Royal Nadavar Community of Uttarakannada

I just by curiosity went into google and tried going back to put a search into our origins
I bumped into one such site @

http://en wikipedia org/wiki/Nadavaru...

I know none of you may be interested and it is too much in detail and long

but I just thought like sharing my story about my forefathers

The NadavarusThe Nadavara is a well-educated, small Kshatriya community (Nadavara Samaj) with 30,000 people in Uttar Kannada, Karnataka, India The Samaj boasts about its literacy rate of 99%, probably among the highest in India Being a small community, the Nadavar Samaj behaves almost like a fraternity For them, there is no issue more important than communal equality In a subtle manner their way of life is supportive of women emancipation and gender equality Both men and women participate in social, cultural and political activities with equal interests In a Nadavara family, a girl is entitled to education, and allowed to make decisions just like her brother Until the first half of the twentieth century, Nadavaras were mainly landowners and farmers Since 1930s, they have been diversifying their interests towards education and commerce Nadavara is an exuberant, closely knit community The people are well known for their patriotism Nadavaras speak Nadavara-Kannada, which is a modified form of Kannada It has significant phonological variations from other Kannada dialects Its morphology is similar to that of Marathi which raises a few unanswered questions, "Did Nadavaras migrate to the land of Kannada not so long ago from elsewhere? Did their former language have any influence on Nadavara-Kannada? What language did they speak prior to adopting Kannada?” 'Nadavara' means husband (Vara) of Country (Nad) They are also known as Jain Nadavaru Supposedly they were converted to Hinduism from Jainism around the sixteenth century Nadavara may be related to the Bunts community of South Kanara Nadavaras religious beliefs, food habits, living style, and etiquettes closely resemble that of the Bunts Nadavaras were famous chieftains during the rule of the Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas and Vijayanagara Empires There is no evidence of Nadavaras origin prior to the Rashtrakutas In the sixth century the earliest Rashtrakuta clan ruled Malva Region (Western Central India) Gradually Rashtrakutas moved southward to Maharashtra and Karnataka in the eighth century There are a few opinions about the migration of Nadavaras to Karnataka One school of thinking is that in the eighth century, during Kalachuri Dynasty, Nadavaras came to Karnataka from Rajasthan for the propaganda of Jainism Kalchuri Dynesty is originally from Rajasthan, ruled in various parts of India including Kalachuris of Karnataka, from the 6th century to 13th century Even today there are Nadavaras in Ankola Seeme(county) who worship ancient Kalachuri shrines They believe that they are the descendents Kalchuris of Rajasthan The Kalachuri King Bijjala (1130-1167 A D) was related to Nadavaras of Ankola Seeme Rashtrakutas and Nadavaras are believed to be Kalchuri clans They were all related by matrimonial alliance Considering the associations with Rashtrakutas, Nadavaras migration from the Malva Plateau along with Rashtrakutas is also a valid scenario The Nadavaras were valiant horsemen in the army of the Rashtrakutas Nadavara men wore turban and clad white fabric, six meters long in a "toga" style Like Rashtrakutas, Nadavaras also practiced Jain religion Nripatunga (Amoghavarsha I), the legendary Rashtrakuta Emperor and a poet (814-878 A D) in his famous book Kavirajamarga (Poets Kingly Path), refers to Nadavaras as "Wise Men" Nripatunga expressed his admiration for Nadavara men for their bravery and valor After the fall of Rashtrakutas in Manyakheta (Malkhed), Karnataka in the tenth century, Nadavaras migrated to Western Ghats as fugitives The Rashtrakuta chieftains who went into hiding in the Western Ghats of Northern Karnataka collectively established the Hoysala Kingdom in subordination to Western Chalukyas Even though the Nadavaras were the chieftains of the highest order, the extent of their involvement in establishing Hoysala kingdom is not clear At the beginning of eleventh century Nadavaras were high-ranking officials in the Hoysala Kingdom To this day Nadavara women worship Queen Shantala (Shanti), the wife of Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana (1108-1152 A D) Shantala was the daughter of Honnayya Dandanayaka (Chief General) and Machekka She was a famous dancer who choreographed her dance routines from Bharata Natyam postures and Yakshgana expressions Small sculptures of Shantala, housed in little temples are found in Nadavara villages Some Nadavara kinfolk believe that Queen Shantala was related to them At the end of the fifteenth century under the Saluva kings, the Vijayanagara Empire was sinking in chaos and lawlessness The King of Vijayanagara, Saluva Narasihma DevaRaya (1485-1491 A D) in 1488 A D appointed Tuluva Narasa Nayaka from Dakshina Kannada as the chief general to supress the growing unrest After taking over the reign, without wasting any time, he recruited Nadavars along with Bunts to the cavalry of the Vijayanagara infantry Three years after the appointment of Narasa Nayaka, the King died Narasa Nayaka crowned the king's young son, Saluva Narasihma Raya II and took over the command of Vijayanagara empire He was the savior of the empire that was about to slip into mutiny Vijayanagara, during its heydays had the largest Cavalry in Southeast Asia Krishna Deva Raya's infantry had an imposing cavalry that consisted of thirty thousand horses The South Indian weather was not suitable for breeding horses Vijayanagara Kings imported Arabian horses from the Middle East The most celebrated emperor, Krishna Devaraya (1509-1529 A D) was concerned about the trade practices of Arabs He formed a horse trade alliance with Portuguese The spices grown in the Western Ghats and sandalwood from southeastern Karnataka were traded for horses Portuguese Horses arriving at Goa and Bhatkal ports were brought to Vasar-Kudaragi (Abode for Horses) a village near Ankola After the evaluation, horses were sent to Vijayanagara A highway, Ankola-Bellari road, was constructed for transporting horses Timmanna Nayaka of Ankola Seeme (County) was appointed to comply with the Portuguese trade agreement In the sixteenth century, due to the negligent regime of Aliya Rama Raya, Vijayanagara succumbed to Sultanates of Bijapur at the battle of Talikota in 1565 A D Nadavaras took refuge in Western Ghats once again They were spread all across Western Ghats in Uttar Kannada In seventeenth and eighteenthth centuries, the scattered population started migrating to coastal areas The flow of Nadavara people was consolidated in twenty villages on the banks of the Gangavali and Aghanashini rivers of Uttar Kannada, Karnataka They refrained from eating meat and fish until they settled on the coast of the Arabian Sea As recently as sixty years ago, many Nadavara families cooked non-vegetarian food outside their homes They used separate pots and pans for non-vegetarian dishes Were they vegetarians because they followed Jainism? Did they start eating meat after converting to Hinduism? Indeed, more research is required to answer these questions However, there are many obvious indications that Nadavaras might have been Jains in the past The Nadavara commanders were appointed as stewards of Goa during the Sonda and Vijayanagara occupations of Goa After invading Goa, Portuguese started forcibly converting Goans to Christianity Many temples of Goa were destroyed In the process, many Nadavaras were killed; some were converted and three Nadavara Chieftains with their families escaped to Uttar Kannada in the 17th century Nadavars brought the Shantadurga idol from Goa and instituted a transitory home for the goddess in Agsur, a village near Ankola, Uttar Kannada A few years later the idol was enshrined in Ankola on the territory then owned by Hiregutti Nadavaras The temple became the nucleus of art, especially classical dance and music Expert dancers (Devadasi) were brought from Goa to perform in the temple The temple corridor became a center for Nadavaras cultural and religious activities The Shantadurga temple for over a century has grown into a highly regarded temple for all the local communities Sonda Kingdom a feudatory of Vijaya Nagara Empire was established on the banks of Shalmala river, Uttar Kannada in the sixteenth century The Nadavar chieftains of Vijayanagara were appointed as the liaisons to the Sonda Kingdom After the fall of Vijayanagara to Adilshah of Bijpur, the relation between the Sonda Kings and Bijpur Sulanates is not clear The Sonda kingdom might have been an autonomous state under the Bijapur Sultanates The Nadavar chieftains remained as advisors even after the fall of Vijayanagra Madhulinga Nayaka, King of Sonda in the seventeenth century, married a Nadavara woman from Gakarna Seeme (County) They had two children, Savitri and Sadashiva Their daughter Savitri, later known as Belavadi Mallamma was married to Isha Prabhu,the king of Belavadi in Karnataka She is known for her valient effort to save her husband's kingdom from the aggression of Marathas Gokarna came under the rule of the Sonda kings A Nadavara chieftain from Hiregutti, Uttar Kannada, became the patron of the Mahabaleshwar Temple, a holy place for Hindus In 1714 A D, Portuguese pirates unexpectedly attacked Mahabaleshwara Temple Nadavaras were caught by surprise but even without preparation, they fought the Portuguese sailors The skirmish lasted for a few days Mahabaleshwara temple was destroyed beyond recognition and many Nadavara youths died in the battle A few years later, Sonda Kings rebuilt the Temple Until 1925 A D a descendent of the Hiregutti Chiefains was given kingly treatment at the Mahabaleshwara temple Seated in the temple chariot and dressed up in a royal attire, he was paraded around This was one of the main events of Shivaratri festival in Gokarna Being Vaishnavas, why did Nadavaras take such an interest in the Mahabaleshwara (Shiva) Temple?The Nadavaras settled on the banks of the Gangavali and Aghanashini rivers, gradually gave up warfare and adopted agriculture They became landowners and farmers English rulers did not trust Kshatriya communities in India, as they were revolting frequently against the colonial rule in India After the outbreak of the Sepoy Rebellion in 1857 A D, Kshatriyas were precluded from governmental opportunities Like other Kshatriya communities in India, the growth and development of Nadavara Samaj was stunted for the next hundred years During this period, their socio-economic conditions deteriorated gradually Their social status as land rulers was reduced to mundane farmers The lost glory of the past led to depression and sadness, but Nadavaras never lost their pride The Tenancy Act of 1885 and Land Activation Act of 1900 were proposed with an objective to improve the relations between Zamindars (Land Owners) and Raiyatas (Farmers) The land rent collected by Zamindars from Raiyatas was much higher than the tax paid to the Government by the Zamindars In order to minimize such disparity and protect the Raiyatas, the British Colonial Rule raised the taxes on land and lowered the land rent A separate Agricultural Department was created by Viceroy Lord George Curzon (C1899-1904 A D) to oversee the successful implementation of the new land tax law Many Nadavara landlords could not collect enough land rent to pay the taxes and lost most of their lands Nadavaras have made considerable contributions to the independence of India During the Salt Satyagraha (non-tax payment movement) from 1930-34 A D, the audacious Nadavaras peacefully participated in Mohandas K Gandhi's Ahimsa (non-violence) revolt Once again, for non-payment of land taxes, many lost most of their lands A handful of local merchants just by paying the pending or unpaid taxes purchased lands lost by the Nadavaras for incredibly low prices In Karnataka, they were the major sufferers during the period of the non-tax movement However, this earned North Kanara a distinguished place in the history of the freedom movement in India The Congress Party was recognized by the British Raj That led to the British India Act of 1935 introducing self-governance In November 1942 A D, the entire Nadavara community, including many women, participated in the Quit India Movement (non-violence freedom movement) of India Nadavaras are Vaishnavas (Devotee of God Vishnu) but they are not excessively religious However, they played major roles in the religious functions of both Shiva and Vishnu until the early part of twentieth century Nadavaras are Muktheshwaras (respected members) of many temples, including Mahabaleshwar of Gokarna and Venkataramana of Ankola Nadavaras revere their ancestry second to God Most Nadavaras idolize their own fallen family heroes (Beera) and women of virtue (Sati) whom they worship on special occasions Diwali (Festival of Lights) is the most important festival for Nadavaras The festivity is observed for three days as the celebration of Lord Krishna's victory over Narakasura Historically, because Nadavaras were warriors they lived in constant danger and faced frequent perils That is one of the reasons why they did not flourish in number like other non-warrior castes of India At present, Nadavaras have scattered all over India and abroad No matter where they are, they staunchly adhere to their heritage Like migrating birds, they return to their villages in the summer to attend family functions and wedding ceremonies Fifty years ago they did not marry people from other castes Lately inter-caste marriages among Nadavara youths are rampantly increasing Old fashioned conservative Nadavaras fear that their community may lose its identity in the near future

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