The four main sub-divisions being the Musuku, Hosadevru (Beralu), Palyadasime and Morasu proper which is again divided into three lines called Salu viz. The Musuku sect is so-called because the bride wears a veil or 'Musuku' during the wedding ceremony. There are many organisations that cater to the needs of the community.
It is however, a fact that the administrative setup of Gangas vested power, at various levels of administration and apart from administrative duties the Gauda was expected to raise militia when called for.
The Gangadikaras and the Kongu Vellalars are said to share a common origin and they regard themselves Ganga Kshatriyas.
This system is akin to the Brahminical Gotra System and is seen as a common feature in most Indian communities. It is opined that all the sub-groups previously formed a single unified community which broke into several factions over the ages.
With various theories on the origins of the Gangas, this is hard to prove but some scholars do opine that the Gangas were local chieftains who ascertained their power and rose to dominance during the political unrest caused in South India after the invasion of Samudragupta I.
The ancestors of Kempe Gowda I of the Yelahanka Nadaprabhus (the founder of Bangalore city and himself a Morasu Vokkaliga) are recorded to have migrated to these districts from Alur of Kanchi around the 15th century under Rana Bhaire Gowda, who built the fort at Devanahalli.
In Kanchi, they were known as Morasu Vellala since they had migrated from Morasu Nadu which is identified as the eastern province of Mysore.
Vokkaliga is a Kannada-language word found in some of the earliest available literary works of the language, such as the Kavirajamarga, Pampa Bharata, and Mangaraja's Nighantu. Nanjundayya has derived the word from Grama or Gava meaning a village and Munda meaning head, thus a Gamunda being the head of the village.
It has been used as an appellation for the cultivator community since time immemorial. Vokkaligas are traditionally known to have been feudal landlords and village chieftains and to this day remain major land-holders.
Cheluru Gangadikaras (also called Chelaru), another small sub-sect, are said to be strictly vegetarian, a vestige of the times when the Gangas followed Jainism.
Oral traditions of the people maintain that after the decline of the Ganga power they reverted to Hinduism retaining certain Jaina practises.
They can be Shaiva or Vaishnava in religious affiliation (called Mullu and Dasa sects).