Sustainable Agricultural Developments in the Nilgiris

Hubbathalai Siva, as the Founder President of NSTF society has been relentlessly working for the betterment of the farmers of The Nilgiris, Nakku Betta for the Badagas, for many years now.

NSTF in association with Nelikolu Charitable Trust has been working with The Nilgiris Small Farmers for more than 15 years and brought out many achievements in the Small Tea Growers Sector including winning historic Madras High Court Verdict for fixing Remunerative Prices for the Green Tea Leaves and establishment of District Price Monitoring Committee(DPMC ) to fix the Monthly Green Tea Leaves in advance every month.

Recently, he presented his proposals for sustainable agricultural developments and the proposal for implementation of Nilgiris Organic District Movement to the Agricultural Production Commissioner & The Principal Secretary
department of Agriculture, government of Tamil Nadu Mr.Bedi IAS at Ooty.

Sikkim is the first and only state in India which is a total Organic State in the country, so far.

His petition includes :

……. we kindly request you to take necessary actions to re-establish ICAR-KVK at Ooty either by the Dept of Horticulture or Tamil Nadu Agricultural University for imparting technical training programmes without any further delays.

Import of Carrot Seeds by TAN HODA for supply to The Nilgiris Small Farmers.

You may be aware that Carrot plays an important role in the Nilgiris Horticulture and the market retail price for quality carrot seeds is quite high, which is not at all affordable to the small farmers.

Hence, we request the government to explore the possibilities to import Carrot Seeds and supply through the Horticulture Dept at affordable prices to the Nilgiris Small Farmers.

Establishment of Complete Supply Chain Centres in The Nilgiris Vegetable Clusters

We express our gratitude to the Government of Tamil Nadu for having established Cluster-based Complete Supply Chain Vegetable Procurement and Marketing Centres in Strategic Clusters in The Nilgiris District for the benefits of Nilgiris Small Farmers.

We kindly request the government to take necessary steps to run these centres successfully and sustainably for the long term growth of Horticulture and Agriculture Crops in The Nilgiris.

Hence, in a view to bring back our age old soil fertility, we propose to the Government to take immediate and necessary steps for implementation of procedures to declare our district as ‘The Nilgiris Organic District’

The once well-established ICAR-KVK in collaboration with UPASI in Coonoor has been suddenly closed due to the reasons better known to them, there by leaving Nilgiris Small Farmers in distress.

Finally, we firmly believe that the Government would look into the above proposals and implement the same in true letter and spirit for the sustainable Development and Inclusive growth of The Nilgiris Small Farmers.

Hope Siva’s efforts, that have long term benefits to the farmers, particularly Badagas, will bear fruits in the near future and curtail the cash crop carrot cultivation culture with Pesticides, Weedicides, Fungicides that have done grave damage to the soil and eco system!

Happy Badaga Day

Today (15th May) is Badaga  Day !

Also, celebrated as Ari Gowda day !!


Proud to be an Indian : : Proud to be a Badaga

Badaga Script – Barey

Badugu Barey (Badaga Script )

Yogesh Raju (Kadasole)








Badugu (Badaga) Script

Yogesh 2

Yogesh Raju from Kadasole has been working on a Badaga (he prefers to say Badagu) script for the past fifty odd years. In fact, the script was developed in 1968 itself and was taught in Mael Hosattai of Mael(Mel) Seemay. He is convinced that Badaga – Badagu is an unique Dravidian language by itself (as opposed to being a derivative of Tamil or Kannada, as some over enthusiastic supporters of these languages claim it to be. He has been propagating/teaching Badugu Script ever since.

Badugu Grammar was ‘written’ in two parts eleven years back and was released in a function at Coonoor in a press meet. The script appeared in the Tamil vernacular news paper ‘Dina Thanthi’ in 1991


A language without a script is bound to face extinction sooner or later. No question about it. Earlier, why even today, many Badagas communicate with each other in Badaga by using the scripts of English or Tamil, in which most of the educated Badagas are proficient with. The draw back of using these languages is that there are no equal or suitable letters (alphabets) to truly bring out some sounds/words used by Badagas.

For example, Ha which is extensively used in Badaga does not have an equivalent in PURE Tamil, though in today’s Tamil, ஹ is freely used. But unfortunately, some professionals, have started using ah – அ instead. They have gone to the extent of justifying this by corrupting words like hatti (village – ஹட்டி) as atti – அட்டி. A sure way to destroy the originality of Badaga.

In English, there is no equivalent to  La – ள or Na – ண which is extensively used. oLLIththu – good or haNa – money etc

See the pages on Badaga Barey under Badaga language in this website

Yogesh has been doing very good service to the society to preserve the greatness of Badaga by not only creating a script but teaching the same to youngsters in schools and online

We wish him success in his endevour – Wg.Cdr. Bellie Jayaprakash

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Yogesh 1a 

BADUGU BARE(Y) – Badugu Script, was conceived in 1968. Now it is reaching a greater number that is growing faster.

LakshaNa (grammar) & Maathartha (dictionary) are enriching Badugu, the language of Badugas, a Prilmitive native tribe of Nigiris from more than 2000 years back.

The Badugu bare was born 50 Years ago, at Mel Hosahatty at southern side of Nilgiris, in Kundhe Seeme though I belong to Thodhanaadu seeme.  Then developed other letters in the course of time (they letters were not developed in a day or two); after long research and avoiding any clash between any letters and avoiding any confusion when writing with speed and considering the psychology and the writing ability and pattern of the young children the script was developed further and experimented. in 1968 Itself, by teaching younger students and conducting tests.

All these happened at Hosahatty- some names I remember: Markanda at kunda, Bheema, Mahalinga, Krishnamoorthi (cousin of GuNa magesa, VC of a University in Gujarath), etc. (one interesting incident: one student(4th) asked me why there are two ‘in’s in Tamil and why they call one ‘in’ as ‘indh’ when that ‘in’ comes in between a word and why this confusion in Tamil. I wondered at his intelligence and it helped me in analysing the language. I. told the ‘students’ that ‘we are learning our Badugu and should forget about other languages when studying Badugu that our Badugu script has only appropriate letters for the sounds of Badugu language.The beauty is they studied in 3 hours and when I dictated some words (which I did not teach) they wrote them correctly!).


@tv interview @Blru

Then in due course of time the script was corrected for shortcomings and  shape given with writing flexibility- this took some more time, about 6 more months. But at that time the scripts for the words ‘QWA’ and ‘GWA’ were not there, it was Introduced in 1970 only.

After the research in all the ‘sabdha’ (sounds) of Badugu words, by which time Ii had collected and arranged some Badugu words (say around 1000 words). IN 1991 this script was published by a friend from Nandhatty-Gudalur who is a correspondent of  Tamil Daily “Dinathandhi”. 

Seeing this 15 gentlemen (14 from Kotagiri area and one Tamilian lady from Avinashi) studied it through correspondence. We used to write in inland letters and only in Badugu script!! (the name in the address were also written in Badugu apart from English); I still preserve them (please note that at that time there was no tv and mobiles !!!)

Later on I worked for five years for collecting old and rare Badugu words from very old elders – some words like ‘banda’, ‘mammukoosu’, ‘sisukoosu’, ‘burude’, etc,….from Maelseeme (in Hasanur, bordering Karnataka) also. (25yrs back my father, KP.Raju, a freedom fighter, established a school there and my brother (Ganesh) was teaching there and I also used to go on holidays and taught in that school).

Now around 7000 words have been collected and arranged in alphabetical order. Then started writing ‘Maaththartha’ (dictionary); after writng about 50 pages I felt the immediate need for ‘Lakshana’ (Grammar) and worked for 4 to 5 years , wrote two parts (completed in 2010) of GRAMMAR .

After this, the  script was posted in the Face Book, last year(2012). Because of the efforts taken by BWC (convener: Singan Sathu), more than two thousand people around the world are studying our script through internet. Then many youngsters who studied it joined and we under the banner of BLPG (which was instrumental in the formation of BMS) started teaching the Badugu bare at villages in weekends (so far around 50 villages were covered).

Apart from this the ‘Learn Badugu’ lessons are being posted in the FB groups at regular intervals (so far 32 lessons were posted in first phase and in the second phase also many lessons were posted). Now Maththartha(dictionary) work is continuing.

Now FB group BBB has been created and the website-  started for Badugu and the related history. In April, 2014, we conducted free 3 day camp at Reach Matriculation school, Coonoor, with the help of Prakasam Malla Gowder. Also conducted classes at cities like Coimbatore and Chennai with the support of Badagar Welfare Association, Chennai, and at Gudalur- Gudalur Badugar Nala Sangha, apart from many workshops conducted.Such classes are continuing.

I came out of Indian Bank on VRS, for the purpose of this work and also for services under BBB and BMS. Also visited UAE, at the invitation of Dubai Baduga Association, and taught Badugu script there in Dec. 2014. 

Singhan Sathu (of BWC, and AGM of Corporation Bank, and the previous President of Erode Baduga Association) introduced the Badugu script in face book. BLPG started; then BMS started.Some of the people who are pillars in Badugu teaching are:- Attuboil Raja, Senthil Kerappadu, Harihara Emarald Bhoja, Nijanth G Halagowda, Valli Aanandh, Pavithra, Aneesh, Ajeeth. Sivaraj (Selakore) a 1991 Correspondence student (now a Hindhi and Badugu teacher) has taken the mantle of teaching in many villages with a team, all with the blessings of HirOdayya, the Almighty.

Badugu Badhukku; Long live Badugu.

(From 2016 an exclusive FB group – BADUGU BARE(y) and BAASHE.- has been started. It is dedicated only for Badugu language and Script. Lessons and Videos are posted regularly). 

Yogesh (Kadasolai) mob-8903471808. email: yogeshr070&

Face book group timeline for learning Badugu script:- BADUGU BARE(y)  and BAASHE’ (script and language) -BBB


Badaga Blessings

badaga-blessing1sketch by JP

One of the wonderful and deeply meaningful customs of Badagas, is the seeking of the blessings of elders. That is, whenever any person meets/visits an elder, he or she seeks the blessings of the elderly person [elderly does not mean aged/old but only elder by age] by bowing the head and requesting “Harachu (bless me)”. If any headgear like cap/turban is worn, the same is removed before seeking blessings. Foot wear also removed.

The elder, placing his/her right hand [or both hands] on top of the head of the youngster would bless [broadly] with the following words – footwear [kevaru / mettu]as well as the headgear [cap/kovili or turban / mandare] would be removed before blessings are sought / offered.

The elderly person  blesses as ‘ Ondhu Nooru, Saavira Agili [let one become a hundred and then a thousand];  Somi, harachavu,sogavu kodili [may God give good health and happiness]; Hoppa eday, bappa eday ella ollithay barali [let only good things happen while going out or coming back]‘ This tradition not only ensures respect to elders but also shows the close bond. Incidentally, open palms -where the nerves end, is supposed to transmit positive vibrations. Thus, the open palms placed on the head, is the ultimate way of blessing.

If you are new to this custom, it may make us a bit uneasy [ashamed is a very strong word] but when you get used to it, this is pure bliss. Let us start seeking the blessings from the most neglected elders – our parents.

1. OLLithagi, ondhu saaviraagi, ko endu korasi, bo endu bokki, nooru thumbi, naadu jaradu, dheera p(b)oorana aagi, baddukki ba

 [Let everything become good, let one become a thousand(wealth), let ‘ko’ be the call, let it boil as ‘bo’, let 100 (years) be completed, visit all [over] nation(s), be a great and enlightened person & come back with all these.

2. OLLitha Ethi, Hollava ThaLLi, Olagodho Ellava Geddu Ba

[Leave all that is bad, take all that is good , come back winning all/everything in this world]

3. Enna maathi / hennu, , sangatta salippu elladhe oLLenge iru, paddipperi mundhuga hesarethi baa, Hoppa Dhari, Bappa Dhari yo, edinjillu elladhe oLLange agili, Nee olagava gedhdhu ba !

[ Oh my son/daughter, let you live well without any disease or discomfort, let you become famous and may education take you forward, wherever you go, let there be no interruptions or hindrances and  may you come back safely. May you rule [lead] the nation (with your wisdom)]!

Full text :

ondhu, ompaththu aagali,
ondhu, saavira aagali,

harachchava kodali, sogava kodali,
baNda hechchali, badhukku hechchali,
bE hechchali, haalu hechchali, haNNu hechchali,

mane katti, maaru kattili,
ondhu mane, saavira mane aagali,

beNNE bettu aagali, thuppa theppa aagali,
hulla muttile hoo aagali, kalla muttile kaai aagali,
honna muttilE sinna aagali,

bettadhudhu bandhalEyu, beraluga adangali,
attudhadhu bandhalEyu, aangai adangali,

Kattidhadhu kareyali, biththidhadhu baeyali,

aanaiya balava kodali, ariyaa siriyaa    kodali,
budhdhi bevarava kodali,

uri hOgi, siri barali, siri sippaaththi agali,

HOppa ede, bappa ede ellaa, oLLiththe barali,

nooru thumbi, naadu jaradhu, dheera pooraNa aagi,
OLLiththa Eththi, Hollava ThaLLi, olagodho ellaava Gedhdhu,
sangatta salippu illaadhe,
hoppa dhaari, Bappa Dhaari yo, edinjilu iLLaadhe,
padipPeri mundhuga hesareththi,

kumbE kudi haradha engE, angaalu muLLu muriyaadhE,
kO endhu korachchi, bO endhu bokki,
ManE thumba makka hutti, gOttu thumba sosE kondu,

paava pariya nOdi, olagadha hesaru eththi
badhukki baa

ஒந்து, ஒம்பத்து ஆகலி,
ஒந்து, சாவிர ஆகலி,ஹரச்சவ கொடலி, சொகவ கொடலி,
பண்ட ஹெச்சலி, பதுக்கு ஹெச்சலி,
பே ஹெச்சலி, ஹாலு ஹெச்சலி, ஹண்ணு ஹெச்சலி,

மனே கட்டி, மாரு கட்டிலி,
ஒந்து மனே, சாவிர மனே ஆகலி,

பெண்ணே பெட்டு ஆகலி, துப்ப தெப்ப ஆகலி,
ஹுல்ல முட்டிலே ஹூ ஆகலி, கல்ல முட்டிலே காய் ஆகலி,
ஹொன்ன முட்டிலே சின்ன ஆகலி,

பெட்டதுது பந்தலேயு, பெரலுக அடங்கலி,
அட்டுதது பந்தலேயு, ஆங்கை அடங்கலி,

கட்டிதது கரேயலி, பித்திதது பேயலி,

ஆனைய பலவ கொடலி, அரியா சிரியா கொடலி,
புத்தி பெவரவ கொடலி,

உரி ஹோகி, சிரி பரலி, சிரி சிப்பாத்தி அகலி,

ஹோப்ப எடே, பப்ப எடே எல்லா, ஒள்ளித்தே பரலி,

நூரு தும்பி, நாடு ஜரது, தீர பூரண ஆகி,
ஓள்ளித்த ஏத்தி, ஹொல்லவ தள்ளி, ஒலகொதொ எல்லாவ கெத்து,
சங்கட்ட சலிப்பு இல்லாதெ,
ஹொப்ப தாரி, பப்ப தாரி யொ, எடிஞ்சிலு இல்லாதெ,
படிப்பேரி முந்துக ஹெசரெத்தி,

கும்பே குடி ஹரத எங்கே, அங்காலு முள்ளு முரியாதே,
கோ எந்து கொரச்சி, போ எந்து பொக்கி,
மனே தும்ப மக்க ஹுட்டி, கோட்டு தும்ப சொசே கொண்டு,

பாவ பரிய நோடி, ஒலகத ஹெசரு எத்தி
பதுக்கி பா

English Translation

Let  prosperity/good deeds increase nine folds,
[ondhu – one, ombaththu – nine, aagali – happen]
Let a prosperity increase a thousand times,
[saavira – thousand]

Let good helath and happiness be bestowed
[haracha – health, soga – happiness, kodali – given]
Let the cattle wealth / livestock (number of buffalows and cows) increase
[banda – cattle]
Let wealth  increase
[badhukku – wealth]
Let the (sown) crops increase
[bay – crops)
Let the milk (yield) inncrease
[haalu – milk]
Let the fruits increase
[hannu – fruits]

May you build (your own) a house
[manay – house, katti – build]
May you get married
[maaru katti – marriage]
Let one house become a thousand
[may your family increase]

Let the butter [yield] grow like mountain,
[bennay – butter, bettu – mountain]
Let ghei  (made from clarified butter) become large well
[thuppa – ghei, theppa – well]
Let grass turn to flowers and stones to fruits when touched
[Hullu – grass, muttilay – to  touch, hoo – flower, kallu – stone , kaai – unripe fruit]
Let iron turn to gold
[Honna – iron, sinna – gold]
Even if trouble comes in huge amount like a mountain, let it be contained in a finger
[betta – mountain, bandalay – coming, beralu – finger, adangali – contained]
Even if trouble comes like a deep valley, let it be contained in the palm (fist)

Let the cow give milk,
[kattidhadhu – tied cow, karayali – to milk]
Let whatever is sown, grow well
[biththidhadhu – sown, bayyali – grow well]

Let the strengh of Elephant be bestowed (on you)
[Aanay – elephant, bala – strengh]
Let a lot of happiness be given,
[siri – happiness]
May you become intelligent and wise
[budhdi – intelligence, bevara – wisdom]

Let jealousy vanish and happiness prevail
[uri – jealousy /envy]
Let happiness increase manyfold
[sippathi – manyfold]

Let only good things happen wherever you go and come
[Hoppa – going, bappa – coming, eday – place, olliththu – goodness]

Let you live to be a full  hundred  with lots of wisdom so as to make others wonder(envious)
[nooru – hundred, thumbi – full/filled, naadu – nation/others, jaradu – envious, Deera – wisdom, poorana – complete /lots, aagi – become]
Take only the good and leave behind the bad
[olliththu – good,eththi – take, holla’va – bad, thalli – leave behind]
May you win all in this world
[olaga – world, ellava – all, geddhu – win]
without any worries and problems,
[sangatta – worries, salippu – problems/hesitation]
Let there be no hinderance on your ways
[dhaari – path /way, edinjallu – hinderance]
Let you come up in life with wisdom given by education
[paddippu – education, mundhuga – coming forward]

Like a pumpkin plant that grows and spreads
[kumba kudi – pumpkin plant, haradu – spread]
Let not thorns stop your steps
[Aangaal – foot, mullu – thorn, muriyadhay – embed (in the sole)

Let your name and fame spread wide and far and called by all and overflow
[korachi – calling, bokki – overflow]
Let your home be filled with children
[makka – children, hutti – born]
and let there be many daughters in law
[gottu – corner, thumba – full,sosay – daughter in law]

May you look after your dear and near ones
[pava paria – near and dear ones]
Earn a great name in this world
[hesaru – name, eththi – earn]

And  live with PROSPERITY

(sources :My mother  B.Idyammal , Appukodu Lakshmi Ammal, Balasubramaiam’s ‘Paame’, Sivaji Raman’s ‘Badaga Samudhaayam’ and  my own interaction with Badaga  elders)


Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash B.E.(GCT,Madras Univ).,M.B.A (FMS, Delhi Univ)
Contact :


Learn Badaga

How the relations are called in Badaga ( query from Ram Siva)

1.Mother – Awway (others but not commonly used – Awwa, Amma, Thayee)

2.Father – Appa (Thandhey)

3.Elder sister – Akka

4.Elder brother – ANNa

5.Younger sister – Ammey (Thangei)

6.Younger brother – Thamma

7.Son – Maathi

8.Daughter – HeNNu

9.Grand Mother – Heththey

10.Grand Father – Iyya

11.Father’s elder brother – Dhoddappa

12.Father’s younger brother – Kunnappa

13.Mother’s elder sister – Dhoddawway

14.Mother’s younger sister – Kunnawway

15.Mother’s brother – Mmma

16.Father’s sister – Mammi

17.Elder brother’s wife – Aththigay

18.Husband’s sister – Aththigay

19.Children – Kunavay

20.Child – Koosu

21.Elders – Dhoddavakka

22.Youngsters – Kunnavakka

23.Young – Javvoni

24.Friend – Nattukara ( male), Nattukaththi (female)

25.Lover – Priyakaara, Priyakaathi (??)

26.Natta – an outsider from another Hatti (village)

  1. Husband – Ganda

  2. Wife – Hendaru (Hemmathi)

  3. Son in law – Aliya

  4. Daughter in law – Sosay

  5. Co brother – Juddukka

  6. Brother in law – Bawa (Mamma)

  7. Mudukka – Old man

  8. Mudukki – Old woman

  9. Mothers brothers – Guru Mane Mammanavakka

Learn Badaga

The following have been taken from my earlier posts.

A couple of days back, I received the following email from a young mother [name withheld] who wrote to say :

Dear Sir,   It gave immense pleasure for me to visit your website. I was always amazed to know about the community and the culture.

I am a Non Badaga and married last Dec to a Badaga from ………..

And Recently on the ….. of this month I gave birth to a baby. My husband and my in laws want me to learn Badaga  as I have to talk to the baby in Badaga for her to pick up the language.

Please help me learn the language by sending me some day to day conversations .

Thanks in Advance. Best Regards.

My reply :-
Thanks a lot for your email. I am delighted to learn that you find my website[s] interesting and informative.
I have given a few ‘lessons’ about LEARN BADAGA in my websites/blogs. ….
When you meet any elder, especially your in-laws and hubby’s grand parents, bow your head and say, ‘Kumbidichivi – meaning bless me. They are expected to touch your head and say, “Badhukku” – long live. You will find that any elder Badaga will be thrilled with this gesture as many do not follow this wonderful custom and your day will be made.
As a new mother, for about 40 days after delivering a baby, you are a ‘baththya hemmathi’ with some diet and other restrictions.
 “Hosa koosuga, ondhu muthu kodu’ – give the new born baby a kiss.


The following sentences are meant to address elders with respect.

[Like in Tamil – instead of Nee it is Neengal when we talk to an elder]1.How are You – Ollenge [ஒள்ளெங்கெ] idhara?2.How is your health? – Ninga Sogava idhara / odambu ollenge hadadhaiya?

3.How is the weather? – Seemey ethey hadadhey?

4.what did you eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner. – Orakkadhu [morning] / Hagalu [afternoon] / santhu [evening], aena hittu thindhi?

5.Would you like to have some tea? – Josee Tea kudithaariya ?

6. (Girl/Boy) Baby is doing good. –  [kandu/hennu] Koosu ollenge idharey

7.(Girl/Boy) Baby is naughty. – [Kandu/Hennu] Koosu appara kurumbu

8.We are coming tomorrow. – Enga naayiga banna’ne’yo

The following have been taken from my earlier posts.

Let us learn Badaga

” Ollenge iddiya ? – How are you ?”

‘Suddi saddha ella olliththa ? – (Roughly) ‘ How is everything ? ‘

1. Are you a Badaga ? – Nee ondu Badagana?

2. Yes, I am a Badaga – Ha, Na ondu Badaga

3. What is your name ? – Ninna hesaru aena ?

4. My name is Bhoja – Enna hesaru Bhoja

5. Which is your village ? – Ninna Hatti edu ?

[5a. Amme / Thamma, nee ai hatti ? – Girl/ Boy, which is your village?]

6. My village is Bearhatti – Enna Hatti bandu Bearhatti

7. Whose son/daughter are you ? – Nee dara maathi / hennu ?

8. I am Mela thara (top street) Joghi Gowder’s son / daughter – Na Mela thara Joghi gowdaru maathi / hennu


Numbers in Badugu /Badaga

1. Ondu (One) 11. Hannondu (Eleven)

2. Eradu (Two) 12. Hanneradu (Twelve)

3. Mooru (Three) 13. Hadimooru (Thirteen)

4. Naakku (Four) 14. Hadanaakku (Fourteen)

5. Iidu (Five) 15. Hadanaidu (Fifteen)

6. Aaru (Six) 16. Hadanaaru (Sixteen)

7. eizhu (Seven) 17. Hadarizhu (Seventeen)

8. Eattu (Eight) 18. Hadarettu (Eighteen)

9. Ombathu ( Nine) 19. Hathombathu (Nineteen)

10. Hathu (Ten) 20. Eipathu (Twenty)

30. Moovathu (Thirty) 40. Nalavathu (Forty)

50. Iivathu (Fifty) 60. Aravathu (Sixty)

70. Elavathu (Seventy) 80. Embathu ( Eighty)

90. Thombathu (Ninrty) 100. Nooru (Hundred)

Days In Badugu/Badaga

1. Aadivaara (Sunday)

2. Sovaara (Monday)

3. Mangavaara ( Tuesday)

4. Bodavaara (Wednesday)

5. Chikkavaara (Thursday)

6. Bellie (Friday)

7. Sani (Saturday)

Months In Badugu/Badaga

It is said that Badaga month usually, starts on every 10th of the English month. Like for example the first Badaga month Koodalu  starts on 10th January.

1. Koodalu (Jan)

2. Aalaani (Feb)

3. Nallaani (Mar)

4. Aani ( Apr)

5. Aadire (May)

6.Aadi (Peraadi) (Jun)

7.Aavaani (Jul)

8.Perattadi (Aug)

9. Dodda Deevige (Sep)

10. Kiru Deevige (Oct)

11. Thai (Nov)

12. Hemmaatti (Dec)

Pleasantly surprised to hear all the Badaga Months being mentioned in this song called ‘Kappu Huttileyu’ . See the widget on the right and click to listen to this great dance number


Hindu-Arabic numeral Badaga and pronunciation
1 ஒந்து   (Ondu)
2 எரடு (Eradu)
3 மூறு (Mooru)
4 நாக்கு  (Naaakkuu)
5 ஐது (aidhu)
6 ஆறு (aaru))
7 எழ்ழு (ézhu)
8 எட்டு (ettu)
9 ஒம்பத்து  (Ompathu)

Certain peculiarities of Badaga .

Haalu [haa – as in hospital and lu – as in Zulu] means milk

Hallu [ ha- as hurt and llu – as in loo] means tooth [teeth]. note – there is no plural term.
Haasu – spread [the bedding], Haasike – bedding
Hasu – hunger

Maana – Pride, Mana – heart

Kaanu – see, Kannu – eye[s] (example – Doctor-a Kaanu, kanna pathi hegina – See the Doctor, he will tell about the eyes]


Peculiar Words

There are some words in Badaga that are truly peculiar. for example :

1. GIJI GIJI ( as in Give & Jinx) – Confusion , mess up / disorderly

GIJI GIJI maada beda – Don’t create confusion

Room aekka ethe GIJI GIJI (ya) hadadhe ? – Why is this room in such a mess?

2. MURUKKU(LU) (Mu ru ku) – Foul mood / mild anger

Amme Ekka maathaduvadu elle ? – Why is sister not talking ?

Ava murukkindu endhave – She is in a foul mood

3. BADAYI (Ba daa ee ) – Show Off (proud)

Appara badayi maadiya – She shows off a lot


Birds (Hakkilu)

  1. Haddu (Eagle)
  2. Kakke (Crow)
  3. Soray (Dove)
  4. Kili (Parrot)
  5. Emme Hakkilu
  6. Bikkola
  7. Karia(n)chitta (Black bird)
  8. Gubbachi (Sparrow)
  9. Mayilu (Peacock)
  10. Koi (Poultry hen/cock)
  11. Kaadu Koi (Wild hen)
  12. Baathu(koi) – Duck

Mari (chic) –{Koi Mari – chic(ken)}

Also for calf [ for eg) Nei mari – puppy dog]


  1. Aanay (Elephant)
  2. Kaade -Kaadu Emme – (Bison)
  3. Ottaga (Camel)
  4. Kudire (Horse)
  5. Kaththe (Donkey)
  6. Dana (Cow)
  7. Emme (Buffalo)
  8. Yethu (Bull)
  9. Karu (Calf)
  10. Huli (Tiger)
  11. Singa (Lion)
  12. Siruthe (Panther)
  13. Karadi (Bear)
  14. Maanu (Deer)
  15. Pulli Maanu (Spotted Dear)
  16. Kadamay (Sambar)
  17. Handi (Black Pig)
  18. Kaadandi – kaadu handi – (Wild Pig)
  19. Mullandi – Mullu Handi – (Porcupine)
  20. Seeme Handi (White Pig)
  21. Koda, Korangu (Monkey)
  22. Mola (Rabbit)
  23. Nari (Fox)
  24. Nei (Dog)
  25. Koththi (Cat)
  26. Eli (Rat)
  27. Aame (Turtle)
  28. Nalli (Crab)
  29. Halli (
  30. Haavu (Snake)
  31. Kappe (Frog)
  32. Meenu (Fish)


  1. Hoo (general for insect)
  2. Nona (Fly)
  3. Selandhi (Spider)
  4. Kunni (Bee)
  5. Eruppu (Ant)
  6. Kosu (Mosquito)
  7. Bendu (Moth/Butterfly)


  1. Mande (Head) – also refers to Hair though there is specific word – Orama
  2. Heddakku (Back of the skull) – usually Badagas have a long heddakku as they donot use cradles. The reason for not using cradles for babies is a story by itself. It is due to the fact that when they left Mysore to escape from the King (Thipu Sultan ?) in the night in a hurry, they had forgotten the baby which was sleeping in the cradle,each thinking that the other person wiould pick up the child.
  3. Moole (Brain)
  4. Nethi (Forehead)
  5. Kenni (Cheeks)
  6. Kannu [eye(s)]
  7. Kivi (Ear)
  8. Mookku (Nose)
  9. Bae (Mouth)
  10. Thudi (lip)
  11. Hallu (Teeth)
  12. Naalenge (Tongue)
  13. Dhaade ( Chin)
  14. Thonde (Throat)
  15. Gaththu (Neck)
  16. Maaru – Nenju – (chest)
  17. Mole (Breast)
  18. Hiththalu – Bennu – (Shoulder)
  19. Kai (Hands)
  20. Mutti (Elbow – also for knee)
  21. Beralu (Fingers)
  22. Hebbatte – Katte (beralu) – [Thumb]
  23. Ugilu (Nails)
  24. Hotte (Stomach)
  25. Mollu Kudi (Naval)
  26. Nadu (Hip)
  27. Pitti (Buttocks)
  28. Thode (Thigh)
  29. Monakkaalu (Knee)
  30. Kaalu (Leg)
  31. Midi (Heel)
  32. Angalu (Foot)


1.Kappu – Black
2.BeLLay – White
3. Keppu (Kechay) – Red
4. Pachchay – Green
 5. Neela – Blue
6. Arichina (Manja) – Yellow

Also see

Let us make Badaga Hattis ‘CLEAN’

A clean India i.e an open defecation free India, is a must for being a developed country.

A clean Nilgiris, Nakku Betta, will make us one step closer to the achievement of a clean India.

For making India and the Nilgiris clean, open defecation free,  every Badaga Hatti (village) should have a toilet in every house. Where it is not possible for some odd houses to have toilets, there must be public toilets built by collective effort.

Badagas are right on top on many social factors. The most important one could be, Prime Minister Modi’s Beti Bachav, Beti Padav slogan and scheme.

We would have added another feather in our caps, if we have ensured that our hattis are really and truly open defecation free.

Let us strive to bring in that reform in our villages.

Let ‘Kaaduga Hoppadhu‘ (going to the forest for defecation) be a thing of the past.

Some ‘burning’ issues facing Badagas

[This article/page was published a few years back. But, most of the issues touched upon have a great relevance even today – Wg.Cdr JP]

Badagas as a Hill Tribe


Many Badagas are under the mistaken impression that if they are brought under the “Scheduled Tribe”, it is a degrading step. I do not think so. Badagas are one of the ‘ORIGINAL’ tribes of the Nilgiris along with Todas, Kothas and Kurumas.

The enormous improvements achieved by Badagas in all social factors, in spite of many impediments, should make us feel proud. This success is attributed to one SINGLE factor. Education. For that we must remember with gratitude the pioneer, visionary and philanthropist Rao Bahadur [Hubbathalai Jogi Gowder] Bellie Gowder who built the first School for Badagas – along with free hostel accommodation in Hubbathalai and his son Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder who fore saw that in educating a girl, indeed we are educating a family and hence insisted on education for girls and encouraged it fully.


‘Scheduled Tribe’ status for Badagas ?!

March, 2008 : Why the latest Tamil Nadu website,
on the Nilgiris is getting on my ‘goat’ is the fact that till recently Badagas were shown as a tribe along with Todas, Kothas, Kurumbas and others. In fact, the following photograph displayed in my website [ see the page ] was taken from that portal.


But the same has been removed from now.

Mind you, calling Badagas as a separate tribe and included with others, does not automaticaly give the status of a schedule tribe. And hence, the champions among ourselves who are opposed to ST status, need not feel small

The above website of TN govt is accessed by many tourists mainly foreigners and they are agast not to find anything on or about Badagas.

Many readers may not know that Badagas were listed as a separate entity in the CENSUS till 1981 but after, that courtesy some ill informed ‘idiots’, Badaga are grouped under Kannada (speaking people). What this has done is the huge loss of information of knowing how many Badagas are there [along with all other details like literacy rate, gender wise population etc]. That, SIMPLY MEANS BADAGAS DO NOT EXIST.

What is highly hurting is the fact we have many Badagas including a minister, MLA, many ex-MPs & ex-MLAs who seem to do nothing. Can they not, ATLEAST, shoot out letters to all concerned ? Or, have they forgotten the fact that they are getting a fat pension because of us? I know of an EX-MP who writes to the local police station every now and then emphasising the EX-FACTOR when it comes to grabbing others land for her own kith, but does nothing about the community welfare.

What about the many self appointed leaders of Badaga community, including ex-MLAs, who claim that they are very close to the DMK party leadership ? Why can’t they initiate some action and show the same enthusiasm when they ‘fleece’ the public for money in the name of donation for the party [but lining their own pockets]?

What about many senior government officers, including the only IAS officer who can influence the party in power to take some action ? Firstly, the IAS officer should correct his mother tongue being Badaga and NOT as Tamil as is given in the government official info { a fact I have mentioned in FIRST BADAGA also}.

It is a well known fact that late Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder would seek an immediate appointment, to highlight the problems concerning Badagas, with the Collector as well as the State ministers of his time including the great Rajaji who was the CM. Do you know that Rajaji had to apologise to Ari Gowder when he (Rajaji) was delayed for an appointment and Ari Gowder, as MLA, threatened to walk out. I believe, many Collectors of the Nilgiris, would not only address Ari Gowder’s concern expressed over the phone but would consult him on any issue on Badagas.

Why are we keeping quiet ? Why are we behaving like ‘HEBBATHES’ – cockroaches- running away from light and hiding ourselves in darkness??

Badagas under Schedule Tribes ???

I have very strong views on this subject. Before I elaborate on them, I feel that we should first of all be identified as BADAGAS which is not the case as SANTHOSH has rightly mentioned in www:// “. . our community’s name is not in the list of communities under the BC category. In fact, it is not mentioned under any of the categories.”

I also agree with the views of ‘bhojvija’ who feels that ST tag for Badagas is humiliating…
“…Badagas living in cities and doing/completed education in cities and are upper middle class family and for them it’s not at all a matter if Badagas are non ST. But we have to talk about our entire badaga community. For example an SC/ST guy simply getting govt job if he passed just degree. And government providing more facilities like scholarship, free hostel, books, notebooks etc… In our community so many have stopped their education due to lack of economical support and their entire life style also has been changed as they have to work just as ordinary labourers…. “.

Most of us feel that getting ST status is demeaning and meant mainly for getting admissions to educational institutions and getting jobs easily. The truth could be entirely different.

Even in our own district of the Nilgirs, do you know that we are not taken as a separate community as BADAGAS but are clubbed with other non tribals??? That is one of the reasons why the exact number of Badags is not available? When census is taken Badags are clubbed under Kannadigas / others.

I am afraid, if this sad state of affair continues, after a few years, we will come under the “extinct” community.

Being from an above average Badaga family – economically [God’s grace], having done my professional studies of engineering and business administration etc and having served in the defence services and having mostly lived in big cities like Delhi, Bangalore & Madras for the past forty odd years or educating my children in the elitist schools, colleges and now abroad, I had no occasion to seek the tag of BC.

BUT.. yes this is a big ‘but’ [no pun intended]…


  1. First, we should be identified as a separate group as BADAGAS like Todas, Kothas,Kurumas etc when the people(tribes) of the Nilgiris are referred to.
  2. For the larger good of the community, Badagas should get the ST status for the benefits available are too many to go into detail.

Nearly eighty years back, Nakku Betta Leader, Rao Bahadur (Rao Sahib then) Bellie Gowder on whose invitation the Governor of then Madras Province visited Hubbathalai Village was presented a memorandum on the Hill Tribes of Nilgiris which included Badagas, Todas & Kothas. In a grand cultural show organised on that eve Badaga dance was presented [by school boys] in their ‘DODDA KUPPACHA”.


Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder, incidentally, was not only the leader of Badagas but represented as leader of all the tribes of Nilgiris (a relatively remote hilly & jungle area and unexplored at that time). The folder he presented to the British Governor, on the occassion of his vist to Hubbathalai [on the invitation of Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder] containg some rare photos of all the tribes of Nilgiris INCLUDING BADAGAS

Badagas as a Hill Tribe

What do you think?


Let us be FAIR to the fair gender

As I sit down to ponder over the ‘burning issues’ that are bothering the Badaga Community, three issues pop up as very important. The FIRST one is the inequality with which we seem to be treating our women today. Though, this malaise is affecting all the communities in our country, I am concerned that the Badagas who treated their women folk with so much respect and love in the olden days, are slowly but surely pushing them into the second class citizens category.

In earlier days, the girls were married off at a much younger age [Kannu Hoottadha Henga] but with the firm understanding that they [the girls] could seek divorce at any time if there was matrimonial disharmony and that they would be accepted back into the society without any blame and reservation. Getting married again was no big issue. She, always, had the backing of her parents and her brothers as ‘guru mane’ gave unflinching support in all respects mainly financial. This was probably the main reason that the girl children were not given any share in the property.

Being brought up in an atmosphere where complaining and cribbing were not considered as routine, the Badaga women accepted life as it came and were always ready to sacrifice their own comforts. But then, the Badaga men, at least a majority of them, were, also, simple and hard working. Then came the curse of ‘drinking’. And with that, the problems and troubles of Badaga woman increased many fold and took a dramatic turn for the worse. The men folk took full advantage of the vulnerable nature of the women who had the additional burden of bringing up the children. Here, it must be mentioned that a Badaga girl was expected to be pregnant within a few months of marriage and invariably, there was a child to ‘celebrate’ the first wedding anniversary. Followed, of course, with many more children. “Mane thumba Makka” – House full of children – was part of the ‘blessing – Harakkay’.

This put the women in a very disadvantageous position. With many children, divorce was not a choice. Thus, they accepted suffering without complaints.

Education changed the fundamental thinking of girls. Though still faced with the compulsion of early marriage, many girls accepted ‘two children per family’ norm as the best option. But, there was and is still discrimination when it came to giving them share of property. The present law of the land is clear. Girls should get EQUAL share of the property.

The Badaga thinking, mainly mandated and manipulated by men, has found the clumsy excuse of not giving share of the property to the girl children by quoting outdated traditions. This is the problem.

I am convinced that one of the most important and burning issues facing us today is GIVING EQUAL SHARE TO THE GIRLS AS THE BOYS. I am firmly of the view that we have to resolve that we will give equal share to the girls if we have to save our community from falling into disgrace. Let us take that resolution, HERE and NOW.

Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash B.E.(GCT,Madras Univ).,M.B.A (FMS, Delhi Univ)
Contact :




Badaga Script – Badaga Barae

(I had written this post in 2007  and the same is reproduced here as I feel it is relevant  even today)

It has always been felt that for a language to survive, it should have its own script. It cannot remain only as a spoken language for long. But of course, the script need not be peculiar and specific one pertaining to that particular language. So too is the necessity of a script for Badaga.

Many have attempted to achieve this objective with various degrees of success. But unfortunately, to my knowledge, no records exists, if any. I am no expert on phonetics or languages or much less innovating an unique script. But the urge to have a separate script has convinced me that it is very much possible to ‘ADOPT’ an existing script and ‘ADAPT’ it to Badaga language.

To know more about the BADAGA SCRIPT or rather the need for one go here

Badaga Script

JP’s Badaga Script – ENGBAD or simply BADAGU (BADDU)

Though some friends may feel odd about my adopting an existing Language – English- and adapting it to write in Badaga, for the time beingI will stick to English to express in Badaga (Script). I have used ‘Azhagi’ translirate software which when installed, lets you to type in English to convert  the same into Tamil, to show my ‘Badaga Script – ENGBAD or Baddu

The conventions used are;

  1. Capital letter brings out emphasis – like o is just o – ஒ [ like in only] but O is OH – ஓ [like in old].  For example, oday – break -ஒடெ, NOdhu – see – நோடு
  2. OHdhidhama niddhana, OHdidhama erindina – ஒதிதம நித்தன ஓடிதம எரண்டின   – one who is educated stops [to analyse the situation] but one who is hasty – trips [to fall]. See the sutle difference of OHdhina – ஒதின and OHdina – ஓடின
  3. Extra ‘a’ is stretching the word – like kade[move] is கடெ but  Kaade [a female name] is காடெ
  4. Letters which are not in English alphabet but available in Badaga (and Tamil) can be accessed by using the shift key(Capital) – like l is ல but L is ள , n is ந but  N is ண் . zh is ழ
  5. Capital S is ஸ, small s is ச (ch will also brings out ச)

Now some sentences typed in English and what they bring out in Tamil

  • enna heNNU enna kaNNU maakke – என்ன ஹெண்ணு என்ன கண்ணு மாக்கெ- My daughter is like my eyes
  • ELaya nOdi Edasa bE da – ஏளய நோடி ஏடச பேட – Donot redicule the poor
  • Kalla maaththi kaLLa alla – கல்ல மாத்தி கள்ள அல்ல – Kalla’s son is not a thief.
  • Maadhi mammi madhi kettudhuve – மாதி மம்மி மதி கெட்டுதுவெ – Madhi aunty’s mind is gone
What do you think?