Badaga people migrated from the area of old Mysore state more than three centuries ago. They speak a language which is very similar to the Old Kannada language. They also claimed their ancestry to a village named Badaganahalli, near Mysore. Six distinct groups were identified in Badagas, which are Udaya or Wodeyar,Thoreya, Adhikari, Haruva, Badaga and Kanaka. In the 1930s, H. B. Ari Gowder founded the Nilgiris Cooperative Marketing Society (NCMS), to help achieve better prices for Badagas farm products. The NCMS was in response to chicanery by lowland middlemen who would reduce prices by playing off one farmer against another.Hari Gowder was the first Badagas to be elected to the Madras Legislative Council.
"Thundu" (a white piece of cloth) forms integral part of attire of Badaga women and the same is presented to dignitaries visiting the villages, as a gesture of good will . Badugas wil marry within their community and also they follow different tradition function during marriage session. They celebrate karthigai deepam and their important festive is hathai habba. 
Former Loksabha MP, Akkamma Devi was the first Badaga woman to graduate from college and represented the Nilgiri Loksabha constituency from 1962 to 1967. Belli Lakshmi Ramakrishnan M.A., was the first Badaga woman post graduate in social work, and went on to first woman gazetted officer to serve in the Tamil Nadu State Government Department of Health and Family Welfare. http://www.prajnyaarchives.org/.
Badagas was in list once, but unfortunately they are removed from the list. There is a long standing demand to include Badagas , which is yet to be considered by the Central Government.
Badagas worship several Hindu deities, including Shiva. But their main deity is "Hethai" and they celebrate "Hethai Habba" in a grand fashion which spreads over a month during December-January every year, and the festival is celebrated all over the district.
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|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Badagas.|
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