List of Kodavas

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Kodava People
Regions with significant populations
Kodava language

The following is a list of prominent Kodavas (also known as the Coorg or Coorgi community).

Freedom fighters[edit]


  • Sadguru Appayya Swami (1885–1956), (born of Kodava parents) founder of Kaveri Ashram, a Hindu monastery in Virajpet, born as Palanganda Appaiah, ordained into Sannyas (monkhood) by Guru Ramgiri.[1]
  • Swami Narayanananda, (born of Kodava parents) founder monk of ashrams (monasteries) in Denmark and other countries, and the founder of 'The Universal Religion'.
  • Swami Shambhavananda, (born of Kodava parents) a Hindu monk who was the head of the Ramakrishna Mission, Ponnampet monastery, known for his efforts to promote malaria eradication and beekeeping.

Armed forces[edit]

  • Field Marshal K M Cariappa (Kodandera family), OBE, first Indian Commissioned Officer, later became first Indian General and then first Commander-in-Chief of India. High Commissioner (Ambassador in the Commonwealth) of India in Australia and New Zealand, Field Marshal in 1986. Residency Road and a park in Bangalore has been renamed after him.[2]
  • General K. S. Thimayya (Kodandera), DSO, secured Ladakh for India during the Kashmir War of 1948, General and Chief of the Indian Army, after retirement he led the UN peacekeeping forces during when he won International acclaim, Chairman of the Repatriation Committee after Korean War, died in Cyprus, his statue was set up in Singapore Wax Museum, the Cyprus Govt. issued stamps in his honour. Richmond Road in Bangalore has been renamed after him.[3]
  • Squadron Leader A B Devaiah (Ajjamada), who shot down an enemy aircraft before presumably dying in Pakistan during the 1965 war. He is the only Air Force officer to be awarded the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously.[4]
  • Lt General A. C. Iyappa (Apparanda), MBE, as a captain, he saw action in Malyan campaign in 1942 against the Japanese in World War II when he was also made a Prisoner-of-War. He was the first Indian Signal officer in chief. He was made Master General of Ordance. He was the first Indian to be colonel commandant of the corps of signals. He was then deputed to Bharath Electronics Ltd (BEL) where he became chairman and held the post till 1972. Iyappa park has been named after him in Bangalore.
  • Air Marshal C D Subbaiah, also known as Cheppudi 'Devaiah Subbia' (Cheppudira), VrC, PVSM, World War II fighter pilot.
  • Air Marshal K C Cariappa (Kodandera), PVSM, VM, Prisoner-of-War during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War.
  • Brigadier C B Ponnappa (Cheppudira), was in the first batch of commissioned Indian officers (along with Cariappa) and was a World War II veteran.
  • Flight Officer M A Ganapathy (Mandepanda), later Squadron Leader, Vir Chakra Awardee.
  • Major M C Muthanna (Mangerira), killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, Shaurya Chakra awardee.
  • 'Brigadier General' Bansi Ponnappa, UN Peacekeeper, Congo.
  • 'Lt Commander', Neema Uthappa Mekerira, First Woman Naval Officer from Coorg.



Kodavas have a long history of association with the game of field hockey. The district of Kodagu is considered as the cradle of Indian hockey.[5][6]

  • M.P. Ganesh (Mollera), former Indian hockey team captain, Olympian and coach, 1973 Arjuna Awardee
  • B.P. Govinda, Indian hockey player, Arjuna Awardee (from Kodagu)
  • M M Somaiya (Maneyapanda), former Indian hockey team player, captain, Olympian, Arjuna Awardee 1985, Hockey Gold Medalist 1980
  • Len Aiyappa (Ballachanda), hockey player
  • S. K. Uthappa (Sannuvanda), hockey player
  • S. V. Sunil, (Somwarpet Vittalacharya Sunil)hockey player (from Kodagu)

Other sports[edit]




  • Biddu Appaiah (Chendrimada), music composer and producer
  • Manu Aiyappa Kanathanda, Journalist (The Times Of India)


Civil office[edit]

Politics (After Independence)[edit]

Law and order[edit]

  • Rao Bahadur IGP P.K.Monnappa (Pemmanda), IPS Officer, DGP of Madras, helped suppress the Nizam's rebellion in Hyderabad in 1950 as part of the Police Action led by Sardar Patel, IGP of Hyderabad then of Mysore, also first police chief of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.[8]
  • B. B. Ashok Kumar (Biddanda), police officer



  • Jagadeesh Moodera, American physicist of Indian origin and is a senior research scientist at MIT's Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory.
  • Brinda Somaya, architect



  1. ^ Kamath (1993). Karnataka State gazetteer, Volume 20. Bangalore: Director of Print, Stationery and Publications at the Government Press. p. 659. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  2. ^ Weis, Edel (2002). Field Marshal Cariappa: The Man who Touched the Sky. Rupa Publications. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  3. ^ Belliappa, C. P. (2008). Nuggets From Coorg History. Rupa Publications. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Maha Vir Chakra Awardees". Indian armed forces. Bharat Rakshak.
  5. ^ "Time-out". Online Edition of The Hindu, dated 2004-06-13. Chennai, India: 2004, The Hindu. 2004-06-13. Retrieved 2007-06-21.
  6. ^ "Coorg: A nursery of Indian hockey". Online Edition of The Deccan Herald, dated 2006-04-04. 2005, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-06-21.
  7. ^ Belliappa, C. P. (2008). Nuggets From Coorg History. Rupa Publications. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  8. ^ Kumar, Satinder (2000). Encyclopaedia of South-Asian tribes, Volume 1. Anmol Publications. p. 1470. Retrieved 11 October 2014.