Row Brewing over Name of Jamalabad in Beltangady

Row Brewing over Name of Jamalabad in Beltangady

Beltangady: The historical Jamalabad fort, reputed to have been renovated by Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan in 1794, lies in this taluk, about 72 kilometers away from Mangaluru. It attracts tourists, trekkers and holidayers all through the year.


There are several versions about the name of the place. Lying on the Killur road in Nada village, it is said to have been known as Narasimhagada ( the fort of Narasimha).

Although there is no proof available about his rule, a king called Narasimha is believed to have ruled this region in the early days.

When Tipu conquered the place in 1794, he found it as an ideal fortress for his troops. Tipu reportedly named it after his mother Jamalbee as Jamalabad. Since the fort and the rock on which it is built had been named as Narasimhagada.

So locally it came to be known as ‘Gadayikallu’ – ‘Gada aayi kallu’ which in Tulu means the rock that became ‘gada’- and the popular name has stayed. Gada is a corrupt form of ‘garh’ in Hindi and Urdu

The name of the village Nada is said to have derived from the first and the last syllables of ‘Na’rasimhaga’da’. Here too no clear evidence is available if it is true or a product of imagination. Whatever it be, the name is in the news again.

A bike rally called ‘Narasimhagada Chalo’ was organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishat (VHP) and Bajrang Dal early this week seeking the renaming of the fort as Narasimhagada.

Speakers at the rally said that the fort had historical significance and an attempt was being made to turn it into a centre for a certain faith.

Stressing that in the revenue records the name was mentioned as Narasimhagada, the speakers said that the forest and other departments had been sticking to the name ‘Jamalabad’, which had to be rectified. They have warned of severe agitation if the old name was not restored.

A retired professor of history and a keen researcher said that the old name might have prevailed earlier but expressed surprise over the timing of the sudden demand when there was no complaint during the six decades after Independence.

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