Monthly Archives: February 2013

Badaga Origin

This article is reproduced due to readers request


Many mistakenly claim that Badaga Origin is nothing but Badaga migration from Mysore  [now in Karnataka state] during Tipu’s time only because of  the name Badaga (meaning northerner). It is very debatable. Unfortunately many Badagas have believed it in the absence of any convincing and conclusive evidence to the contrary. But the latest revelations and links about the language, especially from the epics and writings during the Tamil Sangam period tell a totally different story (see below).

Portrait of Tipu Sultan once owned by Richard ...

I am firmly of the view that our history is much older- may be a thousand years or more older – and my initial ‘research’ confirms that. There is a lot written about the migration from Mysore theory by many anthropologists, researchers and others. For obvious reasons, most of them are/were ‘outsiders’ – like the early European missionaries and British. The one person who has done a lot to highlight about Badagas, in 1960s, Prof.Paul Hockings has chosen to go along with his predecessors in concluding that since Badaga means north[ner], they have migrated from southern  Mysore  during Tipu Sultan’s rule over Mysore to avoid being forcibly converted to Islam. Also sited in support of migration is the resemblance/similarity of Badaga (language) to Haleya [old] Kannada.

But, B.Balasubramaniam, a highly educated Badaga, in his book“ Paamé ” – The history and culture of the Badagas of the Nilgiris, feels that Badagas migrated from Southern Karnataka [then Mysore State] about 700 years back, much before Tipu’s time, around 1311 AD during the plundering raid of Malik Kafir.

  I am, also, firmly of the view that it is possible that Badagas have lived in the Nilgiris for thousand of years like the Thodas [Thodhamaru ] or Kothas [Kotharu] and migration theory is an attempt by historians and anthropologists to explain away a ‘historical puzzle’.  The mystery of migration needs to be solved once and for all.

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


Harakolu Music

The lives of Badagas and  Kothas are intricately connected from time immemorial. This may be due to the fact that both are considered as original tribes of the Nilgiris along with Todas.

Kotha music is, thus, an integral part of Badaga festivities in olden days. The nearby Kotha musicians were invited to almost all functions in any hatti – Badaga village.

Their ‘Harakolu’ music was the start of any dance, since it is so beautiful and rhythmic. When the dancers, generally male, wear ‘Dhodda Kuppacha – Big Garments’ and dance in circles [and going around in ‘circles’] with these garments ballooning out, it is a shear joy to watch.

The following video uploaded in youtube is by GRSARAVANAN7

Helpful “BADAGA” hand at Chennai

Are you at Chennai, looking for some help about LIC? Here is a Badaga lady who can assist you…
Sugirtha Paramasivan writes to say ‘I am working as a teacher in Jai Gopal Gorodia CBSE School. I am also an L.I.C.Agent in City Branch Office 6. I am a Badaga girl born in Denad Village and My husband is working in Tamil Nadu Government Commercial Tax Department whose native place is Bickol Village’

Which Hatti is this?

The following pix was taken by me when I was on my way to Ebbanadu from Peddhuva.

Sudharsan Vasudevan [Anikorai] informs that this is “Thirichigidi Mandhu”

For PH2photo by : Wg Cdr Bellie Jayaprakash

Happy Birthday to Bella gowder of Jakkadha

Happy Birthday to Bella gowder of Jakkadha

On the eve of his 96th birthday, it is my pleasure and honour to wish one of the greatest sons of the soil, Jakkadha Bella Gowder, a very happy birthday.
May God give him many more years and may Bella Gowder bless us with his intricate and intimate knowledge of Badagas.
When I met his elder son Colonel Ramachandra at Hubbathalai about two months back, he was mentioning about the pleasant ‘camp fire’ evenings and discussions, he was having with his father, over a couple of drinks.
(photo by Maya Kumar in facebook)
Bella Gowder stays in his house at Aravankadu, on the way to Jakkadha with his younger son Bala [author of PAAME] and daughter in law Gayathri.
[The post I had written earlier- four years back]
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.
Jakkada Bella Gowder is such a wonderful person. Talking to him is an honour and pleasure and needless to say, highly educative. It was indeed my good fortune when he dropped in at my place in Bangalore, though for a very short while. 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. My only regret was that I could not spend more time with him.

He is 92 years younger 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!

Bella Gowder with the author of this weblog JP