Gounder: title origins
The title Gounder is used with various regional variations by distinct castes.The title originally meant the feudal lords of villages.The root word is either Kavunda கவுண்ட or Gowda கவுட,the ண் N aspirant sometimes avoided.This system of administration was started mainly by the great king of the Ganga dynasty,Durvinita.This post of a village headman was usually given to the warrior clans of this region and mostly fell to the erstwhile Gangakula to which Durvinita himself belonged to.Later various other regional kings and castes adopted this title for various reasons.The main castes which are called typical Gounder and Gowda. Both claim descendant from the Ganga clan.The Vokkaligas settled in Tamilnadu call use the title of Gounder as likewise do the Gounders in Karnataka where they are called Tamil Gowdas; thus distinguished to be kin communities.
India is known for its diversity of climate soils, vegetations, animals, peoples, cultures and languages. According to the British Historian abert of 56 kings who ruled the country 26 were kannadigas of okkaligas origin. They were considered as aborgins and belonged totamulic family is they were originated from the Himalayan range .Tamulic become Dravidian originated from Sanskrit after bishop Caldwell okkaligas (means oil-lamp) is not a caste in those days as Hinduism and the name denoted their origin from the milk dropping that were showered over the lingams by kamadenu and also by their profession of framing, they are also called as kamukula okkaliya kappu and ku.Kappu as they strictly followed the guidelines of the chief of the group.
The casteless communes of the human society in India un those days met a division perhaps with the invasion of Aryans and grouped into four social strata groups. Each of the stratum group was assigned with the particular work to do for the welfare of communes as honey bees and other social insects are doing without exploting each other. This system helped greatly to develop knowledge and skill among the group or family generation after generation, as there was no well-oaganized human society to any one irrespective of cast and creed for govermance of the society. The social system with the division of labour might have worked efficiently in those days when the population was minimum and is considered as the farunner for development of caste system in the country. This system-helped invasion by other, sloweo down the development and also paved the way of exploitation by a mighty one with in and outside the caste in the kaliugam. The okkaligas commune was also become one among several ‘castes’ in the society of India due to the influence of this system. The people of this community are living in different parts of India with a sizable population in Andra Pradesh, Karnataka and tamilnadu in the diverse habitats.
The history of okkaligas dates back to epic era of kieredha-tieredha-duvabaraugam.. They were born at the dawn of duvabaraugam from the milk dropinds of kamadenu lactated over lingams.. They were 48 in numbers named after their quality and physics leading a chaste,disciplined harmonious life in the forest area of the Himalayan range. These 48 person s (Table 1) aer consider as fore fathers of the morden okkaliya community. Among them avunavaru, Babavanaru, Basalenavaru, Emmenavaru, Dasalenavaru, Hundennavaru, Jaladennavaru, janakalinnavaru got married to none beautiful girls of shri Krishna Kula Nagakanni set of Yadhava community and rest of them were married to the offspring of these couples by strictly following the system of the brotherhood as decided earlier by gob nandhi perumal and had very pleasant life at this habitat..
The historical evidences show that the okkaligas lived in the region of punjap, rajapunthanam (rajasthan), delhi, Gujarat, Bengal and regions lying between ganga and yamunna rivers as farmers. It is painful to know that a hindu king chandragupta-II went against okkaligas through war that forced the foeceless okkaligas to migrate to other places in north. The hindu kingdoms in olden India were subsequently replaced by invading nawabs who were cruel to the hindu community. The arrocities committed on the hindu population by the nawabs of different regions of north and central India compled them to move to the thungabadra river area in the south through mazhava, birar , and bhamini stats nearer to golkonda lying on the south of the Krishna river after remaining for some periods at these places. The river thungabdra was in spate at the time of they arriavle and found difficult to cross. The prayers and sacrifice made by janakkallar enable them to reach other side of the river. According to the other version of the archeological department of coimbatore one of the chieftains, Jallathipparaya (Jallam=water, thipparaya=return back) was responsible for getting them to oyher side of Tungabadra River through his prayers and sacrifice. The crossing of the River was remembred on 18th of addi month of every year by conducting annual festivals and offering prayers to kula devathaigal. It is being followed even now to commemorate this event and also for the prosperity modern society knowingly or unknowingly to mark the event of sacrifice made on this day by jannakkalar that enableb his community people to cross the thungabadra river safely and flourished wherever they settled
They moved beyond Thungabadra River down South and settled in a group in aplacecalled NandanaHousur.According to The Hyderabad gazeteer and Arekaree Allakur Gazeteer kunchitikas population was found to exist at Godhavari rei\gion in A.D .8 and 10th centuries. The political and communal disturbances that possibly took place in latter date at Nandana Hosur forced many families of Okkaligas to leave to other places. According to the Etriographical suevey of mysore the kunchitika okkaligas were engaged in agriculture and armoury in the krishnadevarayar’s kingdom and some of them were moved to west (Maharastra region) in 1224 and to tamilnadu after thalaikottai war held in 1565. They were also emigrated to east (orissa, Bengal then called as Gowda Desam in those days) from thungabadra area for settlements. Wherever they went they architected an “ammasimane” in thein settlements and accommodated their Kula devathigal. The people of okkaligar community who settled in different places of south and from other states used to pry visit on pilgrimage to ammasimane and also contact jathri once in 12 years and offer their respective Kula Deities as preached by jannakkallar.
The names of the individuals of original 48 persons of okkaligas latter became the nam,e of Kulams (goth rams) to identify the generations developed through each of these individuals.The wives of these people where worishiped as family deitics latter eras at various settlements.