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Arunthathiyar means the castes, Arunthathiyar, Chakkiliyan, Madari, Madiga,Pagadai, Thoti and Adi Andhra within the list of 76 Scheduled Castes notified by the President of India under Article 341 of the Constitution of India by the Constitution(Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950, The Indian census of 2001,were reported that the Arunthathiyar constituted their population at 15,48,798(13.1%). Now a day they gradually developing their status with mainstream of society. Arunthathiyar [1] along with the Pallar and the Parayar, they form the largest Dalit group.


Sakkili or chakkili or otherwise called cakkili had been believed to be come from Sanskrit Language,but actually there is no word in style of sakkili or chakkili or cakkili in any of its pronunciation and wording . Actual meaning of sakkili in Sanskrit language is that sak means sakthi i.e.,strong people,they had strong courageous history during their period, for instance many brave faces could be seen between the period of 17th and 18th century such as Madurai veeran, Ondiveeran, According to the Book of Caste and Tribes of southern India authored by Thurston, there is word related to Chakkiliyan, wherein, the chakkiliyan was simply mentioned but not in derogatory manner.Interestingly, the same word of chakkiliyan caste, be found in the style of chakkiyan in kerala state of south India, where, they were assigned different services in the Hindu temples, such as the preparation of garlands,the sweeping of the floor,the fetching of firewood,the carrying of the idols in procession, singing,dancing, and so on. Traditionally they were agriculturist but some of this sect people only had technical knowledge as to leather crafting.Now all society people including aristocratic people are involving in the business of leather manufacturing and selling as it gives good profit. However,some scholars, who against them, are writing inaccurate opus about them.


According to Athiyamaan a scholar,Arunthathiyars are descendents of ``Athiyars`` in Tamil Nadu. Historically Tamil Nadu was ruled by kingdoms. Apart from the large Chera, Chola and Pandiya kingdoms, there were smaller kingdoms ruled by various kings belonging to the sect of Velirs. One such sect of the Velir is known as Athiyar. They ruled over Vaduvan Tamil Nadu comprising Tagadur, which is now known as Dharmapuri. The name Athiyar has undergone transformation over the years to become Arunthathiyar. Adhiyamaan Nedumaan Anji is the greatest of the Athiyar Kings. He ruled over the Thagadur region. Even to date Arunthathiyars are predominantly found in the region surrounding Dharmapuri such as Salem, Periyar Erode, Coimbatore districts and other eastern regions of Tamil Nadu. Since Adiyamaan gave the eternal amla (Nellikani) to the great Tamil poet, Adhiyamaan is revered even today as one of the seven philanthropist kings of Tamil Nadu. Another well known king of Athiyar was Maathiyar. The fact that Arunthatiyars are also known as Maathiyar corroborates the fact that Arunthathiyar are descendents of Athiyars. During the Nayak Dynasty period, brave people of arunthathiyar such as Madurai Veeran and Ondi veeran were soldiers and military commanders. Due to political and social change,this community declined to the lower status.

Current Status[edit]

Arunthathiyar are now a day, started entering, into all government jobs and private jobs under various dignified position and are that gradually organizing them self to get political empowerment. Even that, some of them are still indulging in menial works as required for livelihood. The Indian census of 2001 reported the Arunthathiyar along with their another name such as chakkiliyan, population at 15,48,798(13.1% in SCs total population of Tamil Nadu) .[1]