Kodava Maaple

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Kodava Maaple
Total population
87,274 : The Total Muslim population in Kodagu, including Kodava Maaple, Syeds, Sheikhs, Beary and Malayali Mappila according to the 2011 census[1]
Regions with significant populations
Kodagu (Coorg)
Kodava takk
Related ethnic groups
Kodavas, Amma Kodava, Kodagu Heggade, Kodagu Gowda, Beary, Mappila

The Kodava Maaple, also known as Jamma Maaple, is a Muslim community residing in Kodagu district of Karnataka in southern India. They are believed to be descendants of Kodavas who were forcibly converted to Islam during their captivity at Seringapatam in the late 18th century. They are Sunnis of the Shafi'i madhab, and contract marriage alliances with Mappilas and Bearys. They have maintained their original Kodava clan names and dress habits and speak Kodava takk, although now they do follow some Mappila and Beary customs also.


The origin of this community dates back to the late 18th century. When the Kingdom of Mysore invaded and annexed Coorg, its inhabitants, the Kodava, rebelled on a dozen occasions. During a number of attempts to suppress their rebellion in the 1780s, a number of Kodava Hindus were captured and imprisoned by Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore by treachery after offering a peace treaty.The estimated numbers of the captives vary according to different sources, from 500 (according to Punganuri) to 50,000 (according to B. L. Rice). To the Kodava Hindus, Tipu’s invasion of their homeland and subsequent persecution of their people remains a lingering historical wound. During the Third Anglo-Mysore War (1789–1792) </ref>[2] With Coorg depopulated of its original inhabitants, Tipu sought to Islamize it with Muslim settlements. To this end, he brought in 7,000 men from the Shaikh and Sayyid clans, along with their families. However, this attempt proved to be partly successful, as many of them were eventually slain or fled after Tipu lost Coorg. A few continued to remain on in Coorg as they were on amiable terms with the Kodagu Raja and the Kodavas and they speak Urdu today. The Coorg capital of Madikeri had been renamed to Zafarabad by the Sultan in the meanwhile.[3] The Muslim descendants of the Kodavas who were forcibly converted into Islam, after Tipu Sultan's army on various forays into Coorg had captured them and thrown them into the Seringapatam prison, are called Kodava Mappila.[4]

During the war in 1791, one night the British attacked the Sultan's army which fled. That day the Asadulai (converts) who were seized at Coorg and other places along with the Neze Cardar (lancers), all numbering 10,000 people, escaped with their weapons to Coorg.[5] Tipu's batteries were taken and there was confusion among Tipu's troops during that nightly encounter. According to Moegling, Kodavas, were released by Tiputo their native country (Coorg).[2] .[4]

The descendants of the converts, many of them now inter-married with Mappilas of Kerala and Bearys of Tulu Nadu, constitute a very small minority in modern Kodagu. In spite of their change in faith, they maintained their original clan names and dress habits and speak Kodava takk, although now they do follow some MappilaBeary customs also. Today, many Muslims bear Kodava family names. There is Alira, Cheeranda, Chimma Cheera, Duddiyanda, Kaddadiyanda, and Kolumanda in Virajpet. In the Devanageri village, there is Muslim family names like Puliyanda and in the regions surrounding Virajpet, there is Muslim family names like Kuvalera, Italtanda, Mitaltanda, Kuppodanda, Kappanjeera. Similarly, in the Madikeri taluk, there is Kalera, Chekkera, Charmakaranda, Maniyanda, Balasojikaranda, and Mandeyanda. Intriguingly, in the Hoddur village in Madikeri taluk, there is a Muslim family with the surname of Harishchandra. Some of these surnames are shared by Kodava Hindus.[6][7]

Culture and language[edit]

The Kodava Maaple follow the culture of the Kodava people. Many of them retain their ancestral family or clan names. Traditionally, Kodava Maaple men wore the Kodava attire. They now contract marriage alliances with the Muslims of Mangalore and Kerala as well. They generally speak in Kodava takk, although now some of them speak in Malayalam and Beary Bashe due to intermarriages. Their culture is different from the Kerala Muslims, because they follow the mixed culture of the Kodavas and Mangalorean Muslims.

Muslims of the Syed and the Sheikh clans who were on good terms with Kodavas and their Raja were allowed to remain in Kodagu after the fall of Tipu Sultan. They speak Urdu.[8]

Yemmemadu Dargah is the main shrine of the Kodava Muslims and is revered by the Kodava Hindus as well. This dargah is located in a place called Yemmemadu in Kodagu district. The shrine and tomb is built in memory of Hazrath Sufi Shaheed and Sayyed Hassan Sakaf Halramir who came from Persia to give religious discourses. They devoted their life to the service of the poor. There is an annual Urs held at this place which goes on for around eight days and more than two lakh devotees from all religions across the state come here to participate and get the blessings of the Sufi saints. Women are denied entry into the 'dargah and separate arrangements are made to enable them to offer prayers.[8][9][10]

Kodagu Muslims[edit]

Kodagu has a significant Muslim population who are Syeds and Sheikhs who speak Urdu at home or Mappilas who speak Malayalam at home. There are Beary Bhashe speaking Beary Muslims and Kodava speaking Kodava Maaples as well.[11]


  1. ^ Kodagu District : Census 2011 data
  2. ^ a b Moegling, H (1855). Coorg Memoirs: An Account of Coorg and of the Coorg Mission. p. 117. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Prabhu 1999, p. 223
  4. ^ a b Cariappa 1981, p. 136
  5. ^ Punganuri, Ram Chandra Rao (1849). Memoirs of Hyder and Tippoo: Rulers of Seringapatam, Written in the Mahratta language (Google e-book). p. 47. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  6. ^ . Sandeep Web http://www.sandeepweb.com/2013/03/11/its-not-to-hate-tipu-but-to-know-the-truth/. Retrieved 8 July 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Balakrishna, Sandeep (2013-12-28). Tipu Sultan-The Tyrant of Mysore. p. 108. ISBN 9788192788487. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Khan, Abdul Mabud; Singh, Nagendra Kr (2001). Encyclopaedia of the World Muslims: Tribes, Castes and Communities, Volume 1. Global Vision Pub House. p. 935. ISBN 9788187746072. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Yemmemadu Dargah sharief". Coorg Creek. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Dargah sharief of Yemmemadu". Go Coorg. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  11. ^ Kodagu District : Census 2011 data


  • Cariappa, Ponnamma (1981). The Coorgs and their origins. The University of Michigan. p. 419. .
  • Moegling, H. (1855). Coorg Memoirs. .
  • Prabhu, Alan Machado (1999). Sarasvati's Children: A History of the Mangalorean Christians. I.J.A. Publications. ISBN 978-81-86778-25-8. .