Category Archives: badaga

Remembering you, Ma

You would have  been 109 today!

Idyammal in 1927

A journey that was extraordinary ! A life full of challenges !!

But you never gave up !

The steely determination with which you faced  fate and life, is an inspiration for many generations!!

Happy birthday to Mrs.Idyammal [Idy Hethe], wherever you are!!


Dr.Rajammal, “The Lady With The Magic Lamp”

The book on Dr. Rajammal by Manju K Manohar and Dr. Aswathy Rajan was formally launched yesterday, coinciding with our 75th Independence Day.

THE LADY WITH THE MAGIC LAMP: The Real Life Story of a National Awardee

(Most of the information about the book has been taken from the net, from the pages of the book as they appear in Google Books and the credit goes to the authors themselves – Wg Cdr JP)

Dr. Aswathy Rajan, Manju K Manohar

Read “What impressed me most about Dr. Rajammal – Dr. Aswathy

What impressed me most about Dr. Rajammal – Manju

This is a real-life inspirational story of a National Awardee Dr. R. Rajammal (India). She was born in a remote village in the Badaga Community. Against all odds, she achieved success after escaping from a child marriage. She became the first lady from her village to go to college. She is the first lady from the Badaga Community to secure National Award for Best Teacher (India). She was ridiculed as a child as she was a bit dark-skinned. She fought discrimination with determination, turned pain into power and after attaining success, she did not forget to help others. She is an ardent social worker and is now living in Sarvalayam (a home for orphans and destitute elders), mentoring the youngsters and serving the elderly. She is very kind & empathetic. She believes in the Joy of Giving.

You can access a few pages of the book on Google Books – here

The ebook which is available online on kindle can be purchased for Rs.75/-

The paperback is available soon in Amazon / Flipkart


Rajamma is a shinning example of courage and determination. But treated, rather shabbily by our community for marrying from outside. Though the marriage lasted only for a year, she was separated from her husband permanently. But the Badaga community, her village people specifically, did not accept and prevented her from entering the hatti. But undeterred she went on to become a National Awardee (President’s Medal for Best Teacher) and many more awards. Her work has been recognised around the world. She was conferred a Doctorate by an USA University too.

This book is a must read for Badagas, especially the women folk.

“Together, WE all can make this a better World”

Book on Dr.Rajamma, “The Lady With The Magic Lamp”, being released on 15th Aug

The biographical book on Dr. R Rajammal, a Badaga & National Awardee, “The Lady With The Magic Lamp”, being released on 15th Aug 2021. I have written many posts on this lady with lots of determination, grit and guts who fought many hurdles on her way to achieve success.

We wish the launch of the book authored by Dr Aswathy Rajan and Manju K Manohar a great success.

Dr Rajammal is a lady, who was born in a remote village of Nilgiris of South India. She narrowly escaped being married of as a child and went on to create history by becoming the first woman from her Badaga community to win a National Award (Best Teacher).Life was not at all a bed of roses for little Raji. At each stage of her life she had to overcome multiple challenges to reach the pinnacles of success. She is an eminent social worker. Learn what she had in her magic lamp, with which she used to overcome the obstacles. Authors : Dr Aswathy Rajan and Manju K Manohar

Ari Gowder 50th death Anniversary – Song Competition – Nakkubetta TV – First round Results

Results of Badaga Kathe Gamalu – First round

Congratulations to the winners and to all the participants, especially to the ‘Kuttee Pappus’ under the age of 9.

Each one of you, who participated in this contest, is a winner.

Great effort by the judges, including the ever green singers and Chief Judges Shanti Desingh & G Raman ( both from Sholur) and most importantly Nakkubetta TV Ramakrishna and his excellent ‘tech savy’ team.

I am honoured to be in the Advisory committee of Sundradeva (IAS), Dr.Bhojaraj (ISRO) and Singan Sadhu (Banker).

I am humbled to realise that I was the originator of this idea that has become a talking point now.

Wishing all the first rounder winners many more success in the rounds that follow.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is wp-1626742997862.jpg

Chief Judges


Porthy Mani, Mynale Bhojraj, Naduhatty Manigandan, Peduva Raman, Mel Kowhatty Sai Prasad,

Thuneri Murugan, Chinna Coonoor Prema, Kodhumudi K R Manigandan,

Thuneri Rajkumar, Midhene Dinesh, Annikorai Mano

Advisory Committee

Dr. Sundaradevan IAS
Wg Cdr Bellie ayaprakash

Dr.Bhojraj (ISRO)
Singan Sadhu (Banker)


The man who is responsible for the grand success of this Competition is

N N Ramakrishnan of Nakkubetta TV

I was watching Ramakrishna’s “Badaga Kathe Gamalu” on a friday evening. He was talking to Kattabettu Naduhatti Maniganda. That was the time we, my wife Tara (Ari Gowder’s grand daughter and I (Ari Gowder’s sister Idyammal’s son) wondering how to pay homage to the greatest leader of Badagas Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder as his 50th Death Anniversary was coming (28th Jun 2021). I sent a message to Ramakrishna suggesting a Badaga Kathe competition with old, maamule songs with a prize amount of Rs.50,000 from us. He didn’t even take a few seconds to say why not as the idea stuck a nerve deep down. Initially it was a prize money of Rs.5000 each to five girls and boys selected.

And once the idea was announced on the TV, it created so much of enthusiasm among the children, their parents and viewers. Many good hearted friends came forward to contribute more prize money. The scope of winners was expanded to three categories of age groups upto 8 yrs, upto17 yrs and upto 25 yrs.

Ramakrishna being a thorough professional, involved the ever green singers Solur Santhi Desingh and G. Raman and twelve well known singers/music makers as judges, that included legends like Thuneri Murugan.

To have a very fair competition that will have the best selection method with no chance for any complaints. he involved some of the well known Badaga personalities like Dr.Sundaradevan, the first and so far only IAS officer from the Badagas, Dr. Bhojaraj, a reputed and the first Badaga Space Scientist with ISRO, Mr. Singan Sadhu, a renowned banker and Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash, (the first Badaga to join Indian Air Force as an officer in 1972).

Ramakrishna , with an excellent team of highly qualified/technically savy, youngsters organised many Google Meet Ups. The judges were given the exact requirements where marks were given to participants as per talents. High levels of secrecy was maintained so that the only criteria was merit.

A total number of 156 participated with 239 songs. After streamlining there were 25 ‘baby’ singers in the age group upto 8, 77 in the age group upto 17 and 52 in the age group upto 25.

Fifteen in each age group were selected as shown above in the first round.

Mahesh Joghee Gowder from Kiyoor (Mynale) writes:

Prize of Honour

The participants who were not shortlisted should also feel proud as they have really won in this competition by contributing their voices and in turn NBTV has recognised all by showing their performance very frequently. So all of you should feel proud and say that I have competed with the star singers .

I also feel proud to be a spectator and the result also come out nicely as I shortlisted / expected. So we all should feel proud of this competition and playing a responsible role in uplifting our community in all aspects

(Mahesh from Kiyoor (Mynale) is the grandson of Late Sri Narayana Gowder and great grandson of late Sri Joghee Gowder, both were teachers, probably students of Hubbathalai Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder School. His late father Sri. Subramanian was Chief Secretary LD Bank and Founder President of Gudalur YBA. Mahesh is presently involved in Cut Flower trading business. He says that his present ambition is to have a United Nilgiris (Badagas are already known for their hospitality)

50th Death Anniversary of Ari Gowder

50th Death Anniversary of Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder

04 – 12 – 1883 to 28 – 06 – 1971

Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder

Great Indian, Great Badaga

Homage was paid at NCMS, Compound today (28-6-2021)

see – > ARI GOWDER -the undisputed Badaga leader | Badagas of the Blue Mountains

Old Badaga Songs Competition

Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder’s 50th Death Anniversary falls on 28th June 2021.

As part of paying our homage to this great Badaga , we proposed a song competition for young Badagas under 25 years to sing OLD Badaga Songs (either from old dramas or traditional ones based on our culture) to Nakkubetta TV Ramakrishna.

With a prize money of Rs.5000 each to five girls and five boys (totalling Rs.50,000) donated by Abhimanyu Ari Jayaprakash, Mrs.Tara Jayaprakash and Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash along with Baby Shaiel, Mrs.Pakshalika Jayaprakash & Rishim (London).

We are grateful to NakkubettaTV Ramakrisha to not only accept our proposal but to make it a grand affair to broadcast the winning selected songs on 28-6-21 as Badugu Kathe Gakalu

As a prelude he anchored a programme on 23/06/21 evening.

Looking for a Match

We are looking for a match for a Badaga boy in his early forties, never married. From a well known, respectable family, looking after the ancestral properties. Highly educated and talented. With liberal views. Involved in social activities.

The girl in her late thirties, married earlier, divorced – no problems.

Contact with details at or send SMS to 9486631864. All details will be kept confidential and not shared.

Do You ?

Do you have something to say?… a thought, a feeling , a comment or for that matter anything  straight from your heart on Badaga, or on this website.

Only request is KISS – ‘Keep It SHORT Sweety’

I have added below the contact/comment ‘form’ where you can fill the details and give your thought or  feeling  …… a free expression.   Please keep it short and do not be personal or offensive. 

Here is the FIRST response to  ‘DO YOU’ from Sofiajoghee from Singapore.

For more responses, see below

Topic:  Praying to Hethai Amma

I have no criticism on any religion or praying methods. Th only aim I think is to merge with our soul creator. So, I learnt a few techniques that would lead to the attainment of realization, healing and Samadhi if followed with discipline.

When I see we say we follow Hindu culture, however, our community is completely lacking in the growth in these areas except for the stories of Hethai Amma Eera Masi, who I was told vanished into the space when she found Iyya as a spirit after he was dead.

I am not sure how far my understanding of the story is true, because I have heard many versions of this stories from many people. So, I believe, she existed and was a great being. We have taken principles of her life to be followed in our life as well.

But end of the day, we need to reach a point which will lead us to eternity, and methods that can lead us to our creator. Do we have any such methods of prayers?

Even though Hethai Amma is a  mother goddess (we believe so), we don’t allow women who try keeping the house clean over the Hethai Amman festival time to enter the temple. why are all these still in place.

If we understand the true value soul and the purpose of it, we shouldn’t have such practices, but strive towards one goal, because soul is always in its purest form. It is the intention of any person that needs to be pure when they pray, and not based on any division on color, sex, caste or creed.

Does our prayer practice have any such development helps? Kindly let me know if you have any pointers.

If not, don’t you too feel there is something we lack and its time for us to learn. Since we don’t have such learnings, many are changing converting their religion where their souls are motivated. nothing to blame, but every time soul is in search to reach Shiva.  So, how to teach such things to all?


N. SENTHIL [Baralatty] –
Songs are nice
A feeling
SIVAKUMAR.B (Ex-Havildar and presently serving as Sub Post Master of Chamraj Estate Post Office), Muckimalai Village, 9655761571 []
Sir, While observing present prevailing scenario, the politics cannot be out of YBA. I think it is better to disband the existing YBA and people like you can start new Badaga Association and I will be proud to be a new member of that Association.
A comment
N Bellie (LIC) [ ]
It is a great Pleasure to my Father’s (M K Nanja Gowder) and my Grand Father’s (M Kala Gowder)efforts to bring the “Karu harusuvathu”, is being published in your Website, enable most of our people know about it. I thank Wg Cdr Jayaprakash Bellie for it.
And one more edition of Karu Harusuvathu in the form of DVD, brought by my Cousin Mr Ashok Gandhi , S/o Sri M Ajja Gowder, then Maniyagar of Ketti Village, with the full description of Karu Harusuvathu by Poojyasree Manu Swamy(Yellanalli Samy)
A feeling
K S Iyer []
I love Badagas from my inner heart. I studied in school days with Badgas in the Nilgiri valley . I like Badga family ritutal and ring dances. They are very simple and laborious. The traditional songs are very melodious, with full of energetic rhythm. The girls are intelligent and beautiful.
A thought
Sureshkumar []
I like Baduga songs
A feeling
Sengamalam [] Badaga , the innocent soul Badaga, the village joy Badaga, the sweet raga Badaga, the NA2 Badaga, the badaga dance Badaga, the best of all……
A thought
BABU.M [] 1.MORAY should be liberal to some extend. 2.STRONG & GOOD DEDICATED Leader is to be found. 3.All are BADUGAS nobody should be separated. BADUGU KALACHARA THALAIVARU (like DALAI LAMA) is to be found.

The beauty of Ha – sound in Badaga

Badaga or as some like to call Badagu /Badugu, is a ‘classic‘ and independent language spoken by Badagas of the Blue Mountains or the Nilgiri hills, in north -west Tamil Nadu, bordering Karnataka and Kerala.

Though it is unique by itself, it can be said to be akin to Halaiya (old) Kannada more than any Dravidian language. But due to the geo – political reasons, it is more and more identified with Tamil.

Unfortunately, some over enthusiastic scholars and elders have been trying to eliminate the sound ‘ha -ஹ ‘ which is an integral part of the Badaga language and replace it with ‘ah- அ ‘ with some unacceptable justification that these letters (as well as letter like Ja ஜ, Sa ஸ, Sha ஷ ) do not form part of pure/classical Tamil though they are very much in day to day usage. .

Let me elaborate and justify why ha and other letters, like ஜ, ஸ, ஷ etc should remain as a core letters/sounds in Badaga.

A Badaga village is known as Hatti (ஹட்டி) and not as அட்டி.

Our deity Goddess is Hethe – ஹெத்தே and not Athe எத்தே

Some day to day words starting with ha

Ha – ஹ – yes, (Ha ennu – ஹ என்னு – Say yes)

Hagey – ஹகெ – enmity

Haavu – ஹாவு – snake

Hoo – ஹூ – flower, instect

Hui – ஹூய் – hit, tamarind

HaNa – ஹண Money

Hachche – ஹச்செ -Green(alive)

Hallu – ஹல்லு – tooth/teeth

Habba – ஹப்பா – festival

Hannu – ஹண்ணு – fruit

Haddhu – ஹட்து – eagle

Haththu – ஹத்து – ten, climb

Haalu – ஹாலு – milk,

Haavu – ஹாவு – snake

HaLLa – ஹள்ள – river

Hasu – ஹஸு – hunger,

Haasu – ஹாஸு – spread

Hade – ஹடெ -lie down

Haada – ஹாட -plain

HaNe – ஹணே – grass field

HeNa – ஹெண – dead body

Hidi – ஹிடி – catch

Hegilu – ஹெகிலு – shoulder

Hemmaththi – ஹெம்மாத்தி – female/lady/wife

Hendharu – ஹெண்டரு – wife

Hesaru – ஹெசரு – name

Hola – ஹொல – field

Honnu – ஹொன்னு -bridal money ( Rs200 given to the bride’s father to confirm the wedding)

Hogu – ஹோகு – go (Hoittu Banne – ஹோய்ட்டு பன்னெ -good bye)

Horasu – ஹொராசு -outside

Hotte – ஹொட்டெ – stomach

Hoththu – ஹொத்து – sun

Huttu – ஹுட்டு – (blood) relative (huttu Nattu – ஹுட்டு நட்டு – family & friends)

Hudichchu – ஹுடிச்சு -dress up

Huli – ஹுலி – tiger

Huri – ஹுரி – fry ( Huri madakke – a clay pot with a hole used for frying)

HuNNu – ஹுண்ணு – wound

HuNNavae – ஹுண்ணவெ – Full Moon

Hubbathale – ஹுப்பதலெ Hullikkallu – ஹுலிக்கல்லு, Hatti hesaruguva – Names of villages

The importance and necessity of retaining these sounds/letters like Ha ஹ, Ja ஜ, Sa ஸ, Sha ஷ

Jana ஜன – people
Janni ஜன்னி – cold
Jakkadha –  ஜக்கத –  the famous hatti (village)

Hethe nangava Harichali – ஹெத்தே நங்கவ ஹரிச்சலி Let Hethe bless us !

Badugu Place Names Deciphered

Anandhan Raju

R Anandhan has been doing research on Badaga hatti (village names) for the past thirty years. He has also developed a Badaga/Badagu script.

He has written and published a book entitled Badugu Place Names Deciphered. I have known Anandhan and marvelled at the depth of his knowledge on Badaga.

Badugu Place Names Deciphered is a groundbreaking piece of research into the true origin of words referring to place names in Baḍugu, especially those of Baḍuga hamlets and villages and places around them is quite interesting. It has both linguistic and historical significance. The place names bear ample evidence to the fact that Baḍugu is a primitive Draviḍian language spoken by a primitive Draviḍian tribe called Baḍuga of Nīlagiri (the Nilgiris).

An extract from the book

Priced at Rs.240/- This book is available from

Notion Press Bookstore