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Kodagu is popularly known as Kodavanadu which is least popular among the 30 districts. Earlier this place was called as Coorg; the range of the Western Ghats of south-western Karnataka spreads around 4102 sq km. This district is spread by borders of Dakshina Kannada and Kerala and Agriculture is the backbone which is the major economy of the place, This place is rich in natural resources such as timber and spices, this place is famous for coffee and the dominant group is Kodavas and other groups, The main language speaking here is Kodava, Kannada, Tulu, and Arebhashe. This Kodagu is hometown for native Kodava language speakers.
They are from the warrior community and they carried arms during wars and they had their own commanders, Keladi Nayakas of Haleri dynasty and British ruled the district, the Coorg was merged to Karnataka in 1956. Due to British rule, we can see establishment educational institution and coffee cultivation and there was an improvement of the economy. Kodavas people's were the earliest agriculturists whose living from the centuries in that place.
This place is on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. Kaveri (Cauvery) which originates at Talakaveri is the main river of Kodagu which is located on the eastern side of the Western Ghats due to its tributaries drains this river drains the most part of Kodagu. The highest peak in this Western Ghats range is Tadiandamol which rises up to 1,750 meters and Pushpagiri is the second highest at the height of 1,715 meters. The rainfall intensity is more in July and August and often it showers in the month of November. Rainfall per annum may exceed 4,000 millimetres & in dense jungles, the rainfall reaches 3,000 to 3,800 mm and 1,500 to 2,500 mm in the bamboo district to the west. In Kodagu highest temperature is noticed in the month of April and may. The average temperature of this place is 15°.
The Kodavas are the community where we can find the large number of them in Kodagu. Their oral traditions are rich; some of these people's traditional folk songs have been compiled into Pattole Palome. The Kodavas admire their ancestors, arms and worship number of gods besides the River Kaveri, some of the other worshipped deities is Igguthappa, Bhagwathi, Muthappa, Mahadeva, Bhadrakali, Subramani, and Ayyappa. Kodava Peggade (Kodagu Heggade), the Amma Kodava, the Airi (artisans), the Meda (craftsmen and drummers) and the Kembatti (labourers) these people are very similar in culture, religion, and language of the Kodavas. The Kodava language speakers, other than the Kodavas, they include the Kodava Heggade they are cultivators of Malabar origin, the Amma Kodava they are mixed race, the Airi they are smiths and carpenters, the Thatta are jewellers, some of the Male-Kudiya, the Kodagu Kembatti, the Maringi, the Kapala are of Siddi origin, the Meda includes basket, Mat, weavers, and drummers. The Kanya, the Banna, and the Malaya People are astrologers of Malayala origin, the Kodagu Golla they are the cowherds of Mysorean origin, the Kodagu Ganiga these people are oil-makers, the Kolla, the Kavadi, the Koleya, the Koyava are the other different peoples who are in the city.
The local dish is Kadumbuttu and pandi curry which is made of steamed rice balls and pandi curry.
Traditional costume of Kodava
Kodavas wear the traditional Kodava costume where Men’s wear ‘Kupyas’ its knee-length half-sleeved coats over a full-sleeved white shirt. ‘Chale’ is a maroon and gold sash is tied at the waist and a beautifully carved silver dagger which is known as ‘Peechekathi’ is tucked into it. ‘Odikathi’ is another knife which is tucked into the Chale at the back. They even wear a chain with a minuscule gun and a dagger hanging onto it gives them a martial look.
The saris worn by Kodava women are the special and unique type, Sarees are pleated at the back and the pallu fixed with a brooch is also wrapped in a unique way. They wear a full-sleeved or three-quarter sleeved blouse and cover their head with a scarf. A traditional gold beaded necklace called Jomalae and a gem-pendant known Kokkethathi is worn by Kodava. They are very popular designs which are followed by the other people.
Festivals of Kodagu
They celebrate kallipod or kail poud or kail marutha every year on September 3rd which signifies the completion of nati (i.e., planting of rice crop).kail means weapon and poud mean brighter. They have different tradition and procedures for each and every festival they celebrate this kail poud signifies the day men should be prepared with arms to fight with wild boars and other animals to protect crops. Hence on this day weapons are taken out of pooja room and kept in Nellakki Nadubade that's central hall to worship agree they follow some more celebrations procedures further. Puttari is another festival which they celebrate which is done in the month of December and or early November this is rice harvesting festival and which is also called as huttari in Kannada, in which the celebrations are done in the traditional ways where they serve alcohols at the festival. Kodava thirale, Daiva thirrale which is also known as Daiva theere and kola Kodava are the other festival celebrated in Kodagu.
The Kodagu economy is based on agriculture due to forestry and plantations, the primary crop is coffee plantations and the other plantations, rice, and other crops are cultivated in valleys and coffee is the major economic cash crop, Ecotourism such as trekking and walking hour’s vital role too and we can see plantations are converted in to guesthouses. Paddy fields, coffee, and pepper agro-forestry surround near Madikeri .coffee plantation especially coffee Robusta is the variety found here, this place the second largest coffee production in India, whereas coffee Arabica is grown in southern and western Kodagu this helped in the increase the income of the district, coffee should be grown in shade hence eucalyptus trees and the vanilla are grown here ,one can see how much perfection is required to grow coffee ,but the new trend is to replace those trees with exotic trees such as Grevillea Robusta. Coffee agro-forestry systems of Kodagu are richest agro-forest in the world with 270 species of shaded trees; in the coffee agroforestry, the spices cultivated are pepper, cardamom, vanilla, black pepper. This place is famous for Oranges called as Kodagu oranges known for its taste and shrunken architecture. Forest honey is also popular and rubber, teak trees can be found here.
Flaura and fauna
The Asian elephant, tiger, leopard, wild boar, and several species of deer these are the fauna found here. Kodagu has a wide variety of birds around 300 bird species have been reported and sighted. The Brahmagiri, Talakaveri, and Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuaries, and the Nagarhole National Park these are three important national parks found here, this place is considered as rich in wildlife sanctuaries. The jungle includes Michelia champaka, Mesua (Ironwood), Diospyros (ebony and other species), Toona ciliata (Indian mahogany), Chikaskia tabularise, Calophyllum angustifolium (Poon spar), Canarium strictum (BlackDammar), Artocarpus, Dipterocarpus, Garcinia, Euonymus, Cinnamomum, Myristica, Vaccinium, Myrtaceae, Melastomataceae, Rubus (three species) these are trees found here.
Kodagu is one of the top hill station destinations in India. The popular tourist attractions in Kodagu include Talakaveri, Bhagamandala, Nisargadhama, Abbey Falls, Dubare, Nagarhole National Park, Iruppu Falls, and the Tibetan Buddhist Golden Temple.
Notable people from this place are Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa, P. T. Bopanna, author, and journalist etc.
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