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The diminishing population of certain social groups in India

Budabukkala Vaadu

Are you wondering what's this word 'budabukkala vaadu'? Well, if you are a Telugu, you will surely come to know who is this person.

This is a small social group that was concentrated in South India. In the olden days 'budabukkala vaadu' used to move around in the early mornings before sunrise, in the lanes / streets of villages, towns and cities. He had a 'damarukam' in his hand. 'Damarukam' is a percussion musical instrument and believed to be used by Lord Shiva during Shiva Tandavam - the Divine Dance. This man is actually a fore-teller with some extra-ordinary acquired yogic powers.

Courtesy: Google Images and TV5
The person used to rhythmically beat his 'damarukam' and spoke the Telugu words like "amba paluku jagadamba paluku" (invoking Goddess Jagadamba) and move around in the streets / lanes. In those days it was believed 'budabukkalu vaadu' speaks out the words (foretells) that are whispered into his ears by Goddess Amba (Mother)  He used to stop spontaneously in front of a house and foretell the happenings of the house. Mostly he used to predict the ill-happenings of the house and not the good events. May be because of this reason people in those days were scared of him and avoided him. They used to shut their doors on hearing the beat of his 'damarukam'.

His appearance and costume are peculiar i.e unique (in present terms). He wears mostly a white dhoti or colored one with a long black coat on top. He has a red cloth as a headgear known as 'talapaga' in Telugu. He also has a bell tied to his waist. Their appearance is quite fearful. 

It is believed that the 10-headed demon king Ravana appeared in this form only to abduct Sita Devi during their forest exile period in Dandakaranya. 

Due to reasons unknown, this particular sect of people has almost completely disappeared from the Indian society. These people are also known by the name 'Jangama Deva'. But there is a slight difference in their costume. They do not beg alms but just accept whatever is offered to them by the people.

Courtesy: Google Images
Dear readers, if any of you happen to know more about this sect of people, please share the information in the comment box. This particular social group in South India has almost disappeared.

Yerukala Sani

Yerukala is yet another social group exists in South India. The population of this group is diminishing. The women folk of Yerukala group are known as Yerukala Sani. These women dress in a unique way and these are the traditional professional fore-tellers. Mostly these women unlike 'Budabukkala vaadu', are soothsayers / fortune tellers.  

Courtesy: Google Images
These women carry a big basket made of bamboo and an indigenously made stringed instrument which looks like 'ektara'. Mostly these women accept only rice after fortune telling. Yerukala Sani sits in a typical posture, takes the hand of the person into one of her hands, in her other hand she has the stringed instrument which she plays and speaks out these Telugu words "sodi (eruka) cheputanamma sodi (eruka) cheputanu, Kanchi Kamakshinadigi Cheputanu, Madhura Meenakshinadigi Cheputanau. Unnadunnatu Cheputanu.." in a typical tone of singing.

All the while she speaks these words, she repeatedly turns down the hand of the person that she holds in her hand. Some of the Yerukala Sani hold a bamboo stick in their hand and keep waving it while speaking those Telugu words 'sodu cheputanu'.

It is believed that Lord Venkateswara of Tirumala disguises himself as Yerukala Sani, goes to Akasa Raju's (Goddess Padmavati's father) palace and explains the person to whom Padmavati lost her heart, he who rescued her from a wild elephant, is not an ordinary man.  

This small social group is gradually diminishing from the society and are hardly seen these days. In the recent past, Yerukala Sani was very much used as a fancy dress by the school girls. 

Dear readers, if you know more about this diminishing social group, please share it.



  1. Interesting. Such performers were there in north also but this profession has dwindled.

    1. Thank you Harsh sir for the comment. Could you please mention the names of those professions that existed in North?


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