Arebhashe Gowdas or Kodagu Gowdas (Coorg Gowdas) and Tulu Gowdas are the major ethnic group in the Kodagu and some parts of Dakshina Kannada. More than half of the population in Madikeri taluk consists of Gowdas. They also occupy Virajpet and Somwarpet taluks of Kodagu and Sullia, Puttur, Subramanya taluks of Dakshina Kannada.

Gowdas are very proud of their culture & rich traditions. Coorg Gowdas or Tulu Gowdas were the pioneers in one of the earliest freedom movement against British called “Amara Sulliada Swantantrya Sangraama” (formally known as the “Amara Sulya Dhange” by the British), which started in 1837. Guddemane Appaiah Gowda along with many other freedom fighters revolted against British in an armed struggle which covered entire Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada. The freedom warriors were successful in their revolt against British and hoisted their flag in Bavuta Gudde in Mangalore.