Monthly Archives: July 2011

Thank you friends for the condolence messages.

Dear JP,

I knew that Badaga women were unique in their own ways. They were courageous, well displined and hardworking to the core. They were the incornation of goodness, tolerance and kindness.,embodiment of virtues. Your mother was undoubtedly one such soul. I earnestly pray for her purest soul to rest in peace.


Thank you Rajma, you have summed it in the most beautiful way. It was mother, who was a true Badaga[thi] who made us hold our head high and to have the courage of conviction – JP

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Thank you, to all those friends who had sent condolence messages on the demise of my mother Mrs.Idyammal. She was born on 02-09-1912 and named Kaaday [Kade] and her pet name was Ida which became Idy.

2-9-1912 —-13-7-2011

Being the youngest, she was the pet of her parents,Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder and Nanji Hethay. She had a big influence with all her brothers and after Rao Badadur Bellie Gowder passed away in 1935, she was the uniting force of the family.

She lived a full life with all its pleasures and pitfalls. Being a woman of great character and courage – she ensured that all her children, eight of us, were sent to schools and colleges.

Education was her topmost priority, probably due to the influence of her elder brother Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder who was 20 years elder to her. Educating all the children was not easy, that too, two of us in professional courses, her fifth child, Balakrishna became a Doctor [though fate played a cruel trick and he passed away in Malaysia in 1975, at the age of 29, just a day before he was leaving for London to do his FRCS, and was the first of her children to pass away which shattered mother beyond description] and me, her sixth child as an Engineer.

She was very strict and did not compromise and had the courage of conviction to carry her decisions through.

There is so much to write about her for she is a phenomena by herself. In her passing away, it was end of an era.

Thank you once again for all the sentiments – Wg Cdr JP


Mother – may her soul rest in peace

It is with the saddest sense of grief and sorrow I record the passing away of my mother, Mrs.Idyammal Bellie Gowder, on 13-7-2011 at the age of 99. Mom, you gave me everything and what I am today is only due to you.

From Ooty to Coonoor in “Nilgiri Mountain Railway” for Rs.3

It was a train journey after forty years. On 27/06/2011. First time with my better half. And it was worth it.

Nilgiri Mountain Railway [NMR] – running from  Ooty to Mettupalayam – is an unique UN heritage  railway system built during the British time and with which two greatest Badaga Leaders [Known as Nakku Betta ‘Rajas’ during their time] Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder and Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder, were closely connected – Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder in fact built it [surprisingly no mention about them has been made in many references about NMR – either by default or deliberate design]. They had the great privilege of stopping the train by show of hands. See photos in the ‘rare photos’ page.

And guess what, this ‘toy train’ which is a must travel agenda in every tourist’s itinerary, is so cheap to travel from Ooty to Coonoor or vice versa, that you tend to think that there is some BIG MISTAKE. yes, it costs all of Rs.3. You heard me correct ONLY Rupees THREE. in second class. Fist class costs Rs.76/- But  the reservation charges are much higher. By the way, the fare from Coonoor to Mettupalayam is Rs.4/-.See the pictures [click on them for enlargement].

Less than a cup of ‘chai’ in any roadside  tea shop. Surely this must find a mention in Guinness World Records.

This train is the ‘lifeline’ for many students [living around Lovedale, Ketti, Aravankadu, Wellington and Coonoor] studying in Ooty Govt. Arts College and for those working in Ooty.

My memory goes back to the time when I was a regular of this train from Aravankadu to Ooty [when I did my pre university in Ooty College during 1964-65] and after my Engineering studies in 1971 when I was with the Ooty PWD.

And here are some snaps of the train and Coonoor railway station.

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Badaga land

Religious conversion

I have strong religious feelings. Born as a HINDU as most Badagas are, I am very proud being a Hindu. But I respect other religions and some of my best friends are Muslims, Christians and Sikhs [courtesy Air Force].

But I am against any conversion from one religion to another by means of compulsion, force or inducement. Of late, it has become a ‘fashion’ for some Badagas to convert to Christianity for no rhyme or reason. But, many have done this, now I understand, due to inducement of money.
Worst is, when some of these ‘converts’ claim sole right to some very old Badaga Traditions and Customs. One such is, the funeral prayer – Karu Haruchodhu which forms an important part of funeral rites. It is claimed by an IDIOT called HN Devaraj of Otti Mora Hosahatty to be part of Bible. His booklet called ‘Pappa Parigaara Aagili’ is given to me by a concerned Hindu Badaga. Outrageous !
Will educated and knowledgeable elders among the Badaga Christians care to correct this offending practice?
RaviChandran Balraj has sent the following link
image from
To the ‘Tamil Hindu’ website owner : You have used some  photos which are copyright from my websites and without my permission. Pl give proper credit and mention the image source to avoid any legal action – Wg Cdr JP
நீலகிரியில் மதமாற்ற வைரஸ் – குமுறும் படுகர் சமுதாயம்
15 Jun 2011 | 
அண்மையில் ஜூனியர் விகடன் இதழில் வந்த ஒரு செய்தி கவனத்தை ஈர்த்தது.
அடிக்கிற வெயிலுக்கு ஆளாளுக்கு ஊட்டி யைத் தேடி ஓட… அங்கேயோ அதைவிட உஷ்ணமான விவகாரம் ஒன்று சுழன்று கொண்டு இருக்கிறது. அது, படுகர்கள்  நடத்தும் மத மாற்றத்துக்கு எதிரான போராட்டம்!
நீலகிரியின் மண்ணின் மைந்தர்களான படுகர் சமுதாய மக்கள், கட்டுப்பாடான வாழ்க்கை முறை, கலாசாரத்துடன், ‘எங்க வழி தனி வழி’ என்று வாழ்பவர்கள். அவர்களை, கிறிஸ்துவ மதத்தினர் கட்டாய மதமாற்றம் செய்வதாகத் தகவல்கள் பரவவே, சலசலப்பு எழுந்துள்ளது. இது தொடர்பாக, கடந்தமே 25-ம் தேதி நீலகிரி மாவட்ட ஆட்சியர் அலுவலகம் முன்பு,‘நாக்குபெட்டா படுகர் குல பாதுகாப்பு சங்கம்’ கண்டன ஆர்ப்பாட்டம் நடத்தியது……
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