Todas Regarded as one of the so-called autochthonous tribes of India, living in the region of the Nilgiri or Blue Hills in the Madras Presidency in Southern India. Their language is said to be different from any other in India, likewise their characteristics and features appear to be unique in many respects. Blavatsky claims that it is not only their exterior looks which make them distinct from the barbarous tribes surrounding them, but the spiritual world of their inner life which sets them apart, their having remarkable psychic power based upon spiritual understanding and knowledge. The other four tribes of the Nilgiris, who all revere the Todas, state that these Todas were originally in possession of the mountains when their own ancestors first arrived, seeking permission from the Todas to inhabit these mountain slopes. Blavatsky asserts that they possess a species of literacy something like the cuneiform of the ancient Persians; and further that the Todas divide themselves into seven clans, and this total of 700 men is supposed to remain constant at this figure -- children being born to them only as they are needed to keep the group up to the fixed number.
The Toda people are a small pastoral community who live on the isolated Nilgiri plateau of Southern India. Before the 18th century, the Toda coexisted locally with other communities, including the Kota, and Kuruba, in a loose caste-like community organisation in which the Toda were the top ranking. The Toda population has hovered in the range 700 to 900 during the last century. Although an insignificant fraction of the large population of India, the Toda have attracted (since the late 18th century), "a most disproportionate amount of attention because of their ethnological aberrancy" and "their unlikeness to their neighbours in appearance, manners, and customs." The study of their culture by anthropologists and linguists would prove important in the creation of the fields of social anthropology and ethnomusicology.