The Great Boyar Valmiki Nayaka Emperors
Nayaka is Honorary Title of Boyar/Bedar/Valmiki People in India
 

 Boyar_mudiraja


 
Boyar : A boyar, also spelled boya (meaning Hunter) is the name of a caste. A leader of a group or Head of Territory. Boya is called as Naidu. The Boyar community constitute the Non-orthodox Kshatriya or Warrior class of India. They are all believed to have originated from an ancient people called Kirata. Boyas or Bedars were none other than Vanaras of Kishkinta kingdom of Ramayana times in South India. These were the vanara warriors who were controlled by Sri Rama in the war against Demon Ravana of Srilanka to rescue Sita. Boya and Valmiki are the names in vogue. Boya consider themselves as descendents of 'Valmiki' a Sanskrit writer.The most famous Kiratas in Hinduism are the Kiratra avatar of Shiva, Lord Buddha and sage Valmiki, writer of the Ramayana.

Boya caste corresponds to Kiratas of Sanskrit writers, the Warriors, Hunters and Mountaineers. As the names indicate, they belonged to one of the hill tribes who subsisted by hunting and tending cattle. Gaikwads, Kurubas and Yadavas too originally belonged to this group. In Manu's Dharmashastra they are mentioned as Vratya (Non-Orthodox) Kshatriyas, which meant that they were considered to be advanced in civilization and warfare, but outside the ambit of Brahminical influence. It is speculated that the term is a Sanskritization of a Sino-Tibetan tribal name, like that of Kirant or Kiranti of eastern Nepal. Mythology gives an indication of their geographical position of Kirata kingdom near Nepal and Bhutan. In the Mahabharata, Bhima meets the Kiratas to the east of Videha, where his son Ghatotkacha is born; and in general the dwellers of the Himalayas, especially the eastern Himalayas, were called Kiratas. Ghatotkacha of Mahabharata fame (Son of Bhima) was a Kirata Chieftain.

The Boya warriors migrated from Indus valley after saraswathi river dried up and invaded several mountainous regions in south-eastern peninsula. The original population of Boyas was mixed with various linguistic groups. These Boya warriors served as military regiment and chiefs between 10th century to 15th century in Chalukya, Chola, Vijayanagar and Hoysala empires. In India Boyas were mainly found in South India as Hindu Telugu speaking community as non-orthodox Kshatriyas. Their population concentrated mainly in the Andhra-Orissa region and later in all southern states. Eastern Chalukyan empire's court was essentially a Republic of Badami, and the administrative subdivisions were known as 'Boya-Kottams'. Boya-kottams existed across southern states right from 5th century according to Kakatiya inscriptions. Boya-kottams held assignments of land or revenue in different villages. Chola-Chalukyas used titles 'Udayar' or 'Odeyar' for chieftains at certain periods of time which included Boya Chieftains.

King Pratapa Rudra's Kakatiya kingdom was ably served by seventy five chieftains called Nayaks. The Nayaks who belonged to various agrarian castes such as Boyar, Velama, Kamma, Reddy, Telaga, Balija, etc. were divided by mutual jealousy and rivalry but they are valiant cousins. Boyar Gudi at Aihole-Pattadakal (South East of the Village) was built in 14th Century for the Boyar community worship. Many more temples were constructed in Andhra-Orissa region by Boya Chieftains.

The Chitradurga Paleyagar family was of the Beda or Boya caste and belonged to one of the hill tribes family who subsisted by hunting. According to one tradition, it appears that three Boya families emigrated from Jadikal-durga, in the neighbourhood of Tirupati, and settled at Nirutadi near Bramhasagara about 1475. They are said to have belonged to the Kamageti family and Valmiki gotra. The son and the grand�son of one of these, named Hire Hanummappa Nayaka and Timmanna Nayaka respectively. There were many battles in the reign of this Nayaka between Chitradurga and Harapanahalli, Rayadurga and Bijapur in all of which the Nayaka had splendid success.

Boyas or Bedars were none other than Vanaras of Kishkinta kingdom of Ramayana in South India. They were the Vanara warriors who were controlled by Sri Rama in the war against Demon Ravana of Srilanka to rescue Sita. Boya and Valmiki are the names in vogue. Boya consider themselves as sons of sardars and descendents of Valmiki.

Boyars migrated from Indo-Iran around 5th century BCE to Indian sub-continent and later 9th century to Turkey and Romania. Having Dravidian roots came from indus valley invaded south region .Boyars are mainly found in South India as Hindu Telugu speaking community and non-orthodox kshatriyas. Boyars arrived to Andhra - Orissa region during Indo-Aryan migration around 5th century BCE.

Boyar warriors served as military regiment between 10th century to 15th century in Chalukya, Chola, Vijayanagar and Hoysala empires. The Musunuri Nayaks were Boyars and Kamma warrior chieftains in the Kakatiya army, who regained Andhra in 1326 from the Delhi Sultanate in the aftermath of the Kakatiya defeat. King Pratapa Rudra's Kakatiya kingdom was ably served by seventy five chieftains called Nayaks. The Nayaks who belonged to various agrarian castes such as Boyar, Velama, Kamma, Reddy, Telaga, Balija, etc. were divided by mutual jealousy and rivalry but they are valiant cousins.

Rayadurg and Kalyandurg are the two important forts which were ruled by Boya Palegars. The name Kalyandurg came from Kalyanappa, who was a Polygar in the 16th Century. Rayadurg was originally a stronghold of Boyar palegar who were very turbulent during the Vijayanagar rule. Kalyandurg was under the rule of Sri Krishnadevaraya and was a part of Vijayanagara Empire.

Boya Palaiyakkarar (Polygar) who was to administrate their Palaiyams (territories) from their Fortified centers. Their chief function was to collect taxes, maintain law and order, run the local judiciary, and maintain a battalion of troops for the Nayak.

Boya is considered as oldest caste and origin among many castes in India . Boyars are non-pure Kshatriyas they are called as ' Boya ' in Andhra Pradesh ' Boyar ' in Tamil nadu and in Karnataka as ' Bhovi '. Boya, Boyar, Boyi, Bhovi are the hereditary and clan title. Boyar caste consists many gotras. Boyas worship Tirupati Lord Venkat Ramana, Mariamman, Shiva, Subramanya, etc. A lost link between Boyars of India and Europe. There was a great migration in Indus valley in 5th BCE boyar warrior caste a Kshatriya community was split into many groups took different direction and invaded many regions. By and large there are more similarities in culture and origin . Temple inscription and Religious texts also denotes about boyar caste and origin. so we conclude that Boyars are distant cousins of East asia and Russia.

A lost link between Boyars of India and Europe. There was a great migration in Indus valley in 5th BCE boyar warrior caste a Kshatriya community was split into many groups took different direction and invaded many regions. By and large there are more similarities in culture and origin . Temple inscription and Religious texts also denotes about boyar caste and origin. so we conclude that Boyars are distant cousins of East asia and Russia.
 
BHOVIS
Bhovis of Karnataka are actually a combination of three subgroups. The Kallu Bhovis are the stonecutter caste, the Mannu Bhovis are the earth working caste, and the Uppar Bhovis are the menial laborers. The Bhovis' main language is Telugu, but they can also speak Kannada, Karnataka's main language. They also engage in agriculture, though this is a secondary occupation. Only 21 percent are city-dwellers. To them, it's normal to marry one's uncle or aunt. Families negotiate the marriage of their sons and daughters before it becomes finalized. It's common for a Bhovi man to marry two sisters. The Bhovi peoples have their own patron deities and priests, including Siddha Rameshwara of Sholapur, a great reformer among them.

It is known thar Mudiraju people were engaged in guarding granite quarries during medieval times. The reason could be that these people were known to be the best for soldering and commando jobs. It also appears that the Mudiraju people who had their origins in Bhil- Koli dravidian block of tribes were closely associated in stone cutting, stone grinding and other such jobs. Bhovis are closely related to Mudiraju in connectiong with fishing and granite mining. Pardhis / Parthians who are also variants of bhils too engage themselves in such jobs. The Bhovis are experts in cutting granite rocks and in almost all granite quarries in the state they work as bonded labourers. Bovis or Boyis are closely related to Bedars in their origins. The Telugu Boyas of Andhra, the Tamil Vedans of Tamilnadu, are closely related to Bedars & Ramoshis of Maharastra. The Mogaveeras and bovis are also one and the same people in their origin and belonged to fishing community.

The Bhovi community comes under the Scheduled Castes. As stated earlier they are traditionally stone cutters and they are experts in it. The entire family would be working in the quarry and they live and die in the quarry. Almost all of them are bonded labourers. They are illiterate and do not send their children to schools. The children also work along with their parents in the quarry. Though they are touchables their social and economic conditions to a large extent are equal to untouchables. Some times they move from quarry to quarry in search of work. Bhovis" (stone cutters) are generally considered as nomads.

The construction was probably in the hand of families specialized in the construction of specific structures. Nowadays, some families are still perpetuating the know-how of the construction of underground rainwater harvesting cisterns, in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh or in Diu in Gujarat. "There were caste communities specialised in earth and stone work called wadders and boyis. They undertook the construction of tanks, wells, roads and works where earth and stone was involved. Even today they are the main source of labour for Irrigation and Roads and Buildings Departments"

The Bhois are fishermen. These fishing people seem to belong to the same caste as that of Western Gangas who rules parts of Andhra and Karnataka. They still cleave to their hereditary caste occupations much more closely than is the case with many castes, and are consequently to be found where rivers or tanks supply them with fishing. They belong to the Dravidian family of aboriginal races. Like the Pardhis, the Bhois have forsworn beef.

Although there were more than five crore Bhovis in the country, only two per cent of them were educated. The population of Bhovis in the Karnataka State was around 40 lakhs. There are Two types of Bhovis (a Scheduled Caste in Karnataka) live in the village. Talla Bhovis specialise in rope-making and live mainly in Kodipalli.Mannu Bhovis distinguish themselves by their association with earth work.

The Boyis are Telugus, and are employed as bearers of palanqueens and other domestic service in Southern India. Hence the Anglo-Indian term "Boy" for a servant. Some Bestha immigrants from Mysore have settled in the Pattur taluk, and are also known as Bovis. The word Bovi is a form of the Telugu Boyi (bearer). Palanquins were also available for rent and the same were carried by Bovis from Dakshina Kannada.

During the regime of ancient Kings and chieftains, one of the menial professions was carrying palanquins of royal persons. Fishermen adapted to this job were known as Bovis. Now the members of Bovi sub-community are concentrated in the Ullal to Manjeswar region in the southern part of Karavali. Similarly, in Uttara Kannada, there are Konkani speaking members of Bovi sub-community under Harikantra and Kharvi fisher folks.

In the Udupi area they are also known as Marakalas.To the south of Ullal they are known as Bovis. In the southern Karavali from Brahmavara southward they speak Tulu and in the north they speak Kannada or Konkani towards Karwar.

In Uttara Kannada mostly Kannada or Konkani speaking fisher-folk are known as Harikantra, Kharvi and Bovi. In the interior Karnataka, they are Kannada speaking fisher-folks known variously as Ganga-mathastha, Besta, Ambiga or Koli. In Kerala fishing community is known as Mukkavan. In Andhra fishing communities are known as Agnikula-kshatriya, Vadabalija, Suryavamsi, and Pallekaru etc. Fishing communities living in different areas may not be related owing to geographic and ethnologic separations.

Edgar Thurston describes them as Mogers, the Tulu speaking fishermen of South Canara. Buchanan(1807) reported that 'these fishermen are called Mogeyar and are a caste of Tuluva origin.. The Mogeyar are boatmen, fishermen, porters and palanquin bearers ...some Mogers are� taken to agriculture, oil pressing and playing on musical instruments.' "The ordinary caste title for Mogers is 'Marakaleru'.. in Kundapura taluk, the title 'Naicker' is preferred."

Mogaveeras = Bhovis

Mogaveeras form one of the most important communities that are found in the Mangalore city of Karnataka in the southern part of India.Mogaveeras (also spelt Mogavira) represent the native fishing community of the Karavali Karnataka.

During the composition of Mahabharata, ca.500BC, fisher-folks were conspicuous by their presence. The writer-composer of Mahabharata, Veda-Vyasa was the grandson of Daasha Raja, a fisherman who ferried people across the River Yamuna. (The surname 'Dasa' still exists among some of the Tulu Mogaveera. There is common saying that the major Tulu communities of Karavali-Bunts and Mogaveeras- are the children of sisters of a single family.

Some of the Mogaveera worship centres, contain idols of Vedavyasa and Atharva Muni. It is an historically interesting feature since Vedavyasa, born to Matsyagandhi or Satyavathi, was a product of the fishing community. The exact character of Atharva Muni is not clear, since it is believed that the Atharva Veda was compiled by sage Bhrughu and his clan, with inputs from sages of the Angirasa clan. This may also be suggestive of the migration of Mogaveeras from northwestern India.

In India Boyas were mainly found in South India as Hindu Telugu speaking community as non-orthodox Kshatriyas. Their population concentrated mainly in the Andhra-Orissa region and later in all southern states.Eastern Chalukyan empire's court was essentially a Republic of Badami, and the administrative subdivisions were known as 'Boya-Kottams'. Boya-kottams existed across southern states right from 5th century according to Kakatiya inscriptions. Boya-kottams held assignments of land or revenue in different villages. Chola-Chalukyas used titles 'Udayar' or 'Odeyar' for chieftains at certain periods of time which included Boya Chieftains.

A boyar, also spelled boya ( = Hunter) is the name of a caste. A leader of a group or Head of Territory. Boya is called as Naidu is similar to Kapu (caste). The Boyar community constitute the Non-orthodox Kshatriya or Warrior class of India. They are all believed to have originated from an ancient people called Kirata. The meaning of the word 'Boya' is a 'hill tribe' a mongoloid warrior. Boya to some is of Turkic origin and it is composed of the roots boy("tribe") and ar ("pride/honour") or ari (pure/clean) so is 'boyari. 'Boi' in Bulgarian word is to fight Battle , Boyar could also mean 'Warrior'. Other sources claim it comes from the Russian boyarin.

Bhoyar, Bhoir_ (Honorific titles, Mahajan and Patel).--A cultivating caste- residing principally in the Betul and Chhindwara Districts. The Bhoyars are not found outside the Central Provinces. They claim to be the descendants of a band of Panwar Rajputs, who were defending the town of Dharanagri or Dhar in Central India when it was besieged by Aurangzeb. Their post was on the western part of the wall, but they gave way and fled into the town as the sun was rising, and it shone on their faces. Hence they were called Bhoyar from a word _bhor_ meaning morning, because they were seen running away in the morning. They were put out of caste by the other Rajputs, and fled to the Central Provinces. The name may also be a variant of that of the Bhagore Rajputs. And another derivation is from _bhora_, a simpleton or timid person. Their claim to be immigrants from Central India is borne out by the fact that they still speak a corrupt form of the Malwi dialect of Rajputana, which is called after them Bhoyari, and their Bhats or genealogists come from Malwa. But they have now entirely lost their position as Rajputs.

The Boya warriors migrated from Indus valley after saraswathi river dried up and invaded several mountainous regions in south-eastern peninsula. The original population of Boyas was mixed with various linguistic groups. These Boya warriors served as military regiment and chiefs between 10th century to 15th century in Chalukya, Chola, Vijayanagar and Hoysala empires.

Boyas or Bedars were none other than Vanaras of Kishkinta kingdom of Ramayana times in South India. These were the vanara warriors who were controlled by Sri Rama in the war against Demon Ravana of Srilanka to rescue Sita. Boya and Valmiki are the names in vogue. Boya consider themselves as descendents of 'Valmiki' a Sanskrit writer.

Ramoshis = Rama Vashis = Controlled by Rama

Totemism in the Madras Presidency In the Madras Presidency the Boyas, a great Telugu- speaking tribe of the Deccan districts, comprises two endogamous sections, namely the forest men (Myasa or Vyadha) and the village men (Uru), of whom former subsist on game and other produce of the woods, while the later have settled down in village and live by fishing and day labour. The tribe subdivided into hundred and one totemic clans or septs, many of which bear the names of plants and animals. The Bois or Boyas, who are a Telugu tribe, besides being the best " bearers " and domestic servants, also resort to fishing in their spare time.

In Europe around 5th century the Boyas migrated from Indus valley only to be found as prisoners of war, or else captive entertainers. Later they were inducted as soldiers. During various wars and raids they migrated into remote regions of the world and carried titles such as 'Boyari' in Turkey, 'Boyash' in Romania, Serbia and 'Boyar' in Russia and Bulgaria. Slowly they became land owners, Feudal lords and Nobles.

Vadderas
Vaddera is a caste name or social group from Andhra Pradesh, India. This caste is also known as VadderaRaju / Odde / Vadde in Andhra Pradesh in India. Vaddera is sub-caste of Boyar caste. It is similar to Boyi and Bhovi in Karnataka state.They are also known as Chitti Karanalu in Godavari Distrcits in A.P. Sources say that Valli amma also belong to same community. Vaali Amma, the wife of Skanda Swamy (Kumar Swamy) is also claimed to belong Vedar / Vetar community. Further Bhakta Kannappa belonged to Vetar subsect of Muthuraja (Mudiraj) community in Tamilnadu. They are also known as Bhovi Vaddera( Boyer ), and Bandollu. Banda means stone and Bandollu means people dealing with stone cutting. A study reveals that there are Vaddi fishermen near Kollera lake area.

The word 'Bhovi' is a corrupt form of 'Bhavi' which means 'well' in Kannada, it also means 'earth-digger'. They have been involved in the digging of wells. There is a confusion of 'Boya' a 'Kshatriya' caste and 'Bovi' a 'shudra' caste mix-up there is no proper evidence in which period this has taken place, but some gotras are common. Many castes in Andhra pradesh have shared common gotras. This may be one of the reason for mix-up in remote regions in different periods. Some sections of Boya, Gangaputra, Agnikula Kshatriya castes consider themselves as part of Mudiraj community in some regions of Andhra Pradesh.

Vaddars or Wadewars are a branch of Odde caste of Madras Presidency. The Oddes or Vaddars of Madras are a very low caste, and some of their customs point to a similar origin of kols, who are excellent diggers and masons. The northern segment of the Telugu Vadugar in Kalinga broke into Oddars or Oriyas. The Oddars are the tank-diggers, well-sinkers, stone-quarriers and earth- workers. Some of the Vadderas mention Bhovi as their subcaste. Bhovis and Boyas are one and the same people who are related to Bhils of North India. There are also some sections of Vadderas who mention Valmiki as their subcaste. Vadderas worship goddess ankamma. Saint Valmiki was a bhil - boya tribesman. The Boya are not supposed to accept food from the Sugali and Vaddi communities.

Vaddars are Stone Cutters and quarry workers. They may be categorised as semi tribals. The adjacent branch of the "Vaddars, the diggers (whose ancestors roved all over the country and dug water-tanks for every UP village), have dissolved by decay, employent being scarce; and the particular group survives by bootlegging, and odd jobs. They live in the most wretched level as do the pardhis. Bowris relating to Pardhis & Kaikadis are diggers of water wells in North India.

Vaddars are stone cutters and sculptors. Originally from Orissaa. During the time of Kelings war, & lot of them massacred by the Emperor Ashoka. Kannambady dam, Vidhana Soudha, Belur Halebeedu temples, Ellora temple, were build by them. Tymur took some of them to Kabul to build palaces there. According to speculation in the Eliot manuscripts that Vaddars � referred to as a. ''numerous and widely spread Caste'' may have been Buddhists in the eleventh century.

The Vaddra community was identified as criminal tribe during British time. After denotifying the community by Independent India, Vadderas were placed under BC A category. Vadderas were recognised as STs in Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat. However, other States were treating Vadderas either as SCs or Bcs. Vadderas constructed roads, projects and canals but they did not own land.

According to the legend, in the time of the Western Chalukyas of Badami in the 11 Century A.D., the Vadderas who carted stones of the construction of the temples at Alampur (also known as Dakshina Kasi in Mahaboobnagar District) used the site on which the city now stands as a halting place before crossing the Tungabhadra and greased their cart-wheels with oil, locally supplied by some of the oil mongers and called the place Kandenametta. This circumstance led to the formation of a small settlement on the spot which subsequently came to be known as Kandenapalli, Kandenolu and Kandenavolu, the city of Kandena or grease. It is also interesting to note that the site which was used as a halting place by the Vadderas in those days is still known as Bandla Metta (Bandla means carts; Metta means headquarters or halting place), a street in the Old Kurnool city.

During the medieval times, the state corresponding roughly with now-a-days Orissa passed under the various names such as: Utkala, Kalinga, and Odra (Udra) Desa. These land names are associated with peoples. The Okkala or Utkala, the Kalinga, and the Odra or Oddaka were mentioned in literature as tribes.

Approximately between the 11th and 16th centuries the name was twisted; the name Odra Desa was gradually transformed into Uddisa, Udisa, or Odisa, which in English became Orissa. The language of Odisa came to be known as Oriya. Ode tribe migrated to gujarat around 12th century for construction of temples in which they are more specialized. People who supplied stone and lime for construction work of temples. People from these region were called as Oddars, Vadderas and Waddars in Andhra, Tamil nadu and Karnataka. The important Deity of Odes is 'Jasma devi'.

Pigs are kept for eating by Vaddars and Kaikadis. Donkeys are kept as pack animals by some Vanis and Kumbhars and also by Vaddars. The Vaddars are considered to be a menial caste. Child labor is common among them.

The stone-cutting Vaddars are the principal criminals, and by going about under the pretence of mending grindstones ( job of Takankars ) they obtain much useful information as to the houses to be looted or parties of travellers to be attacked.

The following Vadderas are under denotified list - (i) Kal Oddars ( Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga, Virudhunagar, Madurai, Theni, Dindigul,Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam,Tiruvarur, Tiruchirapalli, Karur,Perambalur, Tirunelveli, Toothukudi, Salem and Namakkal Districts), (ii) Nellorepet Oddars ( Vellore and Tiruvannamalai Districts ) and (iii) Oddars ( Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Tiruchirapalli,Karur, Perambalur, Pudukottai, Madurai, Theni and Dindigul Districts )

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Date :27/05/2008
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SOLANKIS
Chowda, Chowta & Chowti are all related terms and also related to solankis, who were the founders of Chalukya kingdoms in Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. While Chowta surname belongs to Telugu Balija & Tuluva bunts, the Chowti surname belongs to Telugu Mudiraj community. These solankis are also closely related to Pardhis, Kaikadi and other bhil tribes. The warrior clans who established Chowda dynasty in Gujarat and Chowta dynasty in Karnataka were one and the same people and related to Solankis. The word Chalukya seems to be a corrupted form of the word Solankia.

Solanki => Solankiya => Solakiya
Solakiya => Cholakiya => Cholukiya => Chalukiya => Chalukya
Chowda => Chawda => Chavda => Chawra
Chowda => Chowta => Chowti

The Chief of the Chalukyas or Solankis, a Rajput Agnikula clan, conquered the Deccan and built a Kingdom about A.D. 550, and reigned in Vatapi, in the Brjapur District, gloriously and well. In a century the dynasty had grown strong and famous, and exchanged embassies with Khusru II of Persia as shown in a fresco in an Ajanta cave. The Chalukya kingdom in the Deccan and Maharashtra continued to A.D. 1190; just before the Pathan, Muhammad G-hori, seated himself on Delhi throne.

Theere is one Sun Temple built by Raja Bhimdev I of Solanki at Modhera in Gujerat. The remains of an ancient Sun Temple at Modhera draw hundreds of tourists, to this village 30 km south of Patan, near Ahmedabad. Solankis were considered to be Suryavanshis, or descendants of Sun god. The temple was so designed that the first rays of the sun fell on the image of Surya, the Sun God, at the time equinoxes. The Solanki and Parmar were actually descendants of the Gujjars who came to India from pre-Islamic Persia in large numbers. The tradition of the Bard makes the Solankis important as princes of Surut. Bhansalis claiming to have been formerly Solankis of the solar race.

The Solankis ruled over Gujarat till 1143. Gujarat attained its greatest territorial extent under the Solanki dynasty, from the 9th century. Muhammud of Ghazni attacked Somnath in Gujarat leading to the downfall of the Solankis.The Solankis were patrons of the great seaside temple of Shiva at Somnath Patan in Kathiawar; Bhima Dev helped rebuild the temple after it was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1026.

MULRAJ (942-996) Mulraj Solanki overthrew Samantsinh Chavda in 942 and set up what came to be known as the Solanki dynasty. The territory under the sway of the Solankis came to be known by different variations of the words like Gurjardesh, Gurjara-Rastra, Gurjaratra and finally Gujarat. Gujarat got its name from the tribe known as 'Gujjars', which inhabited the region in the 1st century A.D. Gujjars seems to the Scythians who developed matrimonial relations with local dravidian bhil pardhi tribes. The Solanki Rajputs could be the mixed blood bhilalas.

In the tenth century, Solankis established themselves firmly at Anhilwara (Patan). Vanraj, the Chawra king had built this city of Anhilwara in the year 746 AD. The Chawras ruled for 196 years from here. The Solankis took the control of the territory from the last Chawara king Sawant Singh Chowra. Solankis, a powerful clan in North Gujarat, also subjugated the eastern part of Kutch. After the Solankis, Vaghelas in the twelfth century established their sovereignty over Kutch. These powerful clans in their respective reigns influenced the social and cultural composition of Kutch.

These people valiantly fought against Muslims invaders and also British imperialists and proved their love for freedom and country. After the Muslim occupied Sindh, they did not rest quiet, they attacked Punjab, but were repulsed, then they attacked Rajputana, but were repulsed by Kings like Raja Bhoj, and when they attacked Gujarat, they were defeated by the Chalukyas (Solankis) of Anahilwada at the battle of Mount Arbuda (Abu). Thus the Solankis of Gujarat once again lit the bright flame of Hindu valor in Gujarat in repelling a Muslim attack

Many of the most distinguished Rajput clans such as the Chauhans, the Pariharas, the Pawars (Paramaras), the Solankis (Chalukyas) are descended mainly from foreigners, called Scythians by Tod. While others are descended from indigenous tribes of inferior castes elevated to the rank of Kshatriyas. The Rashtrakutas of the Deccan, the Rathors of Rajputana, the Chandels of Bundelkhand are examples of the Rajput clans formed by the promotion of the indigenous tribes of inferior social status. Thus, the huge group of the Rajput clans include people of the most diverse descent.

This presumption receives support from the familiar legend about the fire pit at Mount Abu in southern Rajputana. The legend appears in the Chand Raisa and other works. It groups together four Rajput clans into a brotherhood based on their common origin from a sacrificial fire pit at Mt. Abu. The clans mentioned are the Pawars (Paramaras), the Pariharas (Pratiharas), Chauhans and the Solankis or Chalukyas. They are all mentioned as being "Agnikula" or fire born. The legend shows that the four clans mentioned are all related to one another and that they all arose in southern Rajputana. Now as the Pariharas are undoubtedly of foreign origin their allied tribes are also similarly descended from foreign sources.

Incidentally gujjars are both Hindus and Muslim, and the Muslim gujjars had shown dissent against the British in Ludhiana in Punjab. In the process of rebelling against the British, they were known to have committed several dacoities and robberies of the British garrisons, which might have been the reason for the imperial authorities to classify them under the criminal tribes. It may be seen that both gujjars and the meenas who had belonged to a much higher caste order were relegated into criminal tribes during the British times.

Some Kannadigas think that Solankis Solankis were descended from the Chalukyas of Karnataka who ruled much of peninsular India between the 6th and 12th centuries. It is said that in the 10th century, a local branch of the clan established control over Gujarat and ruled a state centered around the town of Patan. They went into decline in the 13th century and were displaced by the Vaghela.

According to the History of Gujarat, the Dravidian tribes were the original inhabitants of the region. It is believed that much before the Aryan occupation of Gujarat, the land had trade ties with Sumer, the Persian Gulf around about 1000-750 B.C. Rock edicts found from the Girnar hills indicate that in the 3rd century, Gujarat became part of the Mauryan Empire under Emperor Ashoka. It was during this Mauryan reign that Gujarat came under the influence of Buddhism. It is possibly during the ascendancy Buddhism, these dravidian & Rajput warrior tribes moved to South India and occupied green grass fields.

It is now clearly established that the Huns made their permanent settlements mainly in the Punjab and Rajputana. The Gurjaras, the most important of the Hun group of tribes established a powerful dynasty in Kanauj. It has now been definitely proved that Bhoja and other kings of the dynasty belonged to the Pratihara clan of the Gurjara tribe. Hence the famous Pratihara or Paramara clan of Rajputs was certainly descended from the Gurjara stock. The fact that one of the well known Rajput clans is undoubtedly of Gurjara stock raises a strong presumption that the other clans also are the descendants from the Gurjaras or the allied foreign immigrants.

According to this theory, Parsuram, an incarnation of Vishnu, destroyed all the Kshatriyas. However, the Brahmins felt the need of warrior class to defend them. They offered prayers to God at top of Mount Abu. A great Havan was performed for about 40 days. Their prayers brought forth fruit, and from that Agnikund or fire pit, there sprang up four heroes and each one of them created a separate Rajput class. Thus came into existence the Chauhans, the Solankis or Chalukyas, the Parmaars and the Pratiharas. This theory still finds credence among the Rajputs.

The first Rajput kingdoms are attested to in the 6th century, and the Rajputs rose to prominence in the 9th and 10th centuries. The clans that descended from the solar and lunar lineage i.e. 'Suryavanshis' and 'Chandervanshis' rose to prominence first, followed by the four Agnivanshi clans, the Pratiharas (Parihars), Chauhans (Chahamanas), Solankis (Chaulukyas), and Paramaras. The martial Rajputs not only belong to the well-known clans such as the Sisodias, Rathors, Chauhans, Kachawahas, Bhattis, Panwars and Solankis but have-off-shoots known as Musalman Rajputs or 'Musalman Sipahis'. The Bhatti Rajputs who were forced to embrace Islam between 1193 and 1684 were called Sindhi Sipahis and the Chauhans who were subjected to this conversion around 1383 formed the sizeable group called Kaimrhani in the Shekhawati and Nagaur areas.

Famous scholar, K.M.Munshi, a gujjar himself says that the Pratiharas, Paramaras and Solankis in Gujarat were imperial gujjars. During the British rule, they had spread to areas around Meerut, Bulandshar, and present Noida and Greater Noida as well as East Delhi, and it is recorded by the Britishers that during the first war of independence in 1857, the gujjars along with the Muslims proved to be their "most irreconcilable enemies". Incidentally gujjars are both Hindus and Muslim, and the Muslim gujjars had shown dissent against the British in Ludhiana in Punjab. In the process of rebelling against the British, they were known to have committed several dacoities and robberies of the British garrisons, which might have been the reason for the imperial authorities to classify them under the criminal tribes.

The similarity between the gujjars and the meenas ( fishermen relating to gangas ) appear over the way in which the British treated them. Like the Gujjars, British found this community also as a thorn in their flesh, and one British chronicler even called them "revengeful and blood thirsty". And like they did with the gujjars, this community was also denominated as a criminal tribe. It may be seen that both gujjars and the meenas who had belonged to a much higher caste order were relegated into criminal tribes during the British times. The British classified the Gujjars (and around 150 other Indian communities) as "criminal tribe" through the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871

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Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 30/05/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India.


VALMIKIS
The Boyas South India and the Valmikis of North India are one and the same people. Valmikis in Andhra region have tribal lifestyle and culture comparatively to Valmikis of other regions in the state. Valmikis, a low-caste community was considered to be of criminal disposition. There is a section of Mudiraj people who claim their subcaste as Valmiki.

Maharishi Valmiki is the ancient author of the Hindu epic Ramayana.Benjamin Walker in "HINDU WORLD" an Encyclopedia Survey of Hinduism believes that Bhagwan Valmik was of the Naga or Pre-Aryan birth. The Nagas were the indigenous population of India. Valmikis believe that they are the descendents of Nagas. The Bunts or Bantus ( Mudiraj ) are naga worshoppers and also believed to be the descendants of Nagas.

From History of Karnataka, it can be seen that the Valmiki people were rulers of some places such as Chitradurga, Surpur, Keladi, etc. In Karnataka the VALMIKI community are also called as Nayaka, Beda, Talavara. All these people are known as valmikis. The Beda(means Hunters), Talavar (means Natives) also use Nayak as the last names. Now Beda and Talavar communities are identified as Nayaks.

"talavara" is a Telugu word in "maha'talavara". "talari" or "talavara" means "grama'dhikari" (head of the village or town). In Tamil, "talaiva'r" means "pedda adhipati" (big boss). This Telugu word was combined with a Sanskrit word "maha'". In Telugu and Kannada the word Talari or Talavara clearly meant a village head-man, and even now such post exists in the village panchayats. Mahatalavara is an equivalent to Mutharacha or Mudiraja.

Maha = Mudi = Great
Talavara = headman = chief = Racha = Raja
Mahatalavara = Mudiraja

The Chitradurga Paleyagar family was of the Beda or Boya caste and belonged to one of the hill tribes family who subsisted by hunting and tending cattle. The Chitradurga Fort, defined by walls of huge granite blocks, rises above the town. A series of three gates leads into the irregular inner zone, strewn with striking granite boulders. There are several small temples here, as well as a number of ceremonial gateways erected by the Bedas. The platforms and pavilions within the compound of the Sampige Siddheshvara Temple mark the spot where the Bedas were crowned. The remains of rubble and mudbuilt granaries and residences, and a large circular well can be seen nearby.

The Bedas are the Bedars and the Bedars are Vedars. While Vedars are a subcaste of Tamil Muthuraja community, these people known as Valmikis are a subcaste of Telugu Mudiraj community today.

Vetans = Vedars = the people of Kannappa Kula.
Beda = Bedar = Vedar = Valmiki

It is well known fact that the Mudiraj people worship Goddess Ankamma. There is one Ankali mutt near Chitradurga. Nestling amongst a group of rugged hills, west of Chitradurga, this mutt is known for its subterranean chambers. Near the Panchalinga cave (Wonder cave) entrance, is an inscription dated 1286 A.D. executed in the reign of the Hoysala King Narasimha III. This stronly proves that these Valmiki Nayakas and Mudiraj are one and the same. This region of Tirupati and Srikalahasti is known to be the home land of Kalabhras ( the ancestors of Muthurajas ) who inveded Chola, Chera, and Pandya kingdoms. These valmikis could be the descendants of kalabhras who are in turn are known as branch of Kalachuris of Central India.

The term Nayaka means leader. The Nayaka community has three sub-castes namely Valmiki, Beda and Talavara. Valmiki claim direct descent from Valmiki, the author of Ramayana. Bedas practice hunting. Talavars function as messengers as well as village watchmen.NAIKADA, NAYAKA Popularly known as Palegar, Beda, Valmiki, Ramoshi Parivara etc., they are concentrated in the Chitradurga, Shimoga, Bellary and Tumkur.

Muttaniraja => Mutturaja

According to vettuva legend, Muttani Raja was a son of one Vijayan, born to him by a jungle girl, with whom he fell in love when hunting, and whose father he slew. Vijayan's father was kannappa nayanar was the eldest of ten brothers, sons of a vedar girl who contracted a gandharva marriage with a descending of yayathi, one of the heroes of the Mahabharata. NO historical evidence has been added to corroborate the migration legends of these castes, but the community of tradition probably points to a community of origin, and the legend of a vettuva Raja still clings to Sankaridrug (Sankaridurga), Salem district, Tamilnadu. Kannappa Nayanar was also known as Bedara Kannapa in Karnataka.

Veta = Hunt
Vetar => Vettuvar => Vettuva = Vettuvan
Vetar => Vedar => Vedara
Vetar => Betar => Bedar => Bedara
Tamil Muthurajas = Telugu Mudirajas = Kodagu Muddurajas = Keladi Valmiki Nayakas = Bedars

Some Marathi records call them Kala Pyada in admiration for their fighting qualities. The use of word "Kala" gives an indication that they could be most probably the kalabhra related warriors of Vengadam (Thirupathi) region. They were known as Thondaimans and this is well known as birth place of Hanuman too. Hanuman could be ancestor of Thondaiman warriors.

For more details about bedar valmiki nayakas, please surname analysis on TALARI in the web page "surnames" and valmikis, & bedars in the web page "war(rior)-tribes" in this web site.

After the Mauryan period, a large part of MP was ruled by Shunga Kanva, Satvahanas and Kshatrapas. During third-fourth Century AD, after the fall of Kushanas, the dynasty of Nagas emerged in the regions of Gwalior, Muraina and Mathura districts. Bharshiva or Nagas were the rulers of Padmavati (Padma Pawaya in Gwalior district). They were the residents of Bundelkhand and from here only they moved towards the Gangetic plains. They performed ten Ashwamedh-Yagna to celebrate their victory over Kushanas. The Nagas of Padmavati has a special relevance in the history of India, due to their successful fight against the Kushanas who were considered the outsiders and foreigners.

The Nagas were dravidians. Naga Nayak, the ruler of the Kolis, puts up a heroic resistance against the Moslems from the great hill of Kondanna (Sinhagad of later times, conquered by the great Tanaji). This once again confims that Valmikis are ngas and a variant of bhil - kolis who failed to claimb up the social ladder and there by they were pushed down to lower status to do unclean jobs.

The govt. Of Andhra Pradesh has no proposals to include 'Valmiki Boya' caste of Telangana and Rayalaseema regions in scheduled tribes. In particular places they are treated either as Scheduled Castes in the name of Valmikis or in the name of Boyas as Scheduled Tribes, but not in the provience of Karnool as a whole. Valmikis are a Scheduled Tribe, but they are superior to Dalits in the caste hierarchy. The Valmikis are a land-holding caste, and several amongst them are wealthy owners of agricultural land irrigated by the Tungabhadra canal in Karnataka.

Valmikis, Boyas tribes in South were primarily. leading a semi-nomadic life with huntings and fruit gathering as their occupations. But even four decades after independence their social and economic life has not improved much. Recognising this fact, the Karnataka Government gave them the status of scheduled tribes.

Balmikis or Valmikis are known with different names in southern parts of India (South India). Usually the Valmiki/Balmiki community are identified as Talwar / Talvar, Nayaka, Bedar & Valmiki. Talwar /Talvar - means those persons who handle the sword. (community people were frontier in war or in military force). Nayaka - means once again leader of gang or troop in war. Bedar is basically that the people from this community were tribes and so are called Bedar.Valmiki - this community follows the teachings of Bhagwan Valimiki Ji, they are just simply called Valmiki.

A large number of people belonging to Talvara, Parivara and Besta communities have been living in some areas of Mysore District, Karnataka. They belong to weaker sections of the society and they have relations with people belonging to Scheduled Tribes. These tribes are synonymous to Nayakas, Naiks and Valmikis.

Valmiki - Talwar Chajdhars of Mysore
Talwars are a subsect of Valmikis. Talari and Talaiyari seems to be a modification of the name Talawar. Talari is one of the surnames of Telugu Mudiraj community today. The article written by Madhukar G Appaji gives us some special information on "Talwars Chajdars".

Talwar Chajdhars
The Talwar Chajdhars are the hereditary village officers and Peace Scouts of the Vijaynagar kingdom. This mighty people are descendents of Emperor Ashoka and were Horsemen engaged in cavalryship, policing and military service to the Mysore and regions rulers. Talwars guarded Forts, Sunkadakattes & Ukkadkattes (Customs and Tax Points) and Village Property.

The Chajdhars of Talakad and Chikkandoddi who later consolidated as Malavalli Cantonment have the Distinction of serving the Vijayanagar Governor at Srirangpattana. Talwars were Vassals (Poleygars) in Hadinaru ( Hadinadu), Aalakere, Sosale, Ummatur, Donne Nayakana Kote.

The explanation of " talwarchajdhar" is a warrior who rode a horse and sported a talwar. The word talwarchajdhar = Cavalry soldier nearly matches with Sardar.

The Talwarchajdhars are having link to Appaji Timmarasu and it is is like this; The peasents of Malavalli, Sosle, Ummattur and Terkanambe sent message to his highness sri Krishnadevaraya about the frequent pillagring of villages by 'Kalla Kakas' ( from Malabar ) in and around these cities .Then the king despatched talwarchajdhar ancestors to go to (post Talwars) those villages for protection. Chajdhars group came in with around 200 Cavalry soldiers and posted them to villages with Hqs at Malavalli. Till dawn of independence talwarchajdhars community members were into horse breeding, soldiering, intelligence etc.

Talwars have served Emperor Tipu Sultan and fought against the British East India Company , with French Training. The British diluted the Talwars Poweress in early 1800s however they realized their Inevitability and Reinstated many of their rights by around 1860s. Talwar Chajdhars of Malavalli are direct descendents (in blood Line) of Vijaynagar Emperor Sri Krishnadevaraya.

Contribution By: Madhukar G Appaji , Talwar chajdhar Research,Survey No 91 Mysore Heritage Centre ,Chikhalli , Kudre College , Tnarsipur Rd Mysore Mysore 10 Email : mysoreheritage@gmail.com

Valmikis of Andhra Pradesh
Valmikis living in the Agency tracts of Andhra Pradesh are only notified as Scheduled Tribes. They are found in the agency areas of Visakhapatnam, East Godavari districts. They claim that they are descendants of the famous sage Valmiki, the author of Ramayana. The Valmiki tribe is divided into the following Gotrams in order to regulate the marriage institution among them in Visakhapatnam tribal areas. Naga Bowse (snake), Matsya Bowse (fish), Pangi Bowse (kite), killo Bowse (tiger), Vantala Bowse (monkey), Korra Bowse (sun), Bhallu Bowse (bear), Poolu Bowse (flower) and Chelli Bowse (goat). But these clan names are absent in tribal areas of East Godavari district. Valmikis are agriculturists and forest labourers. Some of them became traders and petty moneylenders. They sell the earthen pots also in the shandies. They practice podu cultivation on the slopes of hills.

Chintapalli and Gudem-Kotha Veedhi (G.K.Veedhi) mandals of Chintapalli taluka in Visakhapatnam district is a forest-covered region on the Eastern Ghat bills. The three main tribal Communities living here are the Valmikis, the Bagatas and the Samantas (also known as Kondhs). In Telugu language, Konda means Hill. The Konda Doras could be the Kondhs or Gonds. Natikari Dimsa is a solo dance performed by valmikis on Deepavali in particular and other tribals during other festivals in general in Araku valley of Andhra Pradesh. Valmikis are settled cultivators and petty traders. Most of the traders operating in the area are Valmikis, also known as Konda malas, a community believed to have originated in the lowlands but settled in the hills.

Konda = Hill
Konda => Kondha => Kondh
Kondhs => Gondhs => Gonds

Of the three main tribes, the Valmikis and the Bagatas are supposed to be 'local' tribes, whereas the Samantas are an immigrant tribe who have migrated along the Eastern ghats from Koraput district in Orissa into Visakhpatnam. The Valmikis pursue cultivation and some petty trade, whereas the Bagatas are almost exclusively cultivators.

A few Valmikis, Konda Doras have small business either as main or subsidiary occupation.They also work as paid labourers during off-season. Valmikis more educated and quite a number of them are in government services and many other agencies. Konda Doras claims to be the descendants of Pandavas and they call them- selves as Hindus. The Konda Doras of the area claim themselves as Pandava Kulam ( Pandava Gotram ) and they have been written as a title of the Doras. These Pandavas seems to be the same people of Pandos of Madhya Pradesh & Chattishgarh.

The Valmikis claim their descent from the Sage Valmiki and they are considered as the immigrants. Their ancestors migrated into agency area long ago from the plain area. The Valmikis in the agency area considered to be the inferior and down-trodden community. The Valmikis speak Kupia whereas the Konda Doras have the mother tongue Kubi or Konda Bhasha.

Eastern Ghats are inhabited by numerous tribal groups. Prominent among them in the north coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh are: Bagathas, Konda Doras, Jatapus, Savaras, Gadabas, Porjas, Khonds and Valmikis. Valmikis are placed at the lowest in the tribal hierarchy. They have a social status equivalent to that of the Dalits of the plains areas. Of late, they could progress astonishingly well in all areas of social and economic life much better than all the other neighboring tribes. Petty trade and Money lending business, which established a sound economic base for them, were to a large extent responsible for their phenomenal progress. With better economic status, they could improve their educational status and eventually started donning political roles. At present, with their emergence as leaders in different areas, they are even competing with the Bagathas, the dominant priestly tribe, in economic and political domains.

In the hills of East Godavari District, specifically in Chodavaram Taluk, Reddis have for several generations lived in symbiosis with members of an untouchable caste known locally as Valmiki, or Konda Mala. Valmikis, although of socially lower status than the Reddis, the Valmikis have succeeded in dominating and, indeed, exploiting the Reddis. Recent changes in the pattern of trade have diminished the possibility of exploitation, but developments in the educational sphere now work in favour of the Valmikis. As many of them have been converted to Christianity, they have had many opportunities to obtain a relatively good education in mission schools, and this is expressed in a high literacy rate. Superior educational qualifications now give Valmikis great advantages in the competition for employment in government service. Many Valmikis have been appointed as teachers and to clerical posts, whereas the number of Reddis in government employ is minimal. Even more important is the success of Valmikis in the political field. Valmikis are now represented in the Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh, holding seats reserved for tribals, while Reddis have so far shown little political ambition.

Valmikis of North India
The Valmikis of Madhya Pradesh, the Bhangis of Gujarat, Pakhis in Andhra and the Sikkaliars of Tamil Nadu are all manual scavengers. Mehtars or Valmikis are not allowed to draw water or enter the house of God. Some intellectuals of the Valmiki caste, a caste of scavengers and safai karmacharis spread across north India, are demanding a separate quota within the SC quota for Valmikis and other Ati Dalit (extremely Dalit) castes. In Ujjain, the Valmikis are at the bottom of the caste hierarchy. ... The Valmikis traditionally clean night soil, scavenge, and sweep. The Valmikis were formerly known as Bhangis and the Valmikis/ Rawats continue to suffer in the indignity here in U.P.

The Dalits resorted to conversions as a means to get rid of the stigma imposed by Hinduism especially the caste system. In the religions they embraced they expected to get new status in addition to certain material benefits. For example some of the Bhangi or the Valmiki castes got converted to Islam. But a totally unexpected thing took place with them after their conversion. The upper caste Muslims did not treat them as equals. The Valmikis too did not discard their Hindu customs and traditions, though they adopted Muslim names.

Among the tribes, bhagathas are the highest and the valmikis are the lowest in the ladder of tribal hirarchy. The Valmikis - the lowest order tribals community eat beef and pork. Eating beef, pork are the degraded food habits.

Defeated Valmikis who refused to convert to Islam were forced to become Paakhiwaalas / scavengers (nightsoil lifeters) in North India
Those communities among the Hindus who are called Bhangi, Mehtar, Chookad, Hela, Valmik or Halaal Khor, etc. are actually descendants of brave Kshatriyas, who, inspite of many atrocities by tyrannical Muslim rulers, had refused to accept conversion to Islam. The Muslim tyrants, with a view to humiliate them to such an extent that they would forsake their faith and accept Islam, forced them into the work of carrying the night soil of the begums, keeps, relations, courtiers, etc.

There are also Sikh, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian "Valmikis". Those valmikis who opposed Muslim invaders and migrated to South India established great Hindu kingdoms and continued to resistthe muslim invasionin in South India. Vijayanagar empire is a testimony to this fact and majority rulers were bunts / bants and valmikis were feudal chiefs of this empire. Majority of these valmiki warriors are known by different names and they form subsects of Mudiraj.

Maharshi Valmiki was a Bhil - koli. Many startling confessions we have heard from many Bhil tribes and crime and criminality of their trait now remain a bad dream of the past and today most of their huts have become Ram Durbar, Japa and Simran has taken away their foul languages and transformed behaviour pattern. The feeling of compassion and love is dawning on them. In Jhabua in the tiny hamlets of Bhil tribes many Valmikis are in the making and Ram Naam the time tested celestial sound is working out its wonder silently in the midst of woods away from the hustle bustle of the mad cities.

For Valmikis in India the Ramayana has served to provide a cultural and religious foundation and was the link during colonial rule which labourers took with them when they went from India. Bhagwan Valmik wrote the first version of the Ramayana in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. Astronomical analysis place Bhagwan Valmiks work as pre 3000BC, it's final shape may have been acquired by about 250A.D. He was also the first to codify music.

Balmiki is often the preferred way of spelling Valmiki by people from the state of Punjab in India. Valmikis/Balmikis is the name given to devotees that follow the teachings of Bhagwan Valmiki as portrayed in the Yogavasistha and the Ramayana. Discrimination by Hindus against the Valmiki community is still prevalent in modern day India. Most Valmikis are from the Chura caste, although through their faith they reject the caste system. Valmiki Himself was a Kirata Bhil.Chura is an occupation and is therefore used as a derogatory term to describe the Valmiki community.Valmikis revere VALMIKI as the Avatar of Bhagwan. Maharishi Valmik was believed to be a man of great wisdom, a sage who could visualize the past, the present, and the future as was clearly demonstrated in the Ramayana.

The story of Rishi Valmiki in the Ramayana too is symptomatic. Rishi Valmiki was originally a way-side robber turned into an ascetic due to some peculiar reasons. The 'robber' Valmiki coincides with the usual characterisation of an ancient rival tribe in the Sanskrit literature. It is the typical Sanskrit nomenclature to the other. And the naming has continuity with the earlier portrayal in the Ramayana about the Indus people that they were 'polluted and thieves'.

The Bhagwan Valmiki Trust (BVT) is a community organisation based in London which aims to promote development, education and awareness among the Valmiki community in the UK. A Dalit sub-caste, Valmikis are descendants of the sweeping class from the Punjab region of Non-Aryan groups including Greeks that came into the sub-continent. Because of their non-Aryan ancestry they were placed into the lower caste groups. They traditionally carry out menial and degrading jobs such as cleaning toilets, removing human excrement with their bare hands.

Valmiki is the name of the Dalits and tribes who were populating the lands of Punjab in the old days. Even today the Dalit associations of Punjab are called with the title name Valmiki. They are Dalits in the Maharashtra and the South, Ravidasis in the central and west India and Valmikis in the North-west. Due to the utter imbalance of situation sikhs of low caste had started shedding sikhism. they prefer thmslves to be called as "VALMIKIs" "hindus".

The Valmikis have been condemned to the lowermost status in the Varna hierarchy. The Valmikis traditionally scavengers and still considered Untouchables even among the Dalits.The valmikis are conventionally regarded as acchut (untouchable) because they are impure. The valmikis are bitterly aware, the social stigma associated with their hereditorily ascribed occupation. Valmikis and Ravidasis together form nearly a quarter of the population of many punjabi villages and they have long been subjected to systematic denigration. The Valmikis have followed their own unique religious and social course, and drawn freely and creatively on both traditions of Sikhism and Hinduism to construct their own distinctive synthesis.

On the day of 31st August, 2005, the town of Aryanagar witnessed burning of 50-60 houses belonging to Valmiki community in broad daylight. As it has been reported in the media a 1,500-2,000 strong of mob of upper caste people mainly belonging to the Jat community attacked their houses in a systematic manner. The perpetrators had come fully armed with spears, batons, axes, petrol and kerosene oils. They broke TV sets, Refrigerators, Washing Machines, looted the valuables and burst LPG cylinders. For that matter Arya nagar is a mixed locality where Gujjars, Jats, Brahmins as well as other castes including Valmikis live in the same area. Ofcourse for a two thousand strong mob it was not difficult to identify the houses of the 'others' - the dalits. It appears that for the rest of the people the pucca houses of the Valmikis adorning that colony were rather an 'eyesore'. How come dalits could 'compete' with the varna people in matters of housing. Will it not affect the edicts of the Manusmriti. And the crowd went on its 'business'. It looted whatever could be looted and then set fire to the remaining items.

The Valmikis are more organised than other Dalit groups. They have their own welfare organisations, and even separate temples, which are, however, open to all. And of late, they have been expressing their resentment quite openly. A Jat youth allegedly molested a Valmiki woman at a religious congregation organised by the community last year. The situation turned ugly and a man from the dominant community, known for his allegedly anti-social activities, was murdered. The Valmikis had started fleeing Gohana soon after the murder of a Jat youth, Baljeet Siwach. There was resentment among the Jats regarding the police action after the murder. Some influential local residents had named seven men as the culprits and there was anger when only four were arrested. But the police were not convinced of the complicity of the others. One of them, Lara, is a popular local leader of the Valmikis. His community looks up to him as a champion of the downtrodden and his father is the president of the Bhagwan Valmiki Sabha, an organisation representing the interests of the community.

Another coverup is also on wherein the whole basti of Valmikis who have laboured hard and have moved up the ladder of social mobility are being charged with being criminals. A senior police officer is on record saying that 'criminals thrive in the basti'. One is reminded of the colonial period wherein whole communities were notified to be 'criminal tribes' and were condemned to live a life of humiliation for decades together. The Jats in the area who have dominated the polity and society in innumerable ways felt threatened with the new awakening among the Valmikis. A visit to Gohana, hardly 75 kilometres away from the national capital one can come across many such stories where overnight many such happy and bustling families have not only been rendered homeless but a dark future is awaiting before them.

It seems that there is a caste by name Valmikis in Himachal Pradesh. In all major communal riots it has been observed that the Dalits, especially the youth, participate in Hindu-Muslim riots on behalf of the Hindus. In north India, the Valmikis are invariably used against Muslims.

Bhangis This powerful Misal of the Sikhs was founded by Bhim Singh of the Jat background. The name "Bhangi" is derived from the members of the confederacy who made use of Bhang, an intoxicating drug manufactured from hemp. Bhim Singh was succeeded by his nephew named Hari Singh belonging to the Dhillon clan of the Jats. Hari Singh's sons, Jhanda Singh and Ganda Singh played an instrumental role in strengthening the Misl. Also, they are credited for constructing the Bhangi fort at Amritsar. The Chuhra caste group clubs together Balmiki, Bhangi and Mazhabi castes.

Jat word derived from Jadhav. Jadhavas and Gaikwads are two subsepts of Kaikadi Erukalas who founded Kakatiya kingdom. Hence, the jats could be the bhil pardhis and hence related to valmikis.

Jadhav => Jathav => Jatav => Jat

The word Bhangi is derived from bhang or hemp, a plant of wild growth found in the jungles of the Punjab, and in abundance along river banks. When pounded in a mortar with a pestle and sifted through a piece of coarse cloth, it leaves behind a thick liquid of gree colour. Its drink is intoxicating and soothes the effect of heat in summer. A particular group of Dal Khalsa liberally indulged in this drink, and profusely entertained others with it. At the time of fighting, it made its lovers furious and reckless. On account of addiction to it, this group of Khalsa came to be called Bhangi. This misal was the largest in its size and area it occupied.

This nom de plume attracted the sweeper class also called Bhangi to join them. They were freely welcomed by this band of the Khalsa among them. Some of them were offered important posts. Although the majority of the soldiers of Bhangi misls were Jats, there were substantially number of converted sikhs from lower hindu castes. Here are the name of some of the pioneer Sardars of Bhangi Misal. Hari Singh Dhillon: aka 'Bhangi' He was the first person to be called Bhangi. He was Bhuma singh's nephew. He was also leader of Taruna dal as well as head of Bhangi Misl.

According to one legend, there were five bawri brothers : kesar Mal, Sabal Singh, Jeet Mal, Nahar Singh, and Hari Singh. These five brothers had come from Rajastan and were camping in the main street of the Chandni Chowk, when the soldiers of Mughal king Aurangjeb killed them. Perhaps the five Bawri ( Bowri = Kaikadi ) brothers from Rajasthan were guerrilla fighters, who were killed by the Mughal soldiers. The Bhangis disposed of their bodies and secretly started worshipping.

Gujjar Singh Bhangi was one of the triumvirate who ruled over Lahore for thirty years before its occupation by Ranjit Singh, was son of a cultivator of modest means, Nattha Singh. Soon the band was united to the force of Hari Singh, head of the Bhangi Misl of chiefship. Gujjar Singh set out on a career of conquest and plunder.

Bhangi Led by Sardar Hari singh Bhangi, so called Bhangi as they liked Bhang. The Bhangis, owned Sialkote, Gujrat, Multan, Amritsar, Tarn tarn and Lahore. During his eighth invasion of India Ahmad Shah Abdali was forced to retreat from the battle at Amritsar. Then, he offered the governor ship of Lahore to the Bhangi Sardar Lahna singh Dhillon, but the latter declined the proposal. Once Charat Singh Sukarchakia and Gujar Singh Bhangi of Bhangi misl secured a crucial victory over Sarbuland Khan, the Afghan faujdar of Rohtas.

Sikh Bhangi sardars of Gujranwala who with their sikh army & little guidance about mine laying from escaped officers of maratha army eg maratha musketeers - artillery men who could escape Afghan massacre aftermoth of battle by taking shelter with Bhangi Sikh Sardars wrested control of Lahore & raided Multan in June 1761 barely within 3 month after departure of Ahmed Shah Abdali's forces. With breaching of Lahore fort walls & advent of mine laying activity no fort anywhere in Punjab remained impregnable from attack of Bhangi Sardar stormtroopers. During muslim rule of Punjab with strong Mughal or Afghan forces stationed at Lahore, Multan, Kunjpura, Sirhind, Kasur& Attock forts could control Punjab from safety of strong fortifications carring out punitive raids on sikhs.

Bhangi Misl sardars also developed differences with Jai Singh. As a result, a big battle was fought between Jai Singh, Charaht Singh, and Sardar Ahluwalia on one side and Bhangis, Ramgarhias and their associates on the other side. The Bhangi side lost the battle. When the Afghan invader, Shah Zaman, came in 1788, the Sikhs, however, were still divided. Ramgarhia and Bhangi Misls were not willing to help Ranjeet Singh to fight the invader, so the Afghans took over Lahore and looted it.

Jangi-Bhangi Rathod and Bhagwandas Wadatiya first came to south India with the army. Jangi-Bhangi had 1 lakh 80 thousand oxen with them. While Bhagwandas Wadatia had 52 thousand oxen. Considering their ability of transport they were regarded with high esteem in the mughal court.They were presented with a Copper Place (Tamrapatra) on which following words were written:Vx E {x, U{{ E P, nx ix J V +Jx E Pb, VM M E JbExcept Marathwada and Khandesh in Vidarbha all Gor Banjaras in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are descendents of Jangi-Bhangi and Bhagwandas Wadatiya. Considering the honour, money, forest area for the food for cattle number of Tandas gradually migrated to south India from Central Province. They did not return to Bundi Kota region again. When the Railway became operational in 1896, their traditional business was gradually closed down. Some Tandas started practice of agriculture on large scale, country liquor, stealing wood from jungles and other big things. The British made a Criminal Tribes Law in 1871 and branded this tribe as criminal. The legal oppression of Gor Banjaras started. The law eroded their life in totality. In 1952 Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar as a law minister modified the Criminal Tribes Act but the law was not abolished completely. Its ill effects are still faced by the Banjaras.Marathas and Gor BanjarasAlmost all kings have taken benefit of the transport facility provided by the Gor Banjara tribe.

Valmikis were formerly known as Bhangis. Bhangi is an Indian caste even though they are outside of traditional Jati also treated as Untouchables. Bhangis are traditionally restricted to the two job functions of cleaning latrines and handling dead bodies (both human and animal). The Bhangis were primarily employed as manual scavengers in Gujarat. Bhangis have been described as "outcasts even among outcasts. The Bhangis are trapped in a system ordained by the caste structure which impedes rehabilitation and movement into alternative work. Even though most Bhangis are devout Hindus with a great deal of devotion for Hanuman , some Bhangis have converted to Christianity and Buddhism.

Bhangis or nightsoil men are returned as numbering 441 in Kolhapur district and are found in towns and cities where they work as scavengers in municipalities. They have two endoga-mous divisions among them as (1) Muslim Bhangis and (2) Kathevadi Hindu Bhangis who are called ' Halalkhors'. In religion Bhahgis are half Muslims, half Hindus, repeating prayers from the Koran and at the same time worshipping Hindu gods. Pardeshi Bhangis maintain contact with their native villages and often visit them.

Bhangis in Satara district as a class are strong and well made, honest, orderly, and hardworking. They are nightsoil men and scavengers. They are either Hindus or Musalmans and are considered the lowest class in the community. They Worship the usual local and Brahmanic deities as well as Musalman saints, and their family gods are Bahiroba, Devkai, Janai, Jotiba, and Narsoba, of whom they keep images in their houses. They believe in witchcraft soothsaying and evil spirits, allow child and widow marriage, and practise polygamy. Their maimers and customs are the same as those of the Poona Halalkhors.

Earlier, the excrement cleaners, the "Bhangis" as they are known in India, wore a small bell around their neck, which would warn the people about their arrival. Today, this has stopped, but the menial work must be carried on in the dark, so that no one can see them.

Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, a Brahmin, as a child touched a "Bhangi" woman. then, not only his mother washed him from head to toe, but he also had to buy cowdung and drink water from the Ganga river for "spiritual cleaning". Today, Pathak is 48 years old and is promoter of sociology. He is also the leader of the Sulabh Movement, whose aim is to free the "Bhangis". Pathak and his other colleagues are convinced that the sewerage system as at present found in the West, will be too expensive for Indians and has not been considered suitable due to water scarcity.

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Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 06/06/2008
Nagpur - Maharastra - India


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BHILS
The kolis and bhills are one and the same race from Mudiraj people are descended. Sait Valmiki is a well known Bhil - koli. While bhils are professional hunters, the kolis became professional fishermen. Kohlis and Bheels are generally considered part of the Hindu community.

The Bhils are considered as the third largest and most widely distributed tribal groups in India. The Bhils inhabit a region that stretches from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Bhils are a tribal people of central India. They speak Bhil languages, a group of Indic languages. The bhils of North India who migrated to South India came to be known as Boya, Boyar, Bedar and so on. There are 48 districts in which the Bhils have declared regional languages as their mother tongue. Bhils are a scheduled tribe in the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan in western and central India, as well as in Tripura in far-eastern India, on the border with Bangladesh.

The bow has long been a characteristic weapon of the Bhil because the tribesmen always carry their bows and arrows with them. The Bhil tribes inhabit some of the most remote and inaccessible areas of India. There are two divisions of Bhils: the Central or "pure" Bhils, and the Eastern or Rajput Bhils. The Central Bhils live in the mountain regions in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan. They are known as the connecting link between the Gujaratis and the Rajasthanis and are one of the largest tribal communities of India. They speak Bhili, which is an Indo-Aryan language. The Bhils are known to have fought against the Mughals, Marathas and the British.

Legend has it that the Bhils were fine archers, hence their name, which can be traced to the Telugu word Villu and Tamil word vil, meaning bow. The legend of Eklavya, a Bhil who outshined the skill of Arjuna only to be restrained by the command of his guru, Dronacharya, is mentioned in the Mahabharata epic. The Ramayana talks of Ratnakara, the Bhil bandit who ameliorated with the blessings of Lord Narad, to become Valmiki, the renowned poet sage. In religion, popular Bhil figures are Shabari, who offered Shri Rama and Shri Laxmana half-eaten 'ber' when they were searching for Sita Devi in the forest. Maharishi Matanga was another Hindu sage that became a Brahmana. They were immensely esteemed as warriors, and the Rajput rulers relied on them to impede the invading Marathas and Mughals.

Vhillu => Vhil => Bhil

Some scholars believe that present day Adivasis are the survivals of the Neolithic Age, being driven into hills and forests by later Aryan invaders and they are at present represented by the Gonds, Bhils, Santhals, etc. and a number of superstitious along with the worship of manes and spirits and Phallus images of stone and wood and the use of amulets, beads, sacred threads, shells, stones, etc., for curing diseases and keeping away the evil spirits can be traced to the Neolithic period. The ghoomar dance is one well-known aspect of Bhil culture.

The main tribes of Rajasthan are the Bhils and the Minas that were the original inhabitants of the area now called Rajasthan.The Bhils traditionally inhabited the south - eastern corner of the Rajastan state - the area around Udaipur, Chittorgarh and Dungarpur - although the largest concentrations of them are found in neighboring Madhya Pradesh.

The Bhils are a Scheduled Tribe, but really it's been only since the British came and more recently, that their lifestyle is in danger. This was because they lived in remote areas and in forests, away from the influence of other peoples, so their customs were very different. When the British came, they were classified as a criminal tribe, and then in the last century, their land is disappearing because of general demand for land and loss of forest in India.

The colonial authorities had introduced the term "criminal tribe" through the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871 which designated 150 tribal communities as "inherantly criminal". Independent India repealed this hideous piece of legislation in 1952 but unfortunately replaced it with the Habitual Offenders Act instead. The Bhils of Khandesh and the Pardis, who were declared a criminal tribe in early British times are still hunted like feral animals by the police.

During the first half of the nineteenth century, the tribes in the North West frontier had been declared 'criminal tribes'. This category became increasingly open ended and by 1871 the British had prepared an official list of Criminal Tribes. An act to regulate criminal tribes was passed that year. For instance, Bhils who had fought the British rule in Kandesh and on the banks of Narmada and were convicted under section 110 of the IPC were to be recognised as criminal tribes. The police force as well as the people in general were taught to look upon the 'Criminal Tribes' as born criminals during the colonial times. That attitude continues to persist even today.

Captain Macintosh also reports troubles from Koli bands in between 1818 to 1848 AD. Captain Macintosh though towards the end of 1848 succeeded in putting down this revolt, but soon after Bhils started raising banner against colonial subjugation. British tactfully formed a Koli corps under colonel Nuttal and used them to fight against Bhils who were the traditional rivals of the Kolis. The same corps seems to have been employed also in connection with putting down the revolt of 1857. ultimately the corps was dismantled in 1861 AD. Mahadev Kolis took some time to get over this trauma and opposed the British due to its interference in their territories. This was full of vigour and vindication. Finally, before they could put the British administration into any trouble, in 1914 AD. under the criminal tribes act Mahadev Kolis were notified as a criminal tribe.

According to Father Augustine, anthropologists consider the Bhils to be a criminal tribe. And if you ever chance to travel upon the road from Indore to Jhabua, you may find yourself agreeing with this assessment. The Kolis, Bhils, and Ramusis belong to the class of criminal tribes.Since the beginning of British rule the chief difficulty in keeping order has been the Bhils. Finally, the British formed a Mewar Bhil Corps in the 1820s in recognition of the Bhill's martial traditionThe Bhils formed into a Corps in 1841 had already exhibited 'remarkable fidelity and military steadiness during the 1857 battles.

The Bhils compromise 39% of Rajasthan's tribal population. Their stronghold is Banswara. The generic term derives from Bhils, which describe their original talent and strength. The Bhils maintained their numbers by mingling with rebellious outcaste Rajputs. Although originally food gatherers, the Bhils these days have taken up small-scale agriculture, city residence and employment. According to Census 2001, of the 12 tribes scheduled for the State, Meenas (spelt as Mina in the Census) are the most populous tribe, comprising nearly 53.5 per cent of the total S.T. population followed by Bhils. Together, the Meenas and Bhils constitute 93 per cent of the S.T. population, while Garasias, Damords, Dhankads and Saharias comprise 6.6 per cent, and six other tribes, including Bhil Meenas, constitute the residual 0.3 per cent.

The Bhils have been more or less left untouched by modernisation and liberalisation. They still wear their traditional, fluorescent-coloured pagris (headgear) and move around barefoot, including children and women.

In feudal and colonial times, many Bhils were employed by the ruling Rajput in various capacities, e.g. as shikari because of their knowledge of the terrain. Many had even become warriors in armies. They were in the Mewar army of Maharana Pratap Singh and like Shivaji , were experts in guerilla warfare which the Mughals had trouble with so much.

In fact, some scholars suggest that the Rajputss owe their warrior propensities to their exposure to the Bhills, whom they emulated. Even now, the accepted arch of all the Rajput clan of Rajasthan, the Maharana of Udaipur is crowned by smearing his forehead with blood drawn from the thumb of a Bhil chieftain, endorsing the coherence and loyalty of his tribe towards the master. They were associated with the legendary Rana Pratap and are credited with having helped the Rajput king recapture his kingdom from the mighty Mughals. .

The Baneshwar fair is a Bhil festival held near Dungarpur in January/ February each year, and large numbers of Bhils gather for several days of singing, dancing and workship. Baneshwar mela (rajasthan ka kumbh) is the largest tribe fair of bheels . almost 1 lakh people mostly from bheel tribe come here. Holi is another important time for the Bhils. Witchcraft, magic and superstition are deeply rooted aspects of Bhil culture. The Bhils use heavy Dhols and Mandals as musical instruments. The Bheel tribe from Rajasthan performs Gavari, a living piece of ritualistic theatre, around this time of the year. It is also believed that Gavari is the daughter of Himal-Bheel, who comes to visit her parents once in a year during Rakshabandhan.

The Bhils live in the hilly tracts of Arawali around Chittaurgarh, Banswara and Dungarpur, are even now primitive and ridden with poverty. The Bhils prefer to live in isolated hamlets rather than villages. The Bhils are characterised by curly hair, dark skin, broad noses, a short and robust structure. Although restrained in their dress, the Bhils, especially the women, have a great fondness for jewellery made of horn, lac, silver and copper: the bor, jhela, pande or kanphools, and the tussi or bazar batti.

In the later days the Bhils and Meenas mixed with the Pardeshis (foreign people) who were Scythian, Hepthalite or other Central asian clans. The Scythian mixed Meenas and Bhils remain as Rajput subclans, while the Meenas and Bhils who were displaced by the Scythian invaders and Muslims have mixed with the tribal Bhils and form the Bhil (tribal) meenas.

The "Garasias" are a small Rajput adivasi group found in the Abu Road area of Southern Rajasthan. It is understood that they intermingled with the "Bhils" to some extent, which is supported by the fact that bows and arrows are widely used by Garasias.

Panvad among the tribal towns of Vadodara district is closest to Madhya Pradesh. The Bhils, who are no different from the Rathwas in language or customs and who live on the other side of the 'notional' border, were at one time notified during British rule under the Criminal Tribes Act (1871). The reason was that they had earlier worked as seasonal soldiers for the Maratha princes in Indore and Dhar. But their 'denotification' in 1952 has left them no real choice but to take up a life of occasional crime.

Freedom Fighter Govind Guru Banjara :He established a religious sect called Lasodia (Lawadiga) and united people to revolt against the British through the saints and sages. He spread a great deal of awareness especially among the Bhils in the mountain region of Gujarat like Durgapur, Banswada, Sudhrapur, Panchmahal and Kheda. Lakhs of Bhils became his followers. In the night of Diwali in 1913 he called all his followers together at Manavgarh. Thousand of Bhils gathered with their bows and arrows and other weapons. They decided to attack on a nearby camp of British in the night. The British got information about the gathering of lakhs of people in the jungle that night. Colonel Shutton put up a seize around Manavgarh with all his men and machinery. A fierce battle followed. Around 2 thousand people died in the firing. Gauging the situation Govind Guruji ordered his followers to hide in the forest and himself surrendered to Colonel Shutton. He was ordered to be hanged till death. The enraged lakhs of Bhils then took to the streets. It forced the British to change the sentence awarded to Govind Guru to Kalapani.

Dr G N Devy, the secretary for the Denotified and Nomadic Tribes Rights Action Group, who is documenting tribal literature, says "None of the brave fights of the tribals against the British has ever been treated as part of the national struggle for freedom. From the Bihar uprising of 1778 to Lakshman Naik's revolt in Orissa in 1942, the tribals of India repeatedly rebelled against the British in the North East, Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. In fact, the British had to accede to the demands of the Bhils and the Naiks after their revolt in 1809 and 1838."

Gardi :Gardi or Bhils community essentially were hunting tribes. Some of bhils who with their associations with local chieftains became their personal guards in chieftains private army or men employed to carry out activities eg raid on enemy territory or possessions like grain or wealth for looting purpose became to be known as gardis. Peninsular India or deccan plateau due to its geographical conditions developed into a different entity than the plains of Indus-Ganges-Brahmaputra.

The Gardi community in India has its origin in 5000 years of cultural evolution countless invasions taking place in Peninsular India. Gardis are a subcaste of the Bhil community of Deccan.

Barel :The Barels are considered to be the sub-group of Bhils. They speak Barel language.

Bauria :The Baurias are also considered as a sub-group of Bhils. Their language is also known as Bauria. Bauria is a tribal community dwelling in the states of Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The community members are an itinerant, hunting gathering tribe. They are engaged in gathering of forest products. Baurias cultivate crops such as maize, millet, cucumbers, cotton, rice, lentils and barley. The houses are built on hills. Each consists of bamboo walls and thatched roofs. They follow the exogamous system. Baurias worship non-living objects and spirits, along with worshipping many Hindu gods and goddess. Ancestor worship is also a part of their custom.

These Baurias seems to be the same as Bowris or Bauris who are closely related to Kaikadis, Erukalas and Pardhis. The Pardhis of Berar admit that they are Baurias, who originated from Rajputana.

Bowri => Bauri => Bauria

Wagdis The Wagdis are considered as a sub-group of Bhils. The Wagdi language, also called Wagdi, belongs to the Bhil branch of the Indo-Aryan language family.

Bhel or Bheel or Bhil is a Sindhi tribe in Sindh, Pakistan. Bhils are also settled in Tharparkar district of Sindh in Pakistan. Bhils , people, numbering about 3 million, who inhabit portions of Pakistan and of W central India, especially S Rajasthan and Gujarat states. They speak an Indo-European language, Bhili, and retain a distinctive culture, much affected by, but not absorbed into, Hinduism. They were traditional enemies of the Rajputs and allies of the Mughals.

Bhil => Bhillu => Bhillava
Bhillava <=> Vhillava <=> Villuvar

The Kalitokai, an ancient Tamil work, mentions the association of the Villavars and their allies Meenavars (fishermen) who fought a fierce battle (around 500BC to 1000 BC) against Nagas. The Nagas were the Non Aryan tribes of of North India. Nagas are Non Dravidians and non-Aryans and among the early inhabitants of India. Nagas founded numerous kingdoms in the North India who were friendly with the Aryans in the ancient times. Nahusha who became Indra, the king of Devas or Aryans was a Naga. However the Nagas, the proud rulers of ancient North India lost their position in the Aryan dominated areas, after they became Buddhists and were pushed to the lower echelons of the society. After the defeat of Villavars and Minavars at the Central India by Nagas some clans of Nagas moved into south India and got assimilated by the Dravidians.

They had heavy Aryan mixture. When the Villavars and Minavars were defeated by the Nagas in the Central India, the Present day Maharashtra, Chatthisgarh and Madyapradesh area was lost to the Nagas and it was occupied by Nagas. In the later days, Naga hordes moved southwards and infiltrated Southern India. Nagas seem to be more related to the Kalabhras or Kalapirars or Kalavar who invaded the Pandyan kingdom around 350 AD.

Webmaster
Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 13/06/2008
Nagpur - Maharastra - India


BEDARS
Berads, Bedars, Bedas, or Beds are principally found in Belgaum, Bijapur, Dharwar, and Southern Maratha Country and also in all districts and States in Deccan and Konkan. In Belgaum district, they are found mostly in Pachhapur about twenty miles North of Belgaum and in the surrounding villages. They are also found near Sutgati on the Belgaum - Poona road in the hills bordring the Ghatprabha. In Bijapur they are found over the whole district, but are especially common in Badami in South. They are found in all parts of Dharwar district.

The term Bed ( Beda = Bedaru = Bedara ) seems to mean hunter, from Bete, hunting. The Marathas know the tribe as Berads and the Musalmanas as Bedars. The members of the tribe themselves prefer to be called Naikmakkalu, which means chief's children.They are also often called Naikwadis, presumably because they hold the office of Naikwadis ( village police in many villages.

Another synonym is Talwar, which means a village watchman, many of the tribe being hereditary village watchmen. They also call themselves valmikas after the author of the Ramayan, whom they claim as a caste fellow. They also some times call themselves as Ramoshis, which suggests some connection with the great Deccan tribe of that name Ramoshi. It seems probable, indeed, that the Ramoshis and Berads have a common origin and have become separate by the barriers of residence and language. The connection must have been close when a dravidian tongue was spoken in the Deccan. They follow the similar occupations, they both style themselves Naiks and Valmikas and a common division of Halge is found in both.

The tribe is also largely represented in Madras, Mysore and Hyderabad. Some have penetrated as far North as Berar (Nagpur region). The Telugu Boyas and Tamil Vedans appear, like the Ramoshis, to be allied to this tribe. The Boyas are hunters by profession. They call themselves Valmikas and Dorabiddas ( Children of chiefs ) like the berads and say they are descended from the sage Valmikiand from the poligars.

The vedans in Madras are a Tamil speaking, hunting and a labouring caste, the members of which were formerly soldiers and subsequently forced by British to become dacoits. They claim descent from Kannayya Nayanar ( Bhakta Kannappa ) like the Bombay Berads who consider Kannayya to be the founder of their tribe. According to tradition current among the berads of Bombay this Kannayya was a fowler and hunter, a devoute worshipper of Shiva. Kannappa Nayanar was a Telugu Vetar from Srikalahasti region near Tirupati. In Telugu language, Veta means hunting.

Veta => Vetar => Betar => Bedar = Berad
Bedar => Bedara => Bedaru => Beda => Bed
Veta => Vetan => Vedan => Bedan =Beda => Bed
Veta => Vettuva

According Buchanan the Kadambas of Banavasi were Bedars. He notices that in East Mysore the Bedars were strongly Telugu and that near Verul on the crest of Eastern Ghats the Telugu language was called Bedari. He notices that in South Kanara the Bedars were a savage race who are cats, and with great propriety and were called murders ( hired killers ). History relates that after the fall of Vijayanagar empire the bedars plundered the town for many days. Rayadurg was originally a stronghold of 'Bedars' ('Boya Palegars') who were very turbulent during the Vijayanagar rule.

Wilks makes the Boyas and Bedars the same. He describes them as wonderafully enduring and by their admirable staunchness to their chief's winning the admiration of Hyder Ali, who turned them into musalmans and formed batalloins of the Bedar Boyas or Chelas. Mr. Rice calls them Bedars or Nayakas and also Kiratakas, Barkas and Kannaiyas. Some are Karnatas and others Telingas. Most Mysore poligars or petty chiefs were Bedars. Medows Taylor, in the "Story of My Life", the Bedars as ruling tribe in State of Sholapur in the Nizams territory.

Under the Peshwas the village of Chikkadine, about twelve miles North of Belgaum, was the center of a small Berade State. At the time of the British conquest of the country in 1817 they had a strong organization under a Naik chief. In the early ears of British rule they caused some trouble, but were reduced to order 1820. They were still very unwilling to settle to regular work, and preferred to sub-let their land even at a small rent rather than be put to the troble of farming it. In 1829 there was a great Bedar outbreak under a famous leader named Rayappa of Sangoli, who was Kuruba by caste.

The Berads are an aboriginal tribe of the Kanarase districts. Although they have adopted many customs and usages from castes of a different social standing, the fact that a large number of them still feed on beef is evidence of their primitive origin. Their dark complexion, flat noses and frizzeled hair are also proof of their Non Aryan origin.

Brave Bedars fighting with Mughals at Wagengera : The Wagengera fort is situated on top of two hillocks and surrounded by rocky patches. The Bedar kings shifted here after losing their fort at Sagar, now in Shahpur taluk, to the Mughals in 1667. From the day they shifted to Wagengera fort, the Bedars were a thorn in the flesh of the Mughals. Although a well-trained army like the Mughals could have breached the fort easily, it was the warring skills of the Bedars that kept the enemy at bay for a long time.

They say that the true Bedars belong to a caste called in Kannada, Bearadu; it was largely represented in the erstwhile Sholapur State, the Raja of which belonged to it; it was on the same level as the Maratha Kunbi caste. Colonel Meadows Taylor was in charge of Sholapur during the minority of the Raja; he gave the Bedars a character for bravery and chivalry, it also for lawlessness.

The Ramoshis known alternatively as Berads, Boyas or Vedans are today spread across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Today's Ramoshi was called Boya, Berad and Vedan. In Andhra it was called Boya and in Karnataka and Tamilnadu it was called Berad and Bedar. Ramoshis of Maharashtra have come from mostly Karnataka and their surnames are same as Berad-Ramoshi of Karnataka. Their original language is sothern. They first got settled in Karnataka and later migrated to Maharashtra. Word 'Bhuyal' in Berad's language seems to have originated from Boya. though it is known in Maharashtra as Ramoshi-Berad, the name 'Ramoshi' is not older than 100-200 years. These Bedars are same as the people of Kappappa kula ( Vetars ) and as subsect of Tamil Muthuraja. Bedara Kannappa or Bhakta Kannappa of Srikalahasti was a great saint belonging to this caste br>
Vetars = Vedars = Bedars = Valmikis = Muddurajas = Mudhirajas = Muthurajas

Ramoshis truly belong to the Solar lineage of Srirama and thety are Sun & Goddess worshippers. Hence one of the meaning of Ramoshi could be taken as Rama Vamshis. Since these Ramoshis are non other than the descendants of Bhil vanaras, the other meaning of Ramoshi could be t"the people controlled by Sri Ram". A sect of kolis are also known as Ramoshi Kolis. This gives us a clear clue that Bedars and kolis are from one dravidian bhil races.

Rama => Ramo => Ram
Vamshi = Lineage
Vashi = Controlled by
Ramoshi = Rama vamsi = from the lineage of Sri Rama
Ramoshi = Rama vasi = Controlled by Sri Rama

On the principle of "setting a thief to catch a thief", Ramoshis in particular were widely hired as guards. Today, they are better known as watchmen rather than as criminals. The stigma itself has stimulated a curious inversion of prejudice. Ramoshi prowess at this profession brought about an intriguing page in their history. The Bombay Presidency Gazette of 1885 tells the story: The Ramoshis ... on many occasions exerted themselves greatly in Shivaji's service ... Shivaji, who was anxious to get possession of Purandhar, sent a detachment from Sinhagad accompanied by a party of Ramoshis to surprise the Mussalman garrison and capture the fort. ... "A Ramoshi ... ascended the wall and attached to the top of the rope ladders they carried with them. But as the Ramoshis were ascending the wall, the sentry in the vicinity descried them and cut the ropes, and the escalading party were all precipitated to the bottom, some being killed and the rest desperately wounded".

"Ours is a journey from first-class warriors to criminals, courtesy the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871," says Lakshaman Chavan, a teacher in Vasgade village. "Did you know that almost every fort of Shivaji had a settlement of Berad-Ramoshi warriors at its foothills? And that 50 Ramoshis captured Fort Purandhar near Pune defeating the Mughals?"

The village servants useful to Government are the Mahars and the Ramosh's (Ramosis). They are remunerated by watans, which take the form of grants of land either entirely free of assessment or subject to an annual reduced assessment (called mamul judi) or cash payment from the Government treasury, or both. Ramosis watch the movements of criminals and help the village patil in the discharge of his duties connected with the police administration. The Ramosis are not usually reckoned here among the notorious criminal. The Ramosis of the Deccan, have a long history of fighting and lawlessness. The Ramosis were a professional caste of village policemen. Ramosis are a variants of Bedars.

Sunita Tanaji Naik always had a tough time telling Berad-Ramoshi children stories about their community. The teacher at a balwadi in a hamlet in Sangli district of Maharashtra could at best recount that a certain Bahirji Naik from the community served as Chhatrapati Shivaji's intelligence chief. And someone called Umaji Naik led an uprising against the British in the first half of the 1800s in Pune district. History did not record their brave deeds; instead it made them history sheeters: the British declared the Berad-Ramoshis a criminal tribe.

Chatrapati Shivaji his sons Sambhaji, Rajaram & his daughter in law used forefathers of gardi community to carry out espionage for raids on Surat, Burhanpur, Jalna, ujjain, pune .Notables among them were Bahirji Naik who carried out espionage for Shivaji & commanded a force of 3000 men from gardi communities like Ramoshis, Dhangars, Bhils, Lamans, Vanzara, Pardhi, Mahadeo Koli, Masan Jogis. Dhangars, Ramoshis, Bhils, Lamans, Vanzara, Pardhi, Mahadeo Koli, Masan Jogis,& others got themselves trained in using guns-muskets while owning it.

The Okha Vaghelas revolted too, and the rare naval battles against the British are here. Then there is the Bhil-Koli uprising in the Nashik belt. Ratnagiri and Aurangabad areas are affected. Areas in north Karnataka, like Raichur and Bijapur had the Ramoshis, later dubbed 'criminal' castes by the British, in revolt.

The organisation of Ramoshis under hereditory naiks, who would dominate the selection of rakvaldars over anything from three to twenty villages, facilitated planned gang-robberies and made Ramoshis significant in the politics of the Peswa and the major jagirdars. Ramoshi naiks often gained considerable power and status as a reward of military services performed before the Raja of Satara.

In Maharashtra - Ramoshi did not originate from 'Ram vamshi'. It is in use only for hundred to hundred and fifty years. Before that, they were called Berad or Bedar, as mentioned during rule of Peshavas. Narveer Umaji Naik, in a letter of 1828, mentions as Ranvasi addressed to Ramoshis. Those days they were staying in hills and doing the job of protection of villages and crops in fields.

In Andhra Pradesh -- Boya, Dorabiddu and Valmiki are the names in vogue. Dorabiddu means sons of sardars. Boya consider themselves as sons of sardars and descendents of Valmiki.

In Tamilnadu -- Name in vogue is 'Vedan'. These people seems to be the same as that of the the people of Kannappa kula. Bhakta Kannappa belonged to Srikalahasti region of Andhra Pradesh. In Telugu language, Veta means Hunt.

Veta = Hunt
Vetar => Vetan => Vedan => Vetar
Vetar => Bedar => Berad

In Karnataka -- Names Berad and Bedar are in vogue. Bedar was word used by Muslims either to show the dauntless quality or may be inability to pronounce properly. Muslim books use word Bedar.

The names are Berad, Bedar, Nayak, Talwar, Nayavadi, Naykar, Valmiki, Palegar etc. each having distinctive meaning.

Berads : The regions east of the River Ganga and south of the River Krishna are marked by excessive humidity and thick growth of forests�they lack the vast open grasslands that sustained horse-breeding in the medieval era. The inhabitants of these lands�whether Telegus, Berads, or Purbias�did impact the evolution of infantry warfare; but only as willing recruits to battalions organized and led by European officers.

From Mysore north through the Malnad region and all the way to Bijapur were lands colonized by the Berads�a race of aboriginal Kanarese belonging to the lowest Dhed caste on account of their life style. Although many of them were Lingayets or Vaishnavs they had no dietary restrictions and ate mutton, beef, pork, and fowl with gusto and drank to excess. Their race name means "hunter" in Kanarese and they also indulged in cattle-lifting and other crimes. Alternatively called Bedars/Beydurs these people were dark, muscular, and of middle height; with round faces, thin lips, and frizzled hair. A popular story ran that the Mughal historians were so impressed by their fighting qualities that they changed the name Berad to Be-dar, meaning fearless.

It is these fighting qualities that are of importance to our study. For the purpose of hunting and war the Berads had adopted the matchlock and had become adept in the use of this firearm . Their tribal organization�where headmen controlled different bands of younger fighters�ensured discipline and unity in their ranks. Not surprisingly they had become the steadiest and most accurate musketeers in 17th century South India. Another singular name used for them was kala-piadas or black foot-musketeers. Later on these same Berads formed the bulk of Tipu Sultan's French-led infantry. We are not concerned here with the history of the entire tribe; our focus is on their one large kingdom based in Sagar. The Berad King of Sagar used the title Nayak and is known in Persian histories as Pam Nayak.

Berads of Karnataka worship Mallikarjuna, Mauti, Vekatesh as main deities and also worship Yellamma. Boyas worship Tirupati Venkat Ramana, Mariamma, Kanathrathan etc. Most of Berads are Shaivaites. They worship Shiva and engage Jangam or Lingayat Swami for religious functions. Marriages between Uru Boyas and Uru Berads and Myasa Bedars are allowed.

History : There is no written history about Bedars. The original man was Guh. According to Rajguru of Shorapur princely state, Berads come from Tamilnadu migrating to Karnatake during Vijaynagar rule. Names of 14 ancestors are known to him but not whereabouts. The last was 'goshti pid nayaka', a contemporary of Shivaji Maharaj. This means the history dates back to 800 years from Shivaji's known date of 1630. During Vijaynagar rule, these Nayak kings were assigned duty of protecting province of Tungabhadra. After of fall of Vijaynagar, the kings of Shorpur became independant. They only came under Bijapur court for name sake. But the Bijapur court was always afraid of Berad Nayak Kings.

Dr. Ambedkar had condemned the Brahminic culture for creating three groups of people, SCs STs and Criminal tribes. We know a great deal about SCs and something about STs. Here is some information of Criminal Tribes. In 1871 the British Government declared some tribes as "Criminal". The established society did ot oppose this, contrararily they seem to have liked it. Some clauses were:

(1) Permission should be obtained from police while shifting from one location to other.
(2). Govt. could send the group of people outside the bounds of a certain area and
(3). Govt. got the right to form a 'settlement' and keep the groups of people there.

Communities such as pardhis, kheria-sabars or the vadaris, bhils, bedars, kalkadis, kanjars, manga- rudis, nir shikaris or tadvis of Maharashtra and similar hundreds of communities all over India, were labelled 'criminal tribes' by the British penal system. Then, a member of any of these communities could be ramdomly picked up, tortured, maimed or even killed.

Instead of celebrating the militant and heroic heritage of those designated 'criminal tribes' by the British rulers, independent India continues to ill-treat them. With cruel irony constant harassment in fact drives some of them to crime.

Struggle against the British Inumerable Berads sacrificed their lives in uprisings against the British. History knows very few names. The important are:

  • 1820 -1831 -- Umaji Naik, Bhulaji, Pandu Naik -- they rovolted in Pune, Nagar, Nasik, Satara, Solapur, Kokan. Most of participants in these rebelions were Ramoshis.
  • 1817 -- Gokak, Pachapur regions in Karnataka, Nayaks organized and rebelled. They were mostly Berads.
  • Revolt of Kittur Channamma and Sangoli Rayanna in Karnataka had mostly Berads,
  • 1817 -- Trimbak Dengale's revolt in Pune by sardars in Peshaai - mostly had Ramoshi, Bhil, Koli etc.
  • 1857 - Uprising of Rango Bapuji in Satara, rebelled in name of Chatrapati of Satara. Centres established for recruitment where Ramoshi Koli and Mangs were in majority. Two Madane Brothers of Ramoshi wadi (Koregaon Satara) and Nana Ramoshi of Kundal were blown by cannon. Many Ramoshis from Tasgaon in Bijapur Taluka participated.
  • 1844-50 -- Tukaram and Mahankal, two sons of Umaji Naik revolted.
  • 1857 - Berads of Village Halgali Dist. Bijapur Karnataka revolted against disarming act. 19 Berads were hanged at Mudhol.
  • 1857 -- Raja Venkappa Nayak of Shurpur Dist Gulbarga rebelled. He died in struggle.
  • 1870 -- 1880 Rebellion of Vasudev Balwant Phadake was participated by most of Ramoshis. Head was Daulati Naik, who died in fight against Capt. Daniel in Tisubai Hills. Hari Ramoshi was hanged at Jejuri and Berads at Mudhol.
  • 1910 -- Veer Sindhur Laxman rebelled against Sansthanik at Jat ant British, was killed by treachery.
  • Vajya - Baijya - fought against Saranjamdar at Kukudwad Dist Satara.
  • 1942 - 'Quit India' movement and formed 'prati sarkar' - parellel Government. Most Ramoshis of Satara Sangali Pune Districts participated.

One of the most interesting stories in the book concerns the disarming of the Berads of Halgali, near Mudhol in Karnataka, in November 1857. During the first war of Independence, the British made it mandatory for people to surrender their arms. Lt-Col. G.B. Settunkar was entrusted with the task of implementing the order in south Maharashtra and north Karnataka. The Berads from Halgali village in Mudhol refused to surrender their arms. Settunkar and his colleagues marched to Halgali. For almost two days the entire village fought along with the Berads and stopped the army from entering the village. As a last resort, the army set ablaze the village by throwing in fireballs but the Berads did not give up. In the end, 19 of them were captured by the British and killed.

The war between the Mughal Empire and the southern kingdoms thus became a war between the Mughal army and the Maratha resistance, who were allied with the indigenous people of southern and central India. The Polygars and Nayaks of the south, the Berads of the Krishna valley, and the Gonds in the northern Deccan, all played a part in the Mughal defeat. These Berads would be hired for a season's campaign by different Maratha chieftains and would then retire to their densely forested homes---they would not make sustained marches far away from their base. The alliance with Berads, Nayaks and Gonds in the south became an alliance with Rajput and Afghan landlords, and with Bhil and Koli tribesmen, in the north.

The Berads eventually joined the French-led battalions of the Kingdom of Mysore, but only because that kingdom also covered their own domains. Under the British they were eventually classed as a lawless criminal tribe.

Santaji Ghorpade, who lead 25,000 strong cavalry along with network of spies spread over deccan part of peninsular India, made a career of boldly raiding Mughal military camps & cities between Krishna & Cavery. Santaji's cavalry units comprised of Marathas, Bhils, Telangis, Berads who were skilled at firing muskets from matchlocks while riding on horses galloping at speeds up to 60 km/hour. Santaji Ghorpade's son Yeshoji & Tukoji continued his militaey activities by shifting their base to Sandur near Bellary & Guti in Karnataka. With help of Telangi-Berads, they sided with Tarabai faction of Kolhapur during civil wars fought between Shahu & Tarabai.

A book was aimed to publish about Ramoshis. It contains in simple language, the exploits of heroes like Veer Sindhur Laxman, the Berad Naiks who distinguished themselves in the siege of Wakinkheda, a fort where the family entourage and the gold of the Marathas was kept, Venkatappa Nayak from Shurpur, Karnataka who arraigned the Southern kings against the British in 1857 and the role played by Ramoshis in the 1942 agitation. The stories sourced from the Ramoshis have been attributed to them and compiled by Niranjan Kulkarni. While many of the Ramoshi community are aware of their immediate past, one where they were branded as criminal by the British through the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871, and of heroes like Umaji Naik, not so well known is the struggle of other heroes who valiantly fought against their oppressors,'' says Dandekar, secretary, Lok Parishad.

Belgaon Bedara
Belgaum and Dharwar in the new State of Mysore, there is a caste by name 'Bedar or Berad' and that sub-sections of that caste are also called 'Talwars' 'Valmikis' 'Nayaka-Makkalu' and 'Navakwadis etc and that there is no caste as 'Navaka' caste who are also known as 'Bedars'.

Berads, Bedars or Beds are found chiefly in the Belgaum. Dharwar and Bijapur Districts. The term Bed (Kan. Bedaru) seems to mean hunters from Beta (hunting). The members of the tribe call themselves Naikamakkalu, that is, chief's children. They are also known as Naikwadis. Talwars and valmikas. "the first and last of which are applied to the Ramoshis also. This and the fact that the Berads and Ramoshis follow similar occupations and have a common division named Halge, seem to show that they had a common origin but became separated by the barriers of residence and language. The connection seems to have been close when a Dravidian tongue was spoken in the Deccan. The Berads also appear to he closely allied to the Telugu Boyas and the Tamil Vedans. All these tribes except the Ramoshis claim desent from Kannaya / Bhakta Kannappa. The people of Kannappakula are a subcaste of Muthuraja in Tamilnadu today.

According to Buchnan the Kadambas of Banawasi were Berads. History relates that after the fall of Vijayanagar the Berads plundered the town for many days. Their staunch loyalty to their chiefs won the admiration of Hyder Ali, who converted them to Islam and formed battalions of the Bedar Boyas or Chelas Medows Taylor, in the Story of my Life, describes the Berads as the ruling tribe in the State of Shorapur in the "Nizam's Territory. In the early years of British R. the Berads caused some trouble, but were reduced to order in 1820. They are still notorious as thieves and highway robbers. Some are husbandmen, some village-watchmen or Talwars holding free grants of land, some are Patiis some are labourers, and a few are hunters and snarers.

They have six endogamous divisions (1) proper, (2) Durgarmurgi, (3) Halge. (4) Jas or Myasa, (5) Naikmakkalu and (6) Ramoshi none of which cat together or intermarry. They have several exogamous divisions known as Bedagus, many of which are found among the Berads of Mysore, thus showing their identity.

Marriage with a sister's and mother's brother's daughter is allowed. A man may marry his wife's sister. Marriage is generally infant Girls are at times kept unmarried and dedicated to Maruti or Yallamma. They are railed Basavis or Jogatis and lead immoral lives. The boy's parents have to pay a bride-price of Rs. 100 to the girl's parents. The essential "portion of the marriage consists in throwing grains of rice over the heads of the bride and bridegroom. The marriage of widow is permitted. Divorce is allowed.

Except in Bijapur. Berads eat the flesh of cows, buffaloes and pigs. They drink liquor to excess. The highest well known caste who will eat, drink or smoke with Berads is the Korava Musalmans do not eat out of the hands of Berads. But Berads have no objection accepting food from Musalmans. Members of higher castes, such as Kurubs. Kabbaliggars, Vakkals etc., are admitted into the tribe The favourite deities of Berads are Durgavva. Mallikarjuna Maruti. Yallamma and Khandoba. Their priests are Bhrahmans. In some places Lingayet Mathapatis are employed to conduct the death ceremonies.

The dead are either burnt or buried. For the propitiation of deceased ancestors tribesmen are feasted on the new moon of either BHADRAPAD. ASHVIN or FALGUN. The Berads of the Sholapur district settle their social disputes at meetings of the village castemen with the most influential member as the headman who is called RAJA Sometimes castemen from several villages assemble, such an assembly being called DAIVA. The penalties imposed on offenders are caste dinners and fines. About two years ago a Berad of Bhal vani in the Phandharpur Taluka was excommunicated for eating beef and was re-admitted on payment of a fine of Rs. 50. The social disputes of the Berads of the Bijapur districts are settled by their GURUS, of whom there are several. An appeal lies from the decision of a GURU to the head GURU who lives at Hardi, a hill village in Hungund Taluka.

In Akola - They say that the true Bedars belong to a caste called in Kanarese Bearadu; it is largely represented in Sholapur State, the Raja, of which belongs to it; it is on the same level as the Maratha Kunbi caste. Colonel Meadows Taylor was in charge of Sholapur during the minority of the Raja; he gives the Bedars a character for bravery and chivalry, if also for lawlessness. It is said that the ancestors of the present Maratha Bedars entered military service and presently joined the Pindhari bands; they were given their name because they were ' without fear.' Tipu Sultan converted some to Muhammadanism, and others consented to eat in small parties out of one dish in order to divert his suspicions. Under early English rule they were afraid to give a true account of themselves lest they should be punished for sharing in the Pindhari raids. Most Bedars worship Devi and Mahadeo, but some are followers of Kabir, who preached religious equality. Bedars drink strong liquors and eat the flesh of fowls, goats, and the wild pig. Telanga and Kanarese Bedars are given a low place among Hindus and are mostly engaged as daily labourers. Some Bedars, however, are engaged in trade and agriculture, while others form a considerable fraction of the police force of the District.

Boyars and Bedars are one and the same people : The Bedars are identical with the Boyars of the Madras Presidency. The following the list of criminal tribes in Madras Presidency :

  • Adi Dravidar - Chengalput district.
  • Ambalagars / Ambalakars - Trichinapalli district
  • Banjaras / Lambadas
  • Bhattu Turkas - Chittor district
  • Bewas (Peddas and Dongas ) - in Karnool, Belrarvi (Bellari ? ), Anantapur , Cuddapah and Chittor - They are also known as Bedars and Berads.
  • Budabukkalas, also Ghakalas and Pamulus - Guntur district.
  • Dasaris (Dongas and Gudas ) - all over presidency.
  • Dommars or Domars ( Reddis and Arasis)
  • Ghasis - Vishakhapattanam
  • Irulars (Erukalas ) - North and South Arcot; Trichinopoly, and Madras city
  • Jogis / Jogulas
  • Kaladis also parayars - Ramanad district
  • Kallars ( Paramalais, Kooterpals, and periya suriyurs) - Madura Noerth & South; Tanjore and Trichanapoly districts
  • Kanjars
  • Kepumaris - Mainly in Karnool, Coimbatore and South Arcot districts
  • Kintali Kalingas - 6 villages in Pondur P.S limits of Vishakhapattanam district.
  • Konda Doras - South Vizagapattanam district.
Boyar : A boyar, also spelled boya (meaning Hunter) is the name of a caste. A leader of a group or Head of Territory. Boya is called as Naidu. The Boyar community constitute the Non-orthodox Kshatriya or Warrior class of India. They are all believed to have originated from an ancient people called Kirata. Boyas or Bedars were none other than Vanaras of Kishkinta kingdom of Ramayana times in South India. These were the vanara warriors who were controlled by Sri Rama in the war against Demon Ravana of Srilanka to rescue Sita. Boya and Valmiki are the names in vogue. Boya consider themselves as descendents of 'Valmiki' a Sanskrit writer.The most famous Kiratas in Hinduism are the Kiratra avatar of Shiva, Lord Buddha and sage Valmiki, writer of the Ramayana.

Boya caste corresponds to Kiratas of Sanskrit writers, the Warriors, Hunters and Mountaineers. As the names indicate, they belonged to one of the hill tribes who subsisted by hunting and tending cattle. Gaikwads, Kurubas and Yadavas too originally belonged to this group. In Manu's Dharmashastra they are mentioned as Vratya (Non-Orthodox) Kshatriyas, which meant that they were considered to be advanced in civilization and warfare, but outside the ambit of Brahminical influence. It is speculated that the term is a Sanskritization of a Sino-Tibetan tribal name, like that of Kirant or Kiranti of eastern Nepal. Mythology gives an indication of their geographical position of Kirata kingdom near Nepal and Bhutan. In the Mahabharata, Bhima meets the Kiratas to the east of Videha, where his son Ghatotkacha is born; and in general the dwellers of the Himalayas, especially the eastern Himalayas, were called Kiratas. Ghatotkacha of Mahabharata fame (Son of Bhima) was a Kirata Chieftain.

The Boya warriors migrated from Indus valley after saraswathi river dried up and invaded several mountainous regions in south-eastern peninsula. The original population of Boyas was mixed with various linguistic groups. These Boya warriors served as military regiment and chiefs between 10th century to 15th century in Chalukya, Chola, Vijayanagar and Hoysala empires. In India Boyas were mainly found in South India as Hindu Telugu speaking community as non-orthodox Kshatriyas. Their population concentrated mainly in the Andhra-Orissa region and later in all southern states. Eastern Chalukyan empire's court was essentially a Republic of Badami, and the administrative subdivisions were known as 'Boya-Kottams'. Boya-kottams existed across southern states right from 5th century according to Kakatiya inscriptions. Boya-kottams held assignments of land or revenue in different villages. Chola-Chalukyas used titles 'Udayar' or 'Odeyar' for chieftains at certain periods of time which included Boya Chieftains.

King Pratapa Rudra's Kakatiya kingdom was ably served by seventy five chieftains called Nayaks. The Nayaks who belonged to various agrarian castes such as Boyar, Velama, Kamma, Reddy, Telaga, Balija, etc. were divided by mutual jealousy and rivalry but they are valiant cousins. Boyar Gudi at Aihole-Pattadakal (South East of the Village) was built in 14th Century for the Boyar community worship. Many more temples were constructed in Andhra-Orissa region by Boya Chieftains.

The Chitradurga Paleyagar family was of the Beda or Boya caste and belonged to one of the hill tribes family who subsisted by hunting. According to one tradition, it appears that three Boya families emigrated from Jadikal-durga, in the neighbourhood of Tirupati, and settled at Nirutadi near Bramhasagara about 1475. They are said to have belonged to the Kamageti family and Valmiki gotra. The son and the grand�son of one of these, named Hire Hanummappa Nayaka and Timmanna Nayaka respectively. There were many battles in the reign of this Nayaka between Chitradurga and Harapanahalli, Rayadurga and Bijapur in all of which the Nayaka had splendid success.

Boyas or Bedars were none other than Vanaras of Kishkinta kingdom of Ramayana in South India. They were the Vanara warriors who were controlled by Sri Rama in the war against Demon Ravana of Srilanka to rescue Sita. Boya and Valmiki are the names in vogue. Boya consider themselves as sons of sardars and descendents of Valmiki.

Boyars migrated from Indo-Iran around 5th century BCE to Indian sub-continent and later 9th century to Turkey and Romania. Having Dravidian roots came from indus valley invaded south region .Boyars are mainly found in South India as Hindu Telugu speaking community and non-orthodox kshatriyas. Boyars arrived to Andhra - Orissa region during Indo-Aryan migration around 5th century BCE.

Boyar warriors served as military regiment between 10th century to 15th century in Chalukya, Chola, Vijayanagar and Hoysala empires. The Musunuri Nayaks were Boyars and Kamma warrior chieftains in the Kakatiya army, who regained Andhra in 1326 from the Delhi Sultanate in the aftermath of the Kakatiya defeat. King Pratapa Rudra's Kakatiya kingdom was ably served by seventy five chieftains called Nayaks. The Nayaks who belonged to various agrarian castes such as Boyar, Velama, Kamma, Reddy, Telaga, Balija, etc. were divided by mutual jealousy and rivalry but they are valiant cousins.

Rayadurg and Kalyandurg are the two important forts which were ruled by Boya Palegars. The name Kalyandurg came from Kalyanappa, who was a Polygar in the 16th Century. Rayadurg was originally a stronghold of Boyar palegar who were very turbulent during the Vijayanagar rule. Kalyandurg was under the rule of Sri Krishnadevaraya and was a part of Vijayanagara Empire.

Boya Palaiyakkarar (Polygar) who was to administrate their Palaiyams (territories) from their Fortified centers. Their chief function was to collect taxes, maintain law and order, run the local judiciary, and maintain a battalion of troops for the Nayak.

Boya is considered as oldest caste and origin among many castes in India . Boyars are non-pure Kshatriyas they are called as ' Boya ' in Andhra Pradesh ' Boyar ' in Tamil nadu and in Karnataka as ' Bhovi '. Boya, Boyar, Boyi, Bhovi are the hereditary and clan title. Boyar caste consists many gotras. Boyas worship Tirupati Lord Venkat Ramana, Mariamman, Shiva, Subramanya, etc. A lost link between Boyars of India and Europe. There was a great migration in Indus valley in 5th BCE boyar warrior caste a Kshatriya community was split into many groups took different direction and invaded many regions. By and large there are more similarities in culture and origin . Temple inscription and Religious texts also denotes about boyar caste and origin. so we conclude that Boyars are distant cousins of East asia and Russia.

A lost link between Boyars of India and Europe. There was a great migration in Indus valley in 5th BCE boyar warrior caste a Kshatriya community was split into many groups took different direction and invaded many regions. By and large there are more similarities in culture and origin . Temple inscription and Religious texts also denotes about boyar caste and origin. so we conclude that Boyars are distant cousins of East asia and Russia.


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KAIKADIS (ERUKALAS)
The Kaikadis were the Erukals who established Telugu Kakatiya Kingdom and ruled most parts of Telugu country. These Telugu warrior rulers also inspired its two royal treasurers or generals - Hakkaraya & Bukkaraya at a later date to establish the Vijyanagar Empire of great fame that opposed the entry of Musim invaders into South India. Erikal Mutthuraju, who ruled parts of Rayalaseema could be from this Kaikadi / Kakatiya Erukala tribe.

Kaikadi => Kaikari => Kaikati => Kakati => Kakatiya

The chief criminal tribes are the Kaikadis, Mhars, Mangs, Berads, Pardhis, Garudis, Kolhatis, Bhamtas, and Vadars, all of whom come from the South Deccan or Madras. They are basket-makers, cattle-dealers, day-labourers, and sometimes beggars. The Kaikadis and Kolhatis are well known gang robbers, the Bhamtas are noted pickpockets, and the Vadars are generally given to housebreaking. The resident tribes such as Mhars and Mangs are subjected to strict police supervision by their presence being required at a daily muster in each village and their not being allowed to leave it without a pass from the police patil. The other wandering tribes are watched in their movements while passing through the territory.

The Kunchi- walas (30 males, 31 females) are another branch of the Kaikadis, who live in jungles. Banjaras, Wadders, Pardhi, and Kaikadas are the only ex-criminal tribes found in the district. They are scattered all over the district and are found in every tahsil. Waddars and Kaikdis seems to be one and the same as there is one sect known as Vadar Kaikadis. These people seem to be closely related to Vaddera community of Andhra Pradesh.

Vadar Kaikadi => Vadar
Vadar => Vaddar => Vaddara => Vaddera

Ramoshi, Vadar Kaikadi and Berad are the so-called criminal tribal communities. The most common criminal castes of the Amravati District of Maharastra are the Pardhis, Kaikaris, Bhamtas, Mang Garodis and Takaris; though Banjaras, Ramosis and many other wanderers of doubtful reputation are also met with. These classes at least have a bad reputation, but in many cases their propensity to crime has decreased, if not vanished, and they have settled down to respectable callings.

Vedar => Vetar => Vetan
Vedar => Bedar => Berad

Bhakta Kannappa of Srikalahasti in Andhra Pradesh today belong to Vetar subsect under Tamil Muthuraja community. They were most probably the Telugu Mudiraj people who invaded Tamil country in the name of Kalaveerans ( Kalabeerans = Kalabhras ). The Bedars or Berads of Maharastra and Vetars of Tamilnadu are one and the same people. These people of Kannappa Kula ( Vetar ) migrated to Maharastra via Karnataka. The Kaikadis are either Vetars or a variant of Vetars of Tamilnadu. This could be one of the reason why their language is made of a mixure of Telugu - Tamil words. The Kaikadis in their origin were Gaikwadis and dravidians from Gujarat.


Yerukalas has a dialect of their own which is called 'Yerukula basha' or 'Kurru basha' or 'Kula vaatha'. It is derived from Dravidian languages, mostly Telugu, Tamil and Kannada. They use both the Yerukala dialect and Telugu. The Yerukala language has no written script and is still in existence in oral tradition. According to the 1991 census, there are 63,133 Yerukala language speakers. According to the 2001 census, there are 69,533 Yerukala language speakers. The language of Kaikadis is known as Kaikadi, a mixure of Telugu and Tamil. It contains some words from Marathi also. Tamil is a member of the Tamil language family, which includes the Irula, Kaikadi, Betta Kurumba, Sholaga, and Yerukula languages. This group is a subgroup of the Tamil-Malayalam languages, which falls under a subgroup of the Tamil-Kodagu languages, which in turn is a subgroup of the Tamil-Kannada languages. The Tamil-Kannada languages belong to the southern branch of the Dravidian language family.It is a dravidian language. Alternative names: Kokadi, Kaikai, Kaikadia.

Yerukala is a community found largely in the Southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Yerukalas are indigenous people of South India. They call themselves 'Kurru'. They are called as 'Yerukula' after their women's traditional profession of fortune telling (eruka cheputa). People of this community are called with different names in different parts of South India. They are called as Kuruvan or Kuruvar in Tamilnadu, Korama or Koracha in Karnataka, Kaikadi in Maharashtra, Siddanar in Kerala and Kattu Naicker in Pondicherry. It is said that Veera Pandya Katta Bomman belonged to Kattu Naicker branch. His parents were migrants from Andhra to Tamilnadu and adapted by a Pandyan king to rule his kingdom. He belonged to Muthuraja community. In essence, all these communities form a great big community from south india. The gothras among all these communities is the same, i.e Kavadi, Sathupadi, Maanupadi and Mendraguthi. The earliest reference of Yerukalas can be found in the Mahabharata, the great Indian epic. Yekalavya, the great archer from Mahabharata times, belongs to Yerukala community.Many historians have stated that they found references on some pillars stating that the Kakatiyas were originated from the nomadic tribe called Erukala.

Prior to the British colonial rule, all these communities were part of that great big community since there were no real boundaries in India at that time. People from these communities used to roam around freely for their trading purposes. The splitting of this great community into numerous small communities is attributed to the Indian Caste System and the subsequenct maximum utlization of Indian Caste System evils by the British Divide and Rule Policy. The Indian Independence and the subsequent formation of states based on languages like Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam has split this community permanently. The languages - Erukala and Kaikadi are close to Tamil, Badaga is close to. Kannada and, Savara is a Dravidian language closely related to Telugu. The people from this community in each state got their own identity and lost the relations with their brethren in other states.

The de-notified tribes (DNTs) across the country � charas and daffers in gujarat, parghis and kaikadis in maharastra and sabars in west bengal � have been fighting to erase this social stigma. Kaikadis are nomadic tribes, who reside in the states of Maharashtra and arnataka. They speak a language known as Kaikadi, which is a member of the Dravidian language family. Agriculture is the main occupation of this tribe, with about seventy percent of the population involved in it. They also engage in the raising of livestock, particularly horned cattle, buffalo, horses and mules. They practice some type of ethnic religion. Usually, they worship Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu and Shakti. Many of the tribe members are also involved in ancestor worship. They are commonly categorized as Tamil.

The chief criminal tribes of Central proviences are the Kaikadis, Mangs, Pardhis, Garudis, Kolhatis, Bhamtas, and Vadars, , all of whom come from the south Deccan and Madras. They are basketmakers, cattle-dealers, day labourers, and sometimes beggars. The Kaikadis and Kolhatis are well known gang robbers, the Bhamtas are noted pick-pockets, and the Vadars are generally given to housebreaking. Budaks, expert housebreakers from northern India, have lately appeared in Khandesh. In some places Bhamtas are also known as Kaikadis and this means that the Kaikadis are related to Pardhis and Takaris (Bhamtas. Kaikadis are either a branch of Gaikwads or a variants of Gaikwads.

Gai = Cow
Kaaval => Kaval = protecter or Handler
Gai + kaaval => Gaikaval = Cow Protector or Animal Handler
Gaikwal => Gaikwad => Gaikwadi
Gaikwadi => Gaikadi => Kaikadi
Kaikadi => Kaikari => Kaikati = Kakati => Kakatiya

It is probable that the kaikadis of Central Proviences are identical with Koravas, who have migrated thither. Kut Kaikadi or Pathur Korwah earn their livelyhood by purchasing girls and prostituting them. They live in towns and are reoported to kidnap and sell children. Kothi kaikadis are monkey showers. In Telugu Kothi means monkey. Kaikadis are divided into two exogamous groups - (i) Jadhav ( Jadon ) and (ii) Gaikwad ( Gaikwar ) who must marry with each other. Some people think that these names are borrowed from the Maratha Kumbis to suite the community among who the Kaikadi dwelt. But the fact is that the name Kaikadi was the result of gradual modification of the name Gaikwadi as explained above.

Kothi = Monkey

The Kaikadi are also referred to as Gadhwe Sonar as some of them rear donkeys for carrying gravel bricks, and pigs for scavenging. The Kaikadi, are once vagrant people, now live a settled life and distributed in Vidarbha region of Maharastra. Some of them still move from one place to another. Enthoven believes that the Kaikadis were migrants from Telangana. The fact is that the Kaikadis were the the Kakatiyas of Warangal who established one of the greatest Telugu kingdoms, which united and ruled most part of the Telugu speaking lands in South India. Pratapa Rudra Deva and Rani Rudrama Devi were very prominent rulers of Kakatiya dynasty.

Marriage with the clans is prohibited. A kaikadi can not marry his mother's sister's daughter but he can marry his father's sister's daughter. A kaikadi many not marry his wife's elder sister while his wife is alive or dead but he can marry his wife's younger sister. A Kaikadi many not go very far seeking a bridegroom. The Kaikadi family is headed by the seniormost male member. The Kaikadi women enjoy equal previllages with men.

The Kaikadis are divided into twelve tribes, of which, the following four are addicted to dacoity, highway robbery and burglary : 1 Gadjpati or forest Kaikddi ; 2 Parbathgiri or hill Kaikadi ; 3 Konkani ; and 4 Dakhanl The last is the most daring of all, but every gang of dacoits is composed moro or less, of members from all these tribes. Kaikadi dacoits live in temporary huts during the rainy season, and commence operations after Dassara and Dcvali, breaking up in small parties of from four to fifteen, but keeping within a few miles of each other, and acting under the orders of a headman or nailc. Information of property, &c., is given by their wives and children, who enter houses to repair chakia or grindstones. The Kaikadis are the great robbers of the south, just as the Bowris are of the north of India ; and follow dacoity, &c., as a profession. They are very expert at stealing fowls.

The criminalization of certain tribes, for example, provided a means of controlling turbulent populations in the more inaccessible or 'lawless' parts of the subcontinent. According to these laws (most infamously the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871) , tribes such as the Maghyar Doms in Bihar, the Kunjurs or Khangars in Bundelkund and the Ramosi, Mang, Kaikari or Bowrie tribes in the Narmada valley were described as habitually criminal, and adult male members of such groups forced to report weekly to the local police.

Kaikadis or Yerukalas have been nomadic communities since the times unknown. They have been the target of the fears and suspicions of sedentary communities. The Yerukulas of Madras presidency were thus 'criminalized' in the early 20th century by the British Rulers. The Yerukulas were branded as criminals by birth under the "Criminal Tribes Act 1871", enacted by the British Rulers. Yerukalas were chiefly traders in grain and salt, operating between the coastal areas of the Madras presidency and the interior districts. It is the same case with other derived communities of these simple people.

Today, most of the Yerukalas are settled in the villages/towns and trying to make their way out of the poverty and the sub-human standard of living by getting education to obtain financial freedom which has been denied to them since ages. They are using reservations and other benefits from the government to a greater extent to obtain the freedom they used to have long time age. Even though they live in a free democratic country like India, they are still living under harsh social conditions because of the Indian caste system and face social discriminations time and again. Due to the wandering traditions over hundreds of years without any ostensible means of livelihood under the influence of the caste system, they are forced to live under sub human conditions. In spite of the repeal of the act in 1952, they are still treated as Criminals by birth and subjected to harassment and persecution at the hands of the police and the state machinery.

The traditional occupations of Yerukalas include basket-making, mat weaving, pig rearing, rope-making etc. The Yerukala women were specialized in sooth saying and fortune telling which they no longer practice. Some of them also participate in the economic activities like basket making, mat weaving etc, and make baskets with wild date leaves.

Kaikadis are found in towns and large villages. They are divided into Jadhavs and Manes, who eat together but do not intermarry. They speak Marathi with a mixture of other words. They were "hereditary thieves" and "robbers" but have now taken to other pursuits. They allow widow marriage, the widow during the ceremony being seated on a bullock's saddle. A caste-council or panch settles social disputes. Kaikadis Support themselves by basket making and stone cutting and as a class are orderly. The Kaikadis, once a wandering tribe, are now settled in villages. They have a number of endogamous divisions like the Kamathis (basket-makers), Makadvalas (wandering and exhibiting monkey's games), Kaijis (flute players) and others.

The Kaikadis are a small tribal group located mainly in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Their language (also called Kaikadi) is a member of the Dravidian language family. Kaikaris or kaikadis number 734, scattered all over the District Akola; some of them support themselves by taking contracts for road repair and for work on public buildings, but many are habitual thieves and the police find it hard to decide who are honest.

In Maharashtra, the 'Phanse Pardhis' are in- cluded in the STs but their counterparts, the Haran Shikaris or Gaon Pardhis are categorised under the VJNTs (Vimukta Jatis and Nomadic Tribes, as they are called in Maharashtra). Similarly, the Kaikadis in the Vidarbha region are grouped under the SCs but those from the rest of the state are under the VJNTs. The same Kaikadis are categorised as STs in Andhra Pradesh.

The scheduled tribes of the district Vanjaris, Bhils, Vadars and Kaikadis are met with mainly in Ambejogai, Kaij and Manjleganv tahsils. The Kaikadis, once a wandering tribe, are now settled in villages. They have a number of endogamous divisions like the Kamathis (basket-makers), Makadvalas (wandering and exhibiting monkey's games), Kaijis (flute players) and others. Besides, there are a number of groups among whom marriages are forbidden.

The Kaikadis follow the Hindu Law of Inheritance and profess Hindu religion. Among the Kaikadis,the consent of the first wife must have been obtained to the taking of a second. They worship Hindu gods, chief among them being Bhavani, Bahiroba, Tukai, Yamai, etc., and observe all of the leading Hindu holidays. They believe in witchcraft and soothsaying. They go on pilgrimage to Hindu sacred places in the State and take vows or offer animal sacrifices. They revere Hindu as well as Muslim saints. The Kaikadis either burn or bury their dead. An image or tak of the deceased is made and installed amongst the household gods. The basket weaving community of the kaikadis (Maharashta) did not use the palmyra palm as a raw material because it violated the jatidharma or the social duty enjoyed by the group.


Autobiographical narratives or essays constitute a significant segment of Dalit literature. They are "selfstories" ('Athmakatha') or "self-reporting" ('Athmavritta') Some notable writers in this group are: Daya Pawar, Laxman Mane, Shankarrao Kharat, Madhav Kondvilkar P.E. Sonkamble Laxman Gaikwad, Malika Amarshekh and Sharankumar Limbale. "Upra" (outsider) is an autobiographical story by Laxman Mane. Published in 1980, this book brought into sharp focus the day-to-day struggle of the Kaikadis (a nomadic tribe) Maharashtra's villages. Laxman Mane embraced Buddhism and he has initiated many people of various tribes like pardhis, kaikadis and Masanjogis into Buddhism.

A community of 150 households, characterized by social stratification and consisting mainly of castes such as Kaikadis' (a tribe from Marathwada- central and western Maharashtra) and Sahus' (from Madhya Pradesh), mainly laborers or daily wagers, secured plots near Somlawada, Nagpur through a builder (year 2001). The resettled community (year 2001) was devoid of any infrastructure facility, being in the peri-urban area of the city where the city corporation has not yet laid an underground drainage network.

Kaikadis or Kaikaris are also called Bargandis and it is known as a direputable wandering tribe, whose ostensible profession is to make bamboo baskets. They are found in Nimar, Maratha districts and Central Proviences. The Kaikaris here, as elsewhere, claim to have come from Telingana ( Telangana ) or Deccan, but there is no caste of this name in the Madras presidency. But the fact seems to be that these were the people who established the Kakatiya Dynasty and the people of this tribe are mostly known as Erukalas in Madras Presidency. They may not improbably be the caste there known as Korava or Yerukala, whose occupations are similar. Mr. Kitts has stated that the Kaikaris are known as Koravars in Arcot and Koravas in Carnatic. The Kaikaris speak a gypsy language, which according to specimen given by Hislop contains Tamil and Telug words. They could be originally a Telugu caste spread from Central proviences to Andhra and later moved to Tamil country in the name of Kalabhras. They were ferocious and dead against Brahminism.

One derivation of Kaikari is from Tamil, Kai, hand and kude, basket, and if this is correct it is in favour of their identitification with the Korvas, who always carry their tattooing and other implements in a basket in hand. The Kaikaris of the Central Proviences says that their original ancestor was one Kanoba Ramjan ( Kaanoba Ramjaan ) who handed over a twig to his sons and told them to earn their livelihood by it. Since then they have subsisted by making baskets from the stalks of the cotton plant, the leaves date-palm, and grass.

Kaikadis, Pardhis, Ambalagars and other related tribes Mudiraja are ancient hunters :
The various warrior tribes of Mudiraja are ancient hunters and hence they are known as Ancient Kings of India. Mudir means Great and also Ancient.

Mudi = Great
Mudi = Ancient
Mudirajas = Great Kings = Ancient Kings

Rs 12 crore earmarked from relocating 5,000 families belonging to notified hunting tribes, such as Behelias, Amabalgars, Badaks, Mongias, Bavariyas, Pardhi, Boyas, Kaikads, Nirshikaris, Picharis, Valayaras, Yenadis. These warrior communities of Mudiraja are considered as a great threat to tiger preservation in India. It could be true that they are having hidden genetic codes in their blood that drive them for hunting expeditions and it is not really the money which they get in return. They are mostly paid very small amounts. But hunting could perhaps greatly satisfy their inner unkworn hidden uges.

The Centre-sponsored Project Tiger Scheme has sent out a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to states as part of a new Five Year Plan that has allocated Rs 600 crore for the cause of the tiger. In keeping with the new-found urgency to preserve the dwindling numbers of tigers, the MoU has asked for all progress to be monitored through photo catalogues and videographing.

More than 70 per cent of the budgetary allocations have been done for facilitating rehabilitation of tribals and people living in the critical or core tiger habitats. Out of Rs 600 crore, Rs 345 crore has been allocated for deciding inviolate spaces for wildlife and relocation of villagers from reserves within a timeframe, which includes a revised pay package of Rs 10 lakh per family for relocation.

Kaikade Maharaj
Rastra Sant Tukdojii often used to visit Ashram of Khapti Maharaj.It is said, that Khapti Maharaj had cured his back ache problem. Both of them have attended meetings in Nagpur and other places. Kaikade Maharaj of Pandharpur met Khapti Maharaj in his ashram. Gadhge Maharaj's chief disciple was Kaikadi Maharaj.

what is the proof that Kalidas was at the Ramgiri near Ramtek and not at some other place bearing an identical name? This query can be answered with the help of the folklore of the area. Many a time, folk songs or folk tales give authentic clues to history enabling us to reconstruct the past. In the Nagpur-Ramtek region, the songs of a nomadic tribe called Kaikadi help us solve some ticklish questions regarding Kalidas's presence in the area. In one of the songs, the tribals sing of a man called Kali: "It is Rama's Ramtek where Kali talked to the clouds in such an overwhelming tone that even the hills started shedding tears." The reference here is to the rain. Further the song goes thus: "On Rama's Ramtek, Kali made ink of his tears, used eyes as the bottle for ink and wrote the tale of his agony for which the hills stand a witness."

Kali <=> Kalidas

The Indian Gypsies have several names, such as Banjara or Vanjara, Khanabadosh, Lok, Ghumantu, Tanda, etc. There are nomads who are traders. We can divide them into groups and sub-groups. In Maharastra alone there are 45-47 Gypsy groups. In Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh etc. the names of groups are of semi-settled places or of Tandas (camps). In India some of these groups are : Bevad (Naikwadi, Talwar, Valmiki), Bestar (Sanchalu, Vadar), Bhamta (Bhamati, Girni, Kamati, Pathroot, Takari, Unchale), Kaikadi (Ghontale, Korawa, Makawale, Kiva, Kicho, Korwa, Paylot Korwi), Kanjar Bhat (Chhar, Kanjar, Bhat) Katambu, Banjara, (Gor Banjara, Lanibadi, Lambata, Lambhani, Charan Banjara, Laman Banjara, Laman Labhani, Laban, Dhadi, Dhadhia, Singari, Navi, Banjara, Jogi Banjra, Banjari), Vagalle (Pal, Pardhi), Raj Pardhi, (Bav Pardhi, Hiran Shikari), Rajput (Parsushi Bhamata), Bhamata, Ramoshi, Vadar (Godi Vadar, Jati Vadar, Mati Vadar, Patharvat), Vaghari (Salat, Salat Vaghati) Chappar Band thus so many Vimukta Jati or Janjatis are found.

CENTRAL LIST OF OTHER BACKWARD CLASSES - Name of the Castes/Sub-castes/Synonyms/ Communities of Karnataka - slno 101 - Korwar,Korwari, Kaikadi, Koragar, Yerkala, Erakala, Kunchi, Korva, Koramasetty, Yerukala.

Maharashtra - List of Castes & Tribes -Denotified Tribes (DTs) @ Vimukta Jati (VJ) - Total 14 main Tribes :(Reservation - 3 %) - 1.Berad 2. Bestar, 3. Bhatma, 4. Kaikadi, 5. Kankarbhat, 6. Katabu, 7. Lamani, 8. Phase-Pardhi, 9. Raj-Pardhi, 10. Rajput-Bhatma, 11. Ramoshi, 12. Vadar, 13. Waghari and 14. Chhapparbandh

Webmaster
Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 19/05/2008
Nagpur, Maharastra, India


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BOWRIES
Bowdi or Bowri or Bowrie means community water reservoirs. The people who dig these reservoirs or wells seems to be known as Bowries. The Bauris, a semi-aboriginal tribe, were the earliest miners . .. and are still noted for their skill and hard work.

Bawdis or bavdis or bavris are traditionally constructed for storing water received from rainfall in the arid region of Rajasthan. bawadis are the traditional rainwater harvesting structures in Gujarat like johads, ponds and wells are in western UP.

It appears that some of the people belonging to this tribe use BOWRI as their surname. Kaikaree is also referred as Bowrie in Rajastan. The bowrie name is given by Rajputs who remained Marwar. Bowrie seems to be the name given to kaikarees because of their close relation with bhils. It could also possible that the bhils who dig bowries (water wells) came to be known as bowries. Bowrie is synonumous to a dacoit. Bowries were all basically related to Rajaputs at some point of time or the other. Those who came into power called themselves as Rajputs and others used to be known as bowries. The water wells dug by the bowrie people are also known as bowries. In Telugu, these bowries are known as bhavis. The water is fetched by going down the walkable steps. The water in bowries is always cool. Bhils and kolis are known as experts in water management.

Kaikadi => Kaikari = Kaikaree
Kaikari = Bowri
Bhil = bhoya = Bhoyi = Bhovi = bovi
Bovi => Bowi => Bowri => Bowrie

The criminalization of certain tribes, for example, provided a means of controlling turbulent populations in the more inaccessible or 'lawless' parts of the subcontinent. According to these laws (most infamously the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871) , tribes such as the Maghyar Doms in Bihar, the Kunjurs or Khangars in Bundelkund and the Ramosi, Mang, Kaikari or Bowrie tribes in the Narmada valley were described as habitually criminal, and adult male members of such groups forced to report weekly to the local police.

The national social folk dance of Rajasthan is the Ghoomar, danced by women in long full skirts and colorful chuneries . Especially spectacular are the Kacchi Ghori dancers of this region. Equipped with shields and long swords, the upper part of their bodies clothed in the traditional attire of a bridegroom and the lower part concealed by a brilliant-colored papier-m�ch� horse built up on a bamboo frame, they enact jousting contests at marriages and festivals. The Bawaris (Bowris), by tradition a criminal tribe that lives on the fringe of. society, are generally expert in this form of folk dance.

The word "Bav" is derived from Gujarati word "Baw or Bav" which means steps or staircase such as those found inside a deep well. Bavris were in the habit of storing the foods in such wells found on the roadside.

The Bavri were notified as a criminal tribe since early times and some of the erstwhile princely states in Saurashtra eg., Rajkot had issued notifications in 1917 about their criminal activities. They hail from Marwar. They claim that they were the Rajputs of Marwar and Mewar regions, but after the fall of Rajput kingdoms some of them took to a nomadic way of life and to criminal activities. They are also known as Babri or Baori also. They speak Gujarati with their neighbours but within the kin group, they speak in Marwariliberally mixed with Gujarathi. They use Gujarati script.

They are non-vegetarians. They egg, fish, mutton, and chicken Their staple foods are rice, wheat, jowar, maize along with various kinds of pulses and vegetables. They are fond of liquor which they purchase from market. They eat fruits very occassionally and as a special food they prepare sera ( wheat flour, gaggery, ginger, etc, boiled in water or milk ) to serve the expectant and latting mothers.

The bavri are an endogamous group having three occupational categories : Kapadia - those who sell garments, Magania - those who live begging and Chatania - those who live on begging and collecting or eating waste food. The community has exogamous clans, some of which are - Chauhan, Parmar, Dave, Solanki, Suryavanshi , Raghuvanshi, Chandravanshi, Bardihar, Rawat, etc. Their own perception is that they are Kshatriyas but other communities rank them as Sudra.

Spiegel says, "Bawri is doubtless Babylon. Bawri is a language of the Pardhi community. Pardhis belong to the great predatory bawari tribe of Gujerath, scattered under different appalations all over India. Known as a nomadic, predatory tribe, the Bawari still to this day make signs on houses, gates, or alongside the road that can only be read by their own tribe informing them of conditions in the area. Many of these same signs were used by the European Gypsies up to the 1950s.

Bawariya was a hunting and criminal tribe practically found only in Muzaffarnagar, and Mirzapur. The Bawariyas in North Western proviences seem to fall into two branches - those residant of upper Duab, who still retain some of their original customs and manners and those to the east, who assert a more respectable origin, and have abandoned their original predatory life. The Bawariyas of Sirsa are divided into four sections.

They attacked the fortress of Chithor and besieged it for twelve years for the sake of princessPadmini, the country became desolate and they were obliged to emigrate in search of employment and disperse. Those that came into the Delhi territory were called Bauris; those that went into Gwalior territory were called Mugins and Baguras. To the Eastward they were called Baddhiks, and in Malwa Haburas. They are not the people of yesterday; they are of ancient and illustrious descent. When Ravana took away the wife of the God Rama, and Rama wanted to recover her, men of all castes went to fight for him in the holy cause. Among the rest was a leader of Bauris called Pardhi.

It is claimed that the tribe known as Bathuris or Bauris have always been crypto-Buddhists and have preserved their ancient customs. The Bauris of Western Bengal appoint as their priests men of their own caste. The Bauris are a dominant Scheduled Caste of West Bengal.

The Bagdis and Bauris also worship Dharmaraj whose shrines are scattered all over Bengal. A low caste priest, even a Dom or a Bagdi usually worships Dharmaraj and as a rule a shapeless stone painted with vermilion and placed under a tree represents Dharmaraj. Dharmaraj is also worshipped very often in the form of a tortoise. It has been mentioned elsewhere that temples containing the emblem of tortoise are not uncommon. What is important is that pigs, fowls and ducks are sacrificed for Dharmaraj and offerings are made of rice, flowers, milk and even the home brewn intoxicant pachwai.

The nomad Bauris or Bawariyas, who caused coins to be counterfeited and committed robberies kept with them a small quantity of wheat and sandal seeds in a tin or brass case, which they called the Devakadana or god's grain, and a tuft of peacock's feathers.

There is an ancient fortess of Bowrie in Rajputana or Rajaputana. Bowris of Koraput district in Orissa do all miscellaneous jobs such as coolies, porters, rickshaw-pullers errand jobs, etc.

Bawariyas and Baheliyas who are actively involved in poaching of lions in Bhavnagar. There are about 15,000 Baheliyas and Bawariyas wanted in some forest crime or the other. The Baheliyas hail from Samalkha in Panipat district of Haryana and the Bawariyas are from Katni in Madhya Pradesh.

The Bawariyas are seemingly an aboriginal tribe and are dark in their skin complexion. Bawariyas have a special dialect, sometimes supposed to be a thieves.

Bavuris are a low class of Oriya basket-makers, living in Ganjam. They claim that palanquin (dhooly or duli) bearing is their traditional 6 occupation, and consequently call themselves Boyi. The Bavuris are apparently divided into endogamous sections, viz., Dulia and Khandi. The former regard themselves as superior to the latter, and prefer to be called Khodalo. Some of these have given up eating beef, call them selves Dasa Khodalos, and claim descent from one Balliga Doss, a famous Bavuri devotee, who is said to have worked wonders analogous to those of Nandan of the Paraiyan community. To this section the caste priests belong. The Bavuris gave the name of two gotras, saptha bhavunia and naga, which are said to be exogamous.

Bauri is a cultivating, earth-working, and palanquin-bearing caste of Western Bengal, whose features and complexion stamp them as of non-Aryan descent. Some belong to persecuted 'criminal tribes' such as the Bawariyas of Sariska. who see tiger poaching as a mostly risk-free investment for life.

Bauris are found in the Madras Presidency are nomad gangs of Bauris or Bawariyas1, 2 who are described as "one of the worst criminal tribes of India. The sphere of their operations extends throughout the length and breadth of the country. They not only commit robberies, burglaries and thefts, but also practice the art of manufacturing and passing counterfeit coins. They keep with them a small quantity of wheat and sandal seeds in a small tin or brass case, which they call Devakadana or God's grain, and a tuft of peacock's feathers, all in a bundle. They are very superstitious, and do not embark on any enterprise without first ascertaining by omens whether it will be attended with success or not. This they do by taking at random a small quantity of grains out of their Devakadana and counting the number of grains, the omen being considered good or bad according to whether the number of seeds is odd or even.

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Kokolu Anka Rao
Date : 21/05/2008
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Prem Loganathan, Researcher of Indian History and Kings, logu_logu2002@yahoo.com