Monthly Archives: December 2010 and new year resolution !

Navitha Ramesh writes

I just happened to see your BADAGA weddings blogspot. I am a Badaga too and I should tell you that you have done a great job!! There is a Badaga group on Facebook with 1770 members. One of the latest discussions was about letting the world know about us. It would be great if you could join the group and give us your valuable opinions.

And, the moderator of the group,  Yogesh Ajjan adds :

It’s a very warm welcome to invite you to this group, and more over 90% of the information is take from your site to spread across to all members…It’s a very young badaga group that needs your guidance .
Thank you very much, Nivitha and Yogesh, for your words of true inspiration.

Let us resolve on 1-1-11 :

and will make
by our acts and deeds.

Hethai Habba celebrated!

Hethai Habba

Hethai Amma, the Purest One, in Your Blessings,

lie our well being!

Hethai Habba is always on the first monday (SOVARA), the most sacred day of Badagas, after the full moon (paurnami – HUNNAWAY ) that falls in the Badaga month of ‘Hemmatti‘ ie (Tamil) Margazhi month. This year it was celebrated on 27 Dec 2010.
Incidenrally, the Badaga months are
1) Koodalu, 2) Aalaani 3) Nallaani  4) Aani 5) Aadire  6) Aadi 7) Aavaani  8 ) Perattaadhi 9) Dhodda Devige 10) Kiru Devige 11) Thai 12) Hemmatti

Every year, from various hattis the male members in their traditional dress [white turban – MANDARE, MUNDU & Badagaru SEELE along with the family DHADI (stick)- see the photo] proceed to Hethai Gudi (mane) in Beragani on thr preceeding FRIDAY by foot.

Hubbathalai - Proceeding to Hethai Mane

Every house in the hatti has to pay five HANA (25 paise coin) in earlier days in a ceremonial function called HANA KATTODU in the village Hethai Gudi ( also known as SUTHUKAL – a stone under a Bikke mora tree that is worshipped. This money (coins) – KANNIKE – tied in a white cloth will be handed over to the Hethai temple at Beragani/Pedduwa.

The villagers will give a warm and respectful send off to those proceeding to Hethai Mane (- they would have followed a very strict code of conduct like not eating non vegetarian food or consuming alcohol). As they (including many young boys) proceed away from the village, women spread white sheets (mundus) on the path and all those (men, women & children) not proceeding will prostrate ( adda bubbadu ) and they will be blessed ( harachodu ).

Hethai kararuga Adda bubbadhu

The unique (BadagaATHIKKODU ) “ Ye Ha Ho ” will be loudly uttered.

As you listen to this ‘  Ye Ha Ho ‘ you can feel goose pimples rising, eyes welling up with tears and the heart filled with thoughts of the ALL POWERFUL HETHAI with both happiness and awe.

These men will return back to their Villages on the next monday – THE HETHAI HABBA DAY – to a grand and ceremonial welcome after attending to various rituals / ceremonies at Beragani & Gasu gui. Usually there will be ‘ Anna Dhana ‘

Every BADAGA (male & female) must visit Hethai Mane gudi (temple) either at Beragani, Pedduva or Jakkadha at least once to experience and get the blessings of HETHAI during this holy and fantastic festival called Hethi Habba.

This year though the grand ‘finale’ is on the 27th Dec,2010 when lakhs of Badagas in their whites will throng these holy places with cars and other vehicles parked for a few kms on the all available roads. There will be many more thousands of non Badaga devotees also.


This is the only day the deity – HETHAI – will be shown to the public for a few seconds


Balan Nanjan :

I am proud to be a Badaga but, unfortunately, nearly for two decades I could not attend Hethai Habba. I hope at least this year I would be able to attend it and get Hethai’s blessings. For me JP Anna’s web site is a great source of information about our community and schedule dates on Hethai Habba.

I only wish that each and every Badaga must get education and reach the highest standard of life without losing the richness and originality of the ‘Badaga Culture’. Could something be done by all of us to stop the addiction to alcohol, especially in villages, which swallows a major part of Badaga’s economy?

[The  email was recd on Sun, Dec 26, 2010 at 1:27 AM]

Bella Gowder with the author of this weblog JP

Bella Gowder and Wg cdr JP

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

Jakkada Bella Gowder is such a wonderful person. Talking to him is an honour and pleasure and needless to say, highly educative. Discussing about [Jakkada] Hethe Amma or about Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder when he was a student of Madras Christian College, Madras in the 1930s, he becomes very exited and emotional.

He is 94 years young and is in good health and does not like to have any artificial help like hearing aids etc. He moves on his own and politely declines when somebody tries to help him climb down the stair case or get into the car.

May God bless  him with many more active years!

Incidentally, Bella Gowder’s second son Bala, a highly qualified engineer by profession with varied interests, is another Badaga Buff, having done a lot of  research on Badagas. He has authored the book “Paamé“, a must read for every Badaga .

“ Paamé ” – The history and culture of the Badagas of the Nilgiris by B.Balasubramaniam, encompasses a comprehensive history of the Badaga Community and showcases to the world the unique aspects of Badaga history and culture and is a treasure trove in ethnology.



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 !


Microsoft on Badaga Language….



Limerick on Badaga

[found on the net]

In the hills out in Tamil Nadu,

There are many fun things to do,

Like Badaga Scrabble,

But don’t let that rabble

Make a Kannada goose out of you.



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.


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 :


Click on the link to listen to this Badaga Dance Song

| Badaga Dance Song Kappu Huttileyu

Rare Photos


[Photo  shows the ‘Nakku Betta Koottu’ – the grand meeting of Badagas from all over,held under the leadership of Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder (Nakku Betta Raja -Bellie Gowda) in Hubbathalai Village about a 100 years ago]

To see more such rare photos – a visual treat indeed – Go Here ->

Badaga Hospitality

Bhuvaneshwari R‘ writes : ” I was very pleased to go through this article. I am myself a Badaga and very proud to be one with such unique and distinct features. I have been in northern and western India till my 10th and did my later education in Cordite Factory Higher Secondary School.
I was very pleased to meet so many Badaga people, especially friends, there. Badaga friends were more helpful compared to any. I had visited my friend’s houses and they treated me with so much hospitality. I know about 7 languages but badaga is the one I love the most.
The words I love the most in badaga are : ‘Habba’ and ‘Hatty’. I really miss my badaga friends. Thanks for the website through which I could express my views and thoughts and I am especially thankful to my parents for giving me birth in such a great culture “.
Thank  you Bhuvaneshwari for your email.Such letters are, always, a source of inspiration – Wg Cdr JP

Badaga Poetry by Dr.Rams

I have always been fascinated by the posts of Dr.Rams in Here is a short poem composed by him to the famous Hindi Tune -“Ek Pyaar ka Naguma Hi “

Nanga vidhii-yu olladhoppaneyyy
Nanga gadhii-yu kettundoppaneyyy
Baalu endhuu bhaerey illeyyy
Idhu nangaa vidhi thavaneyyy –[Nanga…]

Andhu enna kotta biruma dhevaaa
Alladha bhareya bharadhidhaneyyy
Naa athu kirachi aappa dhenavaaa
Naa anji anji saava dheguvaaa –[Nanga…]