Jalpaiguri contains Places with suffix of Guri Bari Dabri

Gautam Kumar Das

The name of the place of Jalpaiguri is not only advanced in years, but relatively long in existence. The end syllable used in the name of the places of Jalpaiguri like ‘guri’, ‘bari’, ‘dabri’ have their source of origin in the languages or speech of the Tharu tribal races. The presence of Tharu tribal races at present in this region is non-traceable. Same status of signatures put upon the surface of Jalpaiguri regarding presence or existence of Dhimal is likely the same as the Tharu tribal races. The area of Jalpaiguri was known to the rest of the people as Baikunthapur under the rule of Koch dynasty, is presently known as Jalpaiguri. Jalpaiguri got its official status as a district since 1st January, 1869 after being divided from Rangpur district (presently in Bangladesh) of the undivided Bengal. Jalpaiguri district, further, divided as on the 25th June, 2014 clears the birth of a new district – Alipur Duar. Jalpaiguri district comprises of 7 blocks namely Jalpaiguri, Rajganj, Mal, Matiali, Nagrakata, Dhupguri and Maynaguri having 421 villages.

According to some experts, the word Jalpaiguri is derived from the Tibetan language – ‘go’ means door and ‘ri’ means hill – in a word ‘gori’ means hilly door. Guri is supposed to be modified after ‘Gori’. Like that way, the name, Jalpaiguri has had different source of origin as stated by the different experts, authors or travellers. Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker writes on March, 1849 – “Jeelpigoree a large straggling village near the bank of the Teesta, a good way south of the forest.” Next the name of the place has been changed in the report of David Field Rennie – “the station and village Julpigorie are prettily situated and straggle along the bank of the Teesta for some two miles. All the houses, European and native are supported on framework of bamboo.” Further, the surveyor James Rennel pointed the place Jalpaiguri in the map prepared by him as ‘Jelipigory’. The Lepcha people provided another source of origin of Jalpaiguri in a story – “A Lepcha king, Ranjee Pano, married Zo Last Mit, the daughter of Koch King, Dev Chandra of ‘Zo Lasi’, the present day Jalpaiguri in Lepcha, in and around 1300 AD.” All those names are anglicized to Jalpaiguri and even the source of this nomenclature has been mentioned in the District Gazetteers of Jalpaiguri – “Jalpaiguri is said to have derived its name from the olive trees (Jalpai in Bengali) which grow in the town and were seen in 1900. The suffix ‘guri’ means a place. The name might as well be associated with Jalpes, the presiding deity (Siva) of the entire region who had been in the minds of men there from time immemorial.” There are 421 villages in 7 blocks of the district Jalpaiguri. Almost all the village names are derived from the languages used either by the tribal races or generated with the influences of Kamrup languages and Rajbangshi community.

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

Ara – jungle; river bank; passage
Bari – living place; abode
Bhasa < basa – sheltered place
Bhati – lowland
Bhit, bhitti, bhitabhiti – direction
Chera – long, narrow piece of land
Chhit – bent, curved or eroded place
Da, dala, dahala, dola – water bodies at low land
Danga – barren land
Dahar – lake to a great depth
Dabri – long-spun land; field at wide intervals
Di, doi – water, waterbodies
Duma – piece of land
Guri – habitation, living place
Ghata – way, passage; landing place in a river
Jaan – thick and spreading bushes
Jhar – bushes
Jhora – rivulet; water course
Kata < khata – abode, living place
Koat < kostha – brick–built houses
Kot - fort
Kheti – piece of land
Khala, Khali – creek, low land
Khan < khana – piece of land
Khuta – living place, habitation
Kunda – bush; small pond, water body
Kuchi, khuchi – long and narrow passage
Kut – peak, hillock
Kuti < kuthi – hut
Mari – adequate; abundant; plentiful
Malli < Maruli – passage; way
Paar – edge; fringe; narrow border
Para – living place; habitation
Pathar – field; a cleared and fenced ground; passage
Potti – a small village; hamlet
Putrak – saplings
Sing – plant; vegetation (Dhimal)
Tari, tar – hamlet, small village
Ti – water (Boro)
Tala < talak – habitation

Dec 5, 2018

Gautam Kumar Das [email protected]

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