Thursday, 16 June 2011


“Tulunadu” the cultural epitome of Karnataka stretches in between payaswini/chandragiri River in south and sheeroorghat in north, Arabian Sea in the West and Western ghats in the east. The word “Tulu” originated from colloquial expression “Neeru” means “water” and Tulunadu stands for Land with water abundance of water. This word conveys both Linguistic and geographical contexts. A language widely spoken by more than 25 Lakh people equally deserves to be included in the VIIIth schedule of the constitution.
The Greek scholar of second century Tolemy describes this place as “Olokoyra” (Aluva Ked). His writings extensively reveal the fact that Tulunadu was the epi- center of commercial activities and the traders from Greece, Rome had the frequent visits to this place. This opinion is also sanctified by one of the Great poet Rastrakavi Govinda Pai.  The excavations made at the places such as  berumale(Puttur), Kajekar(Belthangady) Vaddarase, Hattiyangadi, and the materials obtained in these places such as “ Pun gundilu” (Pit burials), Kal Kalpane Konelu (holed chambers), Asti patrelu( Urn burials) amplify the fact that traces of human habitation   even during the stone age in this region. Mythology also reveals that Parashurama created the place from KanyaKumari upto Gokarna by his parashu”.
Various dynasties such as Karancher, Chalukyas, Rastrakutas, Alupas Vijaynagara Kings, Keladi’s Nayaks, HyderAli and Tippu Sulthan have ruled this area over the years. The Ajilas of venur, Banger of Bangadi, Chouter of puttige, Bairavarsere of Karkala, mulas of Bailangadi, Savanthere of Mulki, Ballas of Padubidri Heggadere of Yermal Marda Heggades (Kapu) Soral Tolahar, Arasulu (Vittal) have created their own imprints in the annals of South Canara for outstanding administration, patriotism, and above all the promotion of Tulu culture.

The matriarchial system of family practiced here owes its existence to “Boothala pandyas” regime which is said to be responsible for the evolution of “Aliyakattu” practice in this region. Three major communities of this region, Bunts, Billavas and Jains still follow this Aliyasanthana system in spite of non – recognition of the same by law.  This land is the place of harmony of all religions and castes Hindus, Jains Christians, Muslims have contributed in a unique manner to promote cultural harmony of the region. The height of religious tolerance and   equiliblirium is still seen in Dharmasthala where Jain Heggade’s manage the temple; Vaishnava Brahmins performs the pooja of Manjunatha Swamy a family God of “Shaivaites”.
The entry of Christian missionaries somewhere in 1834 changed the educational land scape of this region which led to the introduction of western teaching with the sprinkling of local culture. In 1886 A.D. Rev. Menar an acclaimed Scholar brought out Tulu - English dictionary. He was ably assisted by Kaup Madhava Rao, Mulki Seetharam, and Sarvithama Pai of Kudla in the preparation of this Magnam opus.
The outstanding cultural feathers of Tulunadu are Bootharadane, Yakshagana, Gadipattuna(in Gutter families) , Nagamanda, Sari urethane, Ati Kalanje, Sonada Jogi, Jogi Purushe, Sonada Madimal, Karangolu , Kangil  Chennu Nalike, Dudi, Pili-Panjigobbu, Sida Vesha, Bombe Ata, O bele  by kayatodu represents the catena of folklore and religious rituals  presenting the rich cultural heritage of Tulunadu.
Karkala. Moodabidri, Dharmasthala, Subramanya, Udupi, Hattiyangadi Polali, Kateel. Mangaladevi, are the great pilgrimage centers and classical temples of South canara richly earning it a title “Temple town” of Karnataka. These places of holy destinations enliven and enlighten the map of South canara making it sure that this place will keep its reputation until the sun and moon exists in the celestial world.
 Source: World Tulu conference website

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