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History of Kodagu

Kodagu was a kingdom ruled by the Hoysalas from the 11th to the 14th century A.D. and thereafter by the Vijayanagar kings and the Chengalvas. The Wodeyars of Kodagu ruled from the 17th to the 19th century. The British annexed Kodagu in 1834 after dethroning Chikkaveerarajendra Wodeyar. It was administered by Chief Commissioners till Independence and then in 1952, as a category ‘C’ state, had a representative in the Rajya Sabha. Upon the reorganisation of states in 1956, Kodagu became a district of Karnataka State.

10 Kutumba – 18 Gotra

Arebhashe Gowdas is a major ethnic group in Kodagu and parts of Dakshina Kannada district and has a significant population in Mysore, Mangalore and Bangalore. Arebhashe Gowdas also called ‘Kodagu Gowdas’ and ‘Aregowda’. Sullia is the origin place of Arebhashe Gowdas which was part of Kodagu during Haleri dynasty rule. The group consists of hundreds of families locally called ‘Mane’. Each family has the separate name and each family has the main/ancestral home called ‘Doddamane’ where family members gather during traditional and ritual occasions.

The population of the community is around 4,00,000 in Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu. They are passionate about hunting, playing and revelry, and celebrate festivals like Huthari, Kaveri Sankramana, Kailmuhurta and other local festivals.

Arebhashe Gowdas are predominantly landowners and planters, and they grow coffee, pepper and ginger as their cash crop, apart from cash crop vegetables and other spices which are grown for their own consumptions and even for sale. Agriculture is not only the income source of the ethnic group but they have private business and jobs in government and private sectors with many notable people in various sectors.