Tuesday, 15 January 2013

This Google is in Karnataka

Well, if you are in India, particularly in Karnataka, Google cannot be in the United States (US). It is very much in Namma Karnataka and it dates back to several centuries. Yes, this Google is much older than the Google company, the Google search engine or any of its Google-related products.
The Indian Google is perhaps the only one with the name that dates back to early 13th century. Perhaps, Google had not heard of it or else I doubt whether it could kept the name without getting into copyright or trade mark issues.
The Google that I have been talking about here is a tiny village in Gulbarga district of Karnataka. The village with the Google name does not have any connectivity to boast. It may not even have a handful of people who are familiar with Internet connectivity as it is classified among the most backward villages of the district.
The village is on the banks of the Krishna and it is more than 500 kms from Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka.
The story of Google, of course Namma Google, goes back to several centuries. The Sharana poet and saint of the 12th century, Allama  Prabhu, had stayed at this village en route from Basava kalian to Srisailam. (Basava kalyan is in Gulbarga district, while Srisailam is in Andhra Pradesh.)
Allama Prabhu was a pioneer of the Lingayat movement and he was going to Srisailam to see the Mallikarjuna temple there. He is also believed to have stayed and meditated at a place near Srisailam called  Kadali Vana.
When he came to the village, he stayed for sometime at an underground cave which was called Gavi Kallu (cave of  stone or rock). In later years, the name transformed to Gavigallu and later to Gavigal, Guhagallu and nor Googallu.
Even today you can see the cave in which Allama Prabhu stayed.
There is a temple atop the underground cave. Devotees and visitor have to bend and crawl through a gap to enter the cave.
An idol of Allama Prabhu is installed in the cave.
There is another legend about the origin of the name of the village. Locals say the rocks around the village emit a musical sound when the are struck. Thus the name of the village was Kooguva Kallu (rocks that sing). The Helavas, who stayed in the village, went around telling people about the rocks or Kooguva Kallu. Over time, it became Kugukallu and Googukalu and now Googallu. In English, the name of the village is spelt as Google.

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