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Mudaliar
Sengunthar.jpg
Tiruppur KumaranBharathidasanVethathiri MaharishiCN AnnaduraiA.R.RahmanMylswamy Annadurai
Regions with significant populations
Tamil Nadu,Kerala, Puducherry, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore
Languages

Tamil(Mother Tongue), Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada

Religion

Hinduism, Christianity

Related ethnic groups

Pillai, Senaithalaivar

Mudaliar also Mudaliyar, Mudali and Moodley is a title used by Tamil castes. It is derived from the honorary title Mudali meaning a person of first rank in in the Tamil language which was bestowed upon top-ranking bureaucratic officials and army officers in medieval South India[1]. The surname is generally prevalent among Indian Tamils and the Tamil diaspora though it is also used in other parts of South India.

Contents

Etymolgy

The word Mudaliar means first citizens or first ones and is used to denote a Vellalar subcaste.The word Mudali was also used to refer to a position held in a Nagarattar firm as it applies to other non-Vellalar castes.[2] It has been recorded that in the Nayak period, titles such as "Pillai" or "Mudali" might have also been used by Brahmins.[3]

History

Karikala divided Thondaimandalam into 24 Kottams and parcelled it out to the Vellala Chiefs, awarding them the title Mudali or Mudaliyar [4][5][6] literally meaning The first citizens or first ones after his son Athondai had won the battle against Kurumbars[7].

Some of the Mudali clans of Thondaimandalam migrated to Sri Lanka during the period of medieval poet Kambar. For example, some of the Tamils in Ceylon trace their lineage to this group some of whom had become saints called Nayanars. The book: The Tamils in Early Ceylon By C. Sivaratnam traces some of the Mudaliyars in Ceylon to Thaninayaka Mudaliyar (among other), a rich Saiva Velalar who emigrated to Ceylon from Tondaimandalam[8]

Maanadukanda Mudali, a Vellala king of Thondai Nadu had shed over kamban a shower of gold for his work of Erezhupatu, a literary work praising agriculture. Taninayaga, a Vellala of Seyur was made the chief of Neduntiva.[9]

There have been other accounts like for example in the 17th century a leading Muslim trader Marakkayar was given the title Mudali Pillai by the Nayak king of Madurai.[10]

Rajah of Cochin was also awarded Mudali title according to the book "Jews in India" by Thomas A. Timberg. [11]

Castes such as Agamudayars also had used Mudali title from historical times as they had served in the regiments. [12]

The usage of the title is prevalent, though to a lesser extent, among Desigar, Chozhia Vellalar and Karaiyar[13]

Castes with Mudaliar title

Mudaliar was used to represent a Vellala subcaste [14] and was also used as a surname of the people belonging to various castes or as a caste title. [15] [16][17]

The following castes using the Mudaliar title are classified as Forward castes by the Government of Tamil Nadu

Thondaimandala Saiva Vellalar

See the main article at Thondaimandala Mudaliar

The Thondaimandala Mudaliar or Thondaimandala Saiva Vellalar are a high ranking caste in the state of Tamil Nadu, India[18]. They are the original homogeneous group of Mudaliars who were settled in Thondaimandalam or Thondai Nadu in South India by Chola King, Karikala Chola[7][19][20][21]. When Karikala Chola annexed Thondai nadu and gave it to his son Athondai, he divided Thondaimandalam into 24 Kottams and parcelled it out to the Vellala Chiefs, awarding them the title Mudali or Mudaliyar literally meaning The first citizens or first ones[7]. They are feudal lords and major landowners in the Thondaimandalam area which includes the present day areas of Chennai, Chengalpet, Kanchipuram, and Vellore[7]. A significant population of Thondaimandala Saiva Vellala Mudaliars have also migrated to other areas such as Madurai and Tirunelveli. Dalavoy Ariyanatha Mudaliar, the Velala General of Viswanatha Nayak also settled some of them in areas outside of Thondaimandalam. They are endogamous and inter-marriage with other Mudaliars is quite rare. Their mother tongue is Tamil[22][23] . They have a long history of ardent Saiva devotees called Nayanmars. Sekkizhar, the author of the Tamil epic Periyapuranam hailed from this community.

Thondaimandala Kondaikatti Vellalar

Tradition suggests that this group were the first Vellalar groups that were settled in Thondaimandalam by Adondai Chakravarti after overthrowing the Kurumbar sovereignty[24]. Adondai Chakravarti is described in various ways: a) as a lieutenant in the Chola empire[25], b) as the son of ancient Chola King Kokkili and a Naga princess, c) as the illegitimate son of Rajendra Kulotunga Chola I and a palace attendant [26], d) son of Karikala Chola [27]. This claim appears blurred due to the ambiguous identity of Athondai Chakravarti and the time of such settlement. There are conflicting sources, some that say, the settlement was in 7th or 8th century AD and others that say that it was much later in 11th or 12th century AD. Nevertheless, this settlement is much later than Karikala Chola's settlement of Tondaimandalam[28]. There were many Mirasidars and Zamindars belonging to this group. They are mainly concentrated in Chennai, Kanchipuram and Vellore districts.

The following castes using the Mudaliar title are classified as Backward castes by the Government of Tamil Nadu [29]

Agamudaiya Mudaliar

See the main article at Agamudaya Mudaliar

Agamudaya Mudaliar were using the Mudaliar title as early as the 13th century. One Kayiladamudaiyan alias Solakon-Pallavaraiyar from Kulattur in Tiruvindalur nadu is said to have held the office of Mudali in the 13th century [12]. Their presence is significant in the Northern districts of Tamil Nadu.

Arcot, Thuluva Vellalar

See the main article at Thuluva Vellalar

Thuluva Vellalar or Tuluva or Tulumar is a sub-caste of Vellalars and were immigrants from the Tulunad, a part of the modern district of South Canara. A King named Athondai Chakravarthy had brought down the people of Thuluva Vellalar to the present day Thondaimandalam of Tamil Nadu. Athondai Chakravarthy had established his rule over Northern Tamil Nadu after winning the battle over the Kurumbar. This is the reason that part of North Tamil Nadu was named as Thondaimandalam, named after this victorious king. It has also been noted that Athondai Chakravarthy had brought Vellalars from Srisailam to settle down at Thondaimandalam.

Kerala Muthali/Mudali

Kerala Muthali (Mudali) belongs to various Mudaliar communities. They are predominantly found in the Trivandrum and Palghat Districts of Kerala and Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu. They migrated to these places in the late 17th Century onwards for various purposes including Agriculture, coconut oil extraction, coir Trade and as specialized fighters and reliable spies. They were given special preference by the royal family of Travancore due to their cultural similarity and loyalty. This status resulted in further deepening their area of influence within Travancore. During the British era, many families embraced Christianity. Kerala Muthalis still keep their separate identity even though they are a micro-minority caste in Kerala. Due to their linguistic and educational backwardness Kerala [30], Tamilnadu [31] and Pondicherry [32] states have categorized them as BCs. Gradually after independence and state reorganization, Kerala Muthalis have completely integrated with the Kerala Culture, but still consider Lord Muruga/Subramanya as their primary god of worship while most of the Kerala Hindus are devotees of Lord Vishnu.

Alienation from Travancore Royal family begun with Swathi Thirunal's acceptance of Thanjavoor Sugandhavalli alias Sugandha Parvathi Bhai as his wife. His first wife Thiruvattar Amma Veettil Paanapillai Ayikutti Narayani Pillai was belonging to a powerful Nair family from Central Travancore. After Swathi Thirunal's mysterious death at an early age of 33, the Kerala Muthali community faced various threats. Then British resident, General Cullen's timely involvement helped to avert a great backlash on the community. The South Travancore Keralamuthali Samajam is the umbrella organisation currently working for the cause of the community[33].

Nanjil Mudali

Nanjil Mudali is another group of people who have the Mudali surname. They belong to Nanjil Nadu in Kanyakumari district. [34]

Senguntha Mudaliyar

See the main article at Sengunthar

Kaikolar or Sengunthar are a large Tamil people in the states of Southern India[35]. Historically, there were seventy-two subdivisions (nadu or desams). Their name comes from the Tamil words "kai" (hand) and "kol" (shuttle used in looming or spear). They consider the different parts of the loom to represent various gods and sages. They are also known as Sengunthar, which means a red dagger in Tamil.

During Chola rule Kaikolars served as soldiers and were called "Terinja kaikolar padai". (Terinja means "known" in Tamil and Padai means "regiment"), so "terinja-kaikolar padai" were the personal bodyguards. Kaikkolars were militarised during the Chola empire and formed many regiments in the Chola army from 8th century to 13th century. Kaikolars were prominent members of Tamil society even during the 10th century AD during Chola rule.[36] Smarakesarit-terinja-Kaikkolar and Vikramasingat-terinja-Kaikkolar derived their names from possible titles of Parantaka[37] [38] [39] [40] Udaiyar-Gandaradittatterinja-Kaikkolar[8] must have been the name of a regiment called after king Gandaraditya, the father of Uttama-Chola. [41] [42] Singalantaka-terinda-Kaikkolar (a regiment named after Singalantaka i.e. Parntaka I) [43] [44] Danatonga-terinja-Kaikkola (regiment or group). The early writing of the record and the surname Danatunga of Paranataka I suggests its assignment to his reign. [45] [46] [47] Muttavalperra seems to indicate some special honour or rank conferred on the regiment by the king. [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53] [54]

Sri Lankan Mudaliyars

The book: The Tamils in Early Ceylon By C. Sivaratnam traces some of the Mudaliyars in Ceylon to Thaninayaka Mudaliyar (among other), a rich Saiva Vellala who emigrated to Ceylon from Tondaimandalam[8].

Jaffna has two or three clans from Thondaimandalam with the Mudali surname. Irumarapum Thooya Thaninayaga Mudali from Seyyoor and Mannadukonda Mudali whose clan has been quoted even during famour poet Kambar's time. Here is the direct quotation from Kailaya Malai, a historical book of Jaffna on the migration into Jaffna from Thondai Nadu. The other clans may come under this section or under Sri Lankan Vellalar section.

The next was the Vellala of the family of him who shed over kamban a shower of gold for the work of Erezhupatu, whose country was Tondainade, who had a widespread name, who used to wear a lotus garland and whose name was Maanadukanda Mudali. He was made to reside at Irupalai. The next was the Vellala of Seyur, who was as wealthy as Indra, and who never deviated from the path of visture. whose garland was of water lilies. Whose fame was great and whose paternal and maternal lines were matchless and pure and whose name was Taninayaga. He was made a chief of Neduntiva.[9].

See Sri Lankan Mudaliyars for the class of Mudaliyars created by the British administrators during 19th century Sri Lanka.

Notable Mudaliars

References

  1. ^ Irschick, Eugene F. Dialogue and History: Constructing South India, 1795-1895. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994. direct web reference: http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?docId=ft038n99hg&brand=eschol
  2. ^ Caste and Capitalism in Colonial India: The Nattukottai Chettiars By David West Rudner
  3. ^ Thurston, Edgar; K. Rangachari (1909). Castes and Tribes of Southern India Volume VI. Madras: Government Press. pp. 368. 
  4. ^ History of Tirupati: The Tiruvengadam Temple By T. K. T. Viraraghavacharya
  5. ^ Some Contributions of South India to Indian Culture - Page 161 by S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar
  6. ^ The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany
  7. ^ a b c d The Tamils Eighteen Hundred Years Ago By V. Kanakasabhai
  8. ^ a b The Tamils in Early Ceylon By C. Sivaratnam, http://books.google.com/books?vid=0PrqSaY8TV9DtgCG9v&id=hlocAAAAMAAJ&q=mudaliyar+vellala&dq=mudaliyar+vellala&pgis=1
  9. ^ a b noolaham.net
  10. ^ Muslim trader with Mudali title http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fbooks.google.com%2Fbooks%3Fid%3D11FYACaVySoC%26pg%3DPA17%26lpg%3DPA17%26dq%3Dmudali%2Bpillai%2Bmarakkayar%26source%3Dweb%26ots%3DeiwtCjhi7G%26sig%3D-2kNNkzgn_Yr1C_A7Ox3aTW0Rs4&ei=SfFOR9_1II-4gQTV7_TsCg&usg=AFQjCNEilgXz8uD_MNmmVvhnu7B5PDldkw&sig2=Ip7S5Nt8KflOsrXjzNcwRw
  11. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=vbJtAAAAMAAJ&q=mudaliar+title&dq=mudaliar+title&lr=&pgis=1
  12. ^ a b South Indian Inscriptions Volume_12 - Kopperunjingadeva II Inscriptions @ whatisindia.com
  13. ^ http://books.google.co.in/books?id=73msCkfD5V8C&pg=PA112&lpg=PA112&dq#PPA112,M1
  14. ^ Caste and Capitalism in Colonial India: The Nattukottai Chettiars by David West Rudner
  15. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=HfNRO-LtsN4C&pg=PA135&dq=#PPA135,M1
  16. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=HfNRO-LtsN4C&pg=PA139&dq=#PPA139,M1
  17. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=GZwD7EqLcAUC&pg=PA436&dq=&lr=
  18. ^ Rural Society in Southeast India By Kathleen Gough By Kathleen Gough
  19. ^ "Irschick, Eugene F. Dialogue and History: Constructing South India, 1795-1895. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994."
  20. ^ Order and Disorder in Colonial South India Eugene F. Irschick Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 23, No. 3 (1989), pp. 459-492,
  21. ^ The Hindu : Of tilting pillars
  22. ^ Kerala Pillai History as told by Dr. Kanam Sankara Pillai
  23. ^ Vellalar History
  24. ^ Religion and Public Culture: encounters and identities in modern South Indi by John Jeya Paul, Keith Edward Yandell,http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0700711015&id=x3GuKnZTGG4C&pg=PA241&lpg=PA241&ots=0mGugDgcw8&dq=adondai+kondaikatti&sig=rvjX3UZKGetOlVMyoGQS0IC4ac0
  25. ^ Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland By Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland,http://books.google.com/books?vid=0o3HpzvAK7y1RHyxOc&id=JLFfVFU1mCoC&pg=PA581&lpg=PA581&dq=adondai+chola#PPA581,M1
  26. ^ Some Contributions of South India to Indian Culture By S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar, http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN8120609999&id=vRcql-QBhRwC&pg=PA394&lpg=PA394&dq=adondai+chola&sig=CUdOfMyvFWr60FUG2jBelSkCQhQ
  27. ^ History of Tirupati: The Tiruvengadam Temple By T. K. T. Viraraghavacharya, http://books.google.com/books?vid=0EAC1QqCYpse1n8eEo&id=VBoaAAAAMAAJ&q=adondai&dq=adondai&pgis=1
  28. ^ http://books.google.com/books?vid=030r8wCzi070dfHyMo&id=TTQKoe4eXzgC&q=kurumbars+chola&dq=kurumbars+chola&pgis=1
  29. ^ http://www.tn.gov.in/bcmbcmw/bclist.htm
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^ [2]
  32. ^ [3]
  33. ^ [4]
  34. ^ List of Backward Classes
  35. ^ List Of Backward Classes Approved
  36. ^ South Indian Inscriptions-Volume-XIX-Inscriptions of Parakesarivarman @ whatisindia.com
  37. ^ South Indian Inscriptions-Volume-XIX-Inscriptions of Parakesarivarman @ whatisindia.com
  38. ^ South Indian Inscriptions Volume_13 - Inscriptions of Rajakesarivarman @ whatisindia.com
  39. ^ South Indian Inscriptions Volume_13 - Cholas Inscriptions @ whatisindia.com
  40. ^ South Indian Inscriptions - Volume 17 Inscriptions collected during the year 1903-04 @ whatisindia.com
  41. ^ South Indian Inscriptions Volume_13 - Inscriptions of Rajakesarivarman @ whatisindia.com
  42. ^ South Indian Inscriptions - Inscriptions collected during the year 1908-09 @ whatisindia.com
  43. ^ South Indian Inscriptions Volume 2 - Rajarajesvara Temple Inscriptions at Tanjavur @ whatisindia.com
  44. ^ South Indian Inscriptions Volume_3 - Nagesvarasvamin & Umambesvara & Adimulesvara Temples Inscriptions @ whatisindia.com
  45. ^ South Indian Inscriptions-Volume-XIX-Inscriptions of Parakesarivarman @ whatisindia.com
  46. ^ South Indian Inscriptions Volume_13 - Inscriptions of Rajakesarivarman @ whatisindia.com
  47. ^ South Indian Inscriptions-Volume-XIX-Inscriptions of Parakesarivarman @ whatisindia.com
  48. ^ South Indian Inscriptions-Volume-XIX-Inscriptions of Parakesarivarman @ whatisindia.com
  49. ^ South Indian Inscriptions - Inscriptions of Rajaraja I @ whatisindia.com
  50. ^ South Indian Inscriptions - Tiruvarur (Thiruvarur) Temple Inscriptions @ whatisindia.com
  51. ^ South Indian Inscriptions - Inscriptions collected during the year 1906-07 @ whatisindia.com
  52. ^ South Indian Inscriptions - Inscriptions collected during the year 1908-09 @ whatisindia.com
  53. ^ South Indian Inscriptions - Inscriptions collected during the year 1908-09 @ whatisindia.com
  54. ^ South Indian Inscriptions - Inscriptions collected during the year 1908-09 @ whatisindia.com







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