The History of Shivalli
It is believed that Mayura Varma, the Kadamba King who ruled vast areas of Southern and
central India in the 4th Century A.D. brought Brahmins from Ahi Kshetra (or Ahichatra) and
put them in-charge of various temples in the Tulu Nadu.
Mayura Varma and his son Chandrangada Raya had divided their Kingdom into 67
administrative units called 'Gramas'. 32 of them were in Tulu Nadu, 32 in Malayalam
speaking region and 3 in Haiga. The entire region spread across about 120 kms in length
(North to South) and about 100 kms in breadth (West to East). River Payaswini (also called
Chandragiri) has been traditionally considered as the boundary between Tulu Nadu and Malayali
The term Tulu Nadu is supposedly derived from the word Tula Bhara (Tula = Weighing
Scale, Bhara = Weight), a custom in this region wherein commodities are weighed against
the weight of the concerned person.
Mayura Varma appointed Brahmins to manage the affairs of these 32 units. Ballalas
(unit heads), Agnihotris (priests), Tantris, Sabhapathis (ministers), Pandiths (scholars),
Gramanis (executives), Jannis (Temple trustees ) etc. were all appointed to run the
administration of these units.
The Brahmins who first landed in Shivalli and then spread across 31 villages came to be
known as Shivalli Brahmins or Tulu Brahmins. Brahmins who were appointed in the Western
Kootaka (or Kota) village came to be known as Kota Brahmins (Hande, Hebbara, Herala,
Holla, Karantha, Navada, Basri and Mayya are the eight renowned Kota Brahmin families).
The 32 Gramas (Villages)
of Tulu Nadu
|2. Orakadi (Varkadi)
||2. Vodilu (Badilu)
|3. Marani (Marane)
||3. Karandaru (Kaarandooru)
||5. Ujiri (Ujire)
|6. Koodila (Koodalu)
|7. Mogebailu (Mogaraalu)
||8. Raaminja (Raamakunja)
||10. Balpa (Balapa)
||11. Irnadu (Ivaranadu)
|12. Shivabelli (Shivalli)
||12. Idikedu (Idkidu)
|13. Brahmapura (Brahmavara)
||14. Paavinje (Paalinja)
|15. Kootaka (Kota)
It is amazing to find that there are more than 500 names of Shivalli Brahmin
families in this region even to this date. Most of these names are derived from
the names of the places wherein these families lived.
More about Tulu and Tulunadu at www.yakshagana.com