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 who is 96 years old now, tells 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.

JP adds (17  Dec 07) found this 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

GODALATTY SINGHAN SATHU adds:

We have been known by the seemai to which we belong, to start a new relationship.For example I do not Know whether I call you (Bellie Jayaprakash) Mamma or Anna.If you belong to Merkunad to which I belong, I will call you Anna/Appa/Ayya.I you are from Thodhanad Seemai straight away I can address you as Mamma.This unique identity has to be preserved for posterity.

Hence my suggestion is to have names like

MEKKUNAD GODALATTY SINGHAN SATHU- MY NAME
MEKKUNAD GODALATTY JEYANTHI SATHU-MY WIFE
MEKKUNAD GODALATTY PRASHANTH SATHU-MY SON


The generation next wants an identity. My younger son calls himself Sevana Yashwant (Sevana is my great grandpa’s name)..


So let us start this movement.Great movements have started with small steps …….

Yes, I agree with Sathu about addressing other Badagas properly (Morapadi Koruchodhu). Since I belong to Poragangadu Seeme, it is in order that we address each other (depending on the age of course) as MAMMA [Uncle].

The disgusting thing these days is youngsters addressing any Badaga elder simply as ANNA or AKKA[elder brother & elder sister]. Even the general term AYYA or HETHE [grandpa & grandma] is so much more respectful.

Though the suggestion to include the SEEME before the Village name carries a lot of merit, there are a couple of catches.

You see, every SEEME (consisting of a large group of villages) is divided into communes known as OORUs (consisting of a particular number of villages in one group).

That is, NAKKU BETTA [of the BADAGA COMMUNITY] consists of Four SEEMES -> divided into many OORUs -> subdivided into individual Hattis [villages]. In a Village, everybody is a brother/sister and hence marriage among themselves is taboo.

For example, under PORGANGADU SEEME, ‘HATHOMBATHU [19] OORU’ and ‘AARU[6] OORU’ are two of the many communes.

All males, say, in AARU OORU are ANNA THAMMARU [brothers] and hence cannot marry from families within these six villages. But a boy from AARU OORU can marry a girl from HATHOMBATHU OORU. Or vice versa. Example, I am from AARU OORU (Beratty) and my wife is from 19 OORU (Hubbathalai).

That simply means for people of AARU OORU the people of HATHOMBATHU OORU are MAMMA & MAMMI and hence ‘madhuve maaduva MORAE hadadhe’ (The relation to marry exists).

The beauty of the system is that boys from both Beratty & Hubbathalai[villages belonging to Porangadu Seeme] can marry girls from the same village from   belonging to a different SEEME [say girls from Ketchigatty of KUNDHE SEEME]. Conversly, a boy from Ketchigatti can marry a girl of his choice either from Hubbathalai or Beratty. Or for that matter, he can marry a girl from within his (Kundhe) Seeme but NOT from the same village or OORU.

I am reminded of an exception though. In the village KODHUMUDI hatti, there are two groups belonging to MELA HATTI and KIYA HATTI (roughly, upper and lower streets) and a person from one group can marry from the other group. Probably, one of the few exceptions of marriage taking place from within  the same hatti (village).

Yes, this topic is not only very interesting but very important. Hope it gets the attention it deserves.

Also see here or here

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Website of Wing commander Bellie Jayaprakash that is regularly updated and more info added

On the unique BADAGA community of the Nilgiris in Southern India…their origin, language, culture and customs !!

Do not forget to see the pages  like Hattis, Hethai, Rare photos, Recipes etc >>>> for  more of BADAGA –>–>–>–>–>–>

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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 : bjaypee@gmail.com
belliejayaprakash©2016

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37 responses to “Badaga Names

  1. Kudos to the admin team, this website is great and has a vast quantity of information regarding our life. Kudos to the admin team ! Never really visited this when I was in India. When you’re away from home, going through all this info makes you feel really happy!

    Thank you very much. This website, one man’s effort, started as a hobby and to give authentic info about Badaga community, has become an obsession now. More than 400,000 visits and comments like yours – that gives PURE OXYGEN. – Wg Cdr JP

    Like

  2. Eesu jenantha enna ayya etheka esarella kethu mathavaka ennava avisithare……..aale eega tha arathe naa aakitha kanna neeru enna ayya illa ethe yaesaru kaagi ille……..enka baduga makkagaginthu nenasunega appara ollithu…………….badagaanthalaye onthu illenba ee kaalathoge………badagaru esaru nelachi nibathoonthu paadupaduva ella anna thamuru sari akka ammellavu sari…….enna mane makka enthu ninga ellava nanga kaade hetheya kodethege adava naalu ningagu adalinthu vendinne…………..

    Like

  3. I’M SAHI..MASELF I’M PROUD TO BE A BADAGA…B’COZ I GOT HETTAI AMMAN BLESSINGS..TO GET BLESSING FROM HETTAI AMMAN,BADAGAS WERE SO LUCKY

    Like

  4. Mrs.Shalini Nandakumar

    This is a request on behalf of all the new mom’s, we are confused with the Traditional 40- days Confinement after birth….the bath and sekkai and tippa Kanni lot more.Please help what actually is true and how to do our confinements properly…

    Like

  5. MURALI SAKKOLAI

    My dad’s name is SAKKOLAI , I was wondering why my granny had given this name to my dad, since my friends used to make fun of my dad’s name. Now, am much happy and proud of my granny that she had this name to my dad, I will give my dad’s name to my next generation since its from my origin.

    Like

  6. Rajath [Meeckery]

    OLD BADUGA LIFE STYLE IS MISSING NOW….!

    Like

    • Divya Joghan (Godalatty)

      I am happy to be a Badaga girl and I love my traditions; yes, Baduga old life style is missing. I saw your comments Rajath.

      Like

  7. I will be happy to say this,”I am one of the Badagas”..

    Like

  8. Hethe habba starts 24/12/12 and ends on 31/12/12

    Like

  9. its nice to see many rare fotos here!! im happy to share it wit frnds!! thanx fo creatin this!!

    Like

  10. veryyy goood…

    Like

  11. This will be a great web site, would you be involved in doing an interview regarding how you created it? If so e-mail me!

    Like

  12. Great stuff from you, man. Ive read your stuff before and youre just too awesome. I love what youve got here, love what youre saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. I cant wait to read more from you. This is really a great blog.

    Like

  13. My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different web page and thought I might check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking into your web page yet again.

    Like

  14. I appreciate all of your comments. Somebody says, our people are living all over the world. It’s nice to hear. But think once, what happened at present? Maximum number of people went to coimbatore, tripur, banglore, dubai and so on. Then think what happens to our community. Can anyone have any ideas, why they all trans located? If you wish, my comments will be in next post. Now ball is in your court to save our community. Always trying to keep our community in a good culture.

    Like

  15. Badagas had a fantastic life styles. That seems to be missing

    Like

  16. I love Bygamund and Baduga culture…..

    Like

  17. I love Nanjanad hatty

    Like

  18. I am also a Badaga……. im very proud to see this .. and i also request you to get more detail’s about our community.. thanks.

    Like

  19. sivaranjini jogharaj

    I am proud to be a BADAGA girl

    Like

  20. D.GOPINATH(BALACOLA)

    Proud to be a Badaga……… RISE YOUR HEAD AND SAY you are A BADUGA.

    Like

  21. Dheepu Sivayogi (Sakkalatty) now at Qatar(Doha)

    Am really happy to be from Badaga community, can somebody let me know how to enter my hatti details in website (including my hatti history,photos,peoples,etc)

    Pl send by email all the details about your hatti. You can attach the pictures of your hatti to that email. They will be published in this website – Wg Cdr JP

    Like

  22. Na ondhu baduda girl ah huttidhadhuga appara sandhosa pattanae…..Enaga baduga dance endhale appara interest..So na baduga dancer ah bappadhu ningatha help madodhu….Enga hatty hesaru “The Great Nanjanad”….

    Like

  23. senthil kumar

    I am very proud to be a Badaga, our culture , hospitality and our unity should be forever and ever. Proud Being A Badaga.

    Like

  24. I am a 15 years guy . My father’s name is N.SHANMUGAM [ARMY] and my mother’s name is S.CHITRAMALA . We belong to Nanjanad village . Tell you what ,I AM REALLY PROUD TO AN BADAGA . If you are a badaga then please send me an mail.

    Yes, my young friend, I,too, am proud to be a Badaga and I have sent you a mail – Wg Cdr JP

    Like

  25. BADAGAS ARE ALWAYS UNIQUE. I FEEL VERY PROUD THAT I BELONG TO THIS COMMUNITY. WE PEOPLE ALWAYS ROCK!

    Like

  26. sivakumar (kookalthorai)

    i am proud to be an indian …..but i am proud to be only badaga. nowdays our people are ranking in all fields,mr.belliraj – the great,famous singer – had sung the tamil song-kankal irunthal- is good and fantastic.it makes him to bring his talents and he proves that he is only from ooty.many wishes to mr.belliraj to come up again and to fly in tamil movies.

    Like

  27. This is very up-to-date information. I think I’ll share it on Twitter.

    Like

  28. Being Badagas, we have to do something for our community. but I am unable to get a chance to do something for our community. Really you have taken an effort and given a lot of information about our community. Really useful for our youngsters.Dont stop please continue.

    Like

  29. reji Varghese

    It was an eyeopener to read your website. For people like me who are not from the Nilgiris your website is very informative.It would be good if you could include the early history of your ancestors, folklore etc as well. The Badaga community should be proud of its rich heritage.

    Like

  30. Im really happly to write my words in this precious page of badaga.com.
    Im working in B’lore in a reputed Garment industry . I really dont have any words to describe right now .
    As i have give my mail id , as on if any information pls let me also know to contribute in this .
    Always i will be in proud abou our community ….

    Like

  31. IAM PROUD TO SAY THAT IAM A BADAGA PERSON.I AM HAPPY AND PROUD THAT IN ALL OVER THE WORLD OUR BADAGA PEOPLE ARE LIVING AND THEY HAVE ASSOCIATION.ONCE I VISITED
    WEBSITE…..DUBAIBADAGARASSOCIATION……………..AND I WAS VERY HAPPY THAT OUR PEOPLE ARE IN ALL OVER THE WORLD……….THIS IS SIVAKUMAR FROM KOOKALTHORAI.

    Like

  32. diagu [Thiagu]

    it’s nice to see a badaga website……I belong to Kookalthorai-Kotagiri……
    feeling very proud about our culture….

    Wg.Cdr.JP adds : The email you have given thiagu_funky@ahoo.co.in seems to be wrong. Pl give your email id so that updates can be sent to you

    Like

  33. I am working on the origin of badagas and also the issue of them being linked with Jews.., I have a person from Tokyo who I am constantly trying to get in contact with..,I am very happy that I will be doing my masters project working on our community.,,

    Like

  34. Enna asaru Bellie Gandhi Babu, I have one Child named ‘Thanesha Masi’. Realy very nice

    Like

  35. If I am correct “Jogi” mentioned above under “male Names” is actually “Joghee” in Badaga. “Jogi” is a common name in North India
    Correct me if I am wrong.

    You are right NJ, what I am trying to achieve is to keep the proper nouns as simple as possible. Like Bhoja could be Boja. Of course, JOGI is JOGHEE or JOGHI.

    Like

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