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Billava Caste

billava Wedding

Varna : Backward Class

Language : Tulu is the main language spoken by Billava community. In some areas of Karnataka Billavas also speak Kannada and identify themselves as Kannada Billava.

Regional Spread : Billava community is found mainly in the Tulu regions of Karnataka and Kerala.

Food Habits : Mostly non-vegetarian.

Marriage Preference : Prefer matrimonial alliances within their own community.

Famous Personalities
Sri Narayana Guru - Saint and social reformer

History and Origin : It is believed that Billava, Ezhava, Idiga are derived from a Proto-Dravidian word. Plausibly, the root of the word could have been coined for palm trees in general. The families involved in toddy tapping were declared impure as the caste rules were implemented and prohibited from entering temples.

Many social restrictions were imposed upon Billava community. As a result, until the social reforms in twentieth century the community faced many a hardships. Billavas in the past were matrilineal or followed Aliya Kattu, a system typical to Tulu and Malayala regions. Their lineage, known as 'Bali', is similar to that of other Tulu and northern Malayali communities. However, now they follow patrilineal system.

About Billava :

Due to their hard-work and sheer determination, Billavas have today emerged as a fast improving, spiritual people who have gained considerable strength economically, culturally and politically.