The people of Karnataka have been living in intimate and mutually beneficial
contact with all their immediate neighbours namely, the Marathas, the
Andhras, the Tamilians and the Malayalis. Adi Shankara established one
of his principal monasteries at Sringeri. Sri Ramanuja made a sojourn
of several years at Melukote. He brought the families of several Srivaishnava
devotees along with him. There is a group known as Sanketis, speaking
a Tamil dialect. They migrated into Karnataka from Tamil Nadu from a place
called Shencottah. The names of other group indicate the place of their
origin. Badaga Nadu means people who came from the North.
Okkaligas have maintained their identity for over a thousand years. They
have existed as a separate class from the time of the Gangas of Talkad.
The Voddas (masons) once classed as a criminal tribe, came originally
from Orrisa. The Lambanis were camp followers of the invading Maratha
armies in the 17th century. Hyder Ali encouraged gardeners called Tigalas
to migrate from Tamil Nadu to Bangalore and thus, helped in the laying
out of Lal Bagh.
A large number of Malayali families have migrated into
the Mysore district. Tradesmen (Byaris), priests and plantation labourers
from Kerala have always found lucrative jobs in Coorg and South Kanara.
The Kannada spoken in this area is influenced considerably by the speech
habits of the southern neighbours. The public sector industries established
in Bangalore attract thousands of skilled workers from Kerala.