Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The royal Arayar.

ARAYAR, The Caste who makes the History of  Tamilnadu, The Imperial clan is one of the three castes which constitute the Mukkulathor confederacy. "a fearless community show many signs of independence and non-submission to any form of subjugation".There are Abundant records pertaining to this clan, where the Peoples ruled from unknown antiquity (Chola, Chera, Pandya.) . Arayars  are found largely in Thanjavur (40 % of Tanjavur Population), Trichy, Pudukkottai, Theni, Madurai, Dindigul, Sivagangai, Karur, kanchipuram, and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu.


There are over 1000 surnames in use. There are no other Castes in Tamilnadu have this many Surnames. Some of the commonly used Surnames are.

Paluvettaraiyar, Malayaman, Adigaman, Thevar, Mannaiyar, Rajaliyar, Vallavaraiyar, Thanjaraayar, Pallavaraayar, Vandaiyar, Thondaiman, Etrandaar, Vaanavaraayar, Servai, Amballakkarar, Sethurayar, Soma Naicker, Muniyarayar(Munaiyatriyar), Thondamar, Mayrkondar, Kallathil Venrar, , Nattar (not Nadar), Cholagar, kumarandar, Anjathevar, Olivarayar, Sendapiriyar, Alathondamar, Ambalam, Aarsuthiyar, Kaadavaraayar, Kalingarayar, Vandaiyaar, Veeramundar, Sepillaiyar, Vallundar, Chozhangaraayar, Kandiyar, Mazhavaraayar, Kommatti Mootar, Kannakkarar, Irungular, Singilaar, Ponnapoondar, Pullavaraayar, Araimeendar, Vairayar, Ponpethiar, Gopalar, Kandapillai, Vayaadiyar, Vanniar, Vallambar, Alankara Priyar, mavaliyar, Keerudayar, Saaluvar, Manraayar, Onthiriyar, Serumadar, Vambaliar, Thenkondaar, Mankondaar, etc. 

 They are highly conservative and have preserved their customs and traditions to the present day. They are also believed to be the oldest inhabitants of the Tamil country with reports of their presence going back to Tamil literary works of the 4th century B.C. They are found mainly in the districts of Madurai, Dindigul and Theni.

During sangam

The kings (Araiyars), were ruling Thondai Nadu, There are Hundreds of records pertaining to this dynasty. Thondai in Tamil means Kilay or pirivu, Pallava in Sanskrit defines the same, so Pallavas or Thondaiman are considered as a offshoot of Cholas later become an Prominent rulers.

The kings (Araiyars) ruled Tirukkoyilur during Chola kingdom with the title Malayaman . They were in close relation with Cholas. Sangam literature mentions of Tirumudikari, a Malayaman chief who fought alongside Perunarkilli Chola to defeat Cheral Irumporai (Irumporai Cheras). Vastly, Cholas, Cheras and even Satavahanas controlled the destiny in times.

The kings were ruling Tagadur, present villupuram district, One of The Four kingdoms Mentioned in rock-edict of Ashoka. Adigaman Naduman Anji King of Tagadur is Mentioned  in rock-edict of Ashoka as Satyaputra Inscriptions found from Villuppuram Proves that stating Adigaman as Satyaputra Adhiyan Neduman Anji intha Pali.

Chola (சோழர்)

The Chola Dynasty (Tamil:
சோழர் குலம்) was a Tamil dynasty that ruled primarily in southern India until the 13th century the other two royal dynasties were Pandian and Chera. The meaning of chola is Surya vamsi (solar dynasty) in ancient times. Chera, chola and pandian are considered as Siblings.

The dynasty originated in the fertile valley of the Kaveri River. Karikala Chola was the most famous among the early Chola kings, while Aditya I, Parantaka I, Rajaraja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I, Rajadhiraja Chola, Virarajendra Chola, Kulothunga Chola and Kulothunga Chola III were notable emperors of the medieval Cholas.

Chera, Chola and Pandian are commonly called as Thevar to mean they are desendents of Lord Indra. But specially Cholas were called by many Surnames all these surnames (Mel kondar, Chozangar, Thevar etc.)

Lots of marriages takes place between cholas with Malavarayar, Malayaman, Paluvettaraiyar, Melkondar and Vallavaraiyar. They also belong to same community.

Pallavas (பல்லவர்)

The Pallava kingdom (Tamil: 
பல்லவர்) was an ancient South Indian tamil kingdom. Later they extended their rule to further south and established their capital at Kanchipuram around the 4th century CE. They rose in power during the reign of Mahendravarman I (571 – 630 CE) and Narasimhavarman I (630 – 668 CE) and dominated the Telugu and northern parts of Tamil region for about six hundred years until the end of the 9th century. The word Pallava means branch in Sanskrit. The word is rendered as Tondaiyar in Tamil language. The Pallava kings at several places are called Thondamans or Thondaiyarkon. The territory of the Pallavas was known as Tundaka Visaya or Tundaka Rashtra. The sancrit meaning of pallava is Kilay The tamil Thondai means the same, it proves that pallavas are desendents (Kilay or Pirivu) of chola.

Pathupattu, one of the sangam literatures, reads that the king Thondaiman Ilandirayan ruled this town around 2500 years ago. The pallavas are told as the descendents of Thondaiman Ilandirayan.

They were also called by surnames like sethurayar , pallavarayar , vandarayar, kadurayar,Vallavarayar,vanathirayar,kaliyarayar etc. . proves that Pallavar are Decendents of Chola.

Petty Kings

The Great empires which ruled Tamilnadu were Chera, Chola, Pandian and Pallava, but there were many petty kings and chieftains ruled tamilnadu under chera, chola, pandiya and pallava.

There are lot of records pertaining to this Petty dynasty. Some of the names are seen in Tamil copper-plate inscriptions also.

Most of the Mutharayar  surnames also derived from the place they ruled for example Thanjaiarayar (Means King Who ruled Thanjavur), 

Definition: Thanjai –Thanjavur and Arayar – Raja –King.

Malavarayar(மழவராயர்), Pallavarayar(பல்லவராயர்), Erraandar(ஏற்றாண்டார்)r, Arasandar(அரசாண்டார்), Thanjairayar(தஞ்சைராயர்),  Muniarayar, Vallavarayar (வல்லவரையர்)Muthurayar, Irunkolar, Brahmarayar, Kodumbalur Rayar, Chiratchiyar, Nattar, Devarayar, Vanathirayar.


The main occupation of Arayar was Warrior, most of their surnames derived from their victory and bravery shown in Battlefield.

Some Surnames are,
Poril Koluthiyar(
போரிற்கொளுத்தி), Kottai Meetar(கோட்டை மீட்டார்), Soma Naicker(சோமநாயக்கர்), Kalathil Vendrar (களத்தில் வென்றார்), Jeyam Kondar(ஜெயம் கொண்டார்), Kodi Kondar, Thanai Thalaivar(தானைத் தலைவர்), Valukkuvelyar, Vijayathevar, Veerakkotaiyar, Valkondar, Ulukkondar, Veerapuliyar, Senathipathi, Viruthurajabayangarar.

Tamil copper-plate inscriptions

The discovery of Indian copper plate inscriptions provided a relative abundance of new evidence for use in evolving a chronicle of India's elusive history.

During chola rule there were many small kings (Araiyar) were Ruling there Respective area under Chola.Some of the names are seen in Tamil copper-plate inscriptions was also mentioned in Ponniyin Selvan (Tamil historical novel written by Kalki Krishnamurthy.

Paluvettaraiyar (
Malayaman (
Vallavaraiyar (
Velar (
Thondaiman (

During Vijayanagar Empire

The downfall of the Mukkulathors occurred in 1345 with the fall of Vira Pandyan IV and the subsequent conquest of Madurai by the Delhi Sultanate. However, the southern territories of the Sultanate soon asserted their independence and the Mukkulathors recovered under the Vijayanagar Empire and later under the Nayak dynasty during whose period they served as Polygars or chieftains.

Ambalakarar is the most important Peoples. They were a warlike people who strongly resisted every British attempt to subjugate them. They are found in Madurai and Sivaganga districts. In these districts, each village is headed by an Ambalam (president of an assembly) and the Ambalam took upon themselves the power to adjudicate disputes that arose among the inhabitants in the "NADU", belonging to different castes. They used to hear complaints, hold inquiries and punish the offenders. They wielded considerable powers to intervene in any kind of transaction or transfer of property among the people. No land could be alienated from one man to another without the permission of the Ambalams. The sur-name "Ambalam"is given to them, because of their Administration in their Villages. So they are mostly called as "Ambalam".

Thenpandi Singam by M. Karunanidhi is a book about Ambalakarars and he was also Awarded "Raja Rajan Award" by Tamil University, Thanjavur for that book and it was also been taken as a serial in Sun TV, and music composed by Ilaiyaraaja.

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