Ulladan in India

The Ulladan have only been reported in India
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Ulladan are so called because they come form the interior forests. Ullu means inside parts and ulladan can mean interior people. Yet there is another story behind this name. Before the advent of British Empire a group of soldiers belonging to Central Travancore in Kerala, went to forests with their families to protect their lives from the internal warfare between the local kings. They settled themselves in the forests. After being in exile for several years some of them returned to their native places. Those who came back were uncivilized due to their lost connection with the civilized country. Locals called them Ulkadans, means forest dwellers with the implication that they possess the uncivilized nature of forest dwellers. That term Ulkadans shortened and became Ulladans after a period of time.

Those who eked out a living by hunting and eating root vegetables and fruits had to seek new avenues for living when they migrated to the towns. At that time the feudal lords who were high caste people, gave them safe haven by making them as their tenants. Cultivating in their lands and working in the fields, they got a new lease of life in the country. Dependents of their feudal masters, they not only faced social discrimination prevailed over there but also deprived of education.

In the 1970s many Ulladans received lands adjacent to the forests, thanks to the land reforms implemented by the government. As a result many migrated to the lands in the vicinity of the forests. In order to protect themselves from the attack of wild beasts they made huts on the trees and lived there. Natural calamities and epidemics took its toll and made their life all the more miserable.

Ulladans live in land encompassed by forests. They are mostly seen in districts like Idukki, Kottayam, Pattanamthitta and Quilon. [In Kattapana, which is in Idukki district, they live in places like Teprankudi, Vattikudi, Puliamala and Kozhimala. They are numerically strong in Kanjikuzhi panchayat, where they spread over in Pazhayirikandam, Mukkuvalli and Varikamuttan. Besides this in the neighborhood of Adimali called Kurangati hills they dwell in large numbers. In Ernakulam district near Tattekadu bird sanctuary they can be seen in a place called Panavoorkudi].

Ulladans are similar to Romani of Malabar. Hunting and fishing are part and parcel of their life. Although development is taking place under the control of the government, their standard of living is low and educationally backward.

Liquor consumption and smoking are prevalent among them. Irrespective of age they chew betel and other pan. They have their own dialect and terminology. They offer prayer in temples and believe in witchcraft.

Each locality has one elder. Elder will preside over important issues and matters concerning marriage and death.

Earlier child marriage prevailed among them. When the boy or girl becomes 5-6 years old, parents find bride or bridegroom for their child. Both parties together confirm the marriage by word. After two years when the boy attains 7 years marriage is conducted. Since then bride live in the bridegroom's house. A girl's coming of age is trumpeted as another marriage called Thirandu kalyanam.

The dead are washed and wrapped in new clothes as part of post death ceremony. There is a practice of applying oil over the dead by the relatives. Another custom is to spread linen cloth over the dead by the relatives. After this the body is buried. Few are the Ulladans who believe in a life after death.

Pray for workers to be raised up to minister among the Ulladans.

Profile Source:   Philipose Vaidyar  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer / Resource Links:
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-09-30
People Name General Ulladan
People Name in Country Ulladan
Population in India 21,000
World Population 21,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Alternate Names Kochuvelan, Nadi, Nayadi, Ullatan, उल्लदन
People ID 18282
ROP3 Code 113826
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 3
Largest States
Tamil Nadu
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 3
  Kerala (20,000)
  Tamil Nadu (300)
  Puducherry (30)
Website South Asia Peoples

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Malayalam (20,000 speakers)
Language Code mal   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
Other People Groups Speaking Malayalam
Primary Language Malayalam (20,000 speakers)
Language Code mal   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
  Tamil (100)
People Groups Speaking Malayalam

Primary Language:  Malayalam

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1811-1968)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1829-1995)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1841-2004)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon National Bible Societies
Forum of Bible Agencies World Bible Finder
Gospel Go World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name New
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Fathers Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Malayalam
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Bible Visuals
General Four Spiritual Laws
General God's Simple Plan
General Got Questions Ministry
Mobile App Download Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Bible
Text / Printed Matter Bible Gateway Scripture
Text / Printed Matter Bibles, Bible League
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
3.10 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
96.01 %
0.12 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.01 %
0.76 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2018  Philipose Vaidyar  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Philipose Vaidyar  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From India census data.  Current values may differ.

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