Thursday, March 15, 2012


It is said that Mata, Pita, Guru and Deivam are intimately connected to each and every person born in this world. Whether one is God-fearing, God-loving or Atheist these 4 inseparable parts of life cannot be denied. Who ever is the mother, father, guru or deivam one has, their shape, behavior or attitude does not matter. It is the position these omnipotents occupy that is important. Is it not true that one has only one mother and no body else can qualify for that position. Same is true with father and guru the early teacher. God however can be one in many forms or many in one form. It is this philosophy that guides the early pioneers of Badettu family. 

All the second generation descendants paid absolute obeissance to Narnappaya as well as to Radhakka though nothing much is known about Guru. But Deivam thay all pursued in different forms. During early days Narnappaya as well as his brother Seenappaya traveled to Kerala in search of God (and also fortunes) and it is understood that many "Pottys", as those doing God's seva are known locally, served the Travancore and Cochin Royal Houses as Temple Priests for which they were supposed to have been paid handsomely. If so why is that many Pottys returned to Udupi area after a few years leaving their foot prints in Kerala? One of the reasons ascribed is that in the hierarchy of brahmins, Royalty always gave highes position to Malayalam Nambudirys, then to Tamilians and Udupi Brahmins being the last in line. The service compensation also dropped as one goes down in the pecking order.  

Badettu family invariably had its antenna pointed to Tirupathi Lord Venkateshwara, considered the Kula Devaru for a long time and frequent visits and climbing by foot to reach the present Tirumala was considered spiritually satisfying. Many third and fourth generation descendants had their Upanayanam celebrations done in Titrumala. However two important forms of  Deivam for Badettuans were Padubidri Eashwara Temple and Vana durga at Brahmastana. While Narnappaya spent a few years as manager of Eashwara Temple and was considered responsible for renovation of the now powerful Ganapathi deity there, he was one of the most reputed Pathiris at Brahmasthana till his physical condition permitted him to do the exacting and physically mentalling demanding job.

It was during 199394 that Badettuans were told after some "Prashna" that actually the Kula Deivam is the powerful Panchadurgeshwari at a place called Indrali, near Udupi. The Temple, an old one located on a small hill is one of the most beutiful ones in Mangalore-Udupi area with some hallowed history. Its days of glory under King Mayura Varma who rules Shivahalli area declined till it was resurrected by a family in Indrali village in late eighties of last millenium. From a small temple built with mud it has become  a truly marvelous place of worship for people coming from far and wide for seeking solace from miseries of life. Its famed Nanda Depa offering is supposed to fulfill wishes of the devotees who visit here regularly. The recent Ashtabanda Kalasha ceremonies conducted here were glittering with more than 3000 people visiting the temple and new Vasantamantap and Yagnashala commissioned were financially supported by Badettu family.

Some pundits suggest that the kula deivam of all people coming from Angeerasa Gothra is the Vishnumurthy of Alavoor or in Kodangala, bothe a few kilometers away from Udupi. Who ever is the Kula Deivam, Badettuans believe that all these are several forms of God, ultimately merging into one almighty. Interestingly the present care takers of Badettu houe still maintain the Maga Bhana and the Gana House with three Bhuthas in side, doing all that is necessary to keep them "happy". These abodes of Naga and Bhoothas were renovated with liberal financial supports from many Badettuans during 1994 and 2008. The old practice of serving lime "panaka" at Padubidri Eashwara Temple during the Ratholsava  a tradition associated with Badettu family is still being continued by the present third generation family residing there. The much awaited annual Ratholsava will take place on March 21 this year.

Answer to the last quiz:

There are only two medical graduates in Badettu family and both of them graduated almost simultaneously some where around 1994-95. They are Sangeetha Murthy, daughter of Hariharan and Gulabi who is presently practicing as a GP in USA and Rama Rao, son of Vittala and Sarada who is a surgeon in the UK. It is a pity that fourth generation descendants are not interested in medical line.

Quiz for the next issue:

Is there any marine engineer in Badettu family and if yes who is the person?   

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Recently this Blogger had an opportunity to visit Admar, about 6 km from Padubidri for seeking the blessings of Padmavati, the second "Bahu" in the Badettu family, popularly known as Paddakkaya. She along with Lakshmakka, the fifth Bahu in the Badettu family are the only two surviving second generation members. While Paddakkaya stays at Admar, her ancestral house well looked after by her son Raghupathi, Laksmakka is living with her dauhter Lalita who is a teacher in a school at Chintamani near Kolar. 

Talking about Paddakkaya one cannot miss her vibrant personality and even at this advanced age of 96 years she personifies the old traditions and values which many of the 3rd generation descendants have forgotten. It is amazing to see how well kept she is even at this age radiating happiness and courage, though she needs help of a walker to move around. Her appetite is phenomenal, memory still sharp and attitude positive. When one sits by her side it is difficult to avoid getting infected with her human qualities and all Bedettu family descendants must make it a point to visit her if an opportunity arises.

During two hours of chatting with her a wealth of information was gleaned and this treasure house of old memories must be tapped for getting more insight into the past years of Badettu family. Situated near the famous Admar Mutt, the House at Admar was built by her father Yogendra Ajja and is well preserved unlike the Badettu House at Padubidri which gives one the impression  that it is going to collapse any minute!. The care and solace provided by her daughter-in-law Madhavi must be appreciated while Paddakkaya's sons and daughters most of them settled down nearby and in Kerala visit her frequently.

There were two Bahus in Badettu family who exemplified the high sacrifice needed those days to raise a family, that too a jumbo one as most of them had children in the range 8-12. One was Paddakkaya and the other one Janaki Amma, wife of late Anantrama, 4th son of  Narnappaya who is no more now. Husbands of both of them spent considerable part of their lives away from the family, putting all the onus on the wives to raise the family. Kudos to them! 

Here are the prayers from all the descendants of Badettu family to God to continue to bestow on Paddakkaya good health so that she completes at least her 100th year with least hiccups!

Answer to quiz of B-1008):

The first MBA in Badettu Family was Mr Vasanthakumar, popularly known as Putta, now living in Bangalore serving as a very senior executive in IBM company. He obtained his MBA from Kolkatta way back, about 20 years ago after getting an engineering degree from IIT. His lucky parents are Dr P Vedavyasa Rao, the Bhishma of Badettu family and Ms Vasundhara. After a long gap of two decades Ms Lakshmi, a fifth generation descendant of the Badettu family and daughter of Nandini (daughter of late Venkatramana of Alleppey) and Mr Shankaranarayana of Trivandrum. is another MBA who graduated from Kolkatta after getting an engineering degree. She is presently employed by a reputed bank in Mumbai. 

Quiz for this issue

Who was the first medical graduate in Badettu family?