Thevar people (Thevar literally meaning "Aristocrats" in Sanskrit) collectively forms the Mukkulathor (meaning: people of the three clans). native to the Southern districts of Tamil Nadu The name "Mukkulathor" alludes to the three roughly designated groups, Agamudaiyar, Kallar, Maravar which make up this large endogamous social group. Kings are addressed as Thevars during the Chola and Pandyian dynasty some constitute as vikings and warriors of Tamilakkam. Kallars and Maravars were inhabitants of the Palai region during the Sangam period. The literature during the Sangam period divided the regions based on climate and topography. Palai was mainly a desert-like region with little to no rain.
Nowadays, Mukkulathors are found majority of all over the southern districts of Tamil Nadu. There is also a small community in Chattisgarh where they migrated to during British rule. The Royal houses of Sivagangai, Ramnad and Pudukkottai all belong to the Mukkulathor community.
Highly dominant forward Caste
The word is also used in another form, Ahampadiyar, derived from another meaning of the same root, i.e., inside. And, in this derivation, it signifies a meaning of a particular profession, whose office it was to attend to the business in the Interior's of the King's Palace or in the Pagoda". The name," Mr. J. H. Nelson writes, "is said by the Rev. G. U. Pope, in his edition of the Abbe Dubois' work to be derived from aham, a temple, and padi, a step, and to have been given to them in consequence of their serving about the steps of temples. But, independently of the fact that Madura pagodas are not approached by flights of steps, this seems to be a very far-fetched and improbable derivation of the word. Or, perhaps, the name comes from aham in the sense of earth, and pati, master or possessor."
In Tamilnadu south districts, Agamudayars are famously known by their title Servaikaaran (servai)in Pandiya Nadu. They make expert soldiers, warriors and constituted the bulk of Chola and Pandya armies. Agamudayars are famously known by their title Servai - "A community show many signs of independence and non-submission to any form of subjugation". In South districts the legendary Marudhu Brothers' came from the Agamudayar (Servai) community. Father of Maruthu brothers, who worked as a General in Ramnad army(samasthanam). Famous wordings of Servai, "Engalukku Paaya Theriyum Pathunga Theriyum Aanal Bayapada Theriyaadhu" when 29 April 1789, the British forces attacked Kollangudi. It was defeated by a large body of Marudhu troops. It is said that the Marudhu brothers could kill a tiger without using any weapons, british forces afraid of maruthu brothers for their bravery attack using the "Valari"- a weapon closely resembling a boomerang.
The Agamudayars are largely found in the Southern and Central districts of Pudukkottai, Trichy, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur (In Taluks of Mannargudi, Vedharanyam and Mayiladuthurai the large group of Agamudayars are found ), Nagapattinam, Madurai, Coimbatore and North and South Arcot districts & Also in Karnataka state Hiriyur Taluk, Aranakatte , Maskal matti & Singapore where Agamudayars are living in large groups.
The Agamudayars Sub-sects & Titles:
· Kottai Patru (or Pathinettu Kottai Patru),
· Aivali Nattan,
Highly dominant forward Caste
Kallar: Kallars are one of the three related castes which constitute the Mukkulathor confederacy. They are described as "A fearless community shows many signs of independence and non-submission to any form of subjugation".
Kallars are largely found in the Southern districts of Tiruchy, Madurai, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Theni, Dindigul, Sivagangai, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Thirunelveli, Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu and Northern Srilanka.
In Tamilnadu Kallars are called by various Surnames, these names comes to them during various times by the place they have ruled, the place of the battlefield and to state their strong valour and bravery in the battle with the foreign forces.
There are some 300 surnames in use among the community. The majority of surname is VANDAYAR. There is no other caste in the whole of South India which has this many surnames.
Aother important Kallar subcaste is the Piramalai Kallar. They are a highly traditional people and have preserved their ancient customs 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 BC. Recent study by BBC confirmed that they migrated to India from Africa around 70,000 BC and share the same M130 genepool as the aboriginals of Australia.They are found mainly in the districts of Madurai(Usilampatti), Dindigul and Theni. Their popular deity is Amman, the Mother Goddess. They have contributed enormously in the freedom struggle for India. Perungaamanallur people near Usilampatti, fought against the British and many have died and they have a Thiyagigal Thoon . Piramalai Kallars have also made big contribution in Nethaji's INA force when Subash chandra bose made a call for the INA force from the submarine radio lots of people from the community went and joint to fight against the British for India. They are kept alive of our ancient culture.
Some of the other feudal classes include Ambunattu kallar, Vazhanattu Kallar (Royal community,rulers of the pudukkotai presidency), Koothappar Kallars, Periyasuriyur Kallars, Gandarvakoatai Kallars and Esanattu Kallars found largely dominated in the Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Sivagangai & Trichy Districts.
Highly dominant forward Caste See also main article Maravar
Maravar also "Maravan" (meaning "Grateful Warrior", "Punisher") are one of the oldest social groups in India. The writers of the Sangam Age place them in rural settlements withdrawn from cities. Maravars are the courageous breed and were involved in all the major wars that Tamilnadu witnessed. Kottravai(Durga), the goddess of Maravars worshipped in Palai region prescribed in Silapathikaram. The Kingdom of Ramnad was a Maravar kingdom and was ruled by the Setupati Kings. Ramanathapuram and Sivagangai districts are Maravar homeland from ancient times and the entire Southern districts of Tamilnadu is Maravar stronghold.
Maravars are very brave, warlike, fierce martial group and were involved in almost all the major battles and wars that ancient Tamilakkam witnessed. Maravars are found predominantly in the Southern districts of Tamilnadu viz., Tirunelveli, Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Pudukottai, Virudhunagar, Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu. The Southern martial arts of Kalarippayattu, Silambam, Varma Kalai have been practiced primarily by Maravars, Kallars, Gounders and Nairs of South India. But during the 18th and 19th centuries, most of the Maravars were assimilated in to the Tamil Padam Nair subcaste of the Nair community. The Maravar regiment of the Travancore army was known as "Maravar Padai", which supplemented Nair Pattalam, the larger indigenous military unit. Tamil Padam Nair is recognized as a part of the Malayala Kshatriya social grouping.
There are 7 major subdivisions among the Maravar community. There are Appa Nattu Kondyankottai,Chembiya Nattu Maravar,Agathu Maravar,Uppu katti Maravar,Kurinchi katti Maravar,Vanikutti Maravar,Oru nattu Maravar. The Kondyan Kottai Maravars are still maintaining "Killai"(branches) as their sub sects. According to the list given by Fawcett(1903) (belongs to British East India Company), there are seven different Killai (sub castes of Maravars). They are Maurvidu, Viramuditanki, Setar, Akatiyar, Seyankondar, Nattumannar, and Alakar Pandiayan. Also, Its found that "Kotthu" (main branch of tree) being higher order unit of Killai. There were four kothu as follows, 'Milagu' (Pepper), 'Vetrilai' (Betel Leaf), 'Mundiri' (Cashew Nut), and 'Sirakka' (Cumin/Fennel). The Killai is inherited from mother. So a boy or girl will not marry in their same Killai. It is assumed that they are brother & sister. Such a practice is no longer prevailing amongst other maravars. The married women of kondyankottai maravers wear "Thali" (Thirumangalyam) in the shape of Shiva lingam. So it is called "Linga Thali". Most of the Tamil castes wear the same type of "Linga Thali".
The Chembiya Nattu Maravars are Surya vamsam. They are historically from Thanjavur. Kondayan kottai maravars women were having habits of maruthalli. But Chembiya Nattu Maravars women were having habit of Udankattai yeruthal. And 6 martial suicides are Practising by Maravar community and its called avipillai. The Fame of maravars are written in Nattrinai,kurunthogai,Agananooru,Puranaanooru,Kalithogai and many pathu pattu collection. Among maravars Chembiya marvar belong to chola dynasty,Tamil padam marvar belong to chera later become thiruvithangur. But most of maravars belong to pandyan dynasty the major soldiers of pandiyan are only marvars at the end of 15th century Kondayan kottai marvars involve in the partition of pandyan kingdom and took over the major zamins from pandyas mentioned in "Kula vamsam".
The sure name of Maravars are. All the maravar has a common tittle called Thevar.
· Valangai maran
· Vilangu Thevan
· Puli maran
· Gora maran
· Madurai Thevan
· Vallai Thevan
· Neela maran
· Kottravaien Sayon
· Alakiya Pandiyan
British colonisation of India was strongly resisted in the South especially in Mukkulathor country.
Puli Thevar from the eighteenth century is remembered as the first Indian king to have fought and defeated the British in India. His exploits have since become legendary.
Resistance to British rule was also offered by Padal Vellaiya Tevan who fought the British along with Kattabomman. His son Desakaval Senbaga Tevan is also remembered for his exploits.
Thevars are traditionally Hindus of Saiva Siddhanta maargam.