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Manḍēpanḍa -1

Quick Facts

Number of members in the okka: About 625 in this bhaga (about 850 in both bhagas together), of whom five reside in the ainmane. One family lives near the ainmane.
Location – village: Chembebeliyūr (village and Post).
Age: About 200 years ago.
Community: Kodava.
Date visited: 28 November 2003.
Location – village:

Chembebeliyūr (village and Post).

[On the Virajpet-Madikeri road, turned right at the Maithadi junction to Chembebeliyur, then right at the club and again right through the arch with ‘Ain-House of Mandepanda’ written on it.]  

Type of ainmane: Mund mane with a large verandah with four doors (of which two open to rooms to the left and right of the verandah) and a passage to the nellakki. The mund has a small opening to the sky, with the rain water from the eaves collected and sent down a pipe in the middle. The nellakki has three hanging lamps and a gud. There are three lanes to the house – bel oni (from the fields), neer oni (to fetch water), and okkada oni (main entrance for people – not used now because they have a motorable road for cars). There are huge stone ubba pillars at the back of the house.
Direction facing: East.
Kall boti: Two - one in the kala at the back and one by the side of the house. 
Age: About 200 years ago.
Original ainmane? No, it is the second, built on the same site as the first ainmane, which was a thatched house built by Karanachi Somavva.
Woodwork: The verandah has six-inch thick aimaras;capitols with beautiful etched (not deeply cut) designs on three pillars; window with a beautiful carved wooden screen and carved bars at the bottom (see photo); door-frames of the main door and the door to the room at the right of the verandah are carved with geometric designs. All the rooms have thick, solid doors.
Electricity in the ainmane: Yes.
Telephone in the ainmane: No.
Kanni kamba:  Pillar in the south-west corner of the mund.
Kanni kombare: Room in the south-west corner of the house with four bronze and pancha loha (of five metals) images of ancestors (made in 1971) placed in a square red gudi (see photo). The images are of Karanachi Somavva (who built this ainmane, mother of the two Karanavas – see story), Karanavas Achayya and Monnayya, and pade beera Subedar Appayya. There is a large mud lamp on top of the gudi and a triangular gud in the wall opposite it. Also in the kanni kombare are a gejje thand, pathure kol (white cane), eeti (lance/spear), bal kathi (sword) and three odi kathis. An inner room to the south of the kanni kombare, with a locked net door,has a collection of sports awards and trophies won by members of the okka.
Floor: All cemented in the 1930’s except for three rooms, the kitchen and the attic which have cowdung-washed mud floors. 
Roof: Tiled in 1920.
Number of rooms: 18 large rooms (including the kitchen). 
Attic: Hall with double windows on each of the four sides of the attic facing the mund. Only some benches are kept there. There is one staircase to the attic from the kitchen and one from the room to the south of the mund.
Kaimada: No.  
Al rupa: One made of silver is immersed in the kundike, after offering puje to it in the temple for three days.
Temples/shrines nearby:

Chembebeliyur Bhadrakali (known as Padinjar moga becha thayi, which means ‘mother who faces the west’) temple, famous for the Bod namme held in Edamyar. Ishwara temple.

Festivals celebrated in the ainmane: Only Karanang kodpa, celebrated on the first Sunday after Kaveri theerthodbhava, when the descendants of each of eight ajjas (sons of the Karanavas) invite their thamane mudiya and ede is kept at the thutengala. The other bhaga (Kodiyatha Mandepanda – see story) also joins for this function. (Puthari is celebrated separately in each house).
Number of members in the okka: About 625 in this bhaga (about 850 in both bhagas together), of whom five reside in the ainmane. One family lives near the ainmane.
Book on the okka and Family tree: The book on the okka Mandepanda kutumbada Vamshavali pusthaka’, 2002, written in the Kodava language by Mandepanda Subramania has the Family tree of the okka, starting with Karanachi Somavva.(Have a copy). There is also a Family tree drawn by M.W. Kalappa (have a Xerox copy), based on a manuscript dated 1/3/1887 by his father M.A.Woothappa and the Mandepanda Family History published in 1949 by M.M.Kushalappa. This Family tree has two tables, Table I and Table II, which trace the lineage of some well-known people of the okka. Table II is the family tree of Somavva’s branch (as in the book noted above) and Table I is the family tree of the other bhaga (dated 1887), descendants of Mandepanda Subbaiah.
Name of Karanava: Karanachi Somavva and her sons, Karanavas Achayya (elder) and Monnayya (younger).
Name of Aruva okka: Porkonda.
Thakkame rights of the okka: None. No koyime either.
Pattedara: Appayya.
President of the okka: Robin Mandappa (son of Chengappa).
Mand nearby: Kol mand near the Bhadrakali temple. Nad mands are Nanya Bane mand and Poomale mand.
Ambala nearby: Urambala near the kol mand.
Deva kaad nearby:  Sacred to Makkat Aiyappa (about three acres), near the Kundira ainmane.
Thutengala of the okka: Large cemetery by the side of the road with a low wall and colourfully decorated tomb of Diwan Thimmiah with a basava image on top (see photo) and many plain tombs. The basava image on the tomb was because he married a Lingayath princess, and that is also why they offer only vegetarian ede there.
Year when last wedding held in the ainmane: 22 years ago.
There/Kola in the ainmane: None.
Folksongs sung in the ainmane: No.
Singers of folk songs in the okka: None.
Paintings/drawings on walls: Have not heard of it. But we were told at Puchimada in Nallur that the informant there had seen paintings in red and black mud in the Mandepanda mund mane.
Kadanga nearby: Only small ones.
Stories related to okka name: Do not know any.
Stories related to the okka:

This house, the main and only ainmane of this large okka, was built by Karanachi Somavva. Eight ajjas – sons of the two Karanavas (see story below) - built their own houses (some of which look like ainmanes) in Chembebeliyur, Thakkamakki, Pachat (near Ontiangadi), Siddapur (Oddara halli), Kavadi, Mundoni (Bilugunda) and two in Bilugunda. [Source: ‘Mandepanda Kutumbada Vamshavali Pusthaka’ book on the okka, 2002, by Mandepanda Subramania and Subramania].read more >>


  • A Porimanda man married a lady from the Mandepanda okka. Their only daughter Somavva (who became the Karanachi of the Mandepanda okka) was married to Kopuda Belliappa. She became a widow after she had three children (sons Achayya and Monnayya who became the Mandepanda Karanavas and a daughter). Somavva asked the Raja for the Porimanda land (her natal okka), since none of that okka was left in the village. The Raja granted her request and she took the name of the varga of the land, which was Mandepanda. But she did not prosper there and was going back to the Kopuda house (her late husband’s) with her children, when a beautiful apparition came out of the Bhadrakali temple and stopped them. She asked Somavva to build a house (this ainmane) near the temple (on Mandepanda land), and blessed her that her okka would have many brave sons. Intermarriage between Mandepanda and Kopuda is therefore not allowed, but has occasionally happened. [Source: ‘Mandepanda kutumbada Vamshavali pusthaka’, 2002, by Mandepanda Subramania].
  • When Somavva returned to the Mandepanda land, her mother’s house was in ruins and she became a foster daughter to Mandepanda Muthanna (an early ancestor of the okka), who lived next to her mother’s house and died a bachelor. Muthanna’s brother Subbaiah gave a portion of his land to Somavva and helped her build a house there. Thereafter Somavva pleaded with the Raja to grant her and her children the mane peda of her foster-father (Muthanna) ‘Mandepanda’, as well as 100 bhattis of wetland belonging to Muthanna, and the property of the extinct family of Porimanda. The Raja granted her all that. The brothers Muthanna and Subbaiah also gave her rights to the cremation ground of the Mandepanda okka in Chembebeliyur. [Source: Family tree drawn by M.W. Kalappa].   
  • The other bhaga of the okka, descendants of Mandepanda Subbaiah, was called the Cheriya Mandepanda or Kodiyatha Mandepanda. Their balyamane in Chembebeliyur - now called koppada mane – was built by Diwan Thimmiah after he left the main ainmane in anger. It is reached by the path next to the Mandepanda cemetery and has an upper floor and an attic. They want to put together a committee to maintain the house. 
  • Pade beera Subedar Appayya (whose image is in the kanni kombare) was Karanachi Somavva’s grandson and the fourth son of Karanava Achayya.Appayya and Nagara Halli Putte Gouda helped Dodda Veeraraja capture the Madikeri fort from Tippu Sultan’s soldiers in 1790. When Appayya was cremated in the cemetery of the Mandepanda okka, his friend Putte Gouda took some of the earth from there and built a gori (tomb) for him in Mullusoge near Kushalnagar. [Sources: ‘Mandepanda kutumbada Vamshavali pusthaka’ 2002, by Mandepanda Subramani (it has a photo of the gori in Mullusoge), and D.N.Krishnaiah, ‘Kodagina Ithihasa’].
  • Diwan Thimmiah, who was Somavva’s grandson and Karanava Achayya’s sixth son, had his eye on the Raja’s adopted daughter, a princess from the Raja’s family. The Raja was not pleased and ordered him to be put in a box and rolled down the hill from Raja’s Seat. Meanwhile an important letter written in Persian/Urdu came to the court and the king realized that Diwan Thimmiah was the only one who could read it. He asked his soldiers to find if by some chance Thimmiah was alive. They found that he had survived and was being looked after by a lady and her daughter. He was brought to the court to read the letter, and in gratitude, the king pardoned him and gave him his adopted daughter in marriage and a lot of land. The Lingayath princess became Thimmiah’s second wife. Diwan Thimmiah continued to be a Diwan when the British started to rule Kodagu – his other titles were Huzur Shirasthedar/Hazur Munshi. Diwan Thimmiah’s tomb in their cemetery has the image of a basava on top because his wife was a Lingayath princess. (Only those related to the Lingayath Rajas or those permitted by the Raja could have basava images on their tombs). [Source: ‘Mandepanda kutumbada Vamshavali pusthaka’, 2002, by Mandepanda Subramania and others from the okka].
  • Karanachi Somavva’s son Subedar Mandepanda Monnayya (Karanava)and Hazur Munshi Mandepanda Thimmiah both of Chembebeliyur, were named in the list of 34 noted for bravery in quelling the 1837 Amarasulya katakayi in the letter dated 9/5/1837 by Col. Marc Cubbon, Commissioner of Kodagu, Bangalore.These men were offered the money that was looted from the Mangalore treasury by the rebels to be shared among them. But they refused it and were offered medals, pensions (for three generations), jahagir and umbali land, horses and broadcloth instead. [Source: Pattole Palame, 1924, and Richter’s gazetteer,1870].
Since our visit:

The Mandepanda okka hosted the 2008 Inter-okka Kodava Hockey festival in Ammathi. This brought the two bhagas of the okka closer.