The origin of the word Gowda

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Gowda shabdada moola -The origin of the word Gowda

Author:  Dr. Suryanatha Kamat

Place: Chitradurga, Ganjigatti, Hulakunda, Kadaba, Krishnarajapete, Maagaluru, Balligave, Iggali, Thalakaadu,Lakshmeshwara, Kabburu, Honnali, Aanekonda, Belturu

Dr. Kamat draws our attention to the references that the word ‘Gowda’ was used in the sense of village ‘Patel’. This word has occured as Gavunda, Gamunda in inscriptions. The author says the concept of ‘Grama Vruddha’ used in Koutilya has a synonymous meaning used in inscriptions and with the Gamundas of Karnataka who were same as Gramvruddha of Koutilya. ‘Gramika’ who was the leader of the village and the word ‘Gramakuta’ is not attributed to him.  Citing many references from inscriptions, the author says first reference of ‘Gamunda’ occurs in Gangigatti inscription of 5th century. Dr. Kamat in his indepth study gives the origin and derivation of the word ‘Gowda’ convincingly. He says the word ‘Gamunda’ was orignally used in the sense of Gramavruddha i.e. the elderly man of the village or member of a village assembly. The descendants of Raitha Gaundas who were in village are now being called on ‘Gowda’.

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