INTERACTION BETWEEN DIFFERENT MANDAYAM’S SETTLEMENTS
After the recovery of Melukote in 1450, thanks to Timmanna Danayaka and gift of land from Vijayanagar Kings to Govindaraja Udayar in 1516, followed by settling in these gifted areas, the settlements could be group broadly to 4 areas.
1. Melukote, Thondanur.
2. Ramanuja Puram, Malur. Honnalagere, Manikarnike.
3. Kunigal, Nagamangala.
4. Mandya, Srirangapatna, Arakere, Kannambadi, Sampalli, Kothegala, etc.
While they had all agreed and observed common religious practices of worship, festivals, rituals, etc, their social practices were different and this lead to not much of mixing among together. While marriage between different settlements was there, they were not eating food together; Also other groups did not eat food touched by a lady of one group. From 20th century when more and more people got educated and started migrating from these settlements to urban areas of Bangalore, Mysore, Chennai, abroad, etc, these practices became obsolete.
TRENDS IN MANDAYAM NAMES
Though Mandya was our original base where the presiding deity is Lakshmi Janardana, it is surprising we hardly have men with that name. Reason is not known. Till 1920, our men’s names were all direct names of Lord Narayana and ladies of Lakshmi. Men’s names were long, pre-fixed very often with Tiru and suffixed with Iyengar or Acharya. Tiruvenkatachar, Tirumalacharya , Tirunarayana Iyengar, Srinivasa Iyengar, Ramanuja Iyengar , Narasimha Iyengar etc. Ladies names were also fairly long , suffixed with mostly amma / nayaki / valli Srirangamma, Tirumalamma, Ranganayaki, Vengadamma , Yeggamma (Yadugirriyamma) , Andalamma,, Vedavalli Kumudavalli etc. Till 1950’s the practice was the new born to have either grandfather or grandmother’s name only with the result variety of names of our persons was very small. But with more and more English speaking and writing becoming common the names were adopted to be shorter, but still stuck to original names of various forms of Narayana or Lakshmi- Srinivas, Narayan. Mukunda, Murali , Krishna, Rajagopal, Parthasarathy etc. for gents and – ladies were Rukmini, Janaki, Andal, Kamala, Lakshmi, Ramaa, Malathi. Since 1990’s however we have started naming from other communities, more in recent times from North India, much shorter. They are mostly in Sanskrit. Quite a lot of boys names figure in Vishnu Sahasranama and mythological persons of our epics, but also meaning virtues (Sadguna’s), strength, energy, 5 elements etc. To mention a few – Nikhil, Pranav, Kiran, Santosh, Ajay, Vijay, Prasanna, Pratap, Amar, Adarsh etc. for boys and Vidya, Ruchi, Ananya, Deepa, Sharanya, Sucheta, Sujata etc. for girls. It is quite rare in 21st century to see boys named Srinivasa, Krishna, Ramanuja, Narasimha etc. and girls Andal, Lakshmi, Mythili etc. It has also become a trend to name starting with Aa or Pra.
Though to start with our ancestors were mostly priests, religious leaders, purohits and Sanskrit teachers they were also Vidwan’s and advisors in Mysore royal court advising royal family on various matters-religious, social, administration etc. After the British started spreading English all over India, our community fell in line immediately learning English along with Sanskrit. Gradually expertise in various arts, music, dance, painting etc got developed. Adjusting quickly to changing times, our people diversified starting with clerical work and Tahsildars to higher levels of administration, Engineering, Medicine, Law, professorial etc. It is a gratifying to note there is hardly any one in our community in either gender since 1950’s who has not studied up to college level.
Our cuisine is unique and the special dishes that may be mentioned here are Puliogare, Shakkaraipongal (Akkara Vadisal), Kshiranna, Shira, Dadhiyodhana, Ellohare, Ulundohare, Kadambam, Tunitenkolal, Manohara, Garagguvadai, Ellugarige, Adrisam, Sajjappa, Muchuri, Chokkuli, etc.