Komarpanths are Kshatriyas, basically from Goa State and with their own dialet in Kannada language as their mother tongue, known as the Halegannada (Old Kannada).
The Kshatriya Komarpanths are originally from the Keladi Kingdom or the Vijayanagar Empire, from the Kings family of Karnataka or the old Mysore State, and are the FOLLOWERS OF “SHRI SHRINGERI MATA” FOUNDED BY HIS HOLINESS “JAGADGURU SHRI SHANKARACHARYA” at Shringeri.
Kshatriya Komarpanths are also referred to as those from “Payaka” family which means that they are from the “Superior leader” or the Troop Leaders. They were Brave, well known for Horse riding, Archery and were inborn Fighters. They have fought several times with the Sultans of Mysore and also against the British Rule in India.
Komarpanth Veera Henje Naik born in the year 1736 was not only a brave soldier but a Patriotic Freedom fighter, who fought against the British and the Sulthans of Mysore. With the help of the Bhandaris of Kodibag on the banks of the Kali River at Karwar, and fellow Komarpanths, Veera Henje Naik had been controlling the Five Islands that covered the entrance to Karwar from the sea route. But as the British outnumbered him with their Army summoned from Madras, his team was ambushed by the British at Kodibag, and Veera Henje Naik was shot by the British in the year 1801. The Samadhi (tomb) of the brave warrior still remains in Kodibag Village on Karwar–Kodibag Main Road on the Western Side, adjacent to Government Boys Model School.
During the period from 1736 – 1801 the of the Kshatriya Komarpanth Community, Veera Henje Naik ruled the province of Goa and some parts of Karwar and Uttara Kannada District and determined to fight against the British and the Sulthans of Mysore. Owing to his charismatic leadership, he was conferred upon with the title “CHAK MAK JENGA”, KOMARPANTH VEERA, HENJE NAIK by the King Sadashivanayaka of Keladi Kingdom. The monuments installed by the Komarpanths still remain in the islands of Anju Div Island, Kurumgad Islands, Guddehalli and Belur, Shirave hills.
Kshatriya Komarpanths have settled in villages spread across Goa State , and in Karnataka in Uttara Kannada district Karwar, Sirsi, Ankola, Joida, Yellapur, Haliyal and even up to Kumta Taluk.
Veera Henja Naik
On the 1st November 2008, Saturday at 7-30AM, Homage was paid to the Matryr Sri. Henja Naik, the first Freedom Fighter/Martyr of Karwar  and the Komarpanth Community at his Memorial at Kodibag, Karwar, next to the Government Model Boys School.
People from all classes, sects and creeds participated in this ceremony, organised by the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, Karwar, the Govt. Model Boys School, Kodibag, Karwar City Municipal President Sri. Ulvekar, and Councillors such as Ranju Malsekar, Devidas Naik. Smt. Divya Naik. Sri. Gangadhar Hiregutti Editor of "Karavali Munjavu" newspaper, Sri. Satish Sail of Mallikarjun Shipping were the day's Chief Guests.
Veteran and septgenerian Sri. Ramdas Krishna Metri spoke about the Matryr Henja Naik, and how valiantly he resisted and fought against the British imperialists, with his Team of supporters, by not allowing the British Ships to enter the Karwar Arabian Sea , and attacking them from the Islands of Devgadh, Anjidiv, Kurumgad and Madhlingad. He said the British had to summon their entire Navy from Madras to fight against the Matryr Henja Naik. He was later shot dead at the place where the Memorial is now situated at Kodibag, Karwar. Only after he was assassinated, the British could move into Karwar and establish their base.
History of Komarpanths under British rule
The Komarpanths were called as Comarapeca by the British of the East India Company, and were referred by that name in all official records. In the A New and Comprehensive Gazetteer By George Newenham Wright - 1835 the author says
The Comarapeca tribe are idle and addicted to robbery.'Italic text'
In the Universal geography, or A description of all the parts of the world By Malthe Conrad Bruun - 1822, 1827, 1829 it is said
The Comarapeca, or true Sudras of this division, are both cultivators and soldiers, strongly inclined to robbery, and had acquired an uncommon degree of cruelty during times of anarchy.
Francis Hamilton Buchanan in his A Journey from Madras through the Countries of Mysore, Canara, and Malabar
Customs of the Comarapeca The Comarapeca are a tribe of the Kankana descent, and seem to be Sudras of pure birth, who properly belong to the country; in the same manner as the Nairs are the pure Sudras of Malayala. By birth they are all cultivators and soldiers; and, as usual with this class of men among the Hindus, are all strongly inclined to be robbers. From the anarchy which has long prevailed in this neighbourhood, they had acquired an extraordinary degree of cruelty, and had even compelled many Brahmins to assume their customs, and adopt their cast. They have hereditary chiefs called Nayakas, who, as usual, with the assistance of a council, can expel from the cast, and settle disputes among their inferiors. A man’s own children are his heirs. They can read poetical legends, and are permitted to eat meat and drink spirituous liquors. Their women are not marriageable after the age of puberty. Widows ought to burn themselves with the bodies of their husbands, but this barbarity is no longer in use. Widows, and women who have been divorced for adultery with a Brahman or Comarapeca, may be taken into a kind of left-hand marriage; but their children will be despised, and no person of pure descent will marry them. A woman cannot be divorced for any other cause than adultery; if the crime has been committed with any man but a Brahman, Comarapeca, she loses cast. The men many take as many wives as they please. The Sringagiri Swamalu is their Guru. He receives their Dharma, and bestows on them Upadesa, holy-water, consecrated ashes, and the like. The Panchanga, or astrologer of the village, is their Purohita, and reads prayers (Mantrams) at marriages, Namacurna (the giving a child its name), Tithi, Amavasya, &c. &c. They worship the great gods, Siva and Vishnu, in temples where Kankana Brahmans are Pujaris. They offer bloody sacrifices ; and at the temples of Saktis, or
Pages 185-200 are not part of this Book preview
The Authors seem to have a very bad image of the ancestors of Komarpanths. They have portrayed Komarpanths as rebellious, anti-social, idle, cruel, robbers, anarchists, etc. However the fact remains that Komarpanths were the aboriginal people of North Canara, and were originally soldiers and Agriculturists. Sri Sri Shringeri Jagadguru was their Guru since time immemorial, and they adhered to customs and traditions of the Hindu religion, revered Brahmin and Goud Saraswat priests. That being so, its difficult to believe that Komarpanths were robbers and cruel people.
Komarpanths, having the inbred soldier spirit or the fighting spirit in them, never agreed to or subjugated themselves to the Foreign Rulers - the British, and hence the British did not have a good opinion about them.
Concentration of Komarpanth Families
Rarely populated in the following Taluks..... Continued... here.