The Karavali Tulunadu belt has numerous place names that are vestiges of ancient tribes that inhabited in the region. These tribal groups are known for migrations along and across the peninsular India during the historical space and time. In the process many of the tribes have undergone evolutionary changes in terms of their culture language and identity.
Kadaba is a town in Puttur taluk that retains the vestigial name of a tribal group. The Gadaba tribes are a part of the Munda tribes now predominantly distributed around the Chotanagapur region. The Kadaba tribes are not presently traceable in Tulunadu as they have been assimilated with the native population with passage of time. However, vestiges can be traced. The KaDamba is a surname among Jains of Tulunadu. The Kadamba kings of Banavasi in Sahyadri are said to be derived from a tribal group. Many of the Munda tribes were traditionally known to worship the Kaim/Kadamba tree which became insignia for the Kadamba dynasty. The Kadam surname can be traced further north in Maharastra.
Shambaa Joshi traces journey of an ancient tribe of Karnataka known as Kadava(ru).They were physically strong, rustic tribes. Some of them migrated to Tamil areas where they were called Kalavar. Possibly, some of these tribes were involved in stealing that imparted the name Kalavar.
The Kalavar were a dynamic and enterprising group in Tamilnadu. With time they founded a dynasty known as Kalabhra. The Kalabhra were known in the history for introducing Aryan cultural elements in Tamilnadu. Similar Aryanization works were done by Kadamba in Karnataka.
The Kalavar tribes were also wandering in southern India. Some of them migrated to Karavali region and settled in places between Surathkal and Bajpe in Mangalore taluk. The Kalavara is now a village near MRPL petroleum complex on the Bajpe road. There is also another Kaalavara in Kundapur taluk.
The story of Gadaba /Kadaba- Kadamba-Kadam and Kadaba-Kadava- Kalavar- Kalabhra tribal successions might be a representative string that helps us to visualize the multiple layers of socio-cultural evolution in time and space in India.
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