[All photos are by Bellie Jayaprakash and copyrighted. Reproduction without permission is illegal]Badagas, generally, refer to their village or hamlet as ‘ HATTI ‘ spread around ‘Nakku Betta’ (the Nigiris). Nakku Betta literaly means four (Nakku) Mountains (betta) though there are many hills around which the villages are located.
It appears that initially when the Badagas established their hamlets, they took two very important factors into consideration. Being very environment conscious, they chose a) direction - always or to a very great extent facing the east [ 'Hothu (sun) uttua (rising) pakka (side)'] and b) water souce - near a stream (halla) or spring (huttu neeru).Every hatti had a ’suthugallu’ (sacred triangular shaped stone) at the base of a ‘bikka mara’ (tree) around which important meetings (Kootu) took place. For the most sacred of all Badaga festivals ‘Hethai Habba’ - always held on a monday (sovara), the collection of money (Hana kattodu) took place at the suthugallu in an eloborate ceremony on the preceeding friday (belli). Let me write about Hethai Habba in a separate article.
The houses of each village were laid out in rows, each row facing the east. The houses had common walls (Gode mane) possibly as a measure of security. Every house had exactly the same configuration of Bayilu (entrance), Nadu mane (central-living/dining room ),Oge mane (inner room) where cooking also takes place (kitchen) with a large beskatti (basket) above the hearth where drying takes place, Pillay (bathroom) and Ereh (a separate room adjacent to the bayilu). Of couse, there was an attic on top of beskatti( kitchen having a hearth) the entry to which is from the nadumane. Again, we will discuss about a typical badaga house separately.
A cluster of villages, which need not be close to each other, is called a ‘Seeme’.
This interesting piece of information is from the article of Indu K Mallah (also see the “ORIGIN” page) where she talks about how the ‘SEEMEs’ came to be formed :
It is said that during the reign of Tipu Sultan, seven brothers and their sister were living in a village called Badagahalli on the Talaimalai Hills near Mysore. One evening as the sister, who was a ravishing beauty, was busy making preparations for the milking of the cows as usual, one of the calves broke loose from the tree to which she had tied it . Not finding anything handy with which to tie it again, she uncoiled her long, luxuriant hair and held the calf back with it, while her brother milked the cow.
Legend has it that Tipu Sultan was riding in the vicinity and was witness to this sight. He was captivated by the sister and wanted to marry her. The brothers, who were staunch Hindus, disguised themselves and their sister, and fled by night to the Nilgiris. Legend has it too, that when they reached River Moyar, which is the northernmost limit of the Nilgiri District, their pursuers started to close in on them. The family is said to have placed a ‘Shivalingam’ on the ground, and prayed before it. The river Moyar is then said to have parted, and the refugees to have crossed over, while their pursuers were drowned by the closing waters.
The distinctive dress of the Badaga women is said to be the disguise adopted by them in flight, and the tattooing on their fore-heads and fore-arms, a measure taken to make them unattractive. Legend also has it that in their hurry, they forget to pickup a baby asleep in a cradle, and even today, as a reminder of that lapse, the more orthodox Badagas will not use a cradle for a baby. The brothers are said to have settled down near the present village of Bethelhada. After a short stay there, they separated and dispersed in different directions. The oldest brother told one of his younger brothers to follow a deer and build a village where it stopped. The younger brother followed his instructions and settled down in Kinnakorai, where the deer stopped. Another brother settled down in Koderi, yet another in Hubbathalai. These brothers where the founders of the Porangad division of the Badagas.
The establishing of three other ‘semais’ or divisions have interesting histories behind them. It is said that as one group of Badagas or Gowdas reached the Nilgiris, they took shelter in a forest and in their hurry to leave, left a baby behind, which crawled into a cave. A Toda who happened to pass by glimpsed the baby, and enticed it to came out, but it would not. He then went and brought his own child and sprinkled some roasted amaranth grains in front of it. As the Toda child started picking the grains, the Gowda baby joined him, and the Toda father brought him up and it is said that he is the founder of the ‘Thothanad’ division of the Badagas.
According to another account, two Gowda brothers arrived from Mysore and reached Nunthala. They were very hungry. The younger brother is said to have shot a pigeon, and to have roasted and eaten it, while the elder brother abstained. It is said that the vegetarian brother is the ‘Hethappa’, or ancestor of the Kundah Division of the Badagas, while the non-vegetarian brother, the founder of the Mekunad Division of the Badagas.
Though, so much is written and spoken about Badagas, it is a matter of great regret and concern that still the “EXACT” number of Badaga hattis is not known. The total number varies from 300 to 400. Though Rao Bahadur H.B. Ari Gowder is known to have sent his collegue HAIKA MATHI [literaly meaning horse man ]Joghee Gowder of Bygemandu, in 1940s and 1950s to all the villages to know about the problems of Badagas, unfortunately there are no written records traceable.
Prof. Paul Hockings may be one of the earliest to mention the number and names of the hattis in his books.
In a laudable effort , Mr. K.H.Madha Gowder edited “NAKKU BETTA” magazine, had attempted to record all the hattis in one of its issues in late 1970s. I take this opportunity to list the villages as mentioned in ‘Nakku Betta’ hoping any omission/ incorect mention will be brought out so that the same can be included. I have preferred to use the names as known to Badagas. For example, Jakkada for Jagathala or Manjida for Manjithala or Pedduva for Pethala
I.'Thodha Naadu Seeme'
(Supposed to be our “Dodda Ooru”. Also known as ‘Raja Padagiri Seeme’) The boundaries are from Solur to Kookkal Thore
1. Kada naadu 2. Kei Kauhatti 3. Baralatti 4. Kundeh Soppe 5. Edu hatti 6. Kodu mudi 7. Thore hatti 8. Hanni Kore 9. Kavilore 10. Kavaratti 11. Kara pillu 12. Kallatti 13. Soluru [Sholur] 14. Thalai male 15. Kengal 16. Bara mannu 17. Kengamudi [Kenguvamudi?]18. Ajjoor 19. Thatha benu 20. Kurumbedi 21. Alattane 22. Maasigan 23. Davane 24. Mynale 25. Moregallu 26. Kendore 27. Beragallu 28. Ullupatti 29. Hosa hatti 30.Batta kore 31. Mavu kallu 32. Malli gore 33. Thatneri 34. Panju mora 35. Bikke Kandi 36. Bekkodu 37. Kokkulu 38. Bendatti 39. Osa hatti 40. Bana hatti 41. Honnadale 42. Thegili 43. Omeyaratti 44. Jakkalorai 45. Madithore 46. Thummanada 47. Kappachi 48. Muguttuva 49. Nelli Mandu 50. Karakkallu 51. Nanja nadu 52. Ode hatti 53. Melur 54. Akoni 55. Kada sole 56. Hosa hatti 57. Poose kunnur 58. Konagatti 59. Ebbanad [Ebbu nadu?] 60. Kagguchi 61. Kalingana hatti 62. Kookal 63. Seegola 64. Aalatti 65. Mel Kau hatti 66. Kambatti 67. Thummanatti 68. Billi kambai 69. Thooneri 70. Ooru malai 71. Mara kallu 72. Kuruthu kuli 73. Hullathi 74. Bikkatti 75. Athi kallu 76. Thattaneri (Repeat?) 77. Osa hatti (repeat?) 78. Motha kambe 79. Moragutti 80. Jeenatti 81. Bikke mora hatti 82. Uyilatti 83.Kookal Thore 84. Melatti 85. Nadu hatti 86.Thambatti
(What I have mentioned as repeat - may be there are two [H]Osa hattis ?)
In alphabetical order
- 1. Aalatti
5. Athi kallu 6. Bana hatti 7. Bara mannu 8. Baralatti 9. Batta kore 10. Bekkodu 11. Beragallu 12. Bikkatti 13. Bikke Kandi 14. Bikke mora hatti 15. Billi kambai 16. Davane 17. Ebbanad [Ebbu nadu?] 18. Edu hatti 19. Hanni Kore 20. Honnadale 21. Hosa hatti 22. Hosa hatti 23. Hullathi 24. Jakkalorai 25. Jenatti 26. Kada naadu 27. Kada solay 28. Kagguchi 29. Kalingana hatti 30. Kallatti 31. Kambatti 32. Kappachi 33. Kara pillu 34. Karakkallu 35. Kavaratti 36. Kavilore 37. Kei Kauhatti 38. Kendore 39. Kengal 40. Kengamudi
[Kenguvamudi?] 41. Kodu mudi 42. Kokkulu 43. Konagatti 44. Kookal 45. Kookal Thore 46. Kundeh Soppe 47. Kurumbedi 48. Kuruthu kuli 49. Maasigan 50. Madithore 51. Malli gore 52. Mara kallu 53. Mavu kallu 54. Mel Kau hatti 55. Melatti 56. Melur 57. Moragutti 58. Moregallu 59. Motha kambe 60. Muguttuva 61. Mynale 62. Nadu hatti 63. Nanja nadu 64. Nelli Mandu 65. Ode hatti 66. Omeyaratti 67. Ooru malai 68. Osa hatti 69. 70. Panju mora 71. Poose Kunnur 72. Seegola 73. Soluru [Sholur] 74. Thalai male 75. Thambatti 76. Thatha benu 77. Thattaneri 78. Thegili 79. Thooneri 80. Thore hatti 81. Thummanada 82. Thummanatti 83. Ullupatti 84.
II. ‘Porangadu Seeme’
Also known as ” Aaila Baila Seeme ” ( Porangadu 19 Ooru ). From ‘Hubbathalai‘ to ‘Hulivare‘ constitute the boundaries.
1. Thatha Nadu 2. Ora sole 3. Gundada 4. Pudiyangi 5. Marle Kambe 6. Batta Kore 7. Arakkambe 8. Mel Ane hatti 9. Kil Ane hatti 10. Dhimbatti 11. Kada kodu 12. Sippili kambe 13. Kanneri mookku 14. Ali Ooru [Hayoor?]15. Are hatti 16. Samil Dittu [Thanks to Bellie Sundaram Krishnamoorthy for giving the correct name] 17. Jakkalode 18. Kade kambatti 19. Kappatti 20. Kanneri 21. Nara giri 22. kunni hatti 23. Beraganni 24. Sundatti 25. Selakkore 26. Ker bettu 27. Betlada 28. Bendatti 29. Meedenu 30. Ker kambe 31. Lilli hatti 32. Bamudi 33. Neduguva 34. Bandime 35. Kodamale 36. Pedduva 37. Baiyangi 38. Kallatti 39. Hakkeru 40. Yeda palli 41. Eethore 42. Bettatti 43. Osatti 44. Katta bettu 45. Hubbathale Ooru 46.Honnore 47. Attave 48. Natta kallu 49. Kerbennu 50. Kathigatti 51. Eruppu kallu 52. Pudu mandu 53. Thotha mokke 54. Keraiyada 55. Jakkanare 56. Sakkatha 57. Kesalada 58. Aravenu 59. Thumbooru 60. Kallada 61. Bangalada 62. Thinni ooru 63. (H)Onnatti 64. Thooneri 65. Sulli goodu 66. Edukkore 67. Kengare 68. Hullathatti 69. Kottuvana hatti 70. Mel Odenu 71. Kil Odenu 72. Banni ooru 73. Bebbenu 74. Konavakore 75. Kakkul 76. Dhabba kambe 77. Thogalatti 78. Denadu 79. Ane ode 80. Thalore 81. Yettkallu 82. Odeyaru hatti 83. Mudia kambe 84. Selave 85. Kurukkathi 86. Kavilore 87. Selakore 88. Kottanalli 89. Thumbi male 90. Jakka kombe 91. Avvur 92. Bellada 93. Osatti (repeat?) 94. Embimora hatti 95. Bikkatti 96. Bagumudi 97. Dhodda mane hatti 98. Kagakkuthore 99. Koon sole 100. Jakkada 101.Odanatti 102.Bearatti 103. Malliore 104. Kakakore 105. Kil Bikkatti 106. Mel Bikkatti 107. Hubbathale Hatti 108. Kari mora 109. Kechigatti 110. Nadu hatti 111. Bettatti (repeat?) 112. Manjida ( recently added ) 113. Hayoor [Bellie Sundaram Krishnamoorthy feels this is same as 14.Ali Ooru - I fully agree. Hayoor or [H]Ali Ooru mean the same - Old Village]114. Kinnakorai 115.Hiriyaseegay
In alphabetical order
- Ali Ooru [Hayoor?]
- Ane Ode
- Are hatti
- Banni ooru
- Batta Kore
- Bettatti (repeat?)
- Dhabba Kambe
- Dhodda Mane hatti
- Embimora hatti
- Eruppu Kallu
- Hayoor [Bellie Sundaram Krishnamoorthy feels this is same as --.Ali Ooru - I fully agree. Hayoor or [H]Ali Ooru mean the same - Old Village]
- Hubbathalai hatti
- Hubbathalai ooru
- Jakka kombe
- Kada kodu
- Kade kambatti
- Kanneri mookku
- Kari Mora
- Katta bettu
- Ker bettu
- Ker Kambe
- Kil Ane hatti
- Kil Bikkatti
- Kil Odenu
- Koon sole
- Kottuvana hatti
- kunni hatti
- Lilli hatti
- Marle Kambe
- Mel Ane hatti
- Mel Bikkatti
- Mel Odenu
- Mudia kambe
- Nadu hatti
- Nara giri
- Natta Kallu
- Odeyaru hatti
- Ora sole
- Pudu mandu
- Samil Dittu [Thanks to Bellie Sundaram Krishnamoorthy for giving the correct name]
- Sippili kambe
- Sulli goodu
- Thatha Nadu
- Thinni ooru
- Thotha mokke
- Thumbi male
III. 'Mekku Nadu Seeme'
Also known as ‘ Asala Bisalagiri Seeme ‘ and (Meekunadu Seeme 9 Ooru).
Limits[Eallay] from Ketti to Keeyur
IV. ‘ Kundhe Seeme ‘
Also known as ‘ Eera Jilla Seeme ‘
1. ... 5. Mel Kundhe 6. Attu mannu 7. Mulli male 8. Nadu hatti 9. Kechigatti 10. Kerabadu 11. karia male 12. Kandi bikke 13. Manjooru 14. Mani kallu 15. Kil Kundhe 16. Thooneri 17. Matta kandi 18. Bakore 19. Mullegooru 20. Osa hatti 21. Bikkatti 22. Kunjanare 23. Gundinaali 24. Mukki male 25. Kai kandi 26. Edakkadu thale hatti 27. Edakkadu nadu hatti 28. Sundatti
1. Kora Kundhe 2. Emarald (thanks to rajunandha )
3. Hayoor (which is next to Kannerimukku in Kotagiri (thanks to mithun matha dharmaraj )
4. Thorajada 5. Kombukorai (thanks to N Bellie )
6. Thambatti added to ‘Thodha Naadu Seeme’ (thanks to Jagadeesh)
This is Ganesan Lingan from Porthy Village Mekku Nadu seeme.
As elaborated in the page on Badaga Hattis [villages], still there seems to be no conclusive evidence about how the ancestors made the divisions [geographical and social] about their villages.Simply put, in ancient times, a few houses (among brothers and cousins) formed a HATTI and then a cluster of villages, though based not only on the geographical locations, formed a OORU. Obviously, all the people from the hattis forming the Ooru were/are considered as brothers and sisters - and hence no marriages among these hattis were considered. Then, many Oorus formed a SEEMAY or NAADU.
Yes , I have recently visited Nattakal. Had a chance to talk to a few elders in and around that small hatti ,few hetthais/ayyas are 80+ and they too informed that Kinnakorai belongs to Porangaadu Seemay.
No surprise that you got this information , even more you have a deep dive in our culture and have more knowledge than any other people who do research :)
Proud of you Sir , Have fantastic time...!!
I'm a big fan of your's.
Kinnakorai & Heriya seege seen from Manjoor - Kandi Bekkai Road
I am working in Indian Navy. Being a Defence person, first of all I salute you sir. Now I will come to our style of communication.
Mam, ninga websita nodhithey. Apaara santhosha. Ninga eega maadindu ibba sevai nanga badagu samudhayaga apaara thevey. Nanga nakku betta joli-jundu ellava ninga websita nodi araba chansu nanga badagu makkaga cikhidha vara prasada. Ninga sevay hollengey nadaiali endhu Somiya vendine. Kodi namaskara.
Dear Malarvannan, I feel thrilled to get a mail – that too with so much of praise- from a fellow ‘Fauzi- Defence’ friend. It gives me the greatest pleasure and honour that people like you feel that my website is of use. Ningaga appara nanri [nanri embdhuna Badaga basheya ethe hegodhu endhu artha aappiley]. Thank you ever so much
This is Ganesan Lingan from Porthy Village, Mekku Nadu seeme. I just gone thru the Badagas website to know our hatties and seeme’s, I saw all the hattis and seems in one place and really enjoyed reading each and every hattis. I would say this is definitely Great effort! And really appreciable.
I just wanted to you know that Emerald is not a badaga village( as per my knowledge) and fully occupied by other communities except one or two badgas having provisional stores and houses along with that,. So please request you the remove the Emerald from our hatti list.
And also I found Osa Attu Bayilu (New Attu bayilu near kai kandi) missing from Meeku nadu. There are two Attu Bayilu one is Palliya (old) Attu bayliu and other one Osa attu Bayliu.
Also Bigada missing from Thodha nadu Seeme (not sure about seeme). This village spotting near Ithalar... This is a beautiful very tiny village located in center of the tea estates. Also I have forgotten to mention one more hatti which is Beingisakallu from Meakunadu Seeme. Beingisakallu is spotted between Nanjanadu and Kei Kouhatti
[Kiya] AppukoduGanesa, Thank you for your imputs. Nice to be told about the hattis and the corrections are being incorporated - JP