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The Gamalla are an Indian caste whose traditional occupation was that of toddy tapping.

Jogendra Nath Bhattacharya noted their Telugu origins and considered them to be the same community as the Gavandlas (also known as Gowda). He distinguishes them from the Idigas and Sittigadus, who are also traditionally Telugu toddy-tapping communities, and from the Sunris, who brew the drawn toddy. Bhattacharya also remarks that there were no Shanars or Kalwars in the region, and these too are traditionally toddy tapping peoples.[1]

Edgar Thurston also considered the Gamallas and Gavandlas to be the same, with the different terminology being ascribed to local naming conventions.[2] In addition, he thought that the term Kalali was a Hindustani synonym of Gamalla,[3] and that the Gamallas "are supposed to be Idigas who have bettered themselves, and separated from that caste." He noted that both the Gamalla and Idiga communities shared the same deity - Kattamayya - and that in the census of 1891 some Gamallas had self-identified as being of the Idiga subdivision. He speculated that these two communities, and also that of the Asili, might be endogamous groups within the same caste. It is Thurston's opinion that the Gamallas did not only draw the toddy but also produced and sold the arrack,[2] and this is a view shared more recently by Richard Eaton.[4]

The Gamalla community of Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh were classified by the First Backward Classes Commission as an Other Backward Class in India's positive discrimination system for socio-economically deprived communities. Those of Puducherry were similarly classified by the Second Backward Classes Commission, and in both cases they were listed with the Gouds and the Kalalis.[5]

Richard Eaton believes that Papadu, the social bandit who died in 1710, was a member of the Gamalla or Gavandla community.[4]


  1. ^ Bhattacharya, Jogendra Nath (1896). Hindu Castes and Sects: An Exposition of the Origin of the Hindu Caste System and the Bearing of the Sects toward Each Other and toward Other Religious Systems. Calcutta: Thacker, Spink. p. 261. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  2. ^ a b Thurston, Edgar; Rangachari, K. (1909). Castes and Tribes of Southern India. II (C to J). Madras: Government Press. p. 253. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  3. ^ Thurston, Edgar; Rangachari, K. (1909). Castes and Tribes of Southern India. III (K). Madras: Government Press. p. 46. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  4. ^ a b Eaton, Richard M. (2005). A Social History of the Deccan, 1300–1761: Eight Indian Lives. New Cambridge History of India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-521-25484-7. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  5. ^ Agrawal, S. P.; Aggarwal, J. C. (1991). Educational and social uplift of backward classes: at what cost and how? : Mandal Commission and after. Concept Publishing Company. pp. 138, 174. ISBN 978-81-7022-339-9. Retrieved 2012-01-02.