Celebrities from Coorg

There are lots of famous personalities from Coorg. Here’s a small list of them.

Military Services:

Field Marshal K M Cariappa (28 January 1899 – 15 May 1993) – The first Indian Chief of Staff and one of the highest Indian Army rank holders and was appointed as the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army in 1949.

Rai Saheb I P Muthanna, World War 1 (1914-1918) hero who served in Iraq. “Muthanna Road” and “Muthanna Airbase” in Baghdad are named after him.

K S Thimayya (March 30, 1906 – 1965) – Was the commissioned officer of the British Indian Army in 1926 and later became the Chief of Staff of the Indian Army in 1957.


C M Poonacha – freedom fighter INC, Chief Minister of Coorg State (1952-’56), MP, Union Minister, Governor.

Gundu Rao – Chief Minister of Karnataka state, India from 1980 to 1983. Rao was born in Kushalnagar,Kodagu. He built Majestic bus station in Bangalore which is known today as Kempe Gowda bus station. It was during his period as Chief Minister, Foundation was laid for development of Information Technology (IT) sector in Karnataka particularly Bangalore.

C B Muthamma: The first woman to write the Indian Civil Services examinations in 1948 and to join the Indian Foreign Service in 1949.

K. G. Bopaiah – Current speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. He was earlier a deputy speaker.


Rohan Bopanna  – Professional tennis player and a doubles specialist -Runner-up 2010 US Open

Robin Uthappa – Indian cricketer. His father is Venu Uthappa, an international hockey referee.

Ashwini Nachappa (October 21, 1967) is an accomplished athlete and the glory girl of Indian female sprinting at the turn of the 80’s having beaten P.T. Usha.

V S Vinay – Ace hockey player of Indian Natioanl Hockey Team.

A B Subbaiah – Indian team hockey player,1996 Arjuna Awardee.

Len Aiyappa – Ace hockey player of Indian Natioanl Hockey Team.

M. P. Ganesh – Former captain and coach of the Indian Hockey team. He played for India at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, finishing third. He was one of the coaches of the Indian team that won a gold medal at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow. He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1973.

Jagat and Anita Nanjappa – Motor racing champions in India. They have won nine Indian National Rally Riders Championship awards in the motorbike section from 1986 to 1996.

Joshna Chinappa – Joshna was the first Indian girl to win the British Squash Championship title in 2003 in the under 19 category, at Sheffield, U.K and was also the youngest Indian women’s national champion. Joshna Chinappa is the first beneficiary of the 40 core Mittal Champions Trust.

Movie Stars – Models – Music etc

Nikhil Chinnappa – Indian radio jockey and video jockey and is a popular presenter on MTV India for more than a decade. He is now the Festival Director of Asia’s premier music festival – Sunburn Festival in Goa.

Prasad Bidappa – One of India’s most popular fashion designer.

Biddu or Biddu Appaiah – Indian-British music producer, composer and song-writer who lifted the careers of British star Tina Charles, Pakistani-British singer Nazia Hassan, Alisha Chinai and many more.

Zulfi Syed (Zulfikar Syed) – Model-turned-actor winner of Gladrags Manhunt Contest.

Daisy Bopanna – Indian actress in Bollywood and South Indian movies. Her hit movies: Gaalipata (Kannada, 2008); Aishwarya (Kannada, 2006); Garam Masala (Hindi, 2005); Chakkara Viyugam (Tamil, 2008); Bharatchandran IPS (Malayalam, 2005); Prajapathi (Malayalam, 2006)

Nidhi Subbaiah – Indian film actress and model, who has appeared in various television advertisements and in South Indian films, predominantly in Kannada. She first ventured into modelling, appearing in various television commercials, with Fair and Lovely most notable. She has played heroin roles in Kannada movies like Pancharangi, Abhimaani, Krishnan Marriage Story etc.

Prema –  Actress of South Indian Movie. She has won a State Award for the Category ‘Best Actress’ in 1996 for the movie “Om”. She has also bagged Filmfare (‘Best Actress’) award for the movie ‘Kanasugara’ in 2001.


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