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Religions Hinduism
Languages Kannada, Kuruba language, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil
Populated States Southern India

Kuruba (also known as Kuruma, Kurumbar or Kuruba Gowda) is a Hindu caste whose traditional occupation was that of shepherding and farming. The community is present in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. They are known by different names such as Dhangar,[1] Hatkar and Telwar Lingayat in Maharashtra.

Some sources connect them to Pala, the shepherd dynasty of the Ahirs and suggest that Kuruba is a Dravidian name for Ahir.[2] But this relation is contested by other sources on the grounds that the Ahirs are spread over a large area of Kutch, Kathiawad, Khandesh, Central Provinces, Central India, Bengal and North Western Provinces but everywhere they are known as Ahir only then how they came to be known by a different name Kuruba in south.[citation needed]


The term kuruba is derived from kuri, meaning sheep; kuruba means shepherd.[1]


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 Sangam dynasty and the Vijayanagara Empire.[3]

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.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ramchandra Chintaman Dhere, Translated by Anne Feldhaus (2011). Rise of a Folk God: Vitthal of Pandharpur, South Asia Research. Oxford University Press,. p. 241. ISBN 9780199777648. 
  2. ^ John G. R. Forlong (2008). Encyclopedia of Religions. Cosimo, Inc.,. p. 50. ISBN 9781605204840. 
  3. ^ a b Dhere, Ramchandra Chintaman (2011). Rise of a Folk God: Vitthal of Pandharpur, South Asia Research. Feldhaus, Anne (trans.). Oxford University Press,. p. 243. ISBN 978-0-19977-764-8. 

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