banner
left-barhomeaboutpast-issuesarchiveright-bar

 

Distorted Lepcha Names in Kalimpong

Gautam Kumar Das

Kalimpong is the land of Lepchas, a peaceful tribal race, as evidenced by the names of villages, rivers, hillocks of the area although almost all the name of places erroneously pronounced. Kalimpong that emerged as 21st district in the state of West Bengal on the 14th February, 2017 is really astounding turn of events after dividing from Darjeeling freshens people up and fulfill their long desire. The newly born district, Kalimpong consists of 128 villages under 42 gram panchayets and 3 community development blocks. These three blocks namely Kalimpong I, Kalimpong II and Gorubathan together emerge as the land of Lepcha inhabitants that support the history of naming the places of villages in Kalimpong from the ancient times. Almost all the places of 128 villages bears the name of Lepcha origin, although major names of which are distorted with time. Even the original name (Kaalenpung) of Kalimpong has authentic meaning befitting the place which is slowly and surely distorted. The President of Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association, Lyangsong Tamsang writes – “the name Kaalenpung is derived from three Lepcha syllables; kaa in Lepcha means ours, len means to assemble and finally pung means a hillock where the Lepchas assemble. Unable to pronounce Lepcha name Kaalenpung properly, the British anglicized it to Kalimpong. The Nepalese further corrupted it to Kaleyboong today.” It is fact that maximum names of the places in Kalimpong contain the suffix of Lepcha language (Rong) like kaat (one), kyong (village), koong (tree), pung (hillock), baong (main stem of a tree), da (pond), hlo (high land), chyoo-bee (mountain range), daang (low land), daathaong (shelter/night resting spot), long haap (cave), teng (precipice), sagaor (cliff), thaong (garden/orchard), ting (plains) etc as mentioned in Lepcha Nomenclatures in Maayel Lyaang published by Pasang Tshering Lepcha. Distortion of names of places in Kalimpong begins owing to tremendous increases in population, immense outside adverse influences, or effects of others. It is an earnest endeavour to discern how the profound alternations of the original names of places are gradually being distorted, though little flickering light could hardly be discerned through such effort of searching of probable meaning of the names of the places in Kalimpong.

Villages in Kalimpong - I Block

Village Name

Bhalukhop Forest < Sanaa Vaong (Lepcha); Bears found in numbers here; den of bears.

Bhalukhop Khasmahal < Sanaa Vaong (Lepcha); bears found in numbers here; den of bears; Khasmahal (Kayoung; Lepcha); vested land.

Birik Forest < Beekaa -reek (Lepcha); ‘let’s give food to the others’ performed here in this village.

Bong Khasmahal < Bum Kyong (Lepcha); the area looks like a bud of flowers.

Chunabhati Bazar   – Habitation with lime – kiln.

Churanthi Forest – Village established after reshuffling.

Comesi Forest < Kaom – syee (Lepcha); seen like a twinkling silver on the rocky hills; today it is called Kum-see.

Dungra Khasmahal < Daong Rao (Lepcha); ranch place where people keep their animals for grazing purpose.

Gulling Forest < Gaong (Lepcha); gaong means to halt.

Homes St.And Graihms – English names.

Icha Khasmahal – Desired abode; Khasmahal; vested land.

Kaffir Forest < Kafyer (Lepcha); abound with arrow roots; now it is incorrectly called Kafer.

Kaffir Khasmahal < Kafyer (Lepcha); abound with arrow roots; now it is incorrectly called Kafer; Khasmahal - vested land.

Kalimpong Dansong Forest < Kaalenpung (Lepcha); assemblage hillock of Lepchas.

Kalimpong Khasmahal < Kaalenpung (Lepcha); assemblage hillock of Lepchas; vested land.

Kanke Bong Khasmahal < Kaong-kee-baong (Lepcha); cherry tree growing area; Non-Lepchas call it Kaang-kee-baong.

Lish Catchment Area Forest – Lish; English-name.

Lish Forest - Lish; English-name.

Lulagaon Forest < Laolel Gaong (Lepcha); the place where the Lepchas discussed, debated and declared. Now it is incorrectly pronounced as Loley Gaon.

Lulagaon Khasmahal < Laolel Gaong (Lepcha); the place where the Lepchas discussed, debated and declared. Now it is incorrectly pronounced as Loley Gaon.

Mangber Forest < Munggaor (Lepcha); plenty of wild millet.

Mangpong Forest < Maong Pung (Lepcha); to heap up millets.

Mangwa Forest < Maong-waa (Lepcha); the millets are thrown out during the harvesting time.

Mazeok Forest < Maon – Zo-aak (Lepcha); natural green plant feeds for pigs.

Nimbong Khasmahal < Nyim-Baong (Lepcha); an evergreen tree; Khasmahal (Kayoung; Lepcha); vested land.

Nobgaon Khasmahal < Naap Gong (Lepcha); a night resting place for a traveler.

Panbu Forest < Panobu (Lepcha); python; presently it is erroneously called ‘Punbu’.

Paringar Khasmahal < Poreng – Gree (Lepcha); thumb size bamboo, poring, found in the hill top of the fort area; vested land.

Pemling Forest < Paoo – Young - Daop (Lepcha); dense forest of a type of bamboo or < Pay – Lin – Doap (Lepcha); huge jungle of the small type of bamboo bushes.

Pemling Khasmahal < Paoo – Young - Daop (Lepcha); dense forest of a type of bamboo or < Pay – Lin – Doap (Lepcha); huge jungle of the small type of bamboo bushes; Khasmahal – vested land.

Pudung Khasmahal < Padong (Lepcha); incense aromatic trees and shrubs growing area use for religious ceremonies. Incorrectly it is called Poodoong today.

Rambi Bazar < Rum – Bik (Lepcha); white bison is seen here.

Ramthi Forest < Raamsu – Thaong (Lepcha); orchard of jack fruit tree.

Riayang Railway Station < Ray – Yaong (Lepcha); to keep time by time.

Ringking Pong Forest < Raong – kup – Paong (Lepcha); small children of Lepchas.

Riyong Forest < Rayout- Kup (Lepcha); orphan residence area.

Samalbong Khasmahal < Samaal-Baong (Lepcha); name of a tree; vested land.

Samether Khasmahal < Saam-Thaar (Lepcha); to cut three bamboo cylinders slantingly for religious or cultural ceremony.

Samther Forest < Saam-Thaar (Lepcha); to cut three bamboo cylinders slantingly for religious or cultural ceremony.

Sindibong Khasmahal < Sunglee – Baong (Lepcha); name after Sunglee tree; vested land.

Singi Khasmahal < Sung – Jyee (Lepcha); name of a tree; vested land.

Slokbhir Khasmahal < Solaa – Faok (Lepcha); while the surrounding areas plunge into darkness, this village receives sunshine continuously till sunset.

Suntalay Khasmahal < Sunglee - taam – laang (Lepcha); a flat land where Sunglee trees are found in plenty.

Suruk Khasmahal < Sorak (Lepcha); non-stop continued torrential rain fall in a particular area.

Tashiding Forest < Tasyey – Ding (Lepcha); according to a Lepcha legend Tasyeything (creator) once stood for a while in the place.

Tista Bazar D.I.F. < Thee Sathaa (Lepcha); when did you come here or confluence of three streams.

Tunang Forest < Too – Annang (Lepcha); who is sincere.

Turzam Forest < Taot-Saam/Taoj-Yaam (Lepcha); unknown and unidentified things or signs kept for scrutiny.

Uttar Fulbari Khasmahal

Yang Makum Khasmahal < Yaang – Maa – Kung (Lepcha); a steep hill hiding behind the hill.

Yokprintam Khasmahal < Prek – Taam (Lepcha); cleansing of bushes and jungle in a flat land.

 

Villages in Kalimpong - II Block

Village Name

Algarah Bazer D.I.F. < Aal – Gaor (Lepcha); having built more new huts in this area. It is corruptly known as Algrah today.

Bokhim Khasmahal < Book – Kao – Tyen (Lepcha); to find and trace out real edible wild roots.

Chumang Forest  < Chaa – Mung (Lepcha); unrecognized wild animals trapped and kept into a box for sometimes and freed.

Dalapachan Khasmahal < Da – Lyaop – Chyen (Lepcha); a twinkling pond; vested land.

Dalapchan Ridge Reserve Forest < Da – Lyaop – Chyen (Lepcha); a twinkling pond.

Dalapchan Slip Reserve Forest < Da – Lyaop – Chyen (Lepcha); a twinkling pond.

Git Beong Khasmahal < Gat – Byaong (Lepcha); vultures are always found in this area. Khasmahal – vested land.

Git Dubling Khasmahal < Gat – Duplin (Lepcha); area covered by dense busher.

Icha Forest - Desired (ichha-puron) abode.

Kagey Khasmahal < Kaa – Gyey (Lepcha); victorious in all activities.

Kashone Khasmahal < Kusyum (Lepcha); Raspberry plants.

Khampong Forest < Khaam – Daong (Lepcha); a place where plenty of shoots and mushroom sprout out.

Kolbong Forest < Takaol – Baong (Lepcha); where there are plenty of chest nut trees in the area.

Ladam Khasmahal < Laodaam/Laadaam (Lepcha); to lose things with ropes or bamboo splits.

Lava Bazar D.I.F. < Lavo (Lepcha); from this area lovely rising and setting of the moon can be seen. It is called erroneously as ‘Laabhaa’ today.

Lava Forest < Lavo (Lepcha); from this area lovely rising and setting of the moon can be seen. It is called erroneously as ‘Laabhaa’ today.

Lingsay Khasmahal < Lyaang-Sa (Lepcha); it is the place of worship to mother earth since time immemorial. Khasmahal – vested land.

Lingsaykha Khasmahal < Lyaang –Sa-Kaa (Lepcha); let Lepchas worship mother earth; khasmahal – vested land.

Lolay Khasmahal < Loley (Lepcha); it means let us dry it; khasmahal – vested land.

Mangchu Forest < Maon – Syoo (Lepcha); areas where medicinal herbal plants are collected; forest (Punjok; Lepcha).

Mansong Cinchona Plantation < Munsaong (Lepcha); a Lepcha priestess to be freed from her trance.

Maria Khasmahal < Meerek (Lepcha); the area where wild fire broke out; khasmahal – vested land.

Mayrong Forest < Maong – Rong (Lepcha); Maong means public; Roaong means Lepcha: Forest (Punjok).

Paiengaon Forest < Peygaong (Lepcha); the whole area filled with grasses.

Paiyong Khasmahal < Pafaan – Kyong (Lepcha); since time immemorable this village used to burn incense to the glory of mother nature.

Paktam Forest < Paok – taam (Lepcha); a flat land village for the elders.

Palla Khasmahal < Paolaa (Lepcha); to discuss, debate on a subject according to one’s knowledge and strength; khasmahal – vested land; today it is corruptly called ‘Paalaa’.

Paygang Khasmahal < Poyaong (Lepcha); a small variety of bamboo.

Pedong Bazar D.I.F. < Pey-Daong (Lepcha); plenty of fodder growing area.

Pedong Khasmahal < Pey-Daong (Lepcha); plenty of fodder growing area; khasmahal – vested land.

Rangpo Forest < Raong-Po (Lepcha); owing to epidemics, Lepchas died and remaining Lepchas left abundance the area.

Raset Forest < Rus – Yaap (Lepcha); dense forest of cane area.

Rhenok Forest < Ree – Naok (Lepcha); black terrace.

Rissium Forest < Rumsyee (Lepcha); legend has it that a Lepcha priestess saw and encountered a God as a flash of illumination; today it is corruptly called as Rishi.

Saihur Forest < Sahaor (Lepcha); shooting star.

Sakiyong Khasmahal < So – Kyong (Lepcha); irregular rain fall.

Sangser Forest < Sungsa Punjok (Lepcha); to finalize the decisions.

Sangser Khasmahal < Sungsa Punjok (Lepcha); to finalize the decisions; khasmahal; vested land.

Santuk Khasmahal < Saong – Thoop (Lepcha); where scented aromatic ever green trees are found.

 

Villages in Gorubathan Block

Village Name

Ambeok Forest < Aam – Byok (Lepcha); a mango type tree.

Ambeok Tea Garden < Aam – Byok (Lepcha); a mango type tree.

Chichu Forest < Chyee – Chyoo (Lepcha); chyee prepared area covered with the mountain range.

Dalingkot Forest < Daalee – Kot (Lepcha); suitable places to take rest and sleep.

Dalingma Khasmahal < Daalee – Maa (Lepcha); Maa – to hide/to keep secret; suitable places to take rest and sleep; khasmahal – vested land.

Darjiling Hilldoars Tea Garden < Daarjyoo – Lyaang (Lepcha); abode of God and deities.

Eastnar Forest – English-name.

Gorubathan Khasmahal – The village is with cow-pasture.

Kumai Forest < Kumyee (Lepcha); neighbouring strong built Lepcha youths were called upon in this area to fight against the enemies.

Kumai Khasmahal < Kumyee (Lepcha); neighbouring strong built Lepcha youths were called upon in this area to fight against the enemies.

Kumai Tea Garden < Kumyee (Lepcha); neighbouring strong built Lepcha youths were called upon in this area to fight against the enemies.

Lehti Forest < Lee-Thaong (Lepcha); pear (Lee) garden (Thaong).

Lower Fagu Tea Garden < Phaagoo (Lepcha); name of a medicinal herbal tree.

Mal Forest – High elevated moistened land (Mal) for dwelling-place.

Mal Khasmahal – Habitation at High elevated moistened land (Mal); Khasmahal – vested land.

Manabari Khasmahal – Where entrance is restricted or habitation surrounded by Man-kachu plantations.

Mo Forest < Mo (Lepcha); ‘Mo’ means done; established village.

Nim Khasmahal < Nyim (Lepcha); an ever green tree; vested land.

Noam Forest < Naom (Lepcha); aromatic incense smelling area.

Pagrang Bong Khasmahal < Pogryaang Baong (Lepcha); a large type of bamboos found in this area.

Pankasari Forest – Hand-fans shaped village or habitation of ‘punkha’ (hand-fans) – pullers.

Pankhasari Khasmahal - Hand-fans shaped village or habitation of ‘punkha’ (hand-fans) – pullers; vested land.

Paren Forest < Potyen/Pochyen (Lepcha); a small yellow variety of bamboo/creeper bamboo.

Pashiting Khasmahal < Posying – Ting; Plains (ting) where bamboo grows.

Paten Godak Khasmahal < Potyen – Godaok (Lepcha); I am the master of land (Godaok) that is covered with a small yellow variety of bamboo (Potyen).

Pogu Forest < Phaagoo (Lepcha); name of a medicinal herbal tree.

Rango Forest < Raong –Go (Lepcha); Raong (Lepcha) speaking area.

Rechila Chak Khasmahal < Raong –Laa – Chyen (Lepcha); confirmed that I am a Lepcha through well-versed (chyen) conversation.

Rechila Forest < Raong –Laa – Chyen (Lepcha); confirmed that I am a Lepcha through well-versed (chyen) conversation.

Ruka Forest < Ru – Kaat (Lepcha); only one (kaat) forest of cane bushes.

Sakam Forest < Sakyum (Lepcha); a kind of medicinal herbal tree.

Samabiyong Tea Garden < Saong – Baong (Lepcha); incense tree.

Samsing Khasmahal < Saong – Sying (Lepcha); incense garden, area.

Thousum Forest < Tsum – Thaong; a meeting place.

Today Tangta Khasmahal < Taang – Tat (Lepcha); to get permission to make bunch/bundle of hay and grasses.

Turibari Khasmahal – Habitation of Turi tribal race.

Upper Fagu Tea Garden < Phaagoo (Lepcha); name of a medicinal herbal tree.

Westnar Forest - English name by the Britisher.

Oct 23, 2017


Gautam Kumar Das [email protected]

Your Comment if any