The name Kakkilaya is said to have been derived from the
name of a place called KAKKOL. This place is in Muliyar village of Kasaragod Taluk.
The history of Kakkilayas is closely entwined with the history of the Shivalli Brahmins
of this area. The earliest recorded history dates back to 4th Century A.D.
It is believed that Mayura Varma, the Kadamba King of 4th
Century A.D., brought Kakkilayas, along with other Tulu Brahmins, from Ahi
Kshetra and appointed them as Jannis (Temple Trustees) at Kakkol in Shreepadi
village of Kasaragod. (At present, Kakkol is found in Muliyar village and
Shreepadi is non-existing). A branch of
this migrated from its original abode to Bevinje, located in the neighbouring
village of Chengala. A new habitat was built on the Northern bank of river
Payasvini, otherwise called river Chandragiri. Subrahmanya is believed to be the
deity worshipped by the Kakkilayas when they were in Muliyar village, where an
ancient Subramanya temple exists. The branch that migrated to Bevinje
established a Subramanya temple at a place called Mayangara in Chengala village.
To this day Kakkilayas are addressed by the Daivas as 'Mayangara Devante Tantry '
, meaning devotees and worshippers of Mayangara Deva. The family prospered in its
new habitat and acquired extensive landed properties in Chengala, Muliyar and in
other villages of Kasaragod taluk. Another branch of the same original family is
now called as Ballullayas of Muliyar. Even to this day Kakkilayas and
Bullullayas do not inter-marry and both trace their origin to Athree, the great
Indian Sage. Kakkilayas of Bevinje assume the role of the last outpost of Tulu
Nadu. Payasvini or Chandragiri river is said to be the traditional boundary
between the home land of the Malayalis and that of the Tuluvas.
Later in history, Kakkilayas of Bevinje along with
Ballullayas, Kunikullayas, Irnirayas, Pejathayas, Kamadas etc. (8 families in all) were ministers and advisors of the Rajas of Kumbale who ruled over 'Kumbale
Seeme'. The domain of the Rajas of Kumbale was under the overlordship of Ikkeri
Kingdom and Vijaya Nagara empire.
Although Chandragiri river was the cultural and linguistic
line of divide between Tulu and Malayalam speaking people, the areas both to the
north and to the south of that river were under the Kannada speaking rulers of
Ikkeri and Vijayanagar. The area from Thalapady to Kaveri rivers, which
comprised Kasaragod taluk under the British, was a single administrative unit
called "Tulu 32 -cum- Malayala 32" land.
During the British regime, Kakkilayas of Bevinje were
prominent and influential agricultural land holding family and they were
hereditary 'Patels' or village officers of Chengala village.