The Toda people are a small pastoral community who live on the isolated Nilgiri plateau of Southern India.

The Todas where not the first inhabitants of Nilgiris("The Manual of Nilgiri District by H.B.Grigg in 1880:333", "Malai Naattu Mannin Mainthargal Vol V by R.Sugumaran,  2014:10"). The other two tribes are not found in plateau are Toda and Kota ("Gazetteer of South India, Vol II by W.Francis, 1908", "Malai Naattu Mannin Mainthargal Vol V by R.Sugumaran, 2014:10"). Todas, kotas, Kurumbas may be considered as aboriginal but not truly so ("Nilgiri Guide and Directory by J.S.C.Eagon, 1916:99", "Manual of Nilgiri District, by H.B.Grigg, 1880:219", "Society in India by David G. Mandelbaum 1972 Vol II:600", "Malai Naattu Mannin Mainthargal Vol V by R.Sugumaran 2014:10"). 

Badaga men attended the Toda and kota panchayat to soleve their problems. kotas followed the Baduga customs("Gazetteer of India by B.L.Rice, 1877"). Toda borrowed many words from Badagas("Cast and Tribes of South India by Edgar Thurston, 1909"). Toda once lived in Hasanur and climbed up the hills("The Manual of Nilgiri District by H.B.Grigg in 1880:333").

The Toda traditionally live in settlements consisting of three to seven small thatched houses, constructed in the shape of half-barrels and spread across the slopes of the pasture. They traditionally trade dairy products with their Nilgiri neighbour people. Toda religion centres on the buffalo; consequently, rituals are performed for all dairy activities as well as for the ordination of dairymen-priests. The religious and funerary rites provide the social context in which complex poetic songs about the cult of the buffalo are composed and chanted. Fraternal polyandry in traditional Toda society was fairly common; however, this has now largely been abandoned.