The Baliga surname is used by three major families in the Gaud Saraswat Brahmin community: the Bantwal Baliga, Manjeshwar Baliga and Kallianpur Baliga. Their Gotras and Kuldevatas are different. The Manjeshwar Baligas are of Koundinya Gotra and Kallianpur Baligas are of Vachcha Gotra and both worship the deities of Ramanath and Shantheri Kamakshi.
Bantwal Baligas are of Kashyap Gotra and they worship Aryadurga and Damodar as their kuldev (family deities).
Baliga is the written form of the surname but actually in spoken language it is used as Bale or Ballo. (the Double L is actually pronounced as in Tamil or Tamizh) We usually refer to ourselves as Bale, Balo, (Tho Devdas Balo. Iththre Bale ? etc.,)
The earliest documented evidence referring to a Baliga or Ballo can be found in
the book "The Goa Inquisition- being A quarter
century commemoration study on Inquisition on
In 1637, at the flourishing rice port par
excellence of Basrur (Barcelore
in Portuguese Records)in
The Ancient History of
There are families in
Some historians claim that the foot soldier with a spear was called Ballo. The soldier Ballo (Baliga) was under the command of the Nayak (Chieftain). The daily requirements of every family for survival, presentations, etc were the responsibility of the Ballo.
Some say that the Bantwal Baligas hail from the Hegde family. Incidentally, the Hegde Family also bears the same Gotra (Kashyap) and Kuldevata (Aryadurga-Damodar).
Well known historian used to jocularly relate the story of how a Hegde hid himself in a banana plantation (‘Bale Thota’) fearing dacoits or others. The name struck as ‘Bale’ (of the Banana Plantation). He claims that the name Bale evolved into Baliga over the years.
I don't subscribe to this amusing story. I have my own strong reasons to disagree with him.
Incidentally, the Hegde Family also bears the same Gotra (Kashyap) and Kuldevata (Aryadurga-Damodar). But then, so do some sections of the Pais, Nayaks and Shenoys.
let us look at this possibility: There is a village near Zambaulim
in Quepem Taluka of
angle to this issue is connected with a GSB surname in
Pai-Bhale is also a point to ponder. Pai used to be
the general identity of a GSB in earlier days. (Likewise Shenvi
use to be the identity of GSBs in the
The Baligas of Kallianpur counterparts originally used to spell their name as Balge.