::Website of Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash ::
Also see - Badagas of the Blue Mountains, Badaga Songs , All about Ari Gowder , Badaga Calendar , Badaga Jewellery , Badaga Language , Badaga Recipes , Badaga wedding , Funeral Rites , General , Hattis [Villages], Hethay Amma , Informed Elders
[Photo - below - shows the 'Nakku Betta Koottu' - the grand meeting of Badagas from all over,held under the leadership of Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder (Nakku Betta Raja -Bellie Gowda) in Hubbathalai Village about a 100 years ago]


On the unique BADAGA community of the Nilgiris......


…their origin, language, culture and customs !!

Website of Wing commander Bellie Jayaprakash that is regularly updated and more info added

The following photos are from Thurston's Book "Castes and Tribes of South India" published in 1909 by Government of India Press, Madras

Badaga Temple - This must be one of the oldest Badaga temples as the photo was published in 1909. The deity of this temple? Also, notice the elephant, horse and the snake on the outer wall. Any guess as to where this temple is located??

Badaga Temple

Madivale - A get together of Badagas once in a few years to 'pay homage to relatives who had passed away". No more in existance, now a days.

Fire Making by Badagas -1909
Badaga girls in 1909 or earlier
Badaga girls in 1909 or earlier. At first glance it appears as though these girls are wearing 'pattu - head gear'.Take a closer look, their heads have been partially shaved. Did this signify any particular custom or period in the lives of these very young girls. No info available in Thurston's book

Badagas, in their DHODDA KUPPACHA (a flowing gown like attire) dancing to Kota music.
Photo drawing from : ‘Counsel from the Ancients – A study of Badaga Proverbs, Prayers, Omens and Curses’

Contact : belliejayaprakash©2015



Rare Photos

Two little Badaga Girls on the cover

The picture of Badaga Man [see the Badagaru Seele he has wrapped around that has distintive borders and has not changed in centuries ] and a woman.
(From ” Badagas and Irulas of Nilgiris(MGMB Vol.II No.I) - by Thurston . E)


Photo by Royal Geographical Society
This photo taken in 1908, while showing many men shows only two women. Notice the roof of the house in the background- the complete absence of tiles (Odu). The title of this pic(1919) on ebay sale “A badaga with four wives “. Really ??

Badaga Temple (1873) made out of grass called ‘Hullu Gudi’.T he Native tribals of Nilgiris including a Badaga (but who??)From
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Kundeh Ketchigatti Hetthe & Ayya (VaNa KaNa Family)

Rao Bahadur HB Ari Gowder [Hubbathalai]with his bride Gauri [Jakkadha] - 1920
(Notice the typical Badaga Jewellery the bride is wearing)


Badaga gathering
(I have no idea about the occasion or the exact place and date at which this photo was taken. From Rao Bahadur Ari Gowder family archieve)
Edha Mane
Hubbathalai Hatti Dhodda Mane
( Ths is the view of Edha Mane or Inner room. All the edha manes were of the same design in typical Badaga Homes in olden days)
Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder with British Engineers and workers at Bridge No.33 between Coonoor & Mettupalayam. Bellie Gowder was involved in laying the Nilgiri Mountain Raiway, now WORLD HERITAGE, a hundred years ago. He was conferred with the title RAO BAHADUR for carrying out the excellent but challenging contract work of building this unique railway system in inhospitable forest area that also involved in cutting tunnels through rocky hills as well as building many bridges with sheer guts. He employed human power to lift the racks & rails and remove the rocks and boulders. Many of his workers were BADAGAS who addressed Bellie Gowder as BELLIE MAISTRY
Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder became very famous after help laying the Nilgiri Mountain Railway between Ooty & Mettupalayam and British Officilas who visited Nilgiris accepted his invitation to come to his house in Hubbathal Village. This photo taken on 27-12-1934 shows the water tank & “Mel Tharas” (upper street houses) of Hubbathalai
Rao Bahadur HJ Bellie Gowder with boy scouts of Hubbathai School which he built (1929)
Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder with his grand sons (1929)

Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder’s wife Mrs. Nanji Hethe with the wife of British Governor of Madras in 1930s.
( This photo was taken at Hubbathalai Hatti to which many dignitaries including the Governor along with his wife had paid visits on Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder’s invitation for functions like opening the first school built by Bellie Gowder etc. The British governor was presented with a lock - made of pure gold - that he unlocked to open the school building)
Nanji Hethe with one of the sisters of Rao Bahadur Bellie Gowder
hethai-r.jpgHJBG’s sister
Nanji Hethe with her first grand daughter Radha [daughter of Mrs.Kade Idyammal (Photo taken about 65 years back) and Rao Bahadur HJ Bellie Gowder’s sister -photo taken abt 80 years back

This photo taken in 1927 of (15 years old) Kade - later on Mrs.Idyammal, daughter of Rao Bahadur H J Bellie Gowder & sister of Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder with her husband Mr.B K Bellie Gowder (Beratti)
[Parents of the author of this website Bellie Jayaprakash]
Mr.B.K. Bellie Gowder was one of the few educated Badagas who studied upto VIII in St.Antony’s School, Coonoor and completed his SSLC (School Final) from St.Michael’s High School, Coimbatore in early 1900s. There was no ‘regular’ high schools in Nilgiris in those days.

Mr.B.K. Bellie Gowder in 1969 (just before his death).
Water Colour painting by his son, Bellie Jayaprakash (that is me)
Mrs. (Kade) Idyammal.
(Photo taken on her birthday on 02-09-2006. my mom passed away at the age of 99 on 13-7-2011).
Young Men Badaga Association 1941 - 42
[ photo courtesy ; Badaga Welfare Association, Madras -Silver Jubilee & Rao Bahadur H B Ari Gowder Centenary Celebations souvenir 1993 ]
Kerbet Madha Gowder
Kerbetta Madha Gowder - Probably the only Badaga who wears the turban like a sikh. Incidentally, he is very fluent in ARABIC and teaches many muslims from Nilgiris who go to Haj
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Late Janaki Ammal, right extreme in the first photo, [wife of late Ari Kari Gowder of Hubbathalai]
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Late Kerban Bella Gowder, One of the golden Voices of Badagas, whose rendering of SAVU songs can make even the stone hearted to cry


Drawing &photos- from Paul Hockings’ books ‘Counsel from the Ancients: A Study of Badaga Proverbs, Prayers, Omens and curses’ and ‘Mortuary rituals…’
 [from the net.original source not known]
 [from Facebook - Badagas Group]

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