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Monnanda okka

About the Okka

The Monnanda okka lived in their first ainmane on the slopes of the Male thirike hill near Virajpet. The hill can be seen from the present ainmane(Kuklur) and the foundation of the old house on the hill is still there. When Tippu attacked the ainmane and killed all the people in the okka (there were 13 thott kunjhiya – infants in cradles in the ainmane then), one old man escaped and came down and built a ainmane in Kuklur.

There are two other Monnanda Okkas; in Nelgi and Hammiyala but there are no stories heard or connect established with either of them. However, over the last few years youngsters of these three okkas have collaborated to constitute a Hockey Team together and participate in the Family Hockey Cup.

It is believed that when goddess Kali ‘came’ here, an ancestor of this okka gave her shelter and some cow’s milk, so she settled here as Bhadrakali.

Monnanda family was instrumental in the building of Kundath Srimoola Bhadrakali temple in Kukloor about 500 years ago. It is believed that about 500 years ago when the Monnanda and Kuttanda Okkas were living on the Malethirke hills during the Paledhara system, Goddess Kali & Eshwara appeared in the guise of a Brahmin couple at the Monnanda house as guests.In reverence to this the Monnanda family patriarch gave them gold, silver and a cow to milk. The couple left the house after moving a short distance they disappeared which shocked the Monnanda family. That same night the Monnanda Ajja had a rare dream in which the “goddess Kali” appeared and asked the Ajja to build a temple in her name with the co-operation of the villagers.

        The next morning a man from Thathanda family who was grazing cattle close to this place went to a trance (got possessed by the Goddess) and said that “she was Goddess Kali” who had appeared in Monnanda Ajja’s dream the previous night and that the dream was to be taken for real and also asked the Ajja to carry out the wishes of Goddess Kali there. The MonnandaAjja gathered all the villagers and as per the guidance of the Thathanda Ajja who got possessed by goddess, constructed the temple with support from all the villagers. Goddess Kali commanded that she wanted to be served by the Monnanda family and hence they have been the Devathakka in the Kundath Srimoola Bhadrakali temple, a tradition that continues even today.


Like a lot of Kodava okkas, the Monnanda okka also came under the wrath of Tipu Sultan’s invasion and a lot of the family members including infants were massacred. It was then Subbaiah ajja escaped from the hills along with his cousin Kunjappa ajja and constructed the ainmane (link to the article on Monnanda ainmane) at the age of 16. Subbaiah ajja established the platform for the family to live safely under one roof. Subbaiah ajja and Kunjappa ajja’s descendants form the surviving members of the okka and they continue to live as a close-knit family practicing all Kodava customs and traditions and maintaining the ainmane as their sacred abode.


Not known


Location and history:

Monnanda family has been residing in Kukloor Village, about 2-3 kms from Virajpet on the foothills of Malethirke ranges. The family was fairly large and at one time about 250 years back had about 15 thottukunji (infants in cradles). Like most other okka, they practiced farming, hunting and gathering in the dense jungles. While not much is known about the Moolapurusha, the current members of this small okka are descendants of two men Subbaiah ajja and Kunjappa ajja (they were paternal cousins). Current pattedaara of the okka Mothi Kariappa is a great-grandson of Kunjappa ajja.

Eminent people



Army officer


  • Monnanda Jooby Somaiah


  • Monnanda A. Devaiah