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Goud's Community History

 

Gouds is a caste of Andhra Pradesh, involved in Toddy Tapping, Liquor sales, Ayurveda doctors and Farming.

Origins

Some claim that they were many kings who hailed from this caste such as the Cholas, Chalukya, Nadars from Tamil Nadu are from the Pandya .

Goud community originally thrived near the Godavari River whose trade of living on Palm tree products (Toddy) is derived from Kerala.

Goud community has legend that they originated from Sage Koundinya who they believe originally invented toddy tapping. There was also a famous Brahmin king named Koundinya who is a founder of the Goud Saraswat Brahmins. The Goud community may have been patronized by him and so took on his name as a gotra. The community resides in West Bengal, Maharastra and Karnataka.

They are identified by different names in Andhra such as:

1.       Edigas in Rayalaseema region, South Coastal Andhra

2.       Setty Balijas in East Godavari, West Godavari, Visakhapatnam Krishna and Sri Sayanas in Vishakapatanam, Vizayanagaram, Srikakulam.

Telangana      -  Goud

Andhra           -  Setti Balija, Srisayana

Rayalaseema -  Eediga

Karnataka       - Eediga

Mangalore      - Bhillavas, Poojaris

Maharastra     - Bhandari's Shetty

U.P & M.P.       - Jaiswal

Bihar               - Paswan

Tamilnadu      - Nadars

Kerala            - Ezhava

 

Legend

Setti Balijas and Sri Sayanas original name was Goud. Their surnames Gudala, Geddada, Gouthu suggests that their original name was Goud. The new name came around the 18th and 19th century. Legend says that a Dommeti Venkat Reddy (who is a Goud), was like a cheiftain, and changed their community name to Setti Balija. Dommeti Venkat Reddy lived in Bodasakurru village near Kakinada of East Godavari Dt.

Gouds are numerically one of the largest Bacward Castes.

What is a toddy?

For centuries, inhabitants of tropical areas have tapped palms for their sap. The sweet liquid provided energy as well as fluids in the hot climate. Three species of palms were regularly tapped in tropical Asia and the associated islands of the Indonesian archipelago—the sugar or wine date palm (Phoenix sylvestris Roxburgh), the palmyra (Borassus flabellifer Linnaeus), and the coconut (Cocos nucifera Linnaeus).

Sugar date palms are native to bottom land soils along rivers in northern India and Pakistan. The Palmyra prefers drier habitats and was found in India, Southeast Asia, and on the islands of Sri Lanka and New Guinea. The coconut was a castaway growing on sandy soils wherever the large seed landed. advertisement

The palms were tapped by slicing into the peduncle (main stem) of the inflorescence. A bamboo cane, bottle gourd, or coconut shell was tied below the cut to receive the dripping sap.

Although palm sap could be used immediately, it was preferentially used to make two products—jaggery and toddy. Jaggery, jaghury, or goor is a coarse brown sugar made by heating the sap to evaporate the water. "Jaggery" entered the English language in 1598 and appears related to kejur, khakri, khajuri, or khujjoor, just a few of the many names of the sugar date palm in India. (Name listing from "Phoenix sylvestris", C. Parmar and M.K. Kaushal, Wild Fruits, Kalyani Publishers, 1982)

Palm sap, if left to stand for a few hours, ferments. James A. Duke ("Phoenix dactylifera", Handbook of Energy Crops, 1983) mentioned that date palm sap collected in the morning can have as much as five percent alcohol content by evening.

The highly intoxicating sap was a very popular drink. The toddy probably first 'entertained' English sailors who visited the East Indies since it entered into the English language in 1609. The name is thought derived from tārī or tādī, the Indian name for the palmyra.

 


 

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