Thursday, December 22, 2011

CHETTIAR - चेट्टियार, द. भारत की एक प्रमुख वैश्य जाति

Chettiar (Tamil: செட்டியார்Ceṭṭiyār), also spelled Chetty, is a title used by various vaishya bania castes in South India especially in Tamil Nadu. In Kannada, it appears asSetty, Shettar and Shettigar, who are Padmashalis in Andhra Pradesh.Chettiars are the most successful and prominent trading community in Tamil Nadu. 

In Tamil Nadu, 14% of the population is Chettiar. 

Primary usage of title

Chettiar title is used mainly by trading castes of South India. It is also used by the non-trading communities such as the Kummara. The title is equivalent toVysyas in varna, a popular medieval usage mainly among the North Indians who were engaged in trade of various kinds.

Castes using the title

Tamil Nadu

Ayira Vysyar
Arya Vaishyas
Twenty four Manai Telugu Chettiars
Vellan Chettiar
Vaniya Chettiar
Kasukkara Chettiar
Kongu Chettiar
Pannirendam Chettiar
Sozhia Chetty
Beri Chettiar
k.sutharsan utthamachettiar



Andhra Pradesh



Vanika Vaisya

Tamil Nadu

Sadu Chettiyar

Notable Persons from Chettiar Community in Tamil Nadu

Alagappa Chettiar, Founder of Alagappa University, Karaikudi
Karumuttu Thiagarajan Chettiar, Founder of Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai
Annamalai Chettiar, Founder of Annamalai University, Chidambaram and Founder of Chettinad group of Companies
A. R. Lakshmanan, Former Madras High Court Judge
M. A. Muthiah Chettiar, first Mayor of Chennai
A.M.Murugappa Chettiar, Founder of Murugappa Group
Avichi Meiyappa Chettiar, Founder of AVM Productions
M. Ct. M. Chidambaram Chettyar, Founder of Indian Overseas Bank
Ramaswami Chettiar, One of the Founder of Indian Bank
M. A. Venkatarama Chettiar, One of the Founder of Karur Vysya Bank
Athi Krishna Chettiar, One of the Founder of Karur Vysya Bank
M. A. Chidambaram, M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is named after him
A. C. Muthiah, Former President of BCCI
P.Chidambaram, Home Minister of India
R. K. Shanmukham Chetty, First Finance Minister of India
Angidi Chettiar, Former Vice President of Mauritius
T. S. Avinashilingam Chettiar, Former Member of Parliment, Coimbatore
Kaviarasar Kannadasan, Famous Tamil Poet
SP. Muthuraman, Famous Director in Tamil Cinema
S.A.P.Annamalai, Founder of Kumudam Magazine
A. L. Vijay, Famous Director in Tamil Cinema
Vasanth, Famous Director and screenwriter in Tamil Cinema
Karu Pazhaniappan, Famous Director and screenwriter in Tamil Cinema
V. K. Ramasamy, Famous Actor
Manorama (actress), Famous Actress
Rajesh Kumar (writer), Crime Novel
Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetty, Founder of Nalli Silks
R. M. Veerappan, Former Minister of Tamil Nadu
K. C. Palanisamy, Former MP and Famous Industrialist, Karur
E. G. Sugavanam, Member of Parliment, Krishnagiri and defeated Ms. Jayalalitha - CM of Tamil Nadu
S. Soundappan, Politician, Mayor of Salem Corporation
R. Sundarrajan (Politician), MLA, tate treasurer of the Desiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam party, Madurai central constituency
V. Jayaraman, politician, Former Minister, AIADMK, Pollachi
Kutraleeswaran, intercontinental swimmer from Chennai.
P. Dhanapal, politician and former Member of the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu
Udumalai Narayana Kavi, former poet in film industry from Udumalaipetai,coimbatore (Tamil Nadu)
V.A.Vasudevaraju, Former IAS officer from pollachi
Abirami Ramanathan, President of Theatre Owners Assoaciation, Tamil Nadu
Vaigai Selvan, MLA, Aruppukkottai constituency
Laxmanan, Former MLA, Bodinayakkanur constituency
M. Periyaveeran, Former MLA, Periyakulam constituency
S. Regupathy, Former MP and Former Minister of Tamil Nadu, Pudukkottai
Pala. Karuppiah, MLA, Harbour constituency
RajaKumar, Former MLA, Mayiladuthurai constituency
P. Musiri Puthan, Former Revenue Minister, Three times MLA, Trichy constituency and Head, MGR's all-world fans association
K.L.N.Laxmanan Chettiar, Zamindar, Kalvaarpatti (Dindugal Dt)
V.T.Venkiduswamy Chettiar from Vettaikaranpudur and Pollachi Served as a Honorable Magistrate in Pollachi during British India.
RamaNarayanan, Producer, Director, Thenandal Productions
Panju Arunachalam, Producer, Director, Screenwriter
V. VR. N. AR. Nagappa Chettiar, First Member of Parliment From Ramanathapuram constituency.
F. Ramanathan Chattiar, Former Member of Parliment, Pudukkottai constituency
N. Subramanian Chettiar, Former MLA, srirangam constituency
S. Ramaraj, Former MLA, Bodinayakkanur constituency
Valliappan, IAS officer, Devakottai
Arunachalam Chettiar, First MP from Nagarathar community
Sevugan Annamalai Chettiar, Founder of Sevugan Annamalai Chettiar College, Devakottai
Pandithamani Kathiresan Chettiar, A Prominent personality in Tamil Literature
Tamilvanan, Tamil language author and publisher
P.S.S.Somasundaram Chettiar, founder of somasundara mills at coimbatore and manamadurai
Periyakaruppan Chettiar, founder of ramasamy tamil college, Karaikudi
Balakavi Vynagaram Ramanathan Chettiar, popular writer and eminent scholar in saiva sidhdhantham, Devakottai
Vanathi Thirunavukkarasu Chettiar, founder of vanathi pathipakam, Devakottai
Architect Annamalai Chettiar, freedom fighter, Devakottai
RM.KP.Venkatachalam Chettiar, humanitarian and eminent lawyer in malaya

Twenty four Manai Telugu Chettiars

an Indian Vaishya caste found predominantly in the state of Tamil Nadu in India, especially in southern Theni Kambam, northern Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts. The total population in south India is approximately 10 million.

24 Manai Telugu Chettiars community is believed to have originated from the trader communities who descended from Vijayanagar kingdom and settled around Madurai (1530-1781 CE) and Thanjavur (1530-1674 CE).


Thanjavur was the heart of the Chola dynasty (from the 9th century to the 13th), but in the second quarter of the sixteenth century a Telugu Nayak viceroy (Raghunatha Nayaka) was appointed by the emperor of Vijayanagar, thus establishing a court whose language was Telugu. Telugu Nayak rulers acted as the governors in the present day Tamil Nadu area with headquarters at Madurai(1530-1781 CE) and Thanjavur (1530-1674 CE).

After the collapse of Vijayanagar, Thanjavur and Madurai Nayaks became independent and ruled for the next 150 years until they were replaced byMarathas. This was the period when several Telugu families migrated from Andhra Pradesh and settled down in Thanjavur and Madurai.

The 24 Manai Telugu Cettiar community is called so because it consists of 24 Manai's or houses (similar to a gotra). These 24 houses are divided into two groups of consisting of 16 houses and one of 8 houses. According to tradition, people of one group only marry a person from the other group. Marrying within same house is strictly taboo.


16 veedu kothras: 1.Mummudiyar 2.vedasanthoor kolavar 3.kanithiyavar 4.Thillaiyavar 5.Paliviriyar 6.Chennaiyavar 7.Mathalaiyavar 8.Kothavangavar 9.Rajabhairavar 10.Vammaiyar 11.Kappavar 12.Tharishiyavar 13.Vajyavar 14.Kenthiyavar 15.Naliviraiyavar 16.Surayavar..

8 Veedu kothras:1.Makkadaiyar 2.korahaiyar 3.Marattaiyar 4.Kavalaiyar/irataiyar 5.Pillivangavar 6.Thavalaiyar 7.Soppiyar 8.Lottaiyavar

The linguistic origins of the word are derived from Dravidian languages. One theory is the root word is ETTI a Dravidian word that means 'look up,jump up or forward jerk and around simultaneously calling out to sell'. The obvious intention is to sell merchandise, to advertise/market loudly, to have an audience to sell their wares. In Kannada it is Setty, Shettar and Shettigar, as in "Saetru Eeyar", meaning people who "collect and donate".

Pl amend Kottayavar or Kottawar in the place of lottaiyar

Prominent people

K. C. Palanisamy - former Member of Parliament and industrialist from Karur.
E. G. Sugavanam - two times MLA from Bargur constituency, defeated Ms. Jayalalitha - Former CM of Tamil Nadu
P. Dhanapal - politician and former Member of the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu
Pollachi Jayaraman - Third Time MLA and former Minister - Assembly of Tamil Nadu
Kutraleeswaran - intercontinental swimmer from Chennai.
Udumalai Narayana Kavi - former poet in film industry from Udumalaipetai,coimbatore (Tamil Nadu)
[[M>palaniyappan]] - first tamilian to become mla in karnataka and helped community people


The Nagarathars (Tamil: நகரத்தார் செட்டியார்) is a Chettiar community in Shaivism(Tamil: சைவ சமயம்) that originated in Kaveripoompattinam under the Chola kingdom of India. They are a prominent mercantile Vaishya, (Tamil:வைசியர்) caste in Tamil Nadu, South India. They are a community with very rich cultural heritage, known for their philanthropy; building temples and schools, and maintaining them throughout India and Asia.

They are sub divided in to three major ethnic community groups:
Nattukottai Nagarathar(Tamil: நாட்டுக்கோட்டைச் செட்டியார்)
Ariviyur Nagarathar (Tamil: அருவியூர் நகரத்தார் செட்டியார்)
SundaraPattina Nagarathar(Tamil: சுந்தரபட்டின செட்டியார்)

Hierarchy of Nagarathar Community:* Hindu * Shaivism * Vaishya * Chettiar * Nagarathar 

The first book on print to come out about Nagarathar history is in 1894 called "Thanavaisya Nattukottai Nagarathar". With the help of scriptures from Poongondrai Velangudi at Thulavoor Mutt, the book was requested and examined by VR. L. Chinniah Chettiar of Devakottai. The permission granted by eminent persons such as M. AL. AR. Ramanathan Chettiar and AL. AR. RM. Arunachalam Chettiar the edition were printed by Sadavadanam Subramania Iyer of Tanjore at the Desabimani Press at Tanjore. The second edition came in 1904.

Origin & History of Chettiars

In 1911, Pandithamani Kathiresan Chettiar wrote a book called "Nattukottai Nagarathar Seerthirutham" (changes) and in 1919 Chockalinga Ayya of Karaikudi wrote a book called "Nattukottai Nagarathar Marabu Valakkam" (description of their ways). Both wrote separate books on Nagarathar history. In 1953, the compilation by A.Ramanathan Chettiar of Vayinagaram and the edition of that by Pandithamani was called "Nattukottai Varalaru" (history). In 1970 A. Shesadiri of Varagur wrote "Nattukottai Nagarathar Varalaru", which came out in the form of a book.

In 707 A.D. Nagarathar community was further subdivided in to Nattukottai Nagarathar and Ariviyur Nagarathar. So the origin and history of Ariviyur Nagarathar remained the same as that of until 706 A.D. A complete detailed revised book (343 pages) named Namathu Samuthayam written by So.Vaithiyalingam in Oct 2010 explains clearly about the complete history of chettiyar's from 2897B.C. to 2010A.D with several references.

After this many researchers on Nagarathars have written many research essays on their past history. Certain notable essays are those written by Kamban Adipodi Sa. Ganesan, Dr. V. SP. Manickanar, Dr. SP. Annamalai and Dr. T. Chockalingam. Based on the above we can classify the old history of the Nagarathars as below.

Early History (till 2898 BC.)

Initially the Vaishyas lived in Sandhyapuri of the Sambu Islands in Naganadu. This borders the present state of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. They were of Chandrakula Gothiram. Later they embraced Saivism. There is actually a question over when the Nagarathars joined Saivism and when they would renounce Saivism? "When the sun and the moon were born on this earth the Nagarathars became Saivaites and when they are no more they would renounce Saivism." v According to Pandit Kathiresan Chettiar. At that time they were saivaites, praying to Maragatha Vinayagar, doing trade in precious stones and having the equal respect like the king. Naganadu is near Andhra. Later, an earthquake, according to DR. V.SP.Manickanar destroyed this Naganadu.

Leather Age (2897 BC to 790 BC)

During the Kaliyuga year 204 (2897 BC) the Vaishyas could not bear the harassment of the Naga king and they came down to Thondaimandalam, namely Kanchipuram. At Kanchipuram the king welcomed them with a warm heart and royalty. He gave them land to build temples and mutts, They continued their devotion towards Maragatha Vinayagar and continued their trade with gems till the Kaliyuga year 2311 (790 BC) and lived happily.
Old years (789 BC to 706 AD)

During the Kaliyuga year 2312 (789 BC), Prathaparasa the king who ruled Kanchipuram imposed unjustified severe fines and punishments. Hence, the Vaishyas from there went to Cholanadu. They settled along the banks of River Cauvery at Kaveripoompattinam. Manuneedhicholan, the king of that time requested the Vaishyas to live in three streets, East, West and South streets. He gave the Vaishyas three honorable rights. One was the coronation of the king, the second was to have an independent lion flag of their own and the third was to have golden kalasams in the bungalows they lived in. When they got these rights the Nagarathars were called " Rathina Maguda Thanavaisyar". They continued their prayers towards Maragatha Vinayagar.

In the Kaliyuga year 3775 (674 AD) Poovanthicholan who was ruling at that time harassed and imprisoned all the womenfolk. Hence, the 8000 Vaishyas leaving behind all their assets, 1502 boys and the Maragatha Vinayagar under the custody of their guru Atmananda Sastri to do pooja and look after, they all committed suicide. The guru Atmananda Sastri taught them the five-letter panchatara mantra for upadesam, till to this date they remember it with the help of the Patharakkudi Madam.

In the Kaliyuga year 3784 (683 AD) the old aged Poovanthicholan requested theVaishyas youngsters to do the coronation ceremony for his son Rajaboosanacholan. The youngsters said that they were incapable of doing the coronation since they were all bachelors and there were no eligible girls in the community to get married to. The king consulted with Esana sivachariar and pronounced that Vaishyas can marry Vellala caste girls. The Vaishyas youngsters said that they would marry the girls from the Vellala caste, but they would not marry their girls by birth to the Vellala caste. The king requested the Vellala community to accept this. The Vellala community accepted on the condition that their community guru would perform the dhikshai for their girls and the girls born to them. The East Street, which was divided into seven branches, had 502 Vaishyas youngsters married to Solliya Vellala girls. For these girls their guru was Alagiya Gurukkal from Srivanjiyam...

Middle Age (707 AD to 1565 AD)

Nagarathars are referred in general as Nagarathar Chettiyar until 706A.D. Later in 707A.D. Nagarathar were divided in to three major groups named asNattukottai Nagarathar (Tamil: நாட்டுக்கோட்டைச் செட்டியார்), Ariviyur Nagarathar (Tamil: அருவியூர் நகரத்தார் செட்டியார்), SundaraPattina Nagarathar (Tamil: சுந்தரபட்டின செட்டியார்). There had been lot of changes in the community after this period and you can refer their individual pages.

Note: Most of the documents are at present in Tamil language and needs to be translated to English. (At present there are no specific Tamil wiki pages related to this.)


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