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Bunt (pron.: //, previously spelled Bant) are a community of erstwhile nobility, feudatory and gentry from the region of Tulu Nadu in the south west of India which comprises the districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada in the Indian state of Karnataka and Kasaragod taluk of Kerala. The Bunts claim Kshatriya descent from the Nagavanshi lineage and are classified as Forward caste[page needed][page needed] by both the national and state governments of India.
According to S. D. L. Alagodi, the Bunts "... originally belonged to the warrior class. Being the martial race of Tulu Nadu, they served the ruling chiefs which brought them considerable benefits and allowed them to become the landed gentry of the region,"
Some notable Bunt clans who were sovereign of these states are the Honneyakambalis of Hosangadi, Samantha Rajas of Mulki, Bhair Arasas of Karkala, Arasas of Kumbla, Ajilas of Venur, Tolaharas of Suralu near Udupi, Heggades of Vitla, Chowtas of Ullal/Moodabidri, and the Bangas of Bangadi. The feudal life and society of Bunts began to disintegrate in the succeeding colonial British Raj period and the Bunts today are a largely urbanized community.
Traditionally the Bunt community was divided into various sub divisions. The principal among these are:
- Masadika Bunt:The single largest subdivision of the community.an overwhelming majority of Bunts belong to this subdivision.the Masadika Bunts natively speak the Tulu language and follow the aliya santana system of matrilineal inheritance. They inhabit or originally hail from the region between Kasaragod town in Kerala and Brahmavar in Udupi district, Karnataka
- Nad Bunt : The Nad Bunt also known as the Nādava are the second largest subdivision among the Bunts and form a sizeable minority within the Bunt community.The Nad Bunt natively speak Kundagannada, a dialect of the Kannada language, and follow the aliya santana system of matrilineal inheritance. They inhabit or originally hail from Kundapura taluka in Udupi district, Karnataka (north of Brahmavar)
- Parivara Bunt : The Parivara Bunt are a minuscule minority within the Bunt community and number around few thousands.The Parivara Bunt natively speak the Tulu language but unlike other subdivisions they follow the makkala santana system of patrilineal inheritance. Scattered populations of the Parivara Bunt are mostly found in the taluka of Sullia in Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka, and also adjoining parts of Kodagu district, Karnataka and Kasaragod taluka of Kerala. Their customs and traditions are a mixture of Bunt customs and those of the shivalli brahmins.
- Jain Bunt: the Jain Bunts are traditionally defined as a distinctive subdivision of the Bunt community and sometimes classified as a separate community in itself because they are Jains by faith while the other subdivisions are Hindu. The subdivision arose when some Bunt feudals embraced Jain traditions during the rule of the Hoysala Empire who propagated Jainism. They number around few thousands and speak either the Tulu language or Kannada language. They follow the aliya santana system of matrilineal inheritance, except for a few families who have taken to priestly duties. Their customs are a blend of the Jain customs and those of the Hindu Bunts.
Until the 20th century the rules of intermarriage and interdining were in existence and strictly followed. The community as a whole practised endogamy but subdivisional exogamy was practised only by the Masadika and the Nad who freely intermarried with each other. The Parivara and Jains favoured endogamy and though interdined with other subdivisions but did not intermarry except for rare instances where a woman from the Parivara subdivision could enter into marriage with a man from other subdivisions and a man from the Jain subdivision could enter into matrimonial alliance with a woman from other subdivisions. Apart from the above mentioned principal subdivisions there are about 90 clans found among the Bunts[page needed][page needed]
These clans claim descent either from the Alupas or Perumal kings and were feudatories or rulers of small principalities that existed in Tulu Nadu until the period of British Raj.The Ballal Bunts until the 20th century as a rule neither interdined with other Bunts since they are strictly vegetarian and preferred endogamy. The heads of ballal families mandatorily undergo the Upanayanam ceremony and wear the sacred thread called Janivara or Janeyu. Wearing of the sacred thread and practising vegetarianism is not a compulsion for other Bunts,but apart from the Ballals. Heads of other Bunt families who were erstwhile royalty or have the privileges of “Pattam” (the highest Hereditary title of nobility in Tulu Nadu region) as also certain families called “Shetty Vala’’ and “Hegde’’ who are “Mukteshwar’’ or Muktesar (Administrative Trustees) of temples and solved civil or criminal disputes of areas they had jurisdiction in former times also wear the sacred thread.
Traditional houses 
Such traditional Bunt houses can still be seen across the Tulu Nadu region. One of the well preserved houses, Kodial Guthu, stands at the centre of Mangalore city. Other examples can be seen at Badila Guthu in Kannur, Dakshina Kannada "Ullipady Guthu" near Bantwal, Kolnadguthu near Mulki, Bettampady Guthu, Thokur Guthu, Paddana Guthu, BavaGuthu, Bellakonja Guthu, on the outskirts of Mangalore city, Balladi Guthu and Shirva Nadibettu near Udupi,Kodethuru Guthu near Kinnigoli as well as "Yedthre", "Kandavara" ,"Kolkebail" houses in Kundapura and "Santhya guthu" near Mangalore. Yelluruguthu is notably the largest house,representing six adjoining villages (Maganes) namely Kunjuru,Yelluru, Kolachuru, Ulluru, Majuru, Maniyuru etc. in the second largest village of Udupi Taluka, Yellur with the hereditary Mukteshwara of Yellur Vishweshwara temple.Prominent royal houses of the Bunts called Aramane are the Mulki Aramane, Kuthyar Aramane, Vitla Aramane, Kannajar Doddamane and the Maipady palace near Kasaragod,[dead link] among others.
There are many organisations that cater to the needs of the community. The oldest among them is the Bunts Mathr Sangha based in Mangalore. Since the 20th century when Bunts began to emigrate out of their native Tulu Nadu region various organisations were formed outside Tulu Nadu, such as the Bunts Sangha Mumbai established in 1927 in what was then known as Bombay. There are also organisations abroad, such as the Bunts Sangha of Kuwait and Bunts Sangha of the United Kingdom.
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Bunt community|
- Aji, Sowmya (16 January 2007). "Abhi could be ghar jamai!". The Times Of India.
- People of India: Maharashtra - Kumar Suresh Singh, B. V. Bhanu, Anthropological Survey of India - Google Books
- The origin of Saivism and its history in the Tamil land By K. R. Subramanian, K. R. Subramanian (M.A.) p.21
- India votes: Lok Sabha & Vidhan ... - Mahendra Singh Rana - Google Books
- 1968 Socio-Economic Survey, Govt. of Kerala
- Alagodi, S. D. L. (2006). "The Basel Mission in Mangalore: Historical and Social Context". In Wendt, Reinhard. An Indian to the Indians?: on the initial failure and the posthumous success of the missionary Ferdinand Kittel (1832–1903). Studien zur aussereuropäischen Christentumsgeschichte 9. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 143. ISBN 978-3-447-05161-3. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- Hegde, Krishna (1990). Feudatories of Coastal Karnataka. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. pp. 10 Coastal Karnataka was home to number of feudatory rulers. All of them being Bunts following matrilineal inheritance called Aliya Santana and favouring both the Hindu and Jain Faith.
- Udaya, B (2000). The Honneyakambali Rulers of Hosangadi. Hampi: Kannada University. pp. 131–145.
- Vasanta Madhava K.G (2000). The Savant Rulers of Mulky: An Analysis. Hampi: Kannada University. pp. 203–221.
- Bhat, Padekal Vishnu (2000). The Bhaira Rulers of Karkala. Hampi: Kannada University. pp. 38–66.
- Bhat, Uppangala Rama (2000). Kumble Dynasty. Hampi: Kannada University. pp. 96–130.
- Poojary, Tukaram (2000). The Ajilas of Venur. Hampi: Kannada University. pp. 222–237.
- Shetty, Jagadish B (2000). The Tolahas of Sural. Hampi: Kannada University. pp. 9–19.
- Bhat, Pundikai Ganapayya (2000). The Domba Heggade Chieftains of Vittal. Hampi: Kannada University. pp. 189–202.
- Prabhakar, Peter Wilson (2000). The Choutas of Puttige-Moodbidri. Hampi: Kannada University. pp. 146–188.
- Shenoy, Y. Umanath (2000). The Bangas of Bangadi. Hampi: Kannada University. pp. 67–95.
- Raghuram, M. "Bunts feel at home wherever they are". Daily News and Analysis.
- P.Gururaj BhatAntiquities of South Kanara (1969), Prabhakara Press., 1969
- P.Gururaj Bhat Studies in Tuluva history and culture: From the pre-historic times upto [sic] the modern (1975)
- Thurston, Edgar (1909). Castes and Tribes of Southern India 1. Madras: Government Press.
- D A I J I W O R L D
- D A I J I W O R L D
- Mangalorean.com- Serving Mangaloreans Around The World!
- Mangalore Bunts Sangh Felicitates Achievers from Various Fields
- Mlore Prof B M Hegde Exhorts Bunt Elders to Walk their Talk