Surprised at the question?
They are an unique community belonging to one of the original and indigenous tribes – I repeat original and NOT migrated from Mysore area – living in the Nilgiris, a mountainous region in the Southern India with the famous hill station Ooty being its capital.
The original tribes of the Nilgiris, by the way, are Badagas, Todas, Kothas and Kurumas. They have been living in these hills for, for want of a better word, thousands of years. The origin of none of these tribes have been established conclusively. The WHITE lie that Badagas have migrated from Mysore plains deserves to be discarded into the [historical] dust bin. Though, unfortunately, many self appointed ‘native and foreign’ anthropologists and historians seem to believe in this ‘word of mouth’ distortion and blissfully spread this disinformation.
The Badagas form the largest tribe in the Nilgiris and speak an unique language called ‘BADAGA or BADAGU‘. Again, the disinformation that Badaga is a dialect of Kannada [halia or old Kannada] only shows the disinclination of these so called ‘researchers’ to change their [deformed mental] mind set. Badaga is a rich and separate language with the only minus point of not having an unique script of its own.
There are many sub groups among the Badagas, the main ones being, Gowdas, Thorias and Odeyas and usually they do not marry from one group to another.
There are about 400 + villages [called hattis] belonging to these Badagas and they are spread around the beautiful Blue Mountains, fondly called ‘Nakku Betta’ by Badagas.
Though they form about 80 % of the population of the Badagas, the Gowdas are NOT the only ones referred as Badagas.
Clear now ?
BE PROUD TO BE A BADAGA.