Kodava maaple

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When Mysore captured Kodagu in the eighteenth century, its inhabitants, the Kodava, rebelled. 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 the Kingdom of Mysore.These captives were forcibly deported, some of them were converted and some were killed. The estimated numbers of the captives vary according to different sources, from 500 (according to Punganuri) to 85,000 (according to B. L. Rice). To the Kodavas, Tipu’s fanatical dance of death in their homeland remains a wound that will never heal. During the Third Anglo-Mysore War (1789-1792) 5,000 Coorg men along with their families, amounting to 12,000 people escaped from prison in Seringapatam (Srirangapatna) and came back into Coorg.[1][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 Kodagu 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, were called Kodava Mappilas.[4]

During the Mysore War (1789-1792) 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 ten thousand 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, 5000 Coorgs, who had been carried away by Tippu with their wives and children, altogether 12,000 souls, made their escape and returned to their native country (Coorg).[2] These Kodava Muslim converts remained Muslims as they could not be reconverted to Hinduism, even if they had so desired.[4]

The descendants of the converts, many of them now inter-married with the Malabar Mappilas and Tulu Bearys, constitute a very small minority in modern Kodagu. In spite of their change in faith, they maintained their original Kodava clan names and dress habits and speak Kodava language, although now they do follow some MappilaBeary customs also. Today, there are Mapilas (Muslims) whose family names are Kodava 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 non-Muslim Kodava Hindus.[6][7]

Culture and language[edit]

'Kodava maaples' followed the culture of the Kodavas. Many of them retain their Kodava family or clan names.Traditionally the Kodava Maaple men wore the Kodava dress. They now contract marriage alliances with the Muslims of Mangalore and Kerala as well. They used to speak in the 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 Coorgs and Mangalorean Muslims.

Other 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 the Urdu language.[8]

'Yemmemad Dargha' in Coorg 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 near Napoklu in Coorg. 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 Darga and separate arrangements are made to enable them to offer prayers.[8][9][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Karnataka State Gazetteer: Coorg. Director of Print, Stationery and Publications at the Government Press. 1965. p. 70. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  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.  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. 


  • 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. .
  • Prabhu, Alan Machado (1999). Sarasvati's Children: A History of the Mangalorean Christians. I.J.A. Publications. ISBN 978-81-86778-25-8. .