grand son from South Africa,  a grand daughter from Ooty, a grandson from Bangalore, a grand daughter from Australia, another grand daughter from New Delhi….. and from many other places

Your sons and daughters in law would have celebrated the day with you along with a Birthday Cake brought in by another grand daughter from Coonoor and her son/your great grandson would have bowed his head and said,’Somee hethey, harachu’. You would hold him and blessed him as you would have blessed us all, ‘Somee, harachava kottu, sogava kottu , hoppa edey bappa edey ella olliththay aagali’ / Oh Almighty, give them health and happiness and , let there be only good things wherever they go‘.

You would have in typical style said with a smile ” ennu aesu kalaththa ebbadhu – how long you want me to live?

And, suddenly one night, you chose to leave us WITHOUT REALLY SAYING ‘Hoyittu Bannu – good bye!’

You were everything for us in all those glorious 99 years and 10 months when you were ‘here’. Your blessings still guard and guide us in all our endevours.

We miss you , Mom / Hethey

Elle idhale’yu engava harachu

[Bless us all from wherever you are]

MOM 5.jpg
Idyammal Bellie Gowder
Born September 02, 1912
Hubbathalai, The Nilgiris
Died July 13, 2011 (aged 99 years 10 months)
Parents Rao Bahadue HJ Bellie Gowder and Nanji Hethe
Sister of Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder
Spouse B.K.Bellie Gowder [Bearhatti]

[A pencil sketch of Mom by  son JP in 1968 while she was reading an issue of Femina]


p style=”text-align:left;”>~~~~


|[President’s award winning KV Teacher]| comments :-
Memories of this great and royal lady will remain eternally in the hearts of all who have known her. Happy Birth Day Hethey. Brilliant eyes and flawless smile. She looks stunning in photograph.Blessed are her children ,grand and great grand children who live around the world..

Badaga Chant – “Eay, Ah How” – [ ‘Athikkodhu’]

“Eay, Ah How” – Badaga ‘Athikkodhu’

The beauty about Badaga community is not only the unique customs specific to the community but the steadfast belief with which atleast some of them are followed by Badagas with fervour. one of them is the loud chanting of ‘Athikkodhu – saaying of EAY AH HOW – on certain but specific occasions.

Three occasions come to mind immediately,

1)During “hethay Habba’ – both when from every village the devotees go to Hethay temples at Beragani and Peddhuva as well as when the Hethay deity is taken to ‘Madi Halla -river’ for change into new dress once a year [and also whenever is a temple deity is taken on procession during habbas in hattis],

2)during weddings when the bride and groom are brought to the ‘Madhuvay Mane – wedding house,and the newly weds are taken to the temple and

3)on funerals when the widow is brought for ‘olay Kattodhu’ and the ‘akki eththuva ‘ procession starts from the ‘dhodda Mane’ to ‘saavu hanay ‘ where the corpse/body is kept before being taken for burial.

This loud ‘cry’ is made from the bottom of the stomach by a few leading the procession and repeated by the rest following them.

Listen to ‘Saavu Aathikkodhu’ recorded live in Ketchigatti here

Listen to ‘Maduvay Aathikkodhu’ recorded live in Thambatty here

Badaga Songs on the web

Badaga Panjayats…?!

In the olden days, Badagas lived a very simple but highly cohesive life. Evey village -hatti, consisted of one or two ‘families or Kudumbas’. Each kudumba, as the name indicates, consisted of brothers and they usually lived in the same street – ‘thara’. The ancestral home was given to the youngest son and, due to space constraints, the elder brothers moved out to build separate houses.
The youngest son  [when married] was expected to take care of the elderly parents. The sister(s) married off to other hattis were always welcome to the parents house and for the children of the these females, their parents house was a source of great safety and security and the brother’s house was a sacred house known as ‘GURU Manay’. Though the property was given ONLY to sons, the married daughters could come back to the parents house anytime in case of any matrimonial discord. The daughters were given all the respect and they never felt neglected. Mind you, this was a time when girls were married off at a very young age and in most of cases, not educated.

Every family lived a contented life with total cooperation. This, of course, was the time when the undivided Hindu family wealth and property was given to only sons in our Country.
But all that changed over time. Material lust took control over conventional matters. The daughters, more often than not, were not welcomed by the brothers (generally due to their wives pressure). This combined with lack of education and absent of other alternatives, forced many daughters to suffer in silence. If they had children and a wayward husband who indulged in wasteful life with drinking being an eternal curse, the life was not only miserable but unbearable. Like in all other communities in our great country, the girls were forced to live a condemned life.

This is the time visionaries and forward looking Badaga leaders like Rao bahadur Bellie Gowder and his son Rao Badahur Ari Gowder high lighted the impoetance of education, the former built the first school along with a hostel that provided free education to Badaga boys and the latter insisted that the girl child should be educated and equal rights and property be given as the boys among Badagas. Empowering women. Now, even the laws in our country has been amended wherein the boys and girls have equal rights on the property of the parents.
Sadly, even in this day and time, in many hattis, the property is recommended to be given ONLY to sons by the so called hatti ‘elders’ in what can be termed as ‘kapp’ panjayats to sort out property disputes. As you may be aware KAPP panjayats are popular male dominated forums in Hariyana and wester UP who had given the ‘OK’ for honour killings, acting as extra constitutional authorities and are in trouble as Supreme Court is looking into their actions.

The problem is, in olden days a complaint was made to the common wisdom of hatti elders when the disputes could not be solved within the family – Kudumba. The Badaga proverb – doddaru shloka – ‘manay ya maathaadi, mandaga hogu’ aptly describes this. Also, in olden days, the options of going to the court or seeking remedy through legal channels were not easy. Tthe ‘core committee’ of elders looking into complaints was made up of non partisan, experienced and where available educated people and their rulings were acceptable to all.
These days, in most of the hattis the ‘Gowda’ chosen is the one who does not have a permanent or regular job as he has to attend to a lot social functions both in his as well as in other hattis.  Other members of the ‘problem solving’ group are youngsters selected for collection of tax – wari and to organise temple festivals – habbas etc. By no stretch of imagination, they can can be considered as competent or qualified and least of all experience which is a must.

And, most importantly, when it comes to property allocation to daughters, how can these panjayats go against the law of the land? The feeble argument that only a son can be called a ‘WARISU’ is blatantly brutal, one sided, gender biased and ‘anti-female’ like many other social issues in our society.



For a change – to relax on a weekend

Can you crack these codes and find out the ‘hidden messages’?

Yes, it is better to stand on your head and clear all DO(ub)TS ?!



Art in WORDS or Words in ART ? !

Original works of ‘ Bellie Jayaprakash ‘ [No reproduction permitted]


~~~ A picture is worth… a thousand words ~~~

Photos by Bellie Jayaprakash ©2014

Echo of First World War in the Nilgiris

Dharmalingam Vengopal [Nilgiri Documentation Centre, Kotagiri]

dv2dv 1

As the centenary of the First World War is being solemnly observed world over, the beautiful BEM Neethi church on the slopes of splendid Kalhutti valley in the Nilgiris also silently observes its centenary as a victim of the global war.

The Basel Evangelical Mission (BEM) was established in Basel in Switzerland in 1815 by German and Swiss missionaries who worked in Africa, China, South East Asia and south India. Their work began in 1834 in the Malabar area and spread to Karnataka and south Maharashtra.

Basel Mission came to the Nilgiris in 1845 at the invitation of retired judge G.J.Casamajor who donated his entire property at Ketti to the mission. The first missionary to arrive was Michael Buhler, a gifted linguist, who was the first to document Badaga folklore including the Badaga forefather sayings and ballads. He was the first to put, ‘Badaga language and culture on the scholarly map’. Buhler died young at the age of 37. Several  Badagas attended his burial at St. Stephen’s church at Ooty where Judge Casamajor was  also buried.

‘Thanks to the missionaries, many Badaga villages have had primary schools for longer than thousands of comparable small communities in Canada, the United States, South Africa or Australia’ says Prof.Paul Hockings, an authority on Nilgiri studies.

Exactly one hundred years after the mission was founded its missionaries were unceremoniously sent out of India and their properties confiscated as ‘enemy property’ after the outbreak of First World War in 1914.


The BEM Neethi Church stands a mute witness to the global war which had its echo as far as the peaceful Nilgiris.

Birth centenary of first Badaga journalist

Birth centenary of first Badaga journalist  – The Hindu 13 Jan 2016

Udhagamandalam,11/01/2016:  [Special Correspondent]

Udhagamandalam,11/01/2016: Field director Mudumalai tiger reserve Srinivas R Reddy specking at the Birth centenary celebrations of A.Dharmalingam Journalist in Udhagamandalam on 11january 2016. Photo:M.Sathyamoorthy[Photo:M.Sathyamoorthy]

Field director Mudumalai tiger reserve Srinivas R Reddy specking at the Birth centenary celebrations of A.Dharmalingam Journalist in Udhagamandalam on 11january 2016.

The need for documenting local history was highlighted at a function organised by Nilgiri Documentation Centre to celebrate the birth centenary of A. Dharmalingam, the first Badaga journalist of The Nilgiris.

Srinivas R. Reddy, Field Director, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, said that journalists were also chroniclers of local history and development, and therefore their writings should be preserved and passed on to subsequent generations.


He referred to the book ‘A. Dharmalingam, Journalist of the Nilgiris- Developments in Post Independence Decades’ and said the articles traced the progress of the district since Independence in a lucid and informative manner.

N.Sundaradevan, former Additional Chief Secretary, said that there was a collective responsibility to document the contributions of various institutions and individuals who had made The Nilgiris the most prominent hill station in the country.

Recalling with appreciation late Dharmalingam’s entry into journalism in the 1940s, he said that Dharmalingam’s success must be seen in the context of those days when the Badagas were only beginning to enter higher education.

Dharmalingam Venugopal, director of Nilgiri Documentation Centre, said that The Nilgiris was unique in the sense that personalities of various nationalities including Portuguese, British, Scots, Germans, Canadians, French and Americans besides various communities in India had left their imprints in the growth of the district.

The Nilgiri Documentation Centre was engaged in bringing out the contribution of these remarkable people for the benefit of the district.

Centenary of A. Dharmalingam

Remembering with respect on this Centenary Day



There have been many Badagas whose lives have been very inspiring. Late Mr.A.Dharmalingam,  the First Badaga Journalist,  was not only a respected journalist but a great human being. Though, I did not have the honour of knowing him,  have heard enough about his interactions with Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder and other leaders of the Nilgiris when the problems of all types would be discussed threadbare.

It gives me great pleasure on behalf of and others, to wish his son Venugopal, who is organizing the birth centenary celebrations on 11 Jan 2016, all success. – Wg Cdr JP






Health Tips

This message is from a group of Doctors in India:
(forwarded in public interest)

1) Do not drink APPY FIZZ. It contains Cancer causing agent..
2) Don’t eat Mentos before or after drinking Coke or Pepsi because the Person will die immediately as the mixture becomes CYANIDE..
3) Don’t eat Kurkure because it contains high amount of Plastic.If you don’t believe burn Kurkure and you can see Plastic melting!
(News report from “Times of India”)
4) Avoid these Tablets, they are very dangerous:

* D-cold
* Vicks Action-500
* Actified
* Coldarin
* Cosome
* Nice
* Nimulid
* Cetrizet-D

They contain Phenyl Propanol-Amide PPA. Which causes Strokes & Are banned in USA…!

Drs of the United States have found  new cancer in human beings, caused by Silver Nitro Oxide. Whenever you buy recharge cards, don’t scratch with your nails, as it contains Silver Nitro Oxide coating and can cause skin cancer. Share this message with your loved ones.

Important Health Tips:
Answer phone calls with the left ear.
  • Don’t take your medicine with cold water….
  • Don’t eat heavy meals after 5pm.
  • Drink more water in the morning, less at night.
  • Best sleeping time is from 10pm to 4 am.
  • Don’t lie down immediately taking medicine  or after meals
  • When phone’s battery is low to last bar, don’t answer the phone, bcos the radiation is 1000 times stronger.
Dont Drink Tea in Plastic Cups & Dont Eat Any Food on Polythene Paper. The plastic reacts to heat & It Will Cause 52 Types of Cancers.

Shiva’s abode at Ebbanadu – the rising land!

Dharmalingam Venugopal

Lord Shiva possesses several enchanting abodes on hill tops across the country.

He ought to be particularly delighted at the one atop the Birumokke Bettu ( flung out +landmark+ mountain) 1919 metre  tall 11.5 km NNE of Ooty in the village of Ebbanad (rising+tract of land). 4th Jan 2015 was the annual festival to propitiate the mighty lord of the mountains.

From atop the peak one can get a 360 degree view of the eastern and north eastern slopes of the Nilgiris including the magnificent Moyar valley and the Mysore plateau beyond. I have captured a few of the images of the festival. [Click the pic for enlargement]

DSC05360 (2)DSC05362 (2)DSC05364 (2)DSC05372 (2)DSC05383 (2)DSC05388 (2)

More Badaga Videos uploaded

Please see the post below where I had mentioned about uploading more Badaga Songs and Dance video clips that were part of the ‘Music of the Mountains’ and ‘Mountain Melodies’ concerts organised by Dharmalingam Venugopal at Chennai.

Here are more;



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