|Regions with significant populations|
|Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Puducherry, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh|
|Tamil (Mother Tongue), Telugu|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Vellalar, Tamil people, Dravidian people|
The surname is derived from the honorary title Mudali meaning a person of first rank in the Tamil Chola feudal society which was bestowed upon top-ranking bureaucratic officials and army commanders in medieval South India. The surname is generally prevalent among Indian Tamils (Nattar) and the Tamil diaspora though it is also used in other parts of South India. literally meaning The first citizens or first ones after his son Athondai had won the battle against Kurumbars.
Some of the Mudali clans of Thondaimandalam migrated to Sri Lanka during the period of the medieval poet Kambar. For example, some of the Tamils in Ceylon trace their lineage to this group, some of whom had become saints called Nayanars. The book The Tamils in Early Ceylon by C. Sivaratnam traces some of the Mudaliyars in Ceylon to Thaninayaka Mudaliyar (among others), a rich Saiva Vellalar who emigrated to Ceylon from Tondaimandalam.
Maanadukanda Mudali, a Vellala king of Thondai Nadu had shed over kamban a shower of gold for his work of Erezhupatu, a literary work praising agriculture. Taninayaga, a Vellala of Seyur was made the chief of Neduntiva.
Jaffna has two or three clans from Thondaimandalam with the Mudali surname. Irumarapum Thooya Thaninayaga Mudali from Seyyoor and Mannadukonda Mudali whose clan has been quoted even during poet Kambar's time. Here is the direct quotation from Kailaya Malai, a historical book of Jaffna on the migration into Jaffna from Thondai Nadu. The other clans may come under this section or under Sri Lankan Vellalar section.
The next was the Vellala of the family of him who shed over kamban a shower of gold for the work of Erezhupatu, whose country was Tondainade, who had a widespread name, who used to wear a lotus garland and whose name was Maanadukanda Mudali. He was made to reside at Irupalai. The next was the Vellala of Seyur, who was as wealthy as Indra, and who never deviated from the path of visture. whose garland was of water lilies. Whose fame was great and whose paternal and maternal lines were matchless and pure and whose name was Taninayaga. He was made a chief of Neduntiva..[unreliable source?]
Agamudayar is a community whose members are prevalent in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Agamudayar have been using the title of Mudaliar since the 13th century.The Aghamudiar identify themselves as Aghamudi Mudaliar and Agamudaiya Pillai. Aghamudi literally means a person who stood steadfast with pride. Mudaliar is one who is in the forefront. Mudaliar, Mudali and Reddy are their titles. Mudaliar also denotes a headman or the chief. The community has several synonyms, viz., Tuluva Vellala, Arcot Vellala, Arcot Mudali, Aghamudian, Agamudi Vellalar, Agamudi Reddy and Agamudi Mudaliar. They claim to be the original inhabitants of the Tulu country, on the western coast from where they migrated and settled in the ancient Pallava country. Thus the name ‘Tuluva Vellala’, which literally means the cultivator of the Tulu country. The names Arcot Vellala and Arcot Mudali are derived from the place, Arcot, located in the Tamil country, from where they migrated to their present habitat. Their ancestors are believed to have migrated to Chittoor District, during the reign of the Lingayat Rajas of Punganur some 200 years back. Some of them had served in the capacity of village munsiffs during the British period and post-Independence period and hence they style themselves as ‘Aghamudi Reddy’, since ‘Reddy’ is the title for the village munsiff in the Telugu country. It is also the title of the agricultural Kapu. The Aghamudian claim to be the descendants of one of the sons, born to Ahalya, wife of Gautama rishi and Indra.
Thuluva Vellalar/Arcot Mudaliar
Thuluva Vellalar or Arcot Mudaliar is a sub-caste of Vellalars and were immigrants from the Tulunad, a part of the modern district of South Canara. A King named Athondai Chakravarthy had brought down the people of Thuluva Vellalar to the present day Thondaimandalam of Tamil Nadu. Athondai Chakravarthy had established his rule over Northern Tamil Nadu after winning the battle over the Kurumbar. This is the reason that part of North Tamil Nadu was named as Thondaimandalam, named after this victorious king.The Agam udayar actually belong to the Mukkulathor community, which also includes the Kallars and Maravars. These three communities together known as Mukkulathor generally use "Thevar" as their surname. But later the Agam udaiyars (the most upward community among the three) slowly migrated towards the northern part of Tamil Nadu, settled there, changed their caste name to Thuluva Vellala. So in reality Thuluva vellalar is just the renaming of Agam udayar and hence are classified as one by the Tamil Nadu government.Thuluva vellalar is the sub division of agamudayar.
The Agamudaiyans or Agamudayar sub-sects: Tuluvan (cf. Tuluva Vellala)
Saiva Mudaliar (otherwise known as Thondaimandala Saiva Vellalar or Thondaimandala Mudaliar) is a community of people in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. They trace their lineage to Sekkizhar, the author of the Periyapuranam. They are the original homogeneous group of Mudaliars who were settled in Thondaimandalam (otherwise known as Thondai Nadu) in South India by Chola King, Karikala Chola. They were employed as clerks during the time of British rule and also worked as goldsmiths, later emerging as 'Landlords'.
Kerala Muthali (Mudali) belongs to various Mudaliar communities. They are predominantly found in the areas of Trivandrum and Palghat Districts of Kerala and Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu. They migrated to these places starting late 17th Century onwards for various purposes including Agriculture, Coconut Oil extraction, Coir Trade and as Specialized Fighters and Reliable Spies. They were given special preference by Royal Family of Travancore due to their cultural similarity and loyalty. This status resulted in furhter deepening their area of influence with in Travancore. During the British era many families came in to the influence of Christianity and became strong supporters and eventually embraced that religion. Unlike the Tamil Brahmins settled in various places of Kerala, Muthalis/Mudalis engage with marital relationships with Nairs, Chakravar, Sakravar (Kavathi) and those who are converted to Christianity but retaining Mudaliar identity. Kerala Muthalis still keep their separate identity even though they are a micro-minority caste in Kerala. Due to their linguistic and educational backwardness Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry states have categorized them as BCs. Gradually after independence and state reorganization, Kerala Muthalis have completely integrated with the Kerala Culture, but still consider Lord Muruga/Subramanya as their primary god of worship while most of the Kerala Hindus are devotees of Lord Vishnu.
Sri Lankan Mudaliyars
History of Jaffna has at least two or three clans from Thondaimandalam with Mudali surname. Irumarapum Thooya Thaninayaga Mudali from Seyyoor and Mannadukonda Mudali whose clan has been quoted even during famour poet Kambar's time. Please read Vaipava Malai and migration of people from Thondai Nadu to Jaffna and then write about Sri Lankan Mudaliars. It is not a British Phenomenon. Here is the direct quotation from a part of Kailaya Malai a historical book of Jaffna on the migration into Jaffna from Thondai Nadu. The other clans may come under this section or under Sri Lankan Vellalar section. The next was the Vellala of the family of him who shed over kamban a shower of gold for the work of Erezhupatu, whose country was Tondainade, who had a widespread name, who used to wear a lotus garland and whose name was Maanadukanda Mudali. He was made to reside at Irupalai.
The next was the Vellala of Seyur, who was as wealthy as Indra, and who never deviated from the path of visture. whose garland was of water lilies. Whose fame was great and whose paternal and maternal lines were matchless and pure and whose name was Taninayaga. He was made a chief of Neduntiva. See Sri Lankan Mudaliyars for the class of Mudaliyars created by the British administrators during 19th century Sri Lanka.
See main article at Sengunthar The Kaikolars also called as Sengunthar, are a large Tamil people in the states of Southern India. Historically, there were seventy-two subdivisions (nadu or desams). Their name comes from the Tamil words "kai" (hand) and "kol" (shuttle used in looming or spear). They consider the different parts of the loom to represent various gods and sages. They are also known as Sengunthar, which means a red dagger in Tamil. During Chola rule Kaikolars served as soldiers and were called "Terinja kaikolar padai". (Terinja means "known" in Tamil and Padai means "regiment"), so "terinja-kaikolar padai" were the personal bodyguards. Kaikkolars were militarised during the Chola empire and formed a major part of the Chola army from 8th century to 13th century. There were no Kaikolar army before or after the Chola empire. Kaikkolar formed merchant groups and maintained a military unit to protect the merchants. They formed many regiments in the Chola army. Kaikolars were prominent members of Tamil society even during the 10th century AD during Chola rule. Smarakesarit-terinja-Kaikkolar and Vikramasingat-terinja-Kaikkolar derived their names from possible titles of Parantaka Udaiyar-Gandaradittatterinja-Kaikkolar must have been the name of a regiment called after king Gandaraditya, the father of Uttama-Chola. Singalantaka-terinda-Kaikkolar (a regiment named after Singalantaka i.e. Parntaka I) Danatonga-terinja-Kaikkola (regiment or group). The early writing of the record and the surname Danatunga of Paranataka I suggests its assignment to his reign. Muttavalperra seems to indicate some special honour or rank conferred on the regiment by the king.
Nanjil Mudali is another group of people who have Mudali surname. They belong to Nanjil nadu in Kanyakumari district.
Mudaliars of Bangalore
Mudaliars constitute a significant percentage of the population in South Bangalore (surrounding Ulsoor Lake, MG Road, High grounds). Many well-known buildings on MG Road & surrounding areas of Infantry Road and Kamaraj Road are still owned by Mudaliars (e.g. - Gangaram's, Vimal Chambers). The famous "Attara Kachheri" or the red court house that stands opposite of Vidhana Sauda was built by Rai Bahadur Arcot Narayansamy Mudaliar. Palatial homes surrounding Windsor Manor (5 star hotel) are even today owned & inhabited by affluent Mudaliar families. The Bangalore Exhibition is usually conducted on the RBANMS grounds in Ulsoor which is owned by Rai Bahadur Arcot Narrainswamy Mudaliar trust. The trust has several schools and colleges affiliated to it.
List of Prominent Personalities
- Irschick, Eugene F. Dialogue and History: Constructing South India, 1795-1895. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994. direct web reference: http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?docId=ft038n99hg&brand=eschol
- History of Tirupati: The Tiruvengadam Temple By T. K. T. Viraraghavacharya
- Some Contributions of South India to Indian Culture - Page 161 by S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar
- The Tamils Eighteen Hundred Years Ago By V. Kanakasabhai
- The Tamils in Early Ceylon By C. Sivaratnam, http://books.google.com/books?vid=0PrqSaY8TV9DtgCG9v&id=hlocAAAAMAAJ&q=mudaliyar+vellala&dq=mudaliyar+vellala&pgis=1
- List Of Backward Classes Approved at TN.gov.in
- Rural Society in Southeast India By Kathleen Gough By Kathleen Gough
- "Irschick, Eugene F. Dialogue and History: Constructing South India, 1795-1895. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994."
- Order and Disorder in Colonial South India Eugene F. Irschick Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 23, No. 3 (1989), pp. 459-492,
- The Hindu : Of tilting pillars