Thursday, 16 June 2011


There are no proper records available to trace the origins of the BUNTS. In earlier centuries Tulava households ruled some smaller Kingdoms. Sometimes they ruled under smaller kings such as Pallava's, Kadamba's, Chalukya's, Hoysala's. The smaller rulers had frequent clashes or fighting with the kings, who gave birth to a group or community of warriors called as BUNTARU in Kannada which means able warriors. In due course, the same community was called as BUNTS. Later, they succeeded in becoming land owners. Bunta means a powerfulman or soldier. According to some other sources BUNT might have been derived from the word "BUNTA".

It is believed that they had been helping the kings,as second - in - command enjoying the king's trust and confidence by discharging their duties with devotion. Bunts sometime known as "Naadavas" residing in the northern part of South Kanara extending from Baindoor to Chandragiri River,are a branch of Bunts' community, who speak Kannada. In Kannada "Naadu" means village or root, sometimes it is mentioned as Plant. This indicates Nadavaru settling down with agriculture.

As the kingdoms came to an end,the smaller kingdoms also became weak and lost their existence such as "moolas" of "bailugadi" ajilas of Venur,raja's of Kumble,Tholahas of Sooral,Bhangas of bangadi Heggades of Nelyadi, Chautas of Puthige , bairarasa of Karkala, Marda heggade of Kava, Maramma Heggade of Yermal, they still remember the history of their ancestors. Due to the decline of kingdoms, Bunts or Buntaru lost their position and jobs, resulting in a fight for their survival. Fortunately, the land given to them by the kings in appreciation of their bravery ,selfless service and loyalty to kings came to their rescue. They diverted their spirit of fighting towards cultivation and became the landlords, there by improving their l iving standards. The Agriculture became their main occupation. Originally they did not cultivate the land given to them as gifts by kings or by themselves, but got it done byother communities. This shows their dominant characteristics. British recognized Bunts as one of the most handsome people in South-East Asia well built and well mannered. According the historian, E.Thurston - 'men' had a broad forehead and parrot nose, independent nature, short tempered and well built muscular body which signifies characteristics of a 'warrior',that is what Bunts are and they reign supreme in any field they choose. Our youngsters believe in their beauty and brains. This self-confidence made "Aishwarya Rai" a bunt girl become Miss World,1994. She is the most talked of Miss World because of her beauty combined with intelligence.


Bunts have been living in their ancestral homes long before the birth of Christ. They lived under a joint family system governed by "Aliyasanthana" (Matriarchal) tradition. Our ancestors were following this system for generations together and according to their custom the entire property vested with eldest member of the family,either male or female known as "Yajaman" or "Yajamanthi".

This tradition came into practice and was followed by every one in the Bunts' community with the belief that it was an ancient practice. Bunts still believe that this tradition was inherited from a king Bhutala Pandya who ruled Tulunaadu and introduced this system - 77 A.D. It is said that when the maternal uncle,king Deva Pandya of prince Bhutala Pandya wanted to launch his newly constructed ships with valuable cargo in them. The king of Demons Kundodara demanded a human sacrifice. The king Deva Pandya desperately asked his wife's permission to offer one of his sons for sacrifice,but his wife refused and went away with her seven children.But his sister Satyavati offered her son Jaya Pandya for the sacrifice.The king of demons,Kundodara discovering the child's sign of future greatness,waived the sacrifice and permitted ship to sail.He then took the child, restored to him his father's kingdom of Jayantika and gave him the name Bhutala Pandya. When some of the ships brought immense wealth,the demon again appeared and demanded from Deva Pandya another sacrifice.

The king Deva Pandya again was frustrated and consulted his wife,she refused to comply with the request and publicly renounced her title and that of her children to valuable property brought in the ships. Then Kundodara demanded that Deva Pandya disinherit his sons of the wealth which had been brought in those ships and also of the kingdom and to bestow all on his sister's son Bhutala Pandya.So Bhutala Pandya inherited his kingdom from his maternal uncle not from his father. And ruled for 75 years during 77 A.D.Then his nephew Vidyadyumna Pandya inherited the kingdom and ruled 81 years and like. The Aliyasantana/ Materiarchal syste -(The system of inheritance through female line.),gives property rights to the lady and all rights are centralized on her,example: Some of the surnames of Bunts come from the mother side. The name of the mother's ancestral house normally became the prefix or suffix of one's name. This may be because when men went to the battlefield,the wife took the whole responsibility of the family and became the decision-maker.So in the Aliyasantana system more importance is given to the mother's side of the family. More respect is given to maternal uncles than to the paternal uncles.

There are different categories like Bantaru,Nadavaru,JainBunts,Masaadika Bunts,Parivaara Bunts,Setru,Halarusetru,Baraga, Ullaye,Dokkaludethi,Kartharu,Palavaru,Okkelakalu.

Maasaadika Bunts :They are the Tulu speaking common Bunts of Tulunaadu,who have mostly settled in the Southern part of South Kanara from Udupi to Kasaragod.

Naadavas or Nadabunts :They are Kannada Speaking people from northern parts of South Kanara from Brahmavar to Baindoor.

Parivaara Bunts :They are normally from northern side their culture is similar to other divisions but matrimonial relationships are restricted with other divisions. They follow Brahmin culture.

Jain Bunts :They are bunts who converted to Jainism. They were influenced by Jain Kings their surnames are like Alva, Hegde,Banga,Konde,Ajila etc.

Culture : Tuluva cultures is an amazing blend of Vedic and Dravidian practices. Even today the big families in some villages have the respect of "GUTHU" or "BEEDU".

In olden days, in the absence of motorized transport the marriage alliance took place between families close to each other, Uncles and Maternal uncle’s children married each other. The engagement ceremony was very simple,only a few elders from both the families used to be present and the engagement was conducted at the Brides’ house.No women from the boy’s family participated.

Simple Muhurtham is performed at the bride’s or groom’s place on the day of the marriage or the previous day. Marriage was also simple without pomp and show.

During those days, being a joint ’Aliya Santhana family’ the mass marriage expenses were borne by ‘Yajamana’ of the family. Only relatives and friends who attended the marriage used to give cash gifts and a list of cash gifts was made so as to return the gifts,when a marriage is celebrated by the person who gave the gifts earlier. This helps the persons conducting the marriage defray the expenses. The marriage is celebrated at Bride’s or Groom’s houses depending on their convenience.
In modern days because of motorised transport the contact between families became easier & marriage alliances occured between the families living in different taluks & even in different states. As the result of the ‘Land Reformes Act’,most of the families lost their land holdings. So, majority of our youngsters left the villages in search of jobs & for higher education. The maximum numbers settled in Bombay city & also quite a few settled in other cities.

The dowry evil commenced in early forties as a result of our youth opting for higher education. The parents of such youths since they had paid for their son’s education, wanted this amount to be paid by the parents of the bride in the form of dowry which is easier to be insisted upon as pre-requisite.

Another factor of dowry evil is due to a newly rich class who had amassed wealth in their business and were willing to pay high dowry especially to youth hailing from well known aristocrat families. Thus began the custom of dowry, which has now become the bane of our society. It has now turned out to be a business & whoever pays the highest dowry gets the groom.

The engagement ceremony has become a mini-marriage itself.The Bride's parents through a lavish party,the would be bride & bridegroom are seated together & rings are exchanged. The muhurtham has also become a money spending affair & whole expenses are incurred by parents of the Bride.

Modern marriages of most of the families are arranged in community halls or Kalyan Mandapa at the city.Most of the parents invite majority of community members, even if they happen to be un-related or strangers.

This expenditure is again mostly met by the parents of the Bride. In addtion to this a lavish dinner is thrown at 5 Star Hotels or Clubs, where expensive non-vegetarian food & foreign imported liquor is served & consumed by guests freely.

The Bunts community normally adopted Tulu and Kannada as their main languages.The Tulu language is considered to be one of the languages from the Dravidan family of languages.Dravidan languages consists of Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and Tulu. Tulu occupies the fifth position in Dravidan languages.

According to Rajatapithapura Mahatmya (part of Scandapurana),the legendary king Rama Bhoja who is supposed to have made profuse gifts like Tuladaana, Tulapurusha etc. in order to absolve himself of the sin he committed by killing a serpent inadvertantly,the original name of Tuluva is traced from Tuluban Perumal who is said to have his capital at koteshvara in kundapar Taluk. According to Dr. B.A. Salitore, Tuluva may be traced from the Kannada word Tulu meaning 'to attack'. According to Govinda Pai, it is derived from Tamil root tulai meaning boat, according to him Tulu country which is located near the sea hence most of the business is connected with fishing and water, so called Tuluvan.

The few weights & measures used in Tulunadu are as follows:

MUDI : It is name for one of the weights used in Tulunadu & equals 3360 tolas.

KHANDUGA : It is basically used for Land measure, Dry measure & Liquid measure.

IKKANDUGA, MUGANDUGA, HALGANDUGA represents Twice Thrice & four times the quantity of KANDUGA.

SERU, HANE, KUDIT,MANA : They are used for Dry & Liquid measures

PADI : It’s a measure for Dry measure.

GENI (Land Tenancy) : It actually means the rent paid by the tenant to the land- lord.

MULIGA : It’s the name for a cultivator who has taken cultivable land on permanent lease from their owners .


  1. Mangalore Matrimony sites might help the youngsters and their parents to find a perfect life partner in their religion itself.

  2. Just a piece of info guys... there is a group called 'Tuluva Vellala' in Northern Tamil nadu who assume the title ' Arcot Mudaliar' meaning first citizens. The migrated to arcot now called velore region some 800 years back during the time of veera bellala2 - as warriors who assisted thondaiman chola to capture northern tamil nadu. Many prominent doctors and affluent people in chennai are from tuluva vellala community. they just dont use their surname after the periyar movement. Unfortunately they became dark and lost their physique as velore happens to be the hottest place in whole of tamil nadu. Its a similar story, they fought for the chola king who gave them lands and thus they later turned to farming.

    But just know that your bunt genes did not stagnate in tulu region alone..they were able to expand into other territories as well.

    1. Wow. Superb piece of information. Thanks for sharing.even the Reddys of Andhra Pradesh n Nayars of kerala are said to be Bunts. They too follow the matriarch tradition.

  3. omg, being a Bunta i did
    not knew all these infos. thanks for wrinting.