Category Archives: badaga


Extremely happy and proud that Badagas have been recognised as Indigenous people of the Nilgiris, (People of the Mountains by the UNO affiliate based at Rome) by the great efforts of Venugopal Dharmalingam, the Director of the Nilgiri Documentation Centre. Hearty congratulations to him.

This website has been consistently claiming that Badagas are one of the indigenous tribes of the Blue Mountains and we are happy and privileged that in the application submitted to UNO, Venugopal has quoted our website also.

In a function at Ooty, Venugopal Dharmalingam and other Badaga leaders (including Prof. Iyyaro, a Nakkubetta Seemay Gowder, Dr.Mani ex-Director of Central Research Institute, Kasauli and President of Coonoor Badaga Association, Mr.Sivalinga, auditor, Gokul Gowder, a well known Artist and Wg.Cdr.Bellie Jayaprakash), a blown up copy of the recognition approval was presented to the Collector Ms.Innocent Divya today, 16 Oct 2020.


The Badagas, the largest indigenous social group in the Nilgiris, have been included in the Data Base of World’s Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations Mountain Partnership.

The Inscription on the Badagas says, “ Traditionally Buffalo herders, recently there is a strong trend back to farming with particular attention to organic farming”. On the Badaga language, the Inscription says, “Badaga language (Badaga) is part of the Dravidian language family. One of world’s primary language families spoken by over 200 million people in south, central and north India”.

The Mountain Partnership is a United Nations alliance of partners dedicated to improving the lives of mountain peoples and protecting mountain environments around the world.

Founded in 2002, it has more than 400 members including International Organizations, major private sector organizations and NGOs and 60 governments including India.

MP is currently preparing an international Data Base of Indigenous Peoples and a detailed global map to identify 1. Who are the indigenous and local mountain communities and 2. Where do such communities live?

Indigenous Mountain Peoples are defined by the UN on the following criteria.

1) How long they have been living in a specific territory

2) Their cultural distinctiveness, including exclusive language, social organization, religion and spiritual values, modes of production, laws and institutions;

3) Self-identification, as well as recognition by other groups, or by State authorities, as a distinct community and

4) an history of struggle and exploitation

5) Their continued inhabitation, at least part of the year, on a mountain

6) Their continued use of traditional food systems around mountain ecosystems and

7) Their clear connection to a particular mountain or range.

Based on these criteria, the Nilgiri Documentation Centre, a local research body with nearly four decades of work, submitted the case of the Badagas of Nilgiris for inclusion in the World’s Indigenous Peoples Data Base with all necessary supporting evidence and documents.

The UN Mountain Partnerhiup has accepted the application of the NDC and included the Badaga community in their Data Base of World’s Indigenous Peoples.

Badaga language endangered

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNESCO) has already included the Badaga language as ‘Definitely Endangered’ in the UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger.

World’s Indigenous People

Indigenous Peoples are distinct social and cultural groups that share collective ancestral ties to the lands and natural resources where they live. There are approximately 476 million Indigenous Peoples worldwide, in over 90 countries. They make up 6 % of the global population but account for 15 percent of the global poverty. They occupy 25% of the world’s area but safeguard 80% of the global biodiversity.

The UN and Indigenous Peoples

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 1993 as the International Year of the World’s Indigenous People to seek international cooperation for solving problems faced by indigenous people in terms of human rights, environment, development, education and health. August 9 is observed worldwide as International Day of the Indigenous Peoples. India is one of the 144 states which adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) by the General Assembly on in 2007. The government is yet to prepare a list of indigenous communities in the country.

Mountains and Indigenous Peoples

Majority of the indigenous peoples live in mountains. The United Nations has recognized that the involvement of indigenous peoples and local communities is essential for sustainable mountain development.

Issued by Indigenous Badagar Alliance

Later on in the evening, Ramakrishnan, owner of Nakkubetta TV anchored an excellent programme on this event. A must watch

The “Ha” sound in Badaga (Badagu)


Badaga or  Badagu, 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 being identified more with Tamil.

Unfortunately, some ‘over enthusiastic scholars’ and a few 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 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

Haalu – ஹாலு – milk

Habba – ஹப்பா – festival

Hannu – ஹண்ணு – fruit

Haavu – ஹாவு – snake

Jana ஜன – people
Janni ஜன்னி – cold

Jav’voni – Young

Jakkadha –  ஜக்கத –  the famous hatti (village)

Hasu ஹஸு – hunger

Haasu ஹாஸு – spread

Hethe nangava Harichali – ஹெத்தே நங்கவ ஹரிச்சலி

Let Goddess Hethe bless us !


Continue reading

Dr.R.Haldorai’s recent articles on Badaga

If we have to name some Badagas who have done a great deal of research on Badaga, people and language, Dr.Haldorai’s name will , probably, be on the top. Though his writings have a distinct Tamil slant, let us not forget that he is a recognised Tamil Pandit and has been honoured by the Tamil Nadu government. He is proficient in Kannada also.

Based at Chennai, he is the main trustee of Nellikolu Trust and published many books.. He is from Mel Kauhatti and married to a lady from Hubbathalai (Ooru). I have interacted with him a few times, he is very simple, honest and unassuming. Great pleasure to share some of his recent articles sent to me by Dr.Haldorai himself. – Wg.Cdr.JP


படகுமொழியில் ஆதிவார, சோவார, மங்கவார, 0பொதவார, சிக்குவார, 0பெள்ளி, சநிஎன்பன வாரத்து ஏழு நாள் பெயர்கள். பொதுவாக, வாரத்து நாள்பெயர்கள் ஞாயிறு (Sun), திங்கள் (Moon), செவ்வாய் (Mars), புதன் (Mercury), வியாழன் (Jupitar), வெள்ளி (Venus), சனி (Saturn) ஆகிய கோள்கள் அடிப்படையில் பெயர் பெற்றனவாக இருக்கின்றன.

ஆனால் படகுவில் வியாழனுக்குரிய நாளாக வரும் சிக்குவார என்பது வியாழன் கோள் அடிப்படையில் பெற்ற பெயராகத் தெரியவில்லை. மாற்றாகச் சுக்கிரன் என்னும் பெயர் அடிப்படையில் பெற்ற பெயராகத்தான் தோன்றுகிறது. வெள்ளி, சுக்கிரன், என்பன ஒரே கோளுக்கு அமைந்த இரு பெயர்கள். படகுமொழி 0பெள்ளி என்பதை வெள்ளிக் கிழமைக்குக் கொண்டுள்ளது. இது லையாளம், தமிழ் ஆகிய மொழிகளில் உள்ள வெள்ளி (Friday) என்பதுபோல் உள்ளது படகுமொழி வியாழனைக் குறிக்க வெள்ளிக்கான இன்னொரு பெயரான சுக்கிரன் என்பதைக் கொண்டுள்ளது. சுக்கிரன் என்னும் பெயர் அடிப்படையில்தான் கன்னடம் (சுக்ரவார), தெலுங்கு (சுக்ரவாரம்) ஆகிய மொழிகளில் வெள்ளிக்கிழமை குறிக்கப்படுகின்றது. கன்னடம், தெலுங்கு ஆகிய மொழிகளில் வெள்ளியைக் குறிக்க வரும் சொல் படகுவில் வியாழனைக் குறிக்க வந்துள்ளது என்பது கவனிக்கத் தக்கது.

இது படகுமொழியில் காணப்படும் ஒரு குறிப்பிடத்தக்க மாற்றமாகும். வியாழக்கிழமையைக் கன்னடம், தெலுங்கு ஆகிய மொழிகளில் முறையே குருவார, குருவாரமு என்றழைக்கின்றனர். குரு என்பது வியாழனுக்கு அமைந்த பெயர். வியாழனைத் தேவகுரு (The planet Jupiter, as the priest of the gods) என்றும் வெள்ளிக்கு
அமைந்த பெயரான சுக்கிரனை அசுரகுரு (Venus, as preceptor of the Asuras) என்றும் அழைக்கின்றனர்.

படகு மொழியில் சிக்குவார என்பதைச் சில இடங்களில் சிக்கவார என்றும் அழைக்கின்றனர். சிக்குவார, சிக்கவார ஆகிய இரண்டும் சுக்கிரன் என்னும் சொல்லோடு பொருத்திப் பார்ப்பதற்கு இடம் தருகின்றன. இச்சொற்கள் சுக்கிரன் என்னும் பெயர் அடைப்படையில் பெற்ற பெயர்களாகத்தான் இருக்க வேண்டும் எனத் துணிய வேண்டியுள்ளது. அப்படியானால் வியாழன் கோளுக்கான பெயரைத் தவிர்த்து வெள்ளிக்கோளுக்கான வேறொரு பெயரை வியாழனுக்குக் கொண்டதற்கான
கரணத்தை ஆராய வேண்டியுள்ளது. வியாழனுக்குரிய தேவ குருவைத் தவிர்த்து அசுரகுருவான சுக்கிரனுக்கு முன்னுரிமை அளிப்பதற்காக இவ்வாறு அமைந்துள்ளனர்


0பாநுந மீநுகொ கூட்ட
(நட்சத்திரக் கூட்டம் Lunar constellation) -27

அசுவனி, பரணி, கார்த்திகை, உரோகிணி, மிருகசீரிடம், திருவாதிரை, புனர்பூசம், பூசம்,
ஆயிலியம், மகம், பூரம், உத்திரம், அஸ்தம், சித்திரை, சுவாதி, விசாகம், அனுஷம்,
கேட்டை, மூலம், பூராடம், உத்திராடம், திருவோணம், அவிட்டம், சதையம், பூரட்டாதி,
உத்திரட்டாதி, இரேவதி என்பவை இருபத்தேழு நட்சத்திரங்கள்

இருபத்தேழு நட்சத்திரங்களுக்கான படகுப்பெயர்கள்:
0பாநுந மீநுகொ (விண்மீன்கள்) – 27

  1. குதரெ: அசுவினி (புரவி) The first star, whose configuration looks as if it were a horse
  2. ஒலெ: பரணி (அடுப்பு) The second star, whose configuration looks as if it were an oven
  3. ஆரலு: கார்த்திகை (ஆரல்) The constellation Pleiades, whose configuration looks as if it were
    an entity of six
  4. 0பண்டி: உரோகணி (சகடு) The 4th star, whose configuration looks as if it were a cart
  5. மாநுதலெ: மிருக சீரிடம் (மான்தலை) The fifth star, whose configuration looks as if it were
    head of a deer
  6. செம: திருவாதிரை (சிவன், மூதிரை) The sixth star, whose configuration looks as if it were
    Hara, ‘Šiva’
  7. 0பிதிலு: புனர்பூசம் (கழை) The seventh star, whose configuration looks as if it were bamboo
  8. கொரடு: பூசம் (கொடிறு) The 8th star, whose configuration looks as if it were pincers
  9. ஆவு: ஆயில்யம் (அரவு) The 9th star, whose configuration looks as if it were a snake
  10. நொக: மகம் (கொடுநுகம்) The 10th star, whose configuration looks as if it were a yoke
  11. அம்பு: பூரம் (கணை) The 11th star, whose configuration looks as if it were an arrow
  12. சரமொர: உத்திரம் (உத்தரம்) The 12th star whose configuration looks as if it were a rafter
  13. கய்: அத்தம் (கை) The 13th star, whose configuration looks as if it were an hand
  14. 0பட்டெ: சித்திரை (அறுவை) The 14th star, whose configuration looks as if it were a cloth
  15. 0தீவிகெ: சுவாதி (விளக்கு) The 15th star, whose configuration looks as if it were a lamp
  16. மொர: விசாகம் (முறம்) The 16th star, whose configuration looks as if it were a winnow
  17. பநெ: அனுடம் (பனை) The 17th star, whose configuration looks as if it were palmyra-palm tree
  18. 0பிந்ந 0பீசலு: கேட்டை (துளங்கொளி) The 18th star, whose configuration looks as if it were bright light
  19. மரி: மூலம் (குருகு) The 19th star, whose configuration looks as if it were young of a beast or bird
  20. ஒடெகொள: பூராடம் (முற்குளம்) The 20th star, whose configuration looks as if it were a breached tank
  21. கடெகொள: உத்திராடம் (கடைக்குளம்) The 21st star, whose configuration looks as if it were end of a tank
  22. மூருகோலு: திருவோணம் (முக்கோல்) The 22nd star, whose configuration looks as if it were end of a trident staff
  23. காக்கெ: அவிட்டம் (காக்கை) The 23rd star, whose configuration looks as if it were a crow
  24. செக்கு: சதயம் செக்கு The 24th star, whose configuration looks as if it were an oil-press
  25. ஹொணெ: பூரட்டாதி (நாழி, உள்துளையுள்ளது) The 25th star; whose configuration looks as if it were a tubularity
  26. தம்பட்டெ: உத்திரட்டாதி (முரசு) The 26th star, whose configuration looks as if it were a drum
  27. தெப்ப: ரேவதி (படகு,தோணி) The 27th star, whose configuration looks as if it were a boat


ஓரியலொழுங்கு (beautiful and philosophical regularity)

Badugu Place Names Deciphered

Received an interesting email from Anand Raju about whom I had written about as one of the creators of Badaga script in the post (

Dear Anna,
Badugu Place Names hitherto posed a difficulty for interpretation. I have made an attempt to decipher them in this video.

This video gives you fascinating insights into the topography of the Nilgiris.

Place names speak of the long history of the Badugas, a flourishing tribe and one of the indigenous peoples of the Nilgiris.

My object in producing this video is to revive and promote the Badugu language, one of the oldest of the Dravidian languages.

This is a must for every Baduga who wishes to learn the Badugu language afresh.

YouTube Link:
This is a must for every Baduga who wishes to learn the Badugu language afresh. 
I wish every Baduga subscribed to this channel.

Warm Regards,
R. Anandhan

Very interesting and educative information, Anand. The Badaga ‘name’ you have for ‘video’ is also very appropriate. Congratulations and please keep it up. Looking forward to your follow-up videos on the origin of Badaga hatti names. – Wg.Cdr. JP

Proud of you, Malliga

Malliga from Kagguulla, Kotagiri has become the First Badaga girl to have cleared the UPSC (IAS) exam.

(Info courtesy HN SIVAN)


D.Radhakrishnan in Covai Post
aggula, a village of about 150 houses near Kotagiri is in a celebratory mood. Why not!
A daughter of the village has done it proud and in the process brought laurels to the Nilgiris,the likes of which this district in general and the Badaga community,in particular, have been yearning for,for a long time.
Sheer perseverance of S.Malliga, daughter of a small tea grower Sundaran and Village nurse Chithradevi of Kaggula,has put her on the road to becoming the first woman IAS officer of the Badaga community.
A student of the Saint Joseph’s Convent in Coonoor,Malliga, the only child of the couple moved to Coimbatore to get a Bio tech degree from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University before seeking training in an IAS coaching academy at Chennai to crack the Union Public Service Examination.
Undaunted by the faltering in the initial stages,Malliga clung on to climb the peak.
With this her long standing dream of becoming an IAS officer, has come true .Echoing the sentiments of her village,her cousin Sathish told The Covai Post that going by her track record,”we were certain that she will make it”. She now carries the wishes of the people of the hills to excel in her career and inspire many more Malligas.

Malliga from Kotagiri has become the First Badaga girl to have cleared the UPSC (IAS) exam.

So far the only IAS officers from Badaga community have been M.Devaraj and N.Sundaradevan.

Malliga, we are proud of you.

Dr.Rajma Comments:

Congratulations dear Malliga. We are very proud of you my dear. You are crowned with a title “First Badaga Woman _ IAS” Indeed it is moment of glory. Get ready to serve the nation. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Take a step forward with confidence, determination and dedication. You have miles to go .” Strong women aren’t simply born. They are made by the storms they walk through”. Bring pride to womanhood. At any day Woman power is super power. All the best to you. Special thanks to JP for posting this.

Your words are always inspirational, Dr.Rajma. – JP

Old Age and Orphan Home

MN Trust Old Age and Orphan Home, Denalai

MN Trust Old age and Orphan home, known as Anbalayam, is a laudable venture started by Ramamurthy and his wife Rajeshwari from Denalai Village under Ketti Panjayat, closer to Coonoor (via Hubbathalai ) in memory of his mother late Mitchiammal and father late Nanja Ayya, a retired Headmaster, in 2005. Mrs.Rajeshwari is the Managing Trustee.

It is an approved Senior Citizen Home by the government. It started with one Badaga old lady but now has 46 inmates, half of whom are Badagas.


This old age home and orphanage is run by the savings, from salary, of Ramamurthy and on donations. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the donations have dwindled a lot. It requires about Rs.5000 per day for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with three times tea and biscuits.

While we greatly appreciate the social work being done by this couple Rajeshwari and Ramamurthy, we request you all to donate liberally to sustain this great endeavor.

Donations may be sent to.

  1. Account Number : 1235101015677
  2. Account Name : MN Trust
  3. Bank : Canara Bank
  4. Branch : Yellanalli
  5. IFSC Code : CNRB0001235

Since this Trust has been given 80 G, Income tax exemption is available.

Service to humanity is service to God

Competition for Young Badagas

Competition for Young Badagas ( Javvoni Kunave)

Kallakorai Sanjeev has been posting many inspirational and motivational videos in YouTube and I have written about him and his friends Deepak and Nishant recently.

Concerned with the spreading of Corona Covid -19 pandemic among our hattis, he has started an initiative to spread awareness in the form of a video competition for Young Badagas.

Let us stay safe and save our community!

The link for registration for this competition is

This website is proud to be associated with this great initiative.

Let Us Save Ourselves – Nangava Nanga Kaappo

Let Us Save Ourselves – Nangava Nanga Kaappo

We are aware that Corona Virus – Covid 19, is a deadly disease that can kill people if proper precautions are not taken. Like wearing face mask or keeping social distancing and, put ourselves in self quarantine when warranted.

But unfortunately, in our Badaga Hattis, with the houses being in rows or in close proximity to each other, we seem to be very casual about taking care of ourselves and the community as the spike in Corana positive cases in the hattis indicate.

The main reason is, we still mingle with others freely and follow the traditional customs of inviting many people for weddings or more importantly, follow the rites in our funerals, in which we express our sorrow and grief with close contact with each other (Mandai Koottodhu) or sitting around the cot where the body of the deceased is kept, as if these are normal days. No masks, no social distancing. we forget that this disease can spread fast and can kill us.

We have to modify these customs/traditions/rites to suit the present difficult days to save our LIVES. As well as save our near and dear ones.

If we do not take care about our own lives, nobody else can.

I find the following video ( Bandara, aaley bara) of Kallakorai Sanjeev, very timely and useful. A must watch video


(PS; Watched the ‘live’ interview of the Nilgiris Collector with Ramakrishna on Nakkubetta TV yesterday (14Jul2020) in which she clearly cautions the people in hattis that punitive measures like imprisonment will be taken if precautions are not followed, and the hatti Gowdas or committee members would be held responsible. Let us wake up atleast now)

Remembering Mrs.Idyammal Bellie Gowder

Remembering Mrs.Idyammal Bellie Gowder on her ninth death anniversary

Idyammal Bellie Gowder

You were everything for us in all those glorious 99 years and 10 months when you were ‘here’.

As we were preparing to celebrate the ‘century’, you chose to leave this earth just a couple of months earlier…seven years ago.

How time flies!

Elle idhale’yu engava harachu

[Bless us all from where ever you are]

MOM 5.jpg
Idyammal Bellie Gowder
BornSeptember 02, 1912
Hubbathalai, The Nilgiris
DiedJuly 13, 2011 (aged 99 years 10 months)
ParentsRao Bahadur HJ Bellie Gowder and Nanji Hethe
Sister ofRao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder
SpouseB.K.Bellie Gowder [Bearhatti]

[Autographed pencil sketch of Mom by JP in 1968 while she was reading an issue of Femina ]

“I know my mother looks much older than what she is but those wrinkles have the charm of their own. They indicate the signs of her great endurance; and the hard life she has to lead through to bring her children to lead a life that is respected and regarded by others” – JP (24Jan68)

Dear Hands

[Grace Noll Crowell]

My mother’s hands were beautiful,
They are not always smooth and white
They were so busy making dull
And lusterless things clean and bright.

They reached so often to caress
A hurt child crying in the night
They moved as quick as fluttering birds
Among the cups and spoons at tea

They did a thousand lovely things
And did them all so graciously
There is no way to sum them up
The countless things she did for us.

[photo of Idy Hethe’s hand by her grandson Abhi Ari -2010]

Remembering mother –

Mrs.Radha Gowdu , Mrs.Vimala Bellie


Wg Cdr & Mrs. Bellie Jayaprakash,

grand children and great grand children

Talented Badagas – Kallakorai Sanjeev Ramesh

About twenty years back, there was hardly any information about Badagas on the internet. The only website one could access was probably . Then, I started my weblogs and websites like , , etc.What I started as a hobby became an obsession and now has more than 711,000 hits.

And, there is much information on Badagas available on the net with many websites and (youtube ) videos. Social media like FB, Whatsapp etc have plenty of Badaga related information.

There is an exclusive Badaga TV channel – Nakkubetta TV

But, What has impressed me is the effort of a few talented Badaga youngsters in high lighting the positive sides of Badaga community by posting about ‘Role Model’ videos of great Badagas, which are inspirational and motivating,

One such talented person is KALLAKORAI SANJEEV RAMESH

He writes about himself :  Born on-11/05/1995, I hail from kallakorai village near Melur Palada. Parents are Ramesh and Sagunthala. My younger sister is Jayshree ( working in MNC company)

I did my schooling and college from Ooty and Coimbatore . Two years back I started my professional career from Byjus.

Growing up , our culture had always fascinated me . For instance the simplicity and mutual bond which we all share with each other , if emulated could bring in harmony and peace every where. Then there was always this thought that I donot know enough about my culture , this is the state in which most of the people of my age are currently at so, I decided to do something from my part .

I and my friend Deepak have  started making videos about our community in our own language . To make a short crisp informative video I have to do proper research which inturn helped me immensely to know about us in a better way . It’s been a very short journey which I have travelled , but the learning and exploration had been wonderful .

Lastly, I’m really grateful to your initiative ayya . Your website has been a gem to know about our community. Thank you.

You can access Sanjeev’s videos in youtube ->