Villages Named After Land-use Pattern in Purulia

Gautam Kumar Das

In Purulia, extreme poverty exists at the same time with the astounding liveliness. The vigour of liveliness once acquired in the environment of forest and mounds by the inhabitants of this district still remains partially in the inner sight of the people duly transmitted from their ancestors. The hardship in lifestyle endured by the common man runs parallel to the tough natural landscape where they have to live for generations. Naturally the people of Purulia face the similar situational hardship in land-use for the purpose of farming. This land-use pattern is one of the most important factors for foundation or fixation of villages in the Purulia district. ‘Bayeed’ is the highland area, whereas, ‘Bahaal’ is lowland area and ‘Kanali’ is the intermittent state in between Bayeed and Bahaal. Apart from that, another type of highland, undergone irregular farming is termed as ‘Danga’ or ‘Tanr’, the same type of land is called ‘Gora’ when that land is considered for farming. Cultivation in ‘Gora’ is costly and laborious. Overall 45% Bayeed, 10% Bahaal, 30% Kanali and 10% Tanr lands have been classified through survey in the district of Purulia. Crops are grown in the area of ‘Dorsa’ soil that accumulated in between two ‘Dungri’ (small mound shaped area). In this way, Bayeed, Bahaal, Kanali, Gora or Tanr, Dungri etc are the local terms created for the land-use pattern in this district. Accordingly, all these land-use terms are utilized for the nomenclature of the major villages of Purulia district, where local people use the term ‘Dahar’ for a village.

From the agricultural perspectives, Purulia is covered with forest over dome shaped mound, locally known as Dungri. Here fertile land is scarce, barren land is known as Dangar. Agricultural land is classified into three types – Bayed, Bahal and Kanali. Irregular cultivation occurs upon Danga or Tanr; such lands are termed as Gorha only when crops start growing; where crops grown generally are Marua, Kodo, Joar, although paddy is the major crop enlisted on the top of the total produce. Paddy field intermingles with the dome shaped low-height small mountain range. Panchet along the course of river Damodar is such an example. Panchet is famous for dam on Damodar River with a huge water reservoir. Panchet or Panchakot was kingdom, where representatives from five clans (Pancha – Khut) governed the kingdom. The stead-name Panchet has its origin from Pancha-Khut, descending from Panchet < Pancha-Kot < Pancha-khut. Kangsabati is the principal river of the district. Kangsabati is the principal river of the district. Kangsabati is derived from Kapisha; and its nick-name is Kansai. Purulia has its origin from Purul or Purulya, a wild vegetable grown as fruit from from creeper type plant. Further, Purulia is supposed to be originated from Perulla or Parula – a Dravid word. Perul means river or water in Dravid and Paru, means stones or pebbles; ‘La’ or ‘Ola’ means place within mountain. Therefore, Purulia is a village or town stood on the pebble – covered high land. The district contains 2692 villages under 20 blocks.

Purulia and Dhanbad, emerging out as two separate districts after division of Manbhum district in 1956. Since then, Purulia is attached to West Bengal and Dhanbad serves as one of the most important districts of Bihar as Dhanbad is enriched with minerals and ores. Manbhum distrct has been completely abolished which is configured for 78 years in the map of the Bengal Province and 44 years in the map of Bihar respectively.

Meaning of the end-syllables used in the name of the places of Purulia district for the readers’ convenience as the following –

Bahal – farming in lowland
Baid, Bayed – farming on highland
Bandh, band, bend – large waterbodies
Basa – dwelling place, abode, habitation
Beria – enclosed, fenced
Bankati, bankra – bent, curved, twisted
Bondi – confined, closed
Buni, boni – forest, bush, copse, thicket
Buruj - fort
Chak – quadrangular, square
Chaka – grinding mill, wheel
Dahar – lowland, marshy land
Daangar – dryland, upland
Dara, dere, daria – water courses, canal
Da, di, dahala – low arable land, abyss
Dabar – large earthen pot
Dihi – village, small district, union of villages
Dungri – small mound, hillock
Gara, gere, garia, gore gerya – pond, tank, dam, lake
Ghata – landing place in a river bank, passage
Hir – dam, dyke, embankment, enclosure
Juri, juria, jura, jor – small rivulet, canal
Jot – land for cultivation, landed property
Jhat, jhar, jhor – copse, forest, bush
Kanali – Land between Bayed and Bahal; cornerside habitation
Kana – closed, shut, confined, stagnant
Kiyari – farming land encircled with ridges
Kuche, kuchi, kocha – tiny, small
Kota, kotha – brick-built house
Kunda, konda, kuri, kuria – pond, tank, dam, lake
Khana – place
Khali – canal, creek, inlet
Khola, khulia – open place
Mouli – Mahua trees, flower
Mari, mara – many, much, plentiful, ample, long
Mukhi – facing, face to face
Mura, muri – crossing, turn, bend, twist
Pal – row, line, series, range
Pahari – stony, hard, stone-like
Sol – moistened fertile land having huge crops produce
Tung – insignificant, common, ordinary
Tati – fence
Tanr – jungle-cleared highland

Dec 22, 2018

Gautam Kumar Das [email protected]

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