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Uppara is a caste categorized as Other Backward Class in India. The caste takes its name from the preparing of salt (uppu), which was the original community's primary economic activity. Uppara is also called as "Sagara" named after King Sagara Chakravarthy, ancestor of Lord Rama.
The major Dravidian languages (Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam) all use a variation of "uppu" to mean salt. Therefore, the persons engaged in the manufacture of salt are called Uppara in Kannada; Uppar or Upparollu in Telugu.
According to Buchanan, the most important occupation of the Telugu Upparas at the beginning of the nineteenth century was the manufacture of salt.
The one man commission constituted by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, chaired by Sri Anantha Raman[who?] in its report in 1968 made certain observations and recommendations regarding the Uppara or Sagara community. Some of the points mentioned in the report are as follows:
- Uppara or Sagara is a caste of workers engaged in agriculture.
- It traces its descent from "Sagara Chakravarti" who was a Kshatriya.
- It is said that they were originally Kshatriyas . They were originally salt-workers and the name Uppara comes from Telugu word Uppu (Salt).
- When private manufacture of salt was forbidden by Government the people of the community caused the community members to divert to other occupations. The Uppara seem to have made little shifts in an agrarian context. Losing their castebased occupation as salt makers, they are predominantly agricultural works.
There are many surnames for Uppara or Sagara Community (Sourced from Sagara Uppara Community website)
Gothras and Surnames
1 Brugu Maharshi Gothram:
Anisetty, Alisetty, Chathiri, Rajamalla, Enjala, Chidurala, Chintha, Perumandla, Mamidi, Musinipalli, Sattenapalli, Soma, Neelamu, Sadaraboyina
2 Bhagiratha Maharshi Gothram:
Vemula, Katipalli, Kayala, Marka, Kalletla, Siva, Kundarapu, Barla, Masku, Yerukonda, Satlapalli, Duddala, Kundarapu, Sanda, Kuppala, Satraboyina
3 Kapila Maharshi Gothram:
Jalasri, Danduri, Gurram, Nalubala, Sita, Veeraganti, Jatti, Jukanti, Nagelli, Vadlakonda, Vemula, Vaggu, Kalvapalli, Kanukurthi, Chitrala
4 Naurva Maharshi Gothram :
Mekkonda, Nekkonda, Donekena, Devunuru, Dhanikonda, Bendarapu, Bayana, Pesetty, Bysa, Dubyala, Nakka, Dronala, Dronadula, Dupati, Diguva, Immadi, Mulkechina,Koyyati
5 Rushyashrunga Maharshi Gothram:
Tatisetty, Tatipatri, Kurma, Kodipaka, Kolluru, Tangella, Kurmindla, Rachakonda, Katla, Mudraboyina, Bathina, Karnati, Balguri, Kakkunuri, Golluri, Ginne, Suthari, Rechavala
6 Upachara Maharshi Gothram:
Gunti, Dumpala, Manganuru, Jampani, Tylamu, Kuturu, Masa, Baluguri, Ambanti, Innandula, Ghanta, Durika
7 Valmiki Maharshi Gothram:
Juturi, Gujjari, Kotipalli, Kaunjula, Kaniganti, Nanganam, Konathala, Yasam, Mogili, Narlakanti Pandeti, Panjagala, Yaduti, Dapa, Thota
8 Vasista Maharshi Gothram:
Katari, Gandikota, Polampalli, Velpuri, Gandla, Kalvakotla, Kovvuru, Malkechina, Ramavaram, Mogili, Ruka, Chilukala, Chaudaboyina, Andugala, Mandala, Maudala, Maduri, Majjuri, Chelukalapalli
9 Vishwamithra Maharshi Gothram:
Gajjela, Dronadri, Jalasuthramu, Reddy, Kalpuri, Potu, Peddi, Bayya, Kaluguri, Vindi, Kanukula, Bhangi, Rachamalla, Rala, Mangapalli, Bandi, Gumpula
The "Chinnappa Reddy Report (1990)" indicates that the Uppara make up about 1.18 percent of the population of Karnataka. In fact, although they have a sizeable presence in the district, they have not been able to have a MLA or MP from their community.