Koti and Chennayya are legendary twin heroes characterized in the Tulu epic by same name, which is considered one of the two truly long epics of the Tulu-speaking people. The story of these heroes may be taken to roughly five hundred years back, when reference to Ballalads were made in the Tulu Padana. Koti Baidya and Chennaya Baidya were born to Deye Baidethi of Billava family of historical Tulunadu in the state of Karnataka. Owing to the brothers heroic deeds,they are worshiped and remembered as protectors. They died while fighting with the enemies near Yenmoor. Memorials called Garadi has been built in the name of Koti and Chennayya all over Tulunadu. Garadis can also be considered as Billava temples. The term Garadi is derived from word Garodi which means gymnasium.. Once in a year festivals called Nema is celebrated in these Garadis and village people assemble here praying for the well-being of all. The valiant twins are also known as Karnika purushas. Even till date they are worshiped in garadis and not at homes which indicated the high esteem they are held in since they fought for the truth.
The story of the Koti Chennayya is that they were the twin brothers born to Deyi Baidati who saved the life of king Permal or Perumal Ballal of Padumale though she was nearing labor. The king brought up these twins, as deyi dies during child-birth. Sayana Baida the maternal uncle takes the custody of the kids and gives them all the education and training that fine-tunes them into young men. But everyone considers them a threat and tries to eliminate them. Finally they take shelter at Layyanoor kingdom. In a battle between Panda kingdom and Iayyanoor, Permal Ballal of Padumale trickily kills Koti. Chennayya ends his life, as he could not stand the grief of separation. But before his end Koti takes promise from all the kings they are Devanna Ballala of Iayyanoor, Temara Ballala of Panja and Permal Ballal of Padumale that they shall live in peace. They were known to be having tremendous physical strength as well as being handsome figures. Their social concern which makes them revolt against the caste discrimination has made them the first warriors for social justice. This combined with their personality and their strength elevates them to the level of folk heroes.
Billava Community were one among the Socially, Educationally and Religiously downtrodden communities. Being born in Billawa community, the Koti and Chennaya fought against Social injustice of all and brought about the social status of the community and were worshipped by all irrespective of caste and religion. According to the Astamangala (Astrology) question in Emmur in the year 1985,Koti-Chennaya’s were born in 1594 and died (During the Emmur War) in 1629 A.D. They were born in Padumale of Puttur taluk and died in Emmur of Sullia, where their Adi (Native) Gardi Exists.Their Samadhi is still there in Emmur.