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Chakkala Nair is one of the lower ranking subcastes of the Nair community among Keralites. They are distributed throughout Kerala. In Travancore, they are known as Chakkalans, while in Malabar and Cochin, they are known as Vattakadans. They were admitted in to the Nair caste quite recently (19th century) and most Nairs do not consider them to be a part of the community.
The traditional occupation of the Chakkala was the production of gingelly or coconut oil.
Chakkalans rank below many other lower ranking Nair clans such as Otattu Nair and Kalamkotti Nair, but still rank above a few other subcastes like Asthikkuracchi Nair and Chaliyan Nair.
Thampi and Nair subcastes in Travancore-kerala Nair (Also known as Nayar or Malayala Kshatriya), is the name of a Hindu forward caste from the Southern Indian state of Kerala. The Nair community as of 19th century was divided in to close to 200 subcastes. Until a few decades ago, the Nairs were divided into several sub-castes and inter-dining and inter-marriages were practically non-existent amongst them. The 1891 Census of India, undertaken by the British listed a total of 138 Nair subcastes in the Malabar region, 44 in the Travancore region and a total of 55 of them in the Cochin region. The caste hierarchy within the 20 major divisions among the Nairs is as following (From the highest ranked subcaste to the lowest ranked one) Royal Subcastes (1) Koil Thampuran or Perumal (Rajah, Thampan.etc) - Samanta Kshatriya (2) Samanthan Nair (Thampi, Thampurans, Thirumulpad, Adiyodi, Nedungadi.etc) - Malayala Kshatriya Other Kshatriya Subcastes (3) Kiryathil Nair (Nambiar, Kaimal, Kartha, Kurup.etc) - Malayala Kshatriya (4) Illathu Nair (Thirumukom, Pillai.etc) - Malayala Kshatriya (5) Swaroopathil Nair, Menokki & Charna Nair (Menon, Menoky.etc) - Malayala Kshatriya (6) Padamangalam Nair - Malayala Kshatriya (7) Tamil Padam Nair - Malayala Kshatriya Non-Kshatriya Subcastes (8) Itasseri Nair - Malayala Kshatriya / Malayala Sudra (9) Maaran - Ambalavasi Brahmin (10) Chempukotti Nair - Malayala Sudra (11) Otattu Nair - Malayala Sudra (12) Pallicchan - Malayala Sudra (13) Puliyath Nair & Matavan Nair - Malayala Sudra (14) Kalamkotti Nair & Anduran Nair - Malayala Sudra (15) Chakkala Nair & Vattakkatan Nair - Malayala Sudra (16) Asthikkuracchi Nair & Chitikan Nair - Malayala Sudra (17) Chetty Nair - Arya Vysya (18) Chaliyan Nair - Malayala Sudra (19) Veluthedathu Nair (OBC)- Malayala Sudra (20) Vilakkithala Nair (OBC)- Malayala Sudra