Beary: Wikis


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Bearys of Tulunadu
ತುಳುನಾಡಿನ ಬ್ಯಾರಿಗಳು
Total population
1,500,000+ [1]
Regions with significant populations
Tulunadu, Dakshina Kannada, Chikmagalur district, kodagu,Shimoga district, Hassan district, Uttara Kannada, Mumbai, Goa, Persian Gulf States

Beary bashe



Related ethnic groups

Nawayath, Mappilas, Labbay

The Beary (also known as Byari) is a small Muslim community concentrated mostly in coastal South Kanara (Dakshina Kannada) district of Karnataka, a south Indian state. It is an ethnic society having its own unique traditions, and distinct cultural identity. The Beary community holds an important place among the other coastal Muslim communities like Nawayath's of North Kanara district, Mappilas (Moplahs) of the Malabar coast and Labbay of the Coromandel coast.

Bearys incorporate the local Tulu culture of Dakshina Kannada and diverse traditions of the Moplahs of the Malabar coast. The Beary people are followers of Islam and belong to the Shafi'i school of Islamic jurisprudence, unlike North Indian Muslims who generally adhere to the Hanafi school. Since Bearys are in the majority amongst the Muslims in Dakshina Kannada district, the Muslim community thus is some times referred to as Bearys or Byaris by local people.

The Beary community of Dakshina Kannada or Tulunadu is one among the earliest Muslim population of India with a clear history of more than 1350 years.[2] One mosque was built in the Bunder area of Maikala (Mangalore) by Habeeb Bin Malik, an Arab Da'ee, in 644 A.D.[3][4][5]

The Tulu folk songs called Paād-danāas, an integral part of Tulu culture, refer several times to olden days Bearys who were still following Tulu culture.



A Beary woman clad in traditional Kuppaya and Tuni

The word 'Beary' is said to be derived from the Tulu word 'Byara' which means trade or business, as this community were primarily traders. Since the major portion of this community people were involved in business activities, the local Tulu speaking majority called them as Beary or Byari.[6]

According to the census of 1891 Dakshina Kannada had 92,449 Muslim businessmen consisting of 90,345 Bearys, 2,104 Nawayaths and 2,551 non-Muslims. Thus the district had total number of 95,000 individuals involved in business activities. Records proves that towards the close of 19th century percentage of Muslim traders in the district was as high as 97.3 and hence the local Tuluvas rightly named this community as Bearys.[7]

Another popular theory is that the word Beary comes from Arabic word Bahar (Arabic: بحر). Bahar means ocean and Bahri (Arabic: بحري) means sailor or navigator. It is said that Beary community had trade relations with Arab businessmen travelling to coastal South India, especially the coastline of Tulunadu and Malabar. Inscriptions are found in Barkur that proves the Arab trade links with Tulunadu.

Third theory says that the word Beary is derived from the root word Malabar. The great Islamic Da'ee, Malik bin Deenar had arrived on the coast of Malabar during the 6th century with a group of Da’ees or Islamic propagators. A member from his group, Habeeb bin Malik travelled through Tulunadu and preached Islam. He had also built mosques in Kasaragod, Mangalore and Barkur.[5]

Geographic distribution

The Bearys constitute around 80 per cent of the Dakshina Kannada Muslims, others are scattered in the neighbouring districts of Chikmagalur, Shimoga, Kodagu, Hassan and Uttara Kannada. Mumbai and Goa also have a considerable Beary population. Also, a good number of Bearys are in the Persian Gulf States of the Middle East doing a variety of jobs. Total number of Beary population is approximately 1.5 million distributed as described above.[8 ]


Beary community has a history of more than 1,350 years with an ethnic identity and speaking its own dialect called Beary bashe or nakk-nikk which is also known as beary palaka.

Bearys used to refer the area south of Mangalore as Maikala or Maikal which is in fact their culture and economic capital. According to historian B. A. Saletore, Maikala was an area in the southern part of Mangalore. It got its name through the Kadri Manjunath Temple, which earlier was a Buddhist temple. The Buddhist goddess Tara Bhagavathi was also known as Mayadevi. In course of time it came to be called as Maikala, or Maikal. Historians are of the opinion that Maikala is one of the ancient names of Mangalore.[9] But today Maikala refers to the whole of Mangalore city covered by the Mangalore City Corporation.



The origin of the Beary community is still not much known; history reveals that there were many rich traders, from the coastal belt dealing with the traders of the Middle East through the Arabian Sea. Arab merchants have been visiting the coast of Tulunadu for business purposes even before the time of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.

Following the advent of Islam in the early stage in the land of Arabia, the polytheistic and pagan Arabs were attracted to the teachings of Qur'an and Muhammad and adopted it in their daily life. The lofty values that Muhammad preached covered every walk of life including honesty in trade and transaction. Having embracing Islam the Arabs adopted and practised these values in their economic activities. It is said that Arab Muslim traders who were visiting Tulunadu coast attracted the inhabitants to Islam by good behaviour in their contact, honesty in trade, discipline in dealings and peaceful religious and pious life within the doctrines of Islam. Thus the people of Tulunadu who were dealing with these Arab traders accepted their religion, Islam. At the same time as per Islamic teachings of spreading the message of Islam, these Arabs were also performing Da'wah in the coastal Tulunadu and Malabar area. Some Arab businessmen who travelled to Tulunadu coast also married the local women.


The first Muslim missionaries to Mangalore can be traced to Malik Bin Deenar, an Arab trader said to be the kith and kin of Sahaba (companions of Prophet Muhammad). He is said to have visited Malabar and landed near Manjeshwar in the northern Malabar coast. He constructed the first mosque in Manjeshwar, the Malik Dinar Mosque (where his shrine is still present). Also the Masjid Zeenath Baksh popularly known as Jumma Masjid or beliye palli, in Bunder area is said to have been established in Mangalore by Habeeb bin Malik in 644 A.D. and the first Qadhi (Qazi) appointed was Hazarath Moosa Bin Malik, son of Malik Bin Abdullah. Records reveal this Mosque was inaugurated on Friday the 22nd of the month of Jumadil Awwal (fifth month of Islamic Calendar) in 22 of Hijri (644).

Other sources

There are several documents available which prove that at least 90 years prior to the invasion of Muhammad bin Qasim in North India, Arab Muslim businessmen were thriving in the south. This proves Islam was prevalent in South India much before Muslim invaders came to North India. These facts are available in a research document Mykal, written by Ahmed Noori, who conducted a research on the Beary community way back in 1960.

Noori disputes the claim that the first Muslims came to India along with Alauddin Khilji between 1296-1316 AD and points out that according to renowned historian, Henry Miers Elliot, (The History of India as told by its own Historians, Part I) the first ship bearing Muslim travellers was seen on the Indian coast as early as 630 AD. H.G.(Hugh George) Rawlinson, in his book: Ancient and Medieval History of India[10] claims the first Arab Muslims settled on the Indian coast in the last part of the 7th century AD. Bartholomew also has similar things to say about the early Muslim settlers in India. J. Sturrock in his Madras Districts Manuals: South Kanara, says that Parsi and Arab businessmen settled in different places of the Malabar coast during the 7th century. Ahmed Noori has quoted these and other sources to validate his argument that the Muslim settlers came to India much before the invaders came to North India.

Dr. Susheela P. Upadhyaya, a research scholar in Beary bashe and Beary folklore is of the opinion that the Indian west coast came under Islamic influence long before any other part of India was influenced by Islam or Muslims.[11] History also reveals that during the rule of Banga and Chowta dynasty in 16th century Beary men have served as seamen in the naval force. The Chowta dynasty queen, Rani Abbakka had personally supervised the construction of dam at Malali, she had appointed Bearys for boulders work.[12]

An ancient historical work - Keralolpathi - reveals that a king of Malabar, Cheraman Perumal, embraced Islam during the very beginning days of advent of Islam in the Arab land. Thus the Arabs had royal patronage to practice and propagate Islam in Malabar area. They were also given the permission of sea trading with a royal patronage. Because of the Da'wah activities of Arab traders many people from the down trodden section of society embraced Islam and assumed better social status as Muslims.

The Portuguese lost their dominance during the rule of Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan in Mysore. During this period the Beary Muslims again received royal patronage and intensified their sea trade activities.[13]

Participation in the freedom struggle

The Bearys of the coast actively participated in the Indian freedom struggle against Portugal and British colonialism. There were a number of Beary men served in the naval force, and also as soldiers and military commanders in the army of brave queen of Chowta dynasty, Rani Abbakka (Kannada: ರಾಣಿ ಅಬ್ಬಕ್ಕ) who ruled in Ullal region. The Bearys had also joined the army of Nawab Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan of Mysore. Historians and researchers have enlisted famous Beary personalities who participated in the freedom struggle of India. Many such freedom fighters were imprisoned by British and few died during imprisonment.

A sixteenth century Arabic work of Malabar, Tuhfah al Mujahideen or Tuhafat Ul Mujahideen compiled by Shaikh Zainuddin Makhdoom II (grand son of Shaikh Zainuddin Makhdoom I) had motivated Malabar Muslims which had influence on Bearys of the Tulunadu as well to fight the foreign invaders. Thus the Bearys had actively participated in the freedom struggle against Portugal and British rule.


The dialect spoken by Beary(Byaris), is known as Beary Bashe.[14 ] While Muslims of Uttara Kannada, called Nawayaths, speak a dialect of Konkani and Mappilas of Kerala speak Malayalam (Mappila Malayalam), Bearys spoke a language made of Malayalam idioms with Tulu phonology and grammar.[14 ] This dialect was traditionally known as Mappila Malayalam because of Bearys close contact with Mappilas.[14 ] Due to vast influence of Tulu for centuries, it is today considered as a language, close to Malayalam and Tulu.[14 ]

Arabic influence

Beary bashe is largely influenced by Arabic language.[15] Most of the Bearys especially in coastal area still use a lot of Bearified Arabic words during their daily transaction. Saan, Pinhana, Gubboosu, Dabboosu, Pattir, Rakkasi, Seintaan, Kayeen, are the few words used in Beary bashe that has its roots in Arabic language. Beary Bashe also have words related to Tamil and Malayalam. Tamil and Malayalam Speakers can understand Beary by 75%

Quick reference table

Beary Arabic العربية English
Saan Sahan صحن Plate
Pinhana Finjan فنجان Bowl/cup
Kayeen Nikah نكاح Nuptials
Seintaan Shaitan شيطان Evil spirit
Patteer Fateerah فطيرة Bread
Kalbu Qalb قلب Heart
Rabbu Rab رب God
Supra Sufra سفرة Dining Mat
Gubboosu Khubz خبز Bread

Beary Sahitya (Beary literature)

The Bearys of the coast have produced rich literary work using both Beary Bashe and Kannada language. The literature comprises Beary poetry, research articles on Bearys, historical analysis of Dakshina Kannada Muslims, essays, stories and other fields of literature. "English-Kannada-Beary" dictionary is also available in the market produced by Dr. A. Wahhab Doddamane. A number of notable Beary littérateurs have contributed to enrich the Beary literature. Dr. Susheela P. Upadhyaya, an eminent scholar has made a comprehensive study in finding the roots of Beary literature. Dr. A. Wahhab Doddamane has produced a book entitled The Muslims of Dakshina Kannada, which is an informative documentary work.

The Bearys have also produced a number of magazines and periodicals from Mangalore and other cities of the district. Some periodicals have become popular and a few of them have become a part of Beary history. Generally Kannada script is used to produce Beary literature. More than a 100 books, 400 audio cassettes and 2 video albums have been brought out so far.[8 ]


Bearys have brought out numerous lyrics and songs in Beary Bashe. Beary songwriters and music composers have published a number of Beary albums, thousands of copies in electronic format have already been sold.[16]

Folk Songs

The Beary Bashe has its own songs and 'ghazals'. Although it is unique in its nature the songs bore resemblance to Moplah Patts (Mappila Songs). The Beary folk songs were rendered during marriage (Mangila) parties, and for many other occasions. Kolkkali patt is a song sung during a cultural play called Kolata which uses short sticks in both the hands while playing, Unjal patt is sung by the girls during the occasion of putting the child to cradle, Moyilanji patt is sung during marriage ceremonies.

Unfortunately modern day Bearys do not know the folk songs sung by their ancestors. Several Beary folk games have also vanished.

One of the famous folk songs sung by Beary women to tease the bride during her wedding celebrations is "appa chudu chudu patima". Elderly ladies of the neighbourhood gather around the bride on the day of Mangila (wedding) to sing those melodious teasing lines. The first few lines are:

appa chudu chudu patima,
ippa baru baru mapule;
chutte appa karinhi poyi,
banne mapule madangi poyi ....

List of the Books published in Beary bashe

No. Title Author
1 Muthu Maale (Islamudo Nadavadi) Abul Hasan Muhammad Moulavi
2 Kammane* (A collection of poetry) Mohammed Baddur
3 Tanal (A collection of poetry) Ibrahim Tanniru Bawi
4 Ponchiri* (Proverbs) M.B. Abdul Rahman
5 Choltonnu Chelonnu (A collection of stories) U.A. Qasim Ullala
6 Video Casstte (A collection of stories) U.A. Qasim Ullala
7 Niskaaratho Krama, Adl Chelred Piine Adre Artha U.A. Qasim Ullala
8 Beary Cassette-re Paatnga (A collection of songs) Hussain Katipalla
9 Beary Cassette-re Paatnga (A collection of songs) Basheer Ahmed Kinya
10 Paalum Ten (Folk tales) Hamza Malar
11 Oru Pannre Kinaavu* (Short Novel) Hamza Malar
12 Pernal* (A collection of stories) Mohammed Kulai
13 Kinaavu* (A collection of stories) Beary writers
14 Duniyaavy (A collection of songs) Beary poets
15 Meltiri (A collection of songs) Beary poets

Beary language film

The inaugural ceremony of first Beary language video movie, Mami Marmolu was held in Mangalore on October 22, 2008. The film is being produced by Sony Enterprises, B.S. Gangadhara is the producer of the film. The film will focus on social and family problems being faced by the Beary families. Rahim Uchil has written the story, screen play, dialogue of the film. The director of this first Beary movie is Rahim Uchil while Prakash Padubidri is the assistant director. Rajesh Haleangady will be the cinematographer and music is being provided by Ravindra Prabhu.

The movie stars Vaibhavi (Faujiya), Rahim Uchil, Veena Mangalore, Roopashri Varkady, Riyana, K. K. Gatti, Ashok Bikernakatte, Ibrahim Thanneerbhavi, Riyaz, Sujnesh and Imtiyaz. Retired Police officer G. A. Bava will also have a role. Film will be shot in and around Mangalore city including Maripalla and Pilikula.[17][18]

World Beary Convention

The World Beary Convention was held 2006 in Dubai under the banner World Beary Sammelana & Chammana 2006.[19]

The word Chammana stands for felicitation. Since the organizers felicitated a few Beary dignitaries during this world convention held in Dubai, UAE, the convention is called World Beary Sammelana & Chammana 2006. The Convention was also attended by several dignitaries which included Dr.B.K.Yusuf, President/Patron of Karnataka Sangha, Dubai, M.B. Abdul Rahiman, Renowned Lawyer and Notary, Syed Beary, Managing Director, Bearys Group, B.M. Farooque, Managing Director, Fiza Group, Shiraj Haji. Director Universal Export Tradeways. S.M. Syed Khalil, Galadai Group, Dubai, M.B. Noor Mohamed, MD. Fakruddin, Managing Director, Ajmal Group, Abdul Jaleel, A.S. Puthege, Editor in Chief, Varthabharathi Kannada Daily, Haju Jamalluddin, Chairman, Crescent School, Shamshudeen, P.T. Abdul Rahiman, General Secretary of Indian Islamic Centre, T.S. Shettigar, Jamalludin, Apsara Group, Dr. Viquar Azeem, Dr. Azad Moopen, Ganesh Rai, M.K. Madhavan, Kumar, Indian Association Dubai, Kanukaran Shetty, President Hotel, Prabhakar, KOD, K.P. Ahmed, Yaseen Malpe etc. Some Beary dignitaries have been facilitated during the convention.

Beary Sahitya Sammelana (Literary Summit of Bearys)

The banner of Sammelana seen at Banakal

There are four Beary Sahitya Sammelanas (The Beary Literature Summit) have been taken place so far. Cultural activities, exhibition related to Beary culture and society, talks on Beary society by Beary scholars, publications and Beary literature stalls are the centre of attraction during any Beary Sahitya Sammelana.

  • The first Beary Sahitya Sammelana was presided by B.M. Iddinabba, Member of Legislative Assembly, Ullal constituency, Karnataka State.
  • The second Beary Sahitya Sammelana was presided by Goltha Majalu Abdul Khader Haji.
  • The third Beary Sahitya Sammelana was presided by Beary research scholar Prof. B.M. Ichlangod.
  • The Fourth Beary Sahitya Sammelana was presided by novelist Fakir Mohammed Katpady.

Fourth Beary Sahitya Sammelana

The Fourth Beary Sahitya Sammelana (The Fourth Beary Literary Summit) was held in Vokkaligara Samaja Bhavana in city of Chikmagalur on 27 February 2007 which demanded the state government for the establishment of a Beary Sahitya Academy. The Sammelana was jointly organized by Kendra Beary Sahitya Parishat, Mangalore, and Chickmagalur Bearygala Okkoota. Chikmagalur is the district that harbors second largest number of Beary population next to Dakshina Kannada.

The theme of the Sammelana was Prosperity through Literature, Development through Education and Integrity for Security. [20]

The sammelana also took up issues such as official recognition to the Beary bashe by the State Government, setting up of Beary Sahitya Academy, and recognition to the community as linguistic minority. It is said that Beary bashe is as old as Tulu language and spoken by more than 1,500,000 people around the world. The history of this dialect is at least 1200 years old.[8 ]

Beary Sahithya Academy

The Bearys have felt the need for an independent Beary Sahitya Academy since long time. They have been urging the state government to constitute an academy since a decade using every possible means. The Fourth Beary Sahitya Sammelana (February 2007) held in Chickmagalur played a vital role since its focal point was aimed at establishment of Academy. Later, on 3rd of October 2007 the government of the State of Karnataka recognised 'Beary Sahithya Academy' and issued government order to that effect. The government further issued an order naming senior lawyer from Beary community, M.B. Abdul Rahman as the first president of Beary Sahitya Academy in February 2009.[21]

M.B. Abdul Rahman took charge as the first president of Beary Sahitya Academy on 17 February 2009 in a formal function held at the premises of Karnataka State Tulu Sahitya Academy, Mangalore. The presidential term is for 3 years as per the present norms of Academy.[22][23]

Media activities

This community people have played a vital role in the media activities of Tulunadu or Dakshina Kannada district. Apart from publishing a lot of books in Beary bashe and Kannada, Bearys have also brought out periodicals, magazines and newspapers. Some of such works are now a history but some are running todate with good reputation.

List of periodicals brought out by Bearys

No. Name Editor/Printer/Publisher/Owner
1 Jyothi Kamal Hyder
2 Swatantra Bharata Kamal Hyder
3 Antaranga Kamal Hyder
4 Human Affairs Kamal Hyder
5 Hamdard Raheem Ahmad
6 Sadakat Post Raheem Ahmad
7 Udaya Chandra F.H. Odeyar
8 Nawa Shakti B.M.A. Rafeeq
9 Shanti Sandesh Dr. M.M. Salih
10 Divya Vani C.K. Hussain
11 Musalman C.K. Hussain
12 Millat A.T.M. Shafi
13 Hilal A.T.M. Shafi
14 Amaanat Abdul Raheem Haji
15 Agni K.H. Hussain Mulki
16 Bhooloka Abdullah Belthangady
17 Himmat Ibrahim Kareem
18 Ananta M.A. Raheem
19 Apsara Dr. Wahab Doddamane
20 Shikshakara Vani J.M. Mohammed Master
21 Dharma Vani Hameed Kandak
22 Popular Hameed Kandak
23 Nawaneet Muhsin Haji Caup
24 Al Misbah Dr. K.M. Shah Musliyar
25 Aalamul Huda Dr. K.M. Shah Musliyar
26 Sarala Patha Dr. K.M. Shah Musliyar
27 Sandesha Abu Raihan Ahmed Noori
28 Kitaab Abu Raihan Ahmed Noori
29 The Message Abu Raihan Ahmed Noori
30 Mesco Varthe Abul Hasan Muhammad Moulavi
31 AL Miftaah B.M. Mohammed Mangalanti
32 Al Muneer Saletore Aboobaker Faizi
33 Al Ihsan Mohammed Ullal
34 Tawa Nidhi Prof. B.M. Ichlangod
35 Media Times Prof. B.M. Ichlangod
36 Sanmarga Ibrahim Saeed
37 Anupama M. Sadullah
38 Al Ansar Haji Ibrahim Bawa [1]
39 Moilanji Hamza Malar
40 Pavitra Sandesha ([Karnataka Salafi Association][2])
41 Mustaqeem (Eden Publication)
42 Hi Puttur Mittur Hameed Kandak
43 Isha Patrike Ismail Shafi
44 AL Aqsa T.M. Haneef Maulavi
45 Puttur Mitra Ibbatulla Kadaba
46 Pushpa Mandaara Aziz Bajpe
47 Asar Vani Aziz Bajpe
48 Jana Vahini K.M. Khaid
49 Hoodota A.C.M. Saletore
50 Firdous M.E Mohammed
51 Hasiru Bhoomi T.H. Ibrahim Musliyar
52 Al Qamar Shareef Moodabidri
53 Kodagu Kesari B.A. Shamsuddin
54 Janadesha Patrike U. Muhammad Nazeer
55 Nawa Keerti B.M. Iddinabba
56 Karawali Maruta Iqbal Ahmed Kuthar
57 Encounter Iqbal Ahmed Kuthar
58 Eye Special News Iqbal Ahmed Kuthar
59 Lathi Charge Ismail Moodushedde
60 Hello Mangalooru Raheem Uchil
61 Noble Universe B.M. Haneef
62 Islam and Science S.E. Abdul Rahman
63 The Islamic Guidance M Anwar Bajpe
64 Payaswini Sullia M.B.M. Madani
65 Sunni Sndesha K.M.S. Faizi
66 Baala Sandesha K.M.S. Faizi
67 Samyukta Prabha Mohammed Rafi
68 Beary Akbar Ullal
69 Utkarsha Akbar Ullal
70 Beary Varthe Basheer Baikampady
71 Beary Times Kuwainda Hamzatullah
72 Kittale Naadu Kuwainda Hamzatullah
73 Pernal Umer U.H.
74 Indian News A.S. Anduka
75 Special News Bawa Padrangi
76 Varthabharathi (kn:ವಾತಾ೯ ಭಾರತಿ) Abdussalam Puthige
77 Mesco Varthe Moulavi Abul Hasan
78 Sirathe musthaqeem Da'wa Publications [3]

Some of these periodicals are still being published and reaching to the hands of a sizable population of Tulunadu and other adjecent districts and to the Persian Gulf States.


Islam in India

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Memons · North-Eastern · Kashmiris
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The Bearys have a distinct culture different from other Muslim communities. The marriage customs of the Bearys seem to be a mix of the Tulu and Moplah customs along with some distinct customs of their own. Bearys do not follow the matrilineal tradition, unlike the Moplahs. Curiously, the Bearys until recently followed a custom known as the Gotra or illam, which resembles the Bunt bali custom. Though Islam is basically patriarchal, illam, influenced by the Tulu culture, has matriarchal tendencies. Marriage between people belonging to the same illam (comparable to the gotra) was not encouraged. People identified with an illam were known as talakkar. And people of low castes who converted to Islam were identified as tala illatavaru. A similar illam system with the same name illam is strigently being practiced by some Brahmin families in Kerala. Those are basically Tulu Brahmins and are hailing from Tulunadu. In Tulu language word illu stands for house. So it is evident that illam system observed by Beary people is taken from the local Tulunadu culture. In the recent days, as this community has come closer to the original teachings of the religion they follow, Islam, this illam system has vanished from the day to day life of Bearys.

The marriage of the Bearys is considered to be a pointer to their prosperity. Marriage celebration is normally spread over three days, starting with Moilanji (henna tattooing) at the bride's house a day before the marriage (close relatives and friends are invited) and an Islamic-style Nikah known as Kayeen is performed at the groom’s place on the day of the marriage. A garland exchange between Bride and groom is also part of Beary marriage which is an adoption from Tulu culture. The dowry system is still quite prevalent among most Bearys.

Modern marriages of most of the families are arranged in community halls with large number of invitees including relatives and community members.

Paunaraga of Maikala

Before the advent of the Portuguese, Maikala or Mangalore was one of the main centers of Jains with many Jain Muts, Basadis and also palaces. Especially the Bunder area Maikala was dominated by rich Jain houses. The Jains who enjoyed economical and social status maintained a system known as Jaina Beedu, which literally means Jain House.[24]

Later when these Jains embraced Islam, they still maintained this Beedu system as status symbol. Beedu can be translated in Beary bashe as Aga which means House. The Paunar Aga or Paunaraga - which literally means sixteen houses - of high status are:

1. Kallare Aga 2. Beliye Ballal Aga 3. Cheriye Ballal Aga 4. Beedhire Ballal Aga
5. Pandiol Aga 6. Chettra Aga / Bandassale Aga 7. Kozhikkan Aga 8. Kajimane Aga
9. Moosarikana Aga 10. Beliyabbaka Aga 11. Sayirikana Aga 12. Khayirikana Aga
13. Bubakana Aga 14. Asakhana Aga 15. Siyalikhana Aga 16. Getre Aga

These houses enjoyed supreme social status amongst Bearys throughout 19th century and treated other Bearys as second class citizens. The people belonging to these houses were identified as Agakkar which means the People of the House. The history of these houses is short lived glory that these houses enjoyed socially and economically. Many of the social customs that the people of Paunaraga observed were special to them and had no roots in Islam.

Thus the lifestyle of Agakkar of Beary community was largely influenced by Jains. Most of the ornaments used by Agakkar was of Jain pattern and had Jain names. Kharjana is the jewel box used by both Jains and Bearys. Today the people of Paunaraga or Agakkar have lost their social and economic status but some of the houses still remain in Bunder area. Their surnames tell the glory once they enjoyed.

Next to Agakkar comes Taalakkar and then Taala-illatavar. All these system the Bearys maintained in the olden days which they inherited from local people. However these systems are vanished with the advent of Islamic literature of late.

Some peculiar names of Bearys

Usually Muslim community people name their children which has Arabic roots. But olden day Bearys had some strange names which are not seen anywhere else in the Muslim world. Although those peculiar names are now vanishing, here are some such examples:

Kayiri, Sayiri, Sayirabba, Cheyya, Cheyyabba, Saunhi, Kayinhi, Sekunhi, Baduva, Mayabba, Puthabba, Hammabba, Cheyyabba, Ijjabba, Kunha, Kunhi, Bava, Bavunhi, Kunhibavu, Puttubavu Unha, Unhi, Unhimon, Iddinabba, Podiya, Podimonu, Pallikunhi, Kunhipalli, Kidavaka, Abbu, Abbonu, Chakaka,

List of the Books published related to Beary culture

No. Title Author
1 Muslims in Dakshina Kannada Dr. A. Wahab Doddamane
2 English - Kannada - Beary: dictionary* [25] Dr. A. Wahab Doddamane
3 Maikala* [26] Abu Raihan Ahmed Noori
4 Beary bashe matthu Jaanapada Kathegalu* Dr. Susheela Upadhyaya
5 Tulunada Muslimaru* [27] Prof. B.M. Ichlangod
6 Moilaanji* [28] Hamza Malar
7 Beary Muslimaru Hamza Malar


In olden days Bearys used to hold ceremonial marriage functions. Its prodigality some times remained for a full year. Pomp and flaunting rituals and dinner parties some times made some wealthy families victim of bankruptcy. Most of these customs and rituals were against the teachings of Islam, the religion of Bearys. There is no evidence for dowry system in the olden day Beary marriages but a lot of customs inherited from the local Tuluva communities living in Tulunadu has been found.

Marriage in Beary bashe is known as Mangila. A lot of ceremonial rituals related to Beary Mangila which once was an essential part of nuptials today vanishing. Keli kekre, Naal kuri, Bethale beikre, Varappu, Moilanji, Kayeen, Beett, Birnd, Oppane, Kaikottu patt, Appathe mangila – all these are related to Mangila or the Beary marriage.

Madrasah education system

Although this community is backward in modern education, it still has successfully achieved 100% literacy rate due to prevailing Madrasa education system. All the Beary children are sent to Madrasah (Arabic: مدرسة) which is managed and run by the community that imparts religious education. All such Madrasahs are affiliated to Samastha Board which conducts well organized public examination for 5th, 7th and 10 grade students. Visiting inspectors called Mufattish are appointed to inspect the quality of education in Madrasahs. For administrative purposes divisions have been made as range, area, taluq and district. The teachers are qualified in Arabic language and religious education are known as Mu’allim and students as Muta’allim. The Madrasahs do use a centralized syllabus prepared by the Samstha Board and media of instruction is now shifted to Kannada from traditional Arabic based Malayalam called Arabi-Malayalam – a special language that uses Arabic script and Malayalam phonetics.

Mundu, Chatte and Toppi is the preferred uniform for boys in Madrasas. Girls do wear a long gown with a head-dress known as yalasara. But today this traditional dress pattern is vanishing. Boys are going for shirt - trousers and girls are adopting Churidars and Salwar kameez style.

In those villages where there is no separate building facility available to run Madrasas independently, this education is however imparted in the mosques it self. Thus mosques some time do play the role of Madrasas in many Beary dominant villages.

Apart from Samstha Board many other educational institutions also have been surfaced lately. The Salafi group has established their own Madrasahs through out Dakshina Kannada district. Salafis also have started separate religious schools exclusively for girls in Ullal. Jamat-e-Islami is now running an exclusive college for girls in Deralakatte province. There are several other schools managed by Bearys which are aimed at providing both modern and religious education simultaneously to the children.


The Beary attire is different from that of other south Indian community. Men wear a traditional white muslin turban and a Rani-mark belt (wide, green in colour) at the waist, with long full sleeve white shirts (known as Chatte) and bleached mundu. MS belle mundu and Moulana mark Kambai is also among traditional outfit of Bearys. Today due to a cultural shift young Bearys have adopted a shirt-trouser pattern.

Beary women are traditionally clad in three pieces of clothes, viz, tuni, kuppaya and yalasara. While going out the Beary women took a long rectangle blanket, known as valli, a sort of veil to cover entire body. If two women want to go out together they would use a joduvalli (double veil). Surprisingly Valli of Beary bashe and Veil of English language have similarity in pronunciation and convey the same meaning. Thus it demands an etymological research into these words.

Today, different varieties of burqa or Abaya have replaced the traditional valli. Hence Beary women now wear a black over-coat known as Burqa or Abaya while going out. The Abaya or Burqa is more like a business suit for a Beary woman while she is out of home. Many exclusive Arabic pattern Abaya shops have also emerged with commercial interest.


The beary women has excessive love for ornaments and uses it on every possible occasion such as Mangila, Sunnat Mangila, Appate Mangila, Birnd, Moilanji and other social gatherings. There were different types of ornaments used by beary community in past which is at the verge of vanishing today due to the cultural invasion and urbanization. These ornaments are made out of mainly gold and silver and used for the ornamentation of head, ears, neck, waist, wrist, fingers and feet. Beary research scholars are of the opinion that Beary ornaments were largely influenced by Jain ornament patterns. The ornament storage box used by Bearys was made out of brass and other metals was also used by Jain community and was called Kharjana by both Bearys and Jains.[29]

  • Head ornaments: Tale singara, Tirupi, Kedage, Jadepalle, Nera Nilaavu, Chauri
  • Ear ornaments: Alikat, Kett Alikat, Illi Alikat, Kuduki, Bendole, Lolak, Voli,Jalara,Koppubalsara, Vale
  • Neck ornaments: Misri male, Sara, Naklees, Bandi male, Minni male, Nalchuttu male
  • Wrist ornaments: Cheth Bale, Alsande bale, Kett bale, Yeduru bale, Sorage Bale, Kadaga
  • Waist ornaments: Aranjana, Arepatti
  • Finger ornaments: Modara, Kallre modara
  • Feet ornaments: Kunipu, Kal sarapali, Chein


The 18th Century Eidgah Mosque

The traditional Islamic festivals of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha (also known as Bakrid) are celebrated. Special Eid prayer is offered during these two occasions. Mangalore city has a centralised Eidgah in Bavuta Gudda where congregational special prayers or Salat al Eid is held. The Eidgah of Mangalore city has a mosque which is said to have been built by then Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan towards the close of eighteenth century. Usually in the central Eidgah the Qadhi leads the Eid prayer and delivers Khutba. Colourful costumes, delicious food, exchanging the Eid greetings - Eid Mubarak (Arabic/Persian/Urdu: عید مبارک) and generous charity to the poor and needy are part of Eid celebration. Other occasions celebrated are 12th Rabi' al-awwal of the third month of Islamic calendar commemorating Meelad-al-Nabi - prophet Muhammad's birthday. Moon citation is an event of rejoice for Beary folk.


Beary cuisine is highly influenced by the South Indian Cuisine. Just like Mangalorean cuisine it uses a lot of coconut, curry leaves, ginger, chilli and spices like pepper and cardamom. Beary cuisine boasts of a special kind of biryani, which is very different from the other types made elsewhere. Rice preparations, both fresh and dry fish, meat and eggs enjoy top place in Beary daily menu.

A few traditional dishes very popular amongst all the Tulu communities have unique names in Beary dialect. Pindi, pinde-basale, kunhi-pinde, bisali-appa (kaltappa), tondare-appa, guli-appa, syame, muttere-appa, pattir, nei pattir, poo-pole, pulche-pole, vodu-pole, uppu-molavu, kanhi, methe-kanhi, nei-kanhi, chekkere-appa, manhel elero appa, pittappa, pondatte appa etc. are to name a few.

Economic situation

The Bearys, who once enjoyed a high social status, slowly lost their position during the British and Portuguese rule. Their opposition to the English resulted in them being denied English education, which in course of time turned them into a socially backward community.

Today, hardly 20% of the community is engaged in trading and business, thanks to the modern education community offlate have been seeing professionally qualified members. Some Bearys are involved in the beedi industry and fish trade, and a majority are farmers. A few Bearys have progressed even further in the past few years and have achieved tremendous development in the field of Education, Business & Politics. Bearys today own many Educational Institutions. Professional Colleges in Mangalore are mostly owned or partnered by Bearys. Bearys have also achieved high positions in Karnataka Politics and few have also attained positions in the Central Government. In spite of these achievements, majority of the people of the community are still economically backward. The recent job opportunities in Persian gulf countries have improved the standard of living to some extent. However, Bearys in rural areas are still extremely backward socially, economically and educationally.

Since Islam prohibits interest based financial dealings, Beary community is not seem to have taken benefits from interest based or conventional banking system. In the modern days they have embarked on establishing a small scale interest free banking system namely Interest Free Loan and Welfare Society in Mangalore.

Beary Educational Institutions

  • Badriya College, Kandak, Mangalore
  • His Grace, Mangalore
  • Sahara English Medium School, Addoor
  • Bearys Institute of Technology, Mangalore[30]
  • B A College Thumbe Bantwal
  • Manarul Islamia English & Kannada Medium school Bantwal

Beary organizations

Today the Beary community of coastal Karnataka is surging ahead in diverse fields like international business, education, medicine and technology. Bearys have also formed various social and cultural organizations of diversified interests.

Beary's Welfare Association, Bangalore

Beary's Welfare Association is based in Bangalore the capital of Karnataka state. The association came into being on March 21, 1988 with a motive to provide a means of communication and integration, and also to provide a platform to work towards the betterment of the Beary community in all aspects of life.[31]

Beary Welfare Association has organized a number of cultural programs every year right from its very inception. Beary Prakashana is its sister concern and involved in print and publication activities. It has published a number of titles on Beary culture, Beary bashe, Beary history, and also on research studies on Bearys.

Bearys Welfare Forum, Abu Dhabi (BWF)

Bearys Welfare Forum of Abu Dhabi, popularly known as BWF is an association of Beary expatriats in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It does community activities and mainly community welfare activities.[32],[33]

BWF was established in the year 2004 with an intention of working for all sections of the society. It has helped the victims of communal riots in Mangalore by providing medical assistance and other aids. The BWF gained popularity when it held mass marriage ceremony of twelve pairs of poor and deserving youth at the Shadi Mahal of Mangalore city.[34]

Bearys Welfare Forum, Abu Dhabi, organized a mass wedding ceremony at Milagres Auditorium, here on Monday July 13, 2009. Sixteen couples were solemnized in marriage by Kazi Al Haj Abdulla Musliar Chembarika.[35][36]

Capman Media Makers

Capman Media Makers has been active in 'Beary Movement' for the last few years. It has felicitated Beary poets, writers and others who have come up with remarkable achievements in the society. Surmatho Kann, Maafi Mushkil, Savunchakaro Shale are some of the productions of Capman Media Makers.[37], beary Naseehath Majlis

Famous Beary personalities

There are intellectuals, writes, lyricists, songwriters, politicians, businessmen, journalists, professionals, research scholars in Beary community who became famous through their contribution to the community and society:

Heroic Bearys

  • Late Khan Bahadur Aboobakar Haji Fakeera: recipient of Khan Bahadur title from British rulers in 1893[38]
  • Late Haji Kappal Hasan Beary Template:Old port Citation needed
  • Late Bajpe Jakri Beary
  • Late Kunhamu Sahib: community leader in 1940s[39 ]
  • Late Arkula Iddinabba Vodeyar: led the community in 1950s[39 ]
  • Late Muhammad Kamal: a prominent Muslim leader during 1970s and 80s[39 ]
  • Late Mata Bandsale Yousuf Sahukar: a prominent Muslim leader during 1970s
  • Late P.A. Mohideen , First & only Beary/Muslim Municipal President of Mercara city until date(1970's)& the founder of Muslim Jamath Madikeri


Beary Littérateurs

Beary journalists

Beary Political Leaders

  • B.Ibrahim , Member of Parliament (Rajya sabha) , INC .
  • B.M. Iddinabba, MLA, Indian National Congress,
  • Late Mr. U.T. Fareed, MLA, Indian National Congress,
  • Haji Hameed Kandak, Vice President D.K.District Congress
  • U.T. Khader, MLA, Indian National Congress,[40]
  • Late Mr. Umarabba, MLA, Indian National Congress,

Note: While updating the names in "Beary Personalities" section, please mention their birth place or presently living place.


  1. ^ Newspaper: The Hindu, Saturday, Oct 13, 2007
  2. ^ Ahmed Noori, Maikala, Preface to 1st edition (1960)
  3. ^ Ichlangod B.M., Tulunada Muslimaru - Byari Samskruti p.19 (1997)
  4. ^ Gopalan Nair C, Moplas of Malabar p.20-21
  5. ^ a b Ahmed Noori, Maikala, II edition, p.11 (1997)
  6. ^ Ahmed Noori, Maikala p.17 (1960)
  7. ^ Ichlangod B.M., Tulunada Muslimaru – Byari Samskruti p. 39 (1997)
  8. ^ a b c The Hindu, Saturday, Oct 13, 2007
  9. ^ Dr. Salethur, Ancient History of Karnataka Vol. 1
  10. ^ ISBN 81-86050-79-5 Ancient and Medieval History of India
  11. ^ Dr. Susheela P. Upadhyaya, Beary Bashe mattu Janapada Kathegalu, p. 5 (1997)
  12. ^ Dr. Susheela P. Upadhyaya, Beary Bashe mattu Janapada Kathegalu, p. 7 (1997)
  13. ^ Dr. Susheela P. Upadhyaya, Beary Bashe mattu Janapada Kathegalu, p. 9(1997)
  14. ^ a b c d Upadhyaya, U. Padmanabha. Coastal Karnataka: Studies in Folkloristic and Linguistic Traditions of Dakshina Kannada Region of the Western Coast of India. Udupi: Rashtrakavi Govind Pai Samshodhana Kendra, 1996.P- ix . ISBN 81-86668-06-3 . First All India Conference of Dravidian Linguistics, Thiruvananthapuram, 1973
  15. ^ Arabic and other language influence
  16. ^ Online edition of The Hindu, Monday, Feb 06, 2006
  17. ^ Beary movie Mami Marmol - Inaugural function news at, Sunday, October 26, 2008
  18. ^ News appeared in
  19. ^ Daijiworld Online, Tuesday, November 06, 2007
  20. ^ The Hindu : Karnataka / Mangalore News : Fourth Beary Sahitya Sammelan in Chikmagalur
  21. ^ Varthabharathi, Kannada daily, 06.02.2009, edition: Mangalore and Bangalore
  22. ^ Varthabharathi, Kannada daily, 18.02.2009, edition: Mangalore and Bangalore
  23. ^
  24. ^ Ichlangod B.M., Tulunada Muslimaru - Byari Samskruti p.50 (1997)
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ Ichlangod B.M., Tulunada Muslimaru - Byari Samskruti p.76 (1997)
  30. ^
  31. ^ Beary's Welfare Association
  32. ^ BWF Felicitates U T Khader at Mangalore
  33. ^ Bearys Welfare Forum holds Iftar at Abu Dhabi
  34. ^ Anupama monthly, March 2008, page 28
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ News about Beary Nasihath Majlis of Capman Media Makers
  38. ^ Doddamane Wahab A., Muslims in Dakshina Kannada: a historical study up to 1947 and survey of recent developments, Green Words publication. Mangalore, p. 127-128 (1993)
  39. ^ a b c Doddamane Wahab A., Muslims in Dakshina Kannada: a historical study up to 1947 and survey of recent developments, Green Words publication. Mangalore, p. 128 (1993)
  40. ^ Abu Dhabi based Beary Welafre Forum Felicitates U T Khader at Mangalore

Other sources

  • Bearys of the coast, Article in Deccan Herald December 12, 1997 by B.M Hanif.
  • H.G. Rawlinson, Ancient and Medieval History of India
  • Sturrock, J., Madras District Manual. South Kanara (2 vols., Madras, 1894-1895).
  • Influence of Muslim thought on the east [4]retrieved 21 May 2006.
  • Muslims in Dakshina Kannada: a historical study up to 1947 and survey of recent developments, Author Wahab Doddamane, A. Green Words publication. Mangalore, 1993 [5]

External links


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