INDOLOGY Digest - 14 Nov 1997 to 15 Nov 1997

Ruth Laila Schmidt at EASTEUR-ORIENT.UIO.NO
Sun Nov 16 11:38:08 UTC 1997

Dear Members of the List,

The question about paTTan (paaTan etc.) is a very interesting one, and I
believe Frank Southworth did some work on it.

Turner (CDIAL) gives an etymology for it under #7705, paTTana, attested in
Kautiliya's Arthashastra and in the Mahabharata, with the meaning "town",
but "ferry" in modern Sindhi and Punjabi. (Probably of Dravidian origin
according to Burrows, but possibly the Dravidian etymon has collided with a
reconstructed *partana).

There is a paaTan in the Kathmandu Valley and a paTTan on the upper Indus
River (certainly no port as the river is scarcely navigable there, but
ferries have been used to cross the Indus). There is also a paTan in the
Kashmir Valley.

I recommend a careful perusal of CDIAL #7705 and reference to the works
cited there. Perhaps the settlements mentioned were towns that had ferry

With best wishes,

Ruth Schmidt

Date:    Sat, 15 Nov 1997 06:06:12 +0530
Subject: Etymon: paTTaN, pattan, patan


Close to the Sarasvati River, we have names of ancient settlements such as
Prabhas Patan (SaurASTra), Pattan Minara (Bahawalpur Province) (cf.
Mughal, Ancient Cholistan, 1997 where a 'pre-Islamic' shrine is identified
on the banks of the River).

paTTaNa is a common suffix in names of ports such as chennappaTTaNam,
macilIpaTTaNam, vizAkhapaTTaNam.

Is the etymon paTTaN related to an ancient port of call? Is it related to
paTTi, a street? If so, Pattan Minara could have been a terminal port town
on the desiccated river?

I would deeply appreciate receiving guidance on this.

Thanks and Regards,
kalyan97 at

Ruth Laila Schmidt
Dept of East European and Oriental Studies
University of Oslo
P.O. Box 1030 Blindern
N-0315 Oslo, Norway
Phone: (47) 22 85 55 86
Fax: (47) 22 85 41 40
Email: at

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list