Making of Kukketti and Ballu Daivas in Tuluva tradition

Marriage between siblings is a taboo in Hindu religion. But interestingly, a brother and sister who marry each other are now elevated to be daivas in Tuluva tradition. Of course, not before they suffered bansihment. This is the story of sibling daivas – Kukketti and Ballu, who are worshipped by Gowda families (Bangaaru Bali/race).

The northern region of Tulunadu was ruled by Ballala’s. Baalu and Baalakka siblings were born in that era. When they were little older, enemy army acquired Gundya (a place near Western Ghats). In the war, Baalu and Baalakka lose their parents and every member of their family.

Later, one day when they both were walking – after the war – Baalakka is hurt after a thorn gets stuck in her feet. She asks Baala to remove the thorn. During this moment, both siblings feel attracted to each other and decide to get married at a temple. They arrive at the temple of Shri Rudra Chamundi to seek blessings. But enraged over their bond, Rudra Chamundi tosses them up and vanishes both of them in thin air. However, later she blesses both of them to be worshipped by Gowda family members. As they worshipped in the place called Kukkujadka near Sullia taluk, they may have come to be known as Kukketti and Ballu. Kukketti will be decorated as bride and Ballu as the groom. They has a small knife as a weapon.

Sri Subba Parava and Sri Narasinga parava takes care of the Bhootakola cult in Sullia.

More About Author

Tales from Tulu Nadu

Dr Lakshmi G Prasad

Dr Lakshmi G Prasad is a well-known Tulu folklorist. The author holds PG degrees in Kannada, Sanskrit, and Hindi as well as doctorates from Hampi Kannada University and Dravidian University. Currently, she teaches Kannada at Government PU College in Nelamangala. She blogs at



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