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This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2011) Kunchitiga is a caste or community of people from Karnataka, India, forming a subdivision of castes known as the Vokkaliga. They are concentrated mostly in Tumkur and Mysore.[1] They are also found in Chitradurga district. They have their distinct costumes and traditions and are closely related to Kuruba Gowda community. It is thought that Kunchitigas were originally Kurubas, which is confirmed by the fact that they follow gotra system as Kurubas. The usage of Gotras to identify onself and to prevent intermarriages was first started by the people of Kuruba Community. Contents 1 Distinction 2 Today 3 History 3.1 The Legend of Jaladhi Bopparay 3.2 Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri 3.3 Greek ancestry 4 Language and demography 5 Sub-divisions 6 Prominent Personalities 7 External links 8 References Distinction Kunchitigas ceased to be called as Kurubas as they took up other professions unlike Kurubas whose main profession was sheep rearing and wool weaving. Kunchitigas predominantly do agriculture, woolen blanket weaving, some became traders and merchants. In the modern days some people call them Vokkaligas as they till the land. Today Kunchitigas remain backward unaware of their culture and background. Since being classified as a subgroup of Vokkaligas they have been denied their opportunities as most are stolen by Morusu, Gangadikara and Dasa Vokkaligas. Throughout their history Kunchitigas never mention Vokkalathana(Agriculture) as their profession. Sadly they are today just being used as vote banks by other Vokkaligas. The lack of unity and understanding of their history is to be blamed. History While the exact origins of the community is disputed till date, there seems a consistent legend describing the migration of the community from the north to the south of India. Legend has that Kunchitigas were originally from northern parts of Karnataka/India and were forced to migrate south to their present destination due to various circumstances prevailing in that region. Their leader was one Undetharaya who was unable to cross the overflowing Tungabhadra river and was helped by a Kuruba Gowda called "Jaladhi Bapparaya" to cross the river on the promise that he would name the community after him. Jaladhi Bopparaya was holding a Kuncha(cluster) used to weave woolen blankets in his hands, a symbol of his profession. Undeyetharaya named his community as Kunchitiga in honour of him. The one who was holding a Kuncha. Undetharaya also gave his daughter in marriage to Jaladhi Bapparaya, heralding the start of a new community. The Legend of Jaladhi Bopparay A long time ago, the marriage of a Muslim ruler at the palace in Delhi was being arranged. The preparations demanded vast amounts of ghee and so the king had ordered all the local merchants to collect as much ghee as possible for the occasion. The residents of Devagiri were devotees of “Sri Krishna” and this deeply engaged in the domestication of cattle. Apart from their primary profession of agriculture they produced a variety of dairy products such as milk, ghee, yogurt and butter. Some of the kings merchants came to the town of Devagiri in search of the ghee. On arriving at the town their attention was drawn to a group of Kunchitiga girls, who were drawing water from the town well. Among them was a beautiful damsel who they thought fit to be a queen and so they followed her home. On reaching her house they found a single strand of hair belonging to the damsel floating through bath channels. So they took the single strand of hair that was a thing of beauty by itself to their king. They informed the King of the beautiful maiden and presented him with the single strand of hair. The king mesmerized by the beauty of the single strand of hair could only imagine the maiden to be of unknown beauty. He summoned the leader of the Kunchitiga people and asked for the maidens hand in marriage. But the Kunchitiga people being devotees of Krishna were staunch believers of the Hindu religion and were not willing to give her to a king of a different religion. But the persistent King forced them to give the girl in marriage to him and so they decided to flee from Devagiri. So the elders met and decided to leave the town at the earliest possible date. But at the time they only had carts made of brass and stone, and they thought if they travel in such carts the noise they would create would definitely attract attention and the king would find them. So they needed to build wooden carts, “Wundeyetharaya" of the Kunchitiga people agreed to provide wood from “Kalluhathi mara” Chendavara mara” and "Bevina mara” trees, Maragooli of “Yeradu Kere Gothra” built the 48 carts needed for the escape. In gratitude for this contribution the Kunchitigas gave him the title of “Nada Gowdike veelya”. On completion of the 48 carts the Kunchitigas left Devagiri by the cover of night. Without a place in sight they travelled south towards the river “Thungabhadra”. On hearing of their escape the Muslim King sent his armies after them. Closely pursued by the Muslim king's armies they arrived at the banks of the “Tungabhadra”. But unable to cross it, they were stuck on its banks and so they prayed to the river goddess. The river goddess appeared and said to them, if one of them was to give her his head she would let them pass. But none of the Kunchitigas were prepared to give their head. On hearing of their dilemma “Jaladhi Bopparaya” a local Kuruba Gowda(person who belongs to the community of shepherds) agreed to be sacrificed to the river goddess on condition that he be given the girl in marriage and eternally remembered by the community. The Kunchitigas agreed and so he was beheaded in sacrifice to the river goddess. His severed head was placed in his hands as a gesture of devotion to the river goddess. “Wundeyatharaya” gave away his daughter “Chikka Byredevamma” in a marriage to this headless “Jaladhi Bopparaya" in order to keep their promise to him. The river then magically split into two allowing the Kunchitigas to cross before joining again blocking the muslim armies per-suite. Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri The Kunchitigas could be Yadava/Golla/Kurubas who migrated to southern parts of India during the fall of their dynasty. The Seuna dynasty claimed descent from the Yadavas and therefore, its kings are often referred to as the "Yadavas of Devgiri". Ala-ud-din Khalji sent Malik Kafur to recapture Devagiri in 1310. Singhana III was killed in the ensuing battle and Ala-ud-din Khalji army occupied Devagiri. There seems to be a lot of evidence to indicate the Kunchitigas were people of the Seuna dynasty. The Legend of Jaladhi Bopparaya has a clear theme of being chased south by Muslim invaders. Even the timing (13 century AD) of the arrival of the Kunchitigas to Nandana Hosur is in sink with the capture of Devagiri by Alauddin Khilji. Seunas were once the feudatories of the Rashtrakutas and then of the Western Chalukyas. Further many Seuna rulers had Kannada names and titles such as "Dhadiyappa", "Bhillama", "Rajugi", "Vadugi", "Vasugi" and "Kaliya Ballala". Greek ancestry Another theory links the Kunchitiga people to Greek ancestry. According to this theory Kunchitiga Vokkaligas are Chalukyan warriors who conquered vast areas of South and North India. Or people of Rashtrakuta origin (Rashtrakutas are the break-away group of Chalukyan kingdom) as some Kunchitigas trace their origin to Pune. The word Chalukyas could be a phonetic of Selecus a Greek warrior and commander of Alexander, a contemporary of Mauryas. The Kunchitiga name is a combination of two words Kuncha + Iti. A person with a spear['Iti' or 'Barji'] and Kuncha a brushy helmet possibly of ancient Greek origin. This theory is supported with evidence from their settlement and migration patterns which resembles that of a mobile army's way of setting up outposts on their way. The Chalukya's are spread over Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra possibly during war expeditions or an Ashvamedha Yagna. Further more some historians have stated that the Kunchitiga people have a Mediterranean look. They may have married into the local diaspora to become part of the community. Language and demography Kunchitigas have sister communities in the states of Tamilnadu known as "Okkaligas" Andhrapradesh known as "Kupukamma, Reddy". Kunchitiga's from Karnataka speak the Kannada language. Sub-divisions Original article here It is believed that Kunchitigas originally had 101 Gothras. Currently people of the following 48 gothras are found in the Karnataka region.[2] 1. Undenavaru : they were preparing and selling Vibhoothi unde 2. Janakallunavaru  : they were the merchants of (satekallu) Sanekallu 3. Arasanavaru  : they ruled the Kingdom as kings. 4. Jaledenavaru  : descendants of Jaladhi Bapparaya who helped to cross the river 5. Ragenavaru : they grow ragi and sold as merchants 6. Havinavaru : they are the descendants of Havinakamaraya He was a godly person 7. Attenavaru : the merchants to tamarian fruits. 8. Aluvanavaru : those who established new provinces and ruled them 9. Dhanyadavaru : Those who were looking after stores of food grains as 10. Eradukereyavaru  : Those who built two tanks at the same time. 11. Karadenavaru : Those catching the bear and giving training to it to move and Dance 12. Halanavaru  : Cowherds who collected milk and sold it. 13. Surenavaru  : They were worshipping the sun as their God. 14. Basalenavaru  : they grow basale plants and sold basale leaves. 15. Yammenavaru : they were tending buffalo. 16. Yerrenavaru  : they were shifting "Asugalu "from one place to the other. 17. Huliyararu  : they establishing tamarind gardens. 18. Settenavaru  : they were fully engaged in Business. 19. Gonenavaru  : they were weaving gauny bags and sold them. 20. Alpenavaru  : they rendered their service in the army. 21. Bellenavaru  : Merchants of silver. 22. Andenavaru  : they were preparing utensils and sold them. 23. Jeerigenavaru  : they grew Jeerige and sold it. 24. Kattaradavaru  : they were holding sword and fight. 25. Vanamanavaru  : they established groups or cluster of trees or Gardens. 26. Kagenavaru  : they were worshipping crow as their God�s incarnation 27. Manesenavaru  : they grow "Menasu" and sold it. 28. Kambaliyavaru : they were weaving woollen carpets (Kambali) and selling them. 29. Eliyavaru  : they were weaving Muthugada leaves for meals and selling 30. Mayinavaru  : they grow mango Gardens. 31. Aralenavaru  : they grow cotton and sold it. 32. Garikeru  : they were worshipping "Garikeplant" thinking it as "Benaka" 33. Sarangadavaru  : they are associated with the animal "Saranga". 34. Ravuthadavaru  : they tough riding on the horse. 35. Huthadavaru : they were worshipping Ant-hill (hutha). 36. Gudiyavaru  : they were marching in the procession in the holding flags. 37. Jariyavaru  : they believed centipede as God and do not kill it. 38. Galenavaru  : they were catching fish using "Gala " 39. Badavanavaru  : they were beating drums on the forts and giving signals to the Army About the enemy. 40. Dasalenavaru  : they served in Army with their speur (Eeti) & Shield (Gurani). 41. Ullenavaru  : they were growing plenty of Horsegram. 42. Astenavaru  : they were helping staff to all the eight ministers of the king. 43. Shastradavaru  : they were praying their kings in the palace with thousands of Descriptions. 44. Damaguthiyavaru  : they were beating drum (Dhakke) in the palace 45. Koggenavaru  : they were feeding birds and animals by the help of worm "Kogge" 46. Kakkenavaru  : they were worshipping plants called "kakke" 47. Meeslenavaru : they were preparing "Bhasinga" and Thondila. 48. Volakalloru : they were sleeping at the time of dividing gothras and came at end . The following gothras are found outside the Karnataka region.[2] 1. Kallakanteyavaru 2. Jakkeladavaru 3. Thandadavaru 4. Koddagerenavaru 5. Saakuvalleru 6. Kodehalliyavaru 7. Kottagereyavaru 8. Huttenavaru 9. Kalledavaru 10. Nimbenavaru 11. Devanavaru 12. Hallakattanavaru Prominent Personalities Dr B.C Seetharam Felo IISC, Doctorate University of Grenoble(1959) Early student of Louis Néel Nobel Prize in Physics 1970 Dr Narasimiah Ramesh, Doctorate University of Toronto External links kunchitiga.com kunchitigaglobal.com vokkaligar.org Matrimony Blog References ^ K. Balasubramanyam; India. Superintendent of Census Operations; Mysore; India. Office of the Registrar General (1965). Mysore: handicraft survey monographs : crafts using wood as the chief raw material. Mittal Publications. pp. 17–. GGKEY:HRFC6GWCY6D. http://books.google.com/books?id=w9jbqGLH7ioC&pg=PA17. Retrieved 11 March 2011.  ^ a b M, Puttaiah (1973) [1973]. Kunchitigara Samajada Charitre. Bangalore. p. 95.  This article is extracted from "Kunchitigara Parampare haagu Samaja Sudharakaru" by Dr V. Anjanappa. Published by "Vishwa Kunchitigara Parishath" (first edition-2009).