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Classification OBC
Religions Hinduism
Languages Kannada, Telugu, Marathi
Populated states Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, TamilNadu and Maharashtra.
Region South India

Kuruba (also known as Kuruba Gowda, Kuruma , Kuruva and Kurumbar) is a Hindu caste native to the Indian state of Karnataka, where it is the third largest caste group.[1][2] Like Yadava and Dhangar, the community's traditional occupation was shepherding.[3] Some sources suggest that Kuruba is a Dravidian name for Ahir.[4]


The term kuruba, meaning shepherd, is derived from kuri, meaning sheep.[3]


The Kurubas are said to have been connected to the Yadu or Yadava lineage mentioned in Puranas. Traditional sources claim that the Kurubas founded the Sangama dynasty and the Vijayanagara Empire.[5]

According to Ramchandra Chintaman Dhere, a scholar of the religious traditions of Maharashtra,

The history of South India shows clearly that all the southern royal dynasties who arose from pastoralist, cowherd groups gained Kshatriya status by claiming to be Moon lineage Kshatriya, by taking Yadu as their ancestor and by continually keeping alive their pride in being "Yadava". Many dynasties in South India from the Pallavas to Yadurayas were originally members of pastoralist, cowherd groups and belonged to Kuruba lineages.[5]

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