Tall, well built, brave, beautiful and courageous are just few words commonly used to describe Kodava race. Kodava tribe has come a long way to earn the title warrior popularly known in Indian army as Kodava Warriors. The history of Kodavas is definitely one of the most fascinating and the bloodiest among any other civilization in India. My article is based on facts that are documented by historians and based on books which have highlighted the bloodbath of Kodava warriors. The article concentrates on Tipu Sultan and his cold blooded killings.
If Kodava today is one of the second least populated race in this world, it’s because of a barbaric character from the history known to people as Tipu Sultan. There were repeated attempts to capture Kodagu by Tipu and his father Hyder Ali before him. Tipu’s barbarism reached its peak from 1760 to 1790 and this period is considered as one of the most gruesome era in the history of Kodavas. Tipu’s closest commander Mir Kirmani in his book reveals the incident pertaining to Tipu’s brutality and religious conversion. During the year 1760 – 1780, Tipu destroyed more than 600 temples across Kodagu. His cruelty and self-obsession had reached its peak when his closest left him in the final war with British where Tipu died in stampede. He was not shot by Brits.
When Tipu first invaded Kodagu with his well-equipped 15000 army men carrying French Cannon with an intention of conquering Kodagu overnight, Kandanda Doddaiah and Appachira Mandanna with their troop of 5000, Kodavas retaliated against Tipu’s army near Suntikoppa, only to defeat Tipu’s army and chase them out of Kodagu . This war with Tipu is documented in Hunsoor literature which states “Kari Kupasu totha Kodavaru Kari Dumbhi anthe tippuvinatha nugi, hodedhodisidharu” Historians say this was a war of bravery versus strength and by the time Tipu realized the courage of Kodavas, he was defeated. Tipu popularly known and projected today as Tiger of Mysore and pride of Karnataka was defeated by Kodava 31 times during 25 years of war and this humiliation forced Tipu to seek revenge on Kodava. Kodavas were the master of the guerrilla warfare hence they succeeded every time in ambushing Tippu.
In the year 1771, Tipu with a large army attacked Madikeri fort post, where he captured Bhagamandala and converted the entire Bhagandeshwara temple and its premises into a fort. He had also chopped the elephants belonging to the temple, documents for the same is available in the temple even today. After capturing Bhagamandala as a tribute to himself, Tippu placed a stone titled “Salam Kallu” which can be seen on the way to Talakaveri, A evidence which even today tells the stories of brutality and bloodbath. After 15 years of war and retaliation with Kodavas, Tipu had understood he would not be able to capture the entire Kodagu which would provide him easy access to Mangalore port, hence he wanted to try something different. Something, which resulted in one of the biggest genocide of human race.
Tipu sent a message to naal naad Kodavas inviting them for a negotiation stating Marathas and British as his main enemies, hence he would want to end the war with Kodava and head back to Srirangapatana. Learning about the invite, Kodavas from naal naad gathered with their family on 13th of December 1785 at Devatiparambu located on banks of the river Kaveri to negotiate and bid bye to the decade long war. As the sun set behind the mountains of Kodagu, Kodavas came to Devatiparambu unarmed, in the mean while, half of Tippu’s army was deployed inside the forest waiting for Kodavas to gather as a part of his cowardly plan, once Tipu was sure he had unarmed men trapped, he ordered his army to massacre all Kodava present at Devatiparambu, troops hiding behind the bushes pounded on unarmed men, women and kids slaughtering more than 70,000 and capturing about 90,000 Kodavas and were deported to Seringapatam.
The captured women and children were subjected to immense physical and mental torture, the young men were all forcibly circumcised and incorporated into the Ahmedy Corps (name of Tipu’s army). The captured were subjected to forcible conversions to Islam, death, and torture. It’s said scale of massacre was so huge that the water in the Kaveri river turned red due to blood oozing out of the dead bodies and continued to flow red in color for 12 consecutive days. Many who were captured were converted to Islam and sent back to Kodagu and called themselves as Kodava Mapilas.
There are about 60 Kodava Mapilas family residing in Kodagu. They share same family names as that of Kodavas. In Devanageri village, Puliyanda Kodava mapilas resides and in the regions surrounding Virajpet, there are Muslim family names like Kuvalera, Italtanda, Mitaltanda, Kuppodanda, Kappanjeera. Similarly, in the Madikeri taluk, there are Kalera, Chekkera, Charmakaranda, Maniyanda, Balasojikaranda, and Mandeyanda in the Hoddur village in Madikeri taluk.
Kodava mapilas also used Kodava Ornaments, Mandamada Kodava mapilas and still use tookbolcha in their home, at the temples in Bshettigeri and Hudikeri, Karthura and Mandamada Kodava mapilas are priests. At yemmemadu dargah festival even to this date Kodava mapilas start the festival proceedings by offering prayers and flinging rice, Chekkera and Kalera Kodava mapilas are takkanga at yemmemadu.
The existence of these Kodava Mapilas are another living evidence reflecting the barbarism of Tipu on Kodavas. Tipu believed in destroying temples in Kodagu, during his course of destruction, he happened to destroy a bhagavadhi temple near Kotakeri and burnt Biddatanda ainmane where he captured 48 innocent people and took them along to Seringapatam. Among these 40 people, Appanna managed to escape and returned to his village in Kodagu, however Appanna was out casted since villagers thought he was converted to Islam. Appanna lived alone till death near a pond which is called Appannajjanda Kere. The pond can be found even today. The remains of the Biddatanda Ain-Mane which was burnt with people inside shouting for help tells the horrific mindset of Tipu and his brigade.
Tipu after capturing Madikeri fort set his eyes on removing Kalasa from the Omkareshwara temple and replaced it with the dome which is another architectural evidence for destruction Tipu carried out during his rule. Tipu also wanted to abolish Kannada completely and hence he introduced Persian language into his administration . The persian words like “Dhapan, Barcas and Jammabandi ”still used in our land documents at Kodagu shows Tipu a wannabe to had eliminated Kannada from Karnataka. Its irony that government wants to celebrate Tipu’s birthday across Karnataka. The evidence not only indicates that he was not a conqueror but a religious fanatic and a dictator who believed in ethical cleansing of Kodavas and other community in south India.
The evidence for the bloodiest history of Kodagu and Kodava exists even today and is documented. A history which is filled with in-humanness, violence and genocide, a history which is today rewritten by politicians to lionize a mass murderer and efforts to project him as a hero is not only hurting the sentiments of Kodava, but it’s also sending out a wrong message about our history to the future generation of this country. A man who lost the battle 31 times and killed the brave Kodava warriors by infidelity can never be a Hero. Tipu was an invader, a dictator a coward and a murderer of human race and glorifying such inhuman personality is absolute shame and disgrace to humanity. The real history needs to be told to the next generation for them to know who the real warriors of the Kodava Land were.
Mukkatira Mac Thimmaiah.”
The above explains in volumes what Tipu Sultan stood for. Congress is celebrating that man who is just the opposite of Secularism.On the same vein you could also see Congress has been in partnership with Indian Union MUSLIM LEAGUE for decades to cling on to power in Kerala. And they use the religious card to win elections in every state.Of course you cannot forget the fact that the name of “Gandhi” which they use as suffix to the family that leads Congress itself is something FABRICATED!!!Also note that the Congress of today has really nothing to do with the original Congress as most of the people who sacrificed for the country with the party has departed from it to form other parties and or retired in agony. Still the party claims the legacy of some great people who were long forgotten by them except one family.
Hope the people of India will realize what they are losing by promoting pseudo secularism.It will not take too long when “OTHERS” have the least 35% of population holding their religious beliefs and the country will become the flag bearer of that religion. Conquerors were honored and facilitated, now we are facilitating them to take supremacy on our own raise and potential retaining of those belief systems as we care the less about our ancestry and the heroes who gave their precious lives for the cause of this thinking ‘LOKA SAMASTHA SUKHINO BHAVANTHU’.