Badaga Villages [Hattis]


Hi Sir ,
First and foremost my hearty congrats for your wonderful work.
I visited the site “”
I am from Bickatty village which is near to Akoni. Our village is mostly known by the name Akoni – Bickatty as there are lot of Hattis in this name.
Under Thodha Naadu Seeme our village is misspelt as Bikkatti. In most other places the spelling is as Bickatty. Could you please take my request(changing the spelling) into consideration.
Thanks a lot Sir.
With Regards

[Though I would like to mention the hatti names as pronounced/called by Badagas, I feel I must incorporate Satheeth’s suggestion. Pl let me know of any omissions/corrections. – Wg Cdr JP]

[All photos are by Bellie Jayaprakash and copyrighted. Reproduction without permission is illegal]


Badagas, generally, refer to their village or hamlet as ‘ HATTI ‘ spread around ‘Nakku Betta’ (the Nigiris). Nakku Betta literally means four (Nakku) Mountains (betta) though there are many hills around which the villages are located. It appears that initially when the Badagas established their hamlets, they took two very important factors into consideration. Being very environment conscious, they chose a) direction – always or to a very great extent facing the east [ ‘Hothu (sun) uttua (rising) pakka (side)’] and b) water souce – near a stream (halla) or spring (huttu neeru).Every hatti had a ‘suthugallu’ (sacred triangular shaped stone) at the base of a ‘bikka mara’ (tree) around which important meetings (Kootu) took place. For the most sacred of all Badaga festivals ‘Hethai Habba’ – always held on a monday (sovara), the collection of money (Hana kattodu) took place at the suthugallu in an elaborate ceremony on the preceding friday (belli). Let me write about Hethai Habba in a separate article.

The houses of each village were laid out in rows, each row facing the east. The houses had common walls (Gode mane) possibly as a measure of security. Every house had exactly the same configuration of Bayilu (entrance), Nadu mane (central-living/dining room), Oge mane (inner room) where cooking also takes place (kitchen) with a large beskatti (basket) above the hearth where drying takes place, Pillay (bathroom) and Ereh (a separate room adjacent to the bayilu). Of course, there was an attic on top of beskatti( kitchen having a hearth) the entry to which is from the nadumane. Again, we will discuss about a typical badaga house separately.

A cluster of villages, which need not be close to each other, is called a ‘Seemae’.

Though, so much is written and spoken about Badagas, it is a matter of great regret and concern that still the “EXACT” number of Badaga hattis is not known. The total number varies from 300 to 400. Though Rao Bahadur H.B. Ari Gowder is known to have sent his collegue HAIKA MATHI [literaly meaning horse man] Joghee Gowder of Bygemandu, in 1940s and 1950s to all the villages to know about the problems of Badagas, unfortunately there are no written records traceable.

Prof. Paul Hockings may be one of the earliest to mention the number and names of the hattis in his books.

In a laudable effort, Mr. K.H.Madha Gowder edited “NAKKU BETTA” magazine, had attempted to record all the hattis in one of its issues in late 1970s. I take this opportunity to list the villages as mentioned in ‘Nakku Betta’ hoping any omission/ incorrect mention will be brought to my notice so that the same can be included.

[Read the complete article HERE ]


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