Ko·ta (kōʹtə)
A city of northwest India south-southwest of Delhi. Enclosed by a massive wall, it is an agricultural market and has many fine temples. Population: 537,371.

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also spelled  Kotah 

      city, southeastern Rajasthan (Rājasthān) state, northwestern India, located just east of the Chambal River. It was founded as a walled city in the 14th century and became the capital of the princely state in 1625. Kota state, which was separated from Bundi state in 1625, engaged in extensive warfare with Jaipur state in the 18th century and came under British dominance by a treaty concluded in 1818. In 1948 it became part of Rajasthan.

      Kota is a communications and industrial centre, the growth of which has resulted from the availability of electric power from the nearby Chambal Dam (part of the multipurpose Chambal Valley project). Major industries include oil, textile, paper, cotton, and bone mills; a distillery; and match, precision-instrument, nylon, strawboard, electric-cable, and rubber factories. An airport, several hospitals, gardens, and five colleges affiliated with the University of Rajasthan are located there.

      The surrounding region, which formerly constituted the Kota princely state, is on a high sloping tableland forming part of the Malwa Plateau. It is drained by the Chambal River and its tributaries. The Mokandarra hills run from southeast to northwest. Jowar (grain sorghum), wheat, gram (chickpeas), corn (maize), cotton, and rice are the chief crops. The district has extensive game preserves and also numerous ruins, some bearing inscriptions dating from the 8th century. Pop. (2001) city, 694,316.

▪ South Asian people
      one of the indigenous, Dravidian-speaking peoples of the Nīlgiri Hills in the south of India. They lived in seven villages totalling about 2,300 inhabitants during the 1970s; these were interspersed among settlements of the other Nīlgiri peoples, Baḍaga and Toda. A village has two or three streets, each inhabited by the members of a single patrilineal clan. Most adult Kota also speak Tamil, another Dravidian tongue.

      They were traditionally artisans and musicians. Each Kota family was associated with a number of Baḍaga and Toda families for whom they provided metal tools, wooden implements, and pots. They also furnished the music necessary for the ceremonies of their neighbours. From its associated families the Kota family received a share of grain from the Baḍaga harvest and some dairy products from the Toda. The Kota also cooperated with the jungle-dwelling Kurumbas (Kurumba), who provided jungle products and magical protection. Because the Kota handled animal carcasses and had other menial occupations, their neighbours considered them to be of inferior rank.

      Aboriginal Kota religion entails a family trinity of two brother deities and the goddess-wife of the elder. Each deity has a priest and a diviner in every village. The diviner becomes possessed on appropriate occasions and speaks with the voice of god.

      After 1930 the traditional interdependence among the Nīlgiri groups was abandoned, and only a few Kota families continue to supply tools and music. Kota livelihood depends mainly upon the cultivation of grain and potatoes.

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Universalium. 2010.

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