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Saturday, 18 June 2011



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Mallar/Devendra Kula Vellalar
Tyagi Immanuvel Devendrar-5.JPG MaaveeranSundaralingaDevendrar8.jpg Pavanar.jpgChiyaan Vikram.jpg
Immanuvel Devendrar, Thalapathi Sundaralinga Devendrar, Devaneya Pavanar, Vikram
Total population
1.5 crore
Regions with significant populations
Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka
Atheism, Hinduism, Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Tamil people
Pallar(Tamil:பள்ளர்) or Mallar(Tamil: மள்ளர்) is a caste from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. They are mostly agriculturalists in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka and amongst the Tamil diaspora.[1] They are also known as 'Devendra Kula Vellalar'. Pallars also suffix the title 'Kudumban' after their names.
Pallars are also known by the names kaladi, mannadi, moopan, pannadi, devendra kulathan in Tamil Nadu. Due to the poverty of this caste they are included in Scheduled Caste by the Government. They are present largely in the southern parts of Tamil Nadu. Pallars are denoted by the names Pallan, Devendra Kulathan, Kudumban, Kaaladi, Kadaiyan, Kootan, Pannadi in the Scheduled Caste.[2]
R. Deva Asirvatham(former Deputy collector) did an extensive research on Pallars and published his book Moovendar Yaar in 1977. This was the first book which stated that Pallars are the Mallars mentioned in the ancient Tamil literature and are the descendants of the famous Tamil Kings Chera, Chola, and Pandya. Later R. Deva Asirvatham expanded his book Moovendar Yaar and wrote four books Vellalar Yaar, Pallar Alla Mallar Aam Mannar, Moovendar Marabinaraana Devendrar Veelchi, Moovendar Marabinarana Devendrar Thaal Nilai Eithal based on the Tamil Literature, stone inscriptions, and research books written by several other researchers.
Research on the pallars is being continued by Dr.Gurusamy Siddhar (founder and leader, Tamilar Panbadu Samuga Aaivu Mandram). He wrote his book Tamil Ilakiyathil Pallar(Mallar) Devendra Kula Vellalar Adipdai Sandrugal in 1993. In this book he gives references about mallar from Tamil Literature.



[edit] Origin

See also: sangam landscape
Devendra Kula Vellalar is an ancient group of people belonging to the Marutam land. They claim themselves to be the descendants of Devendran(the god of Marutam land). They also claim to be the first cultivators of rice in Tamilnadu. So they call themselves as 'Devendra Kula Vellalar'.[3][4]
Copper plate inscription's from Kamakshi Amman Temple, Palani Murugan temple, Nellur and Sivagangai mentions about the origin of 'Devendra kula vellalar'.

[edit] Genetics

According to Sengupta et al., 2006 study Pallar's have Y-chromosome-Haplogroups that show a curious mix of South Asian haplogroups. Their biggest lineage is R1a1 which forms 24% of their male population. This Y-chromosome lineage predominates North-West of the Indian subcontinent. They also have L1 and L3 where L1 is one of the most common Haplogroup in South India with an appreciable presence in North India and Pakistan, L3 is mostly observed among Pakistanis and almost absent among South Indians. Other pan-Indian Haplogroups like H, R2 and J2 are observed at frequencies greater than 10%.[5]

[edit] Mallar

Mallar and Mallathi
Mallar is a name which denotes the people of the Marutam land. The word Mallar is present in all Tamil literature from ancient times. The name Mallar denotes a group of people who are 'Warriors' and 'Farmers'.[6][7] This can be proven by the following examples.
An example from Thivagara Nigandu(9th century Tamil dictionary) giving meaning for the word Mallar as 'Warriors' and 'Farmers':
"அருந்திறல் வீரர்க்கும் பெருந்திறலுழவர்க்கும்
வருந்தகைத்தாகும் 'மள்ளர்' எனும் பெயர்"
—-திவாகர நிகண்டு
An example from pingala nigandu(dictionary) giving meaning for Mallar as 'Warriors' and Marutam land(Agriculture land) people:
"செருமலை வீரரும் திண்ணியோரும்
மருதநில மக்களும் 'மள்ளர்' என்ப"
—-பிங்கல நிகண்டு

[edit] Marutam land

Paddy fields in present day Tamil Nadu
Marutam is one of the five lands of ancient 'Tamil country'. It is a fertile land suitable for 'Agriculture'. It was present near the 'River's'. Like all the civilization's around the world which were present near the river's, the Marutam land gave birth to the 'Tamil Civilization'. Mallar's were the people who lived in the 'Marutam land'. Their 'God' was 'Vendan' or 'Indran'. They were 'Farmers' and 'Warrior's'.[8]
The oldest Tamil literature Tolkappiyam mentions about the Marutam land and its God. Almost all the Tamil literature which mentions about the Marutam land also mentions the 'Mallar' as its people. Pallu poems which were sung exclusively about the life of 'Devendra kula vellalars' mentions them as Marutam land people.

[edit] History

Part of a series on
History of Tamil Nadu
Thanjavur temple.jpg
Chronology of Tamil history
Sangam period
Government  ·  Economy
Society  ·  Religion  ·  Music
Early Cholas  ·  Early Pandyans
Medieval history
Pallava Empire
Pandyan Empire
Chola Empire
Chera Empire
Vijayanagara Empire
Madurai Nayaks
Tanjore Nayaks
Kalahasti Nayaks
Gingee Nayaks
Kandy Nayaks
Sethupathy of Ramnad
Thondaiman Kingdom
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[edit] Tamil civilization

Tamil civilization developed on the banks of the rivers like Kaveri, Vaigai, Palar, Bhavani, Amaravathy, Thamirabarani. Agriculture was the backbone of the society. After the invention of agriculture, people settled near the rivers and became agriculturists. This change made them to form a society and develop their culture. They formed a leader for their society and the leader was called as vendan. The land which is near to river is called as Marutam land in Tamil Language. Ancient Tamil Nadu consisted of five lands namely Kurinji, Mullai, Marutam, Neithal, Paalai. These lands were divided on the basis of their geographical locations.[9] Each land had its own god and people. The Marutam land people were mallar. Mallars were the farmers and their leader 'vendan' was selected from the mallars. Their leader 'vendan' later became god for their land(Marutam land).[10][11][12][13]

[edit] Three dynasties

Due to the increase in the population of the Marutam land. The people distributed to many places and formed their own dynasties. The people who lived around the Vaigai and Thamirabarani river were known as pandians.The people who lived around the kaveri river were known as cholas.The people who lived in present day kerala and west parts of Tamil Nadu were known as cheras. These three dynasties fought with each other for superiority.[14]

[edit] Fall of the dynasties

The three dynasties were continuously fighting with each other.After the fall of the chola empire, the pandyan empire controlled most of Tamil Nadu.The pandyan empire began to crumble due to clan fights.It also had invasion from the sultans.During 14th Century Pandian empire began to decline because of frequent attacks by Muslim Kings. Muslim Kings raided cities, killed hundreds of thousands of citizens and took huge amount (tonnes and tonnes) of gold and Jewellery to Delhi. It is to be noted there were about 20,000 Muslim soldiers in the Pandian army. But these soldiers betrayed the Pandian Kings and joined the Muslim army when Muslim army attacked Pandian Kingdom. During the end of 14th Century Vijayanagar army chiefs came to Madurai and defeated the Pandian kingdom and established their rule in Madurai. Gradually Vijayanagar army and citizens moved to Chola and Pandian Kingdoms all over the Tamil nadu and removed the privileges of the Tamil elite – Removal of land ownership from Tamils (Mallar – Devendrakulathar, Original Vellala).[15] The Vijayanagar empire controlled most of Tamil Nadu.

[edit] Vijayanagar and Nayak rule

After the fall of the Pandyan empire the vijayanagar empire ruled Tamil Nadu. They divided Tamil Nadu into many territories.They also formed a part of the Poligars ruling class. The main territories like Madurai and Thanjavur were ruled by Nayaks. Other Poligars were selected from Tamil Nadu especially those who were against the Mallars and those who were loyal to the Vijayanagar empire. The Vijayanagar Empire took the agricultural lands from the Mallars and forcibly transferred the ownership of land and title to Telugu Nayaks, Telugu Brahmins and others who supported the Nayak's rule and made the Mallars agricultural labourers on the lands to which they were owners once. At this point of time the name 'Mallars' was changed to 'Pallars'. Many 'Pallu' poems were written to popularize the name Pallar. These 'Pallu' poems also discriminated against the Mallars. New rules were passed to the general citizens not to have any communication with the Pandian and Chola clans. Rules were passed to prevent social contacts and intercaste marriages between the 18 worker communities that supported the Tamil society and Tamil Kings.[16]

[edit] Pallu poems

Pallu poems are part of 'chitrilakiyangal' in Tamil literature. Pallu poems were also known as 'Aesal'. They were written during the Nayak rule. The first pallu poem was 'mukkoodar pallu'. Many pallu poems were written which include vaiyapuri pallu, sengottu pallu, thandigai kanagaraayan pallu. All the Pallu poems consist of a Pallan who has got two wives. It also explains about the farming and the life of a farmer (pallar).[17][18] During the period of the pallu poems, the pallars were very poor.

[edit] Caste attacks on Devendra kula vellalar's

In Tamilnadu Devendra kula vellalars were victims of caste attacks. One horrifying incident that shock the country was the 1967 Kizhavenmani massacre.[19] In which 44 Devendra kula vellalars were burnt alive. The caste violation against Devendrar's continued in many places in Tamilnadu. Then Devendrar's started to attack their attacker's and this led to the communal clashes in Tamilnadu. The infamous Kodiyankulam incident in 31 August 1995 were again Devendrar's became victims of caste violation.[20] One particular incident where the Tamilnadu police killed 17 Devendra kula vellalar people in 23 July 1999 in Tamiraparani rally. Many innocent people lost their life in all the caste clashes that took place in Tamilnadu.

[edit] Tamil literature referring to Mallar's

Mallars are mentioned in Tamil literature from the ancient Sangam Literature to the recent 19th century poems, including Purananuru, Kamba Ramayanam, Thirumurukkatruppatai, Silapathigaram, Agananuru, Pathirtrupattu, Kurunthogai, Aingurunooru, Kalithogai, Natrinai, and Paripaadal.
The Mallar(Farmer) are praised in the Tamil poem Thirukural. The name Pallar is mentioned only in pallu poems and later poems.Both the names Pallar and Mallar denotes the same people.This can be proved by the following example.[21]
An example from mukoodar pallu:
"மள்ளர் குலத்தில் வரினும் இரு பள்ளியர்க்கோர்
பள்ளக் கணவன்
The Tamil poems which say that both the names Pallar and Mallar denote the same people are Mukoodar pallu, Vaiyapuri pallu, Sengottu pallu, Peerur Puranam and Thandigai Kanagaraayan pallu.

[edit] List of scholars postulating Pallars were Mallars

  • M.Srinivasa Iyangar says:
'There was no such caste as pallan but instead we find in early Tamil Literature Mallar and Kadaignar,the later appearing as a sub-division of pallar caste. They are chiefly found in the Pandya country and correspond to the traditional occupation to the palli or Vanniyar caste of Tondaimandalam. These people are agricultural labourers and soldiers'.[22] 'The Pallar correctly Mallar formed the Pandian army'[23]
  • T.K.Velupillai.[25]
  • Dr G.oppert says:
'The indigenous title of the south india Chera, Chola, Pandya kings was Perumal. Mallan was the name of a Perumal who built Mallur in Polanadu. Mallan is also called a rural deity which is set up on the borders or ridges of the rice field'. 'The word Tirumal-Perumal are also derived from Mala, Malla. Both terms were originally the titles given by the Mallas to their great chiefs and kings. Each Perumal was elected to rule for 12 years. The term sacred Mala or the great Mala being once connected with the deity lost its original meaning which was incourse of time entirely forgotten. This circumstance explains their peculiar derivation so often found in Tamil dictionaries and strange attempts of grammarians to explain their startling formation. The name perumal the great Mala is still a royal title in Malabar'[26]
  • Pandit savarirai.[28]
  • Dr K.R.Hanumanthan says:
'The Pallas are also denoted by the title Kadaignar. The ancient heroic tribe called Mallar described in the Sangam classics were probably the ancestors of Pallas'[29]
  • A.V.Subramaniya Iyer.[30]
  • Thiru R.Deva Asirvatham.[31]
  • Dr.Gurusamy Siddhar M.E.,Ph.D(USA).,Prof.(GCT, Kovai)
  • Dr.R.Nagaswamy (Director of Archaeology (Retired))[34]
  • R.P.Karunananthan (Stone Inscription Researcher,Department of Archaeology)[35]
  • Mr. Nadana Kasinathan (Director of Archaeology,Tamilnadu government)[36]
  • Mr M.Manivel (Tamil Professor,Madurai Kamaraj University)[37]
  • Mr A.Pichai (Professor Tamil Department,Gandhi Gramiya University,Dindukal)[38]
  • Dr.D.Gnanasekaran (Associate Professor,Department of Tamil,Bharathiar University,Coimbatore)[39]
  • Dr.Gurunathan (Professor of Tamil, Pachaiyappa College, Chennai)[40]
The following books are written about Mallars.

[edit] Brave sports in ancient Tamilnadu containing the name Mallar

Mallar Kambam
  • Malladal: This sport was a fighting contest between the Mallars.[41]
  • Mallar Kambam: This sport is still played in India. This sport consists of a pillar(made of wood) standing in the ground,in which the contestant does some gymnastics. This sport was once used by the Mallars to strengthen their body[42]

[edit] List of Devendra kula vellalar sub divisions

  • Anjgna pallar
  • Aniya pallar
  • Amma pallar
  • Ayya pallar
  • Arasa pallar
  • Aatha pallar
  • Aatru kaalatiyar
  • Indira saathi,Indirar
  • Uzhathiyar,Uzhavar
  • Voorar
  • Kadaisiyar
  • Kadaignar
  • Kadaiyar,Kadaiyar
  • Kambalar
  • Kalamar,Kalathu pallar
  • Kaalaadi
  • Kizhavan,Kizhathi
  • Kizhaar,Kizhaan
  • Kudiyaanavan
  • Kudumbanar,Kudumban
  • Koothar,Koothadi,Koothanar,Koothan
  • Konga pallar
  • Kolia Pallar
  • Chera pallar
  • Chozhiyan,Chozhiya pallar
  • thirumaal(Mallar with lot of money)
  • Devendra Kulathar
  • Devendra Kula Vellalar
  • Devendra pallar
  • Devendra Vellalar
  • Devendrar
  • Deva pallar
  • Thondaimaan
  • Neerkatti
  • Pattakaarar
  • Panikan
  • Pannadi
  • Palagan
  • Pallathi,Pallar
  • Pandiya pallan,Pandiyar
  • Purantharan kulathar
  • Perumaal
  • Mazhilnan
  • Mannadi
  • Mambattikaaran
  • Mallar,Mallanar
  • Malladi
  • Mallandai
  • Mallathiyar
  • Maal
  • Mummudi pallar
  • Moopan,Moopanaar
  • Vaaikaaran(Vayarkaaran)
  • Vathiriyar
  • Vellalar
  • Velaar
  • Velaalar
  • Eaasa naattu pallar
  • Aezhu naattu pallar
  • kali naattu pallar
  • Kaanaattu pallar
  • kula maankalya naattu pallar
  • Kongu naattu pallar
  • Kodai valanaattu pallar
  • Koonaattu pallar
  • Sikka valanaattu pallar
  • Seevanthi valanaattu pallar
  • Seluva naattu pallar
  • Chera naattu pallar
  • Chola naattu pallar
  • Then siruvaasal naattu pallar
  • Thondai naattu pallar
  • Paruthikottai naattu pallar
  • Pandiya naattu pallar
  • Vada siruvaasal naattu pallar
  • Veera valanaattu pallar (Veera naattar)

[edit] Ongoing struggle for name change

The people of this caste does not want themselves to be called by the name Pallar. Because the name Pallar which is used to denote these people nowadays was introduced in the 17th century by the nayak kings to discriminate them. Before that they were called by the name Mallar. The people of this caste want their name to be called as Devendra Kula Vellalar. In order to make the Government change their name from Pallar to Devendra Kula Vellalar, the people of this caste are undertaking many peaceful struggles in Tamilnadu like hunger strike,peaceful rally,etc. On January 27 2011 Tamilnadu government has appointed a one man commission to change their name as 'Devendra kula vellalar'.[43] The people of this caste are also demanding the Tamilnadu government to change the name Adi Dravidar(which is used to denote the people of Scheduled caste in Tamilnadu) to Pattiyal sathigal(which is the Tamil Translation for the English word Scheduled caste). Because Adi Dravidar is the name of a caste which is present in the Scheduled caste list. In the list many other caste are also present including Pallar caste.

[edit] In Sri lanka and abroad

In Sri Lanka, Pallar's are currently found in Jaffna and eastern Batticalo region and were primarily agricultural workers. But there is evidence that some have assimilated with the dominant Vellala caste over the last 100 years. They have played an important role in the formation of many Tamil nationalistic militant groups. Today amongst the Tamil diaspora across the world Pallars are found as part of the greater Tamil community and caste distinctions are minimal.[44] In Sri Lanka, Pallar have formed an important component in rebel groups after the civil war


  1. please remove our caste name vathiriyar.we are weaving caste

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. 'devendra kulathar" are the real chera,chola ,pandiyas...1

    1. devendra kula themeru erukknum nam Real chara,chola,pandiyan vengaigal

  3. Arasaanda paandiya vamsamay naatai meetedupom...pandiyar peravai..shengottai.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. devendra kula velalar thimeru raththathil erukkum ok va?

  5. who are we? iwant to know clear history? and what is our goal?

  6. Kadtheya. Theedatha. Puttheya theedu. Kalvi & panam. (rendum )namaku avasiyam. By A.densing.h mallar. Kanarpatti. Terunelveli

    1. I am accepting aforesaid words.
      And one more think somebody using of our people for political purpose only therefore they are gather lot of growth themselves only. So please indetify them and please do not go back them (on 2012 7 people murdered by mama's regards JP arest by finally he is alliance with AIADMK party for the reason he got more money but we getting more people loss property loss money loss)

  7. It took 300 years for pandyan kadungkon to liberate tamilnadu from the clutches of kalappiras. Now it is 500 yrs past we lost our land to vadukaas.So it is too long to rise to the occation and install our rights to govern.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. vazga ! valarga... vazga!! valamudan... devendra kula makkal.....

  10. Natta apparam meettu edunga. First unkaludaiya padippu atharkana nalla velai or own business moolama unkaludaiya family and unkalai sarnthavarkalai munnetra pathaiku kondu sendral mattumey naam ninaipathai adaiya mudiyum ellai endral impossible

  11. Devandrakulavellalar is a great historical genaration

  12. It is unfortunate that such a great cultured community once ruled the land is subjected to poverty and backwardness within a span of last 400 years .

  13. It is unfortunate that such a great cultured community once ruled the land is subjected to poverty and backwardness within a span of last 400 years .

  14. is any one met Tenkasi pandiyar's family?

  15. alla atharangalaiyum sekkarithu nam makkaluku puriyavaikanu. vetrikku num moonorgal thunai irupargal