Namadhari Naik is a Hindu Vaishnava community predominantly found in Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Daksina Kannada District of Karnataka State in India and are numerically a majority community in the district . They are also known as Halepaika and are referred to as the same in most of the literature. Deeva, Idiga are the other terms used for reference. They are clubbed along with other similar communities like Idiga and Billava in the government list. The term Arya-Idiga is also used widely to refer
them. They are an agricultural community, though toddy tapping once formed an important source of income. The people of the community use Naik, Nayak, and Namadhari as surnames.
The community considers the Lord of Tirupati as their deity, apart from the local gods as family deities depending on the place of their origin. It is known that the community served as soldiers, mercenaries and commanders. Nayaka or Naik in Kannada or Sanskrit means commander. Halepaiks seem to have served all the important Kannada dynasties right from the Chutu satakarni and Kadambas to Vijayanagar kingdom and later Keladi Nayakas.
The Halepaiks worship Tirupati Timmappa or Vishnu as their lord and olden days saw them carrying out pilgrimage to Tirupati on foot akin to the pilgrimage to dhams in North India among all Hindus. Those who had completed the pilgrimage were considered as saints and were carried out in a procession and cremated in sitting position on death.
Worship of Renukambe (Yellamma) or similar deities is widespread among the Halepaiks of western ghats. They consider the Chandragutti Renukambe as their family deity and attend the annual fair religiously. Most of the Halepaiks of Ankola region consider Sundara-Narayan as their family deity and pray to the Murkundi Honna deity of Bankikodla.
Halepaiks all along the history have formed the sword-arm of the dynasties and kingdoms in the region. As soldeirs, commanders, mercenaries there have been many instances where the sacrifices and valour of Halepaiks have stood out. The region of Uttara Kannada is
dotted by many Jataga/Beera temples and Masti-kattes. These are said to be the hero-worship memorials of combatants succumbing in battles and their consorts/wives, committing Sati or even dying in battlefield fighting the enemy. The local folk culture identifies most
of these memorials belonging to Halepaik warriors.