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Coorg

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Kodagu is an administrative district in Karnataka, India. Before 1956 it was an administratively separate Coorg State, at which point it was merged into an enlarged Mysore State. It occupies an area of 4,102 square kilometres (1,584 sq mi) in the Western Ghats of southwestern Karnataka. In 2001 its population was 548,561, 13.74% of which resided in the district's urban centres, making it the least populous of the 30 districts in Karnataka.

The district is bordered by Dakshina Kannada district to the northwest, Kasargod district of Kerala to the west, Hassan district to the north, Mysore district to the east, Kannur district of Kerala to the southwest, and the Wayanad district of Kerala to the south. Agriculture is the most important factor that upholds the economy of Kodagu and the main crops cultivated in this region are rice and coffee. Coorg is rich in natural resources which included timber and spices. Madikeri (English: Mercara) is the headquarters of Kodagu

Kodagu is known for its coffee and its people. The people include indigenous (Kodavas) and other ethnic groups (Arebashe Gowdas and Kodava subgroups). The chief languages presently spoken in Kodagu are Kodava, Are Bhashe, Tulu and Malayalam. Kodagu is home to the native speakers of the Kodava language.

History


The Kodavas were the earliest inhabitants and agriculturists in Kodagu, having lived there for centuries. Being a warrior community as well, they carried arms during times of war and had their own chieftains. The Haleri dynasty, an offshoot of the Keladi Nayakas, ruled Kodagu between 1600 and 1834. Later the British ruled Kodagu from 1834, after the Coorg War, until India's independence in 1947. A separate state (called Coorg State) until then, in 1956 Kodagu was merged with the Mysore State (now Karnataka)

Coorg in British India: In 1834, the East India Company annexed Kodagu into British India, after deposing Chikka Virarajendra of the Kodagu kingdom, as 'Coorg'. The people accepted British rule peacefully. British rule led to the establishment of educational institutions, introduction of scientific coffee cultivation, better administration and improvement of the economy.

Kodagu culture


The Kodavas are the earliest inhabitants of Kodagu. Kodava oral traditions are rich, some of the traditional folk songs have been compiled into the Pattole Palome . The Kodavas revere ancestors, arms and worship a number of deities, besides the River Kaveri, some of them being, Igguthappa, Bhagwathi, Muthappa, Mahadeva, Bhadrakali, Subramani and Ayyappa. Very similar to the Kodavas in religion, culture and language are the Kodava Peggade (Kodagu Heggade), the Amma Kodava, the Airi (artisans), the Meda (craftsmen and drummers) and the Kembatti (labourers).

The Kodava language speakers, other than the Kodavas, include the Kodava Heggade (cultivators of Malabari origin), the Amma Kodava (a mixed race), the Airi (smiths and carpenters), the Thatta (jewellers), some of the Male-Kudiya, the Kodagu Kembatti, the Maringi, the Kapala (of Siddi origin), the Meda (basket and mat weavers and drummers), the Kanya, the Banna, the Malaya (astrologers of Malayala origin), the Kodagu Golla (cowherds of Mysorean origin), the Kodagu Ganiga (oil-makers), the Kolla, the Kavadi, the Koleya, the Koyava and others.

Traditional costume: Kodavas wear the traditional Kodava costume. Men wear kupyas (knee-length half-sleeved coats) over a full-sleeved white shirt. The chale, a maroon and gold sash, is tied at the waist and an ornately carved silver dagger known as a peechekathi is tucked into it. The odikathi is yet another knife that is tucked into the chale at the back. A chain with a minuscule gun and a dagger hanging onto it gives the wearer a martial look. The saris worn by women are pleated at the back and the pallu fixed with a brooch is also wrapped in a unique way. They wear either a full-sleeved or three-quarter-sleeved blouse and cover their heads with a scarf. A traditional gold beaded necklace (jomalae) and a gem pendant (kokkethathi) is worn by Kodavas.


state Karnataka
District Kodagu
Country India
Elevation 900 m (3,000 ft)
Area 4,102 km2 (1,584 sq mi)
Languages Kannada, English
Currency Ruppee