Balijas the Cultivators

Balijas though generally known as trading castes were also known to be cultivators. In their customs there was very little difference between the Kapus and Balijas. The general name or title among the Balijas was Naidu. The name Balija was said to be derived from the Sanskrit Bali (sacrifice) and ja (born) signifying that the Balijas owe their origin to the performance of a Yagam. The Balijas also employed Brahmins and Satanis as their priests and Gown was their main caste deity. Balijas had sub sects like Gajula Balija, Telagas, Musa Kammas, Jakkulas, and Adapapa. In both these groups of Jakkulas and Adapapas it was customary for each family to give up one girl for prostitution. One particular ceremony performed by this caste before every auspicious occasion was Parvati Puja that is, the worship of their female ancestors.
Keywords: Balijas, Kapus, Yagam, Adapapa, Parvati Puja, prostitution, Female ancestors.