UNKNOWN FACTS OF BADAGA

There are many interesting facts about Badagas which are unknown to the world.

Badagas are the aboriginal Tribes of Nilgiris.

Badagas belong to paleolithic period. Neolithic cultures like Dolmens, Cromlech, Cairns, Kistavens, Burrows could be found in many Badaga villages, which is considered as sacred by Badagas. Ashmound an unique feature of neolithic culture, was in practice with Badagas.

Badagas lived in Nilgiris thousand and thousands of years ago, even before Lord Christ was born i.e., over 5000 B.C. ("Shobana Swaminathan 1998:66, Reprint 2005"), another road to Betalada, here there is selikallu temple; two huge stone carved with figures of horseman and man with axes, presumed to be more than 10,000 years old. Betlada is a well-to-do Badaga Village(" R.Sugumaran 2009:5").

In 1116 A.D. a Badaga King called Kalaraja was ruling Nilgiris. Vishnuvardana of Hoysala Kingdom of Karnataka was the first king to invade Nilgiris, sent his army and tried to threaten the Badagas and ordered to obey him.

The Brave Badaga King, Kalaraja refused his order and fought with him. Three inscriptions refers to Kala's rule from his fort in Kukal Village(" B.L.Rice, 1877: Vol:IV, Chp:2"). It testified that King Kala was ruling from 1116 AD and implied that his ancestors had been living here centuries earlier. King Kala was killed in a "Dhandu (war)", (" B.L.Rice, 1877: Vol:IV, Chp:2", "Dr.J Halan, 2012:139", " R.Sugumaran, 2014:13"). 

Even before Britishers arrived to Nilgiris, a Portuguese Priest called Rev. Jocome Fierier visited Nilgiris in 1602("James Wilkinson Breekes, 1873:33"). He did not stay in Nilgiris. He returned back and informed that he found group of Tribal people called Badagas and Todas. He has spoken on Christianity with Badagas.

Hethe Worship

Lord Hethe worship is in practice since around 1200 years ago i.e., 826 A.D. Their principle object of adoration is named as "Hette-du"("James Hough, 1826:97", ", "Dr.J Halan, 2012:141").

At first Hethe festival was celebrated at Banacombai, Kannerimuku Village later shifted to Beragani Village.

We can't find any crow in Beragany Hethe Temple, during festival times even though sumptuous food being served through the day.

Cloth Making

Their clothes were spun with the fibres of Hullathu (Debregeasia valutina) and Thurusay barks. The specimen of them can be seen even now being presented to the dead body of a women by her maternal relatives. No special machine had been used for spinning of clothes("Dr.J Halan, 2012:17").

Tree Worship

Nilgiri was within the hegemony of Mauriyan Empire, many customs of Badagas are based on Buddhist practice, from where came the Tree Worship. Their credence is that the trees are abodes of Gods and bogies. Even today, people are in perpetual fear of nearing these solitary trees. "Nerla(Engelia Cataphyllifolia Wight Myrtacea)" called "Neri mara in Badaga" considered as Holly Tree("Dr.J Halan, 2012:146", " R.Sugumaran, 2014:12").

Precious Stone Trade

Precious Stone Trade was carried on between Indus Valley civilization and the Nilgiris. At Mohanja Daro and Harappa, "The beautiful green amazon stone could be found near Doddabetta, Nilgiris." Probably Doddabetta derived from Badaga Words ("Sakhare M.R., 1978:39","Dr.J Halan, 2012:16").

Badagas have their own worship methods, they don't follow vedahas. They don't have an idol worship. They have their own death rituals.

The Community has four clans, namely Badagar, Kanakar, Haruvar, and Athikari. Badagas have no kolas. Badaga people marry within these four clans. 

Badaga tribal language called "Badugu" was the contact language between Badagas and other tribal people before Britishers and other community people arrived to Nilgiris.

Many names of places in the Nilgiris District are derived from the Badugu language, e.g., Doddabetta, Coonoor, Kotagiri, Gudaluru, Kunda, Otthagae(Ooty), Kattabetu, Kodanadu, Aravenu etc.,

There were no cows in Nilgiris until Britishers arrived to Nilgiris, cows were brought by them.

No Tea gardens, Eucalyptus tree and Vegetables like Carrot, Potato, Cauliflower, cabbage etc., were in Nilgiris until Britishers arrived to Nilgiris, were brought by Britishers. 

Nilgiris was a part of Mysore until 19th century, later merged with Madras after democracy.

Otthagae was the original name of ooty. Later it was called in different names like ootacamund, Ooty and Udagai.

Badaga men attended the Toda and kota panchayat ("B.L.Rice,1877:237", "R.Sugumaran, 2014:10").

There is a temple for Kariyabetta Ayya in Nelithorai village near Mettupalayam, Coimbatore. Temple belongs to Adikaratty (Badaga Village) people, they used to do puja in that temple. It’s an interesting story, and the legend goes like this - the incident took place around 2500 B.C. to 3000 B.C.; once Kariyabetta Ayya from Nilgiris visited Nelithorai, he accidently met a Rakshasha, that Rakshasha tried to kill Kariyabetta Iyya but the brave Kariyabetta Iyya slaughtered the Rakshasha into pieces. As the blood of Rakshasha dropped in soil, each drop changed as an insect and tried to attack Kariyabetta but the divine Karitabetta turned himself to a statue. Even now, we can see the statue in that temple.

You could learn about Rakshasha in ancient history of India. But after Lord Buddha was born, you could not find any evidence of existence of these Rakshashas. Budda period is around 500 B.C. So Lord Kariyabetta Iyya’s incident should have been be taken place over 2500 B.C.