The elephant naLagiri/nalagiri

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 14 14:44:00 UTC 1999

*>         Also the meaning 'black' for nala- is not known in its
*> Sanskrit usage.

>Is it because nala is a Dravidian word not understood in IA?
>They might have taken it as reed. But hard to explain nAlAgiri with
> reeds.I n A.P., nalla (<naL-) malai mountains (Black mountain) are
> there from which River Krishna flows. Tamil Perungkathai has an
> elephant called naLagiri.

 What is striking is that the nALAgiri of jAtaka stories is
 rendered in Tamil Perungathai (7th century?) as naLagiri.
 If naa.laa = reed is what is meant for naa.laagiri, the 7th c. author
 could have used naa.lagiri. Because 'naaLam' in tamil lit. means
 hollow stalk as that of a lotus, reed, etc.,

 Interestingly, in tamil, naalaagiri becomes naLagiri even though
 naaLagiri is equally admissible.

 N. Ganesan

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