|Ancient Kodava (Photo by Richter, 1870)|
by Kushal Mucon (Mookonda Kushalappa)
Kiggat nad remained outside Haleri control until the reign of Dodda Virappa. Chittiappa Nayaka ruled Anjigheri nad (‘nad of five villages’), Mathth Mukkati Nayaka ruled over Maththur and Machangala (Machangada) Nayaka ruled some other parts of Kiggat nad. Katte Chittiappa Nayaka belonged to the Kattera family of Kiggatnad. In the Kannada records he was called Katte manae Chittiappa Nayaka. The Kattera (Katte) of Kiggatnad were an ancient Kodava clan. The Pattole Palame speaks of one Kattera Chengappa who helped build a temple to one of the 'Anji Deva' (five gods) of Kiggatnad. A number of families in Kiggatnad end with the word '-maada'. Likewise, there is a Kattemada family and a Katteyangada family in Kodagu. Periya patna was under relatives of the Ikkeri Rajas and allies of the Haleri Rajas. Nanjunda arasa was the Raja of Periyapatna. Many Coorgs lived in Periyapatna at that time.
A feud arose between Chittiappa Nayaka and Machangala Nayaka. A tiger was killed in the forest, which bordered both their territories, and both claimed to have killed it. Chittiappa’s claim was widely accepted and so Machangala grew jealous. One night, along with his ally Mukkati Nayaka of Maththur, he had Chittiappa’s house burned down and it’s inmates killed. However, Chittiappa’s son Achchu was saved by the housemaid who then escaped to Periyapatna where she sought and obtained refuge. Nanjunda arasa ('ruler') became a mentor for Achchu and got him educated in his palace. Upon his coming of age, he returned home and with assistance from Nanjunda arasa he defeated and killed his two sworn enemies who had destroyed his family. Then he annexed their territories and established himself as the Nayaka of Kiggat naad. Achchu Nayaka got a memorial built for his mentor Nanjunda arasa of Periyapatna. The Kattera line ended in Kiggatnad but branches of the family exist in other parts of Kodagu. Hence Achchu Nayaka's property went to his relatives the Ajjikuttira.
A number of Kodavas used to live in Periyapatna in those days. Later after Periyapatna was taken over by the Mysore Wodeyars, the Kodavas left the place and settled among the Kodavas of Kiggatnad. Hence the language and culture of Kiggatnad and surrounding parts have a Kannada influence. The 'H' sound is largely absent in Kodava thakk but present in the Kiggat dialect due to the Kannada influence. Hence Paal (milk) becomes Haal and Pann (fruit) becomes Hann in Kiggat.
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