Kozhikode: They came. They saw. They became part of it. People from the Telugu Yadava community have a unique story to narrate on how they became part of the cultural and social milieu of Kozhikode in north Kerala.
The Yadava community had migrated to the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala from Andhra Pradesh centuries ago.
Telugu Yadavas have been diligently following the age-old customs. Even today, they strictly adhere to the Gothra (clan) system.
There are 5,080 Telugu Yadava families across Kerala. There are 430 families in Kozhikode district alone, says Telugu Yadava Seva Samithi state treasurer B A Anil Kumar. These families reside at Koodarapura, Palayam, Anakulam, Muthalakulam and West Hill in Kozhikode.
The arrival of the British Army in southern India is linked to the migration of Yadavas. The presence of Yadavas were noted at all those areas where the British built their forts.
Around 3.5 centuries ago, when the Britishers came to the south India, the Yadavas also accompanied them. To ensure a steady supply of milk and milk products, the group of Yadavas also were also made to stay close to the British camps.
Next to each British camp, one street and a bunch of houses would belong to the Yadavas. As the Army moved from one place to another, the Yadavas, too, travelled with the troops, said T K Ganeshan, a history researcher from the community. The Kannur native got into research work after retiring from the Air Force.
As the Britishers reached Kozhikode, Yadavas accompanied them as suppliers of milk products. Behind the famed Paragon Hotel stands the only temple of the Yadava community in the district, Kanchi Kamakshi Amman Temple. This area known as Koodarapura has several homes of people from the community.
Building homes, lives
The community first set up their base in 11 hamlets in the erstwhile Madras province. Five hamlets each in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and one in Karnataka. The Yadavas built their homes and lives at Kozhikode, Kannur, Mananthavady, Palakkad, and Kollam in Kerala. In Tamil Nadu, they set up their homes at Neelgiri, Pazhani, Dindigul, Madura, and Shivaganga. They chose Madikeri at Coorg in Karnataka.
T K Ganeshan pointed out the base of all the 11 hamlets in Madras province was at Pazhani. The Shanitkula Soumya Narayana Trust, that controls the activities of the community, is located at Pazhani. They worship the goddess Kanchi Kamakshi.
Each of the 11 hamlets has one Kamakshi Amman temple. One of which is situated at Malikaparambu. Preparations are in full swing for the upcoming Navarathri celebrations at the temple. The annual temple festival is held during Navarathri celebrations and a procession would be carried out through the town on Vijayadashmi day, the festival committee chairman T V Murali Gautam said.