The Toda people are proud and aristocratic people. They are the traditional lords of the Nilgiris in South India. The Toda men with flowing hair and beards, their mantles covering their bodies from neck to feet, always impress visitors by their dignified bearing and robustness.
The Toda tribes live in the hills of the Nilgiris. The are a small community and their population is below 1000 people. The low population of Toda people is partly attributed to diseases. Though insignificant in numbers, the Toda Tribes have attracted more anthropological notice than any other tribe in India, or for that matter in the whole of Asia, with the result that no textbook of anthropology fails to have some reference to the sociology of the Todas.
Of particular interest are the sacred dairies, the dairy priests and the series of rituals centering round the sacred buffaloes, the sex and marriage regulations of Toda society. The Todas are vegetarians.
The Toda people have not been quick to adapt themselves to their changing environment of predatory competition and exploitation by newcomers to the Nilgiris. Their rights have been steadily encroached upon and their economic and mental condition has become pitiable. The Servants of India Society and the Government are making some attempts to help the Todas on the road to progress by educating Toda children and by giving them medical and financial assistance.