Mutharaiyar or Muthuraja are Tamil speaking community of landowners. Mutharaiyars of Trichy, Musiri, Perambalur, Namakkal, Pudukkottai, Thanjavur, Madurai, Thiruthuraipoondi, thiruthani, vellure etc. use the titles of Ambalakarar & Pillai. Mutharaiyars ruled over Kaveri Delta Region before the Cholas. Muthurajas are analogous and closely related to the community 'Pillai' that they once co-existed as a same community as per the history. Being analogous includes the sub-categories of the Pillai Community too. Mutharaiyar (A.D 655 - A.D 851) earlier were a line of kings and were for a long time feudatory to the Pallavas, ruling part of Tamil Nadu in Southern India. As per some experts Mutharayar caste and kallar caste are closely related to each other's since some of the Mutharaiyar kings name ends with Kalvan (Means Kallan). The Maharajah & Royal family of Pudukottai who ruled up to 1947 also belonged to Kallar caste.
Muthurajas (A.D 655 - A.D 851) were Tamil people of Thanjavur, Trichy, Pudukkottai, Perambalur, Tiruvarur, Nagappattian, Dindigul, Karur, Namakkal, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram and Madurai districts of Tamil Nadu. They were a long time feudatory to the Pallavas. Some historians have suggested that Mutharaiyars may have belonged to the Pandya clan while others have associated them with Pallavas.
As their territory lay between the Pandya and Pallava kings, they were involved in almost all the contests between the two powers. Their subordination associated with braveness was of great assistance to the Pallavas not only in their struggle against the Pandyas but also in holding the Cholas under subjection for nearly two centuries..
As per Chola-Muthariyar research centre Tanjore, Cholas and Muthurayar were two branches of same people, that are muthuraja who clashed on the issue of control over Kaveri Delta. Even today, Muthuraja is the majority community in the ancient Chola capital city Uraiyur.
During the pre-Chola period, the chiefs of the Muthuraja/Muttaraiyar community ruled over the Tanjore district in Tamilakkam. They controlled the fertile plains of the Kaveri region. When the Cholas came to power, the Muttaraiyar were turned into feudatories. Muttaraiyar literally means King of three territories. They built many temples for Siva. One of the most famous from this clan was Peru Muttaraiyar, who was known for his great wealth and grand feasts. Two stanzas (200, 296) of Nāladiyār, one of the works of ancient Tamil literature, is dedicated to him. One of their titles was Lord of Tanjore.
During the period of Ko Rajakesarivarman Rajaraja Chola I, we know of at least one high ranking chief and a feudatory of the Chola from this community: Śēkkizhār Araiyan Sankaranarayanan, also known as Chola-Muttaraiyan. Araiyan, which is the Tamil equivalent of the Sanskrit Raja or King, in this context means a chieftain or a governor. The title Chola Muttaraiyan means that he was a subordinate of the Chola ruler and was the Lord of the Muttaraiyar people.
They were Mutharayar/Muthuraja chiefs who were ruling present Kila-Paluvur and Mela-Paluvur, in the Udaiyarpalayam taluk of the Tiruchirapalli district, during Chola kingdom with the title Paluvettaraiyar, They were responsible for a number of benefactions to the temples at this place and to have been related to the Chola by marriage. About a dozen records pertaining to this dynasty.
Paluvettaraiyar regiment, was a military regiment maintained by Mutharaiyar chief Paluvettaraiyar, which besides Mutharayar/Muthuraja soldiers, also employed Senaithalaivar /Sengunthars as soldiers in the regiment of Paluvettaraiyar and were involved in the invasion of Sri Lanka by Cholas in the 10th century. Periya pazhuvettaraiyar based on udaiyargudi inscriptions: we need to refer "Pazhuvoor Pudhaiyalgal" by Dr. R.Kalaikkovan before speculating further. The last few pages of the book give a detailed chronology along with years. In the book, there are names like Kumaran Maravan, Maravan Kandan etc. - all taken from names mentioned in epigraphs found at Avani gandarpa easwaram temple at pazhuvoors. The person we are talking about was a mutharaiyar chief as evident from title "sozha (Chola) mutharaiyan". Pazhuvetaraiyars bore the title "Pazhuvetaraiyan kandan maravan" etc.
Paluvettaraiyar Reference in south Indian inscriptions
Paluvettaraiyar, a Tamil Chera Mutharayar figures largely in the inscriptions copied at Kila-Paaluvur and Mela-Paluvur in the Tiruchchirappalli District. A.R. No. 231 of 1926 dated in the 12th year of Parantaka, that Paluvettaraiyar Kandan Amudanar fought, on behalf of his Chola overlord, a victorious battle at Vellur against the forces of the Pandya king and his Ceylonese ally, in which the Pandya lost his life. To commemorate this success the Commander Nakkan Sattan of Paradur made a gift of a perpetual lamp to the temple of Tiruvalandurai-Mahadeva at Siru-Paluvur.
It is perhaps this Amudanar who is referred to in the Anbil Plates of Sundara Chola as a Kerala prince whose daughter was married to Parantaka I and bore him prince Arinjaya By ‘Kerala prince’ should be meant a relation of the Chera king.
Periya pazhuvettaraiyar based on udaiyargudi inscriptions: we need to refer "Pazhuvoor Pudhaiyalgal" by Dr. R.Kalaikkovan before speculating further. The last few pages of the book give a detailed chronology along with years. In the book, there are names like Kumaran Maravan, Maravan Kandan etc. - all taken from names mentioned in epigraphs found at Avani gandarpa easwaram temple at pazhuvoors. The person we are talking about was a mutharaiyar chief as evident from title "sozha (Chola) mutharaiyan". Pazhuvetaraiyars bore the title "Pazhuvetaraiyan kandan maravan" etc.
Three other members of the family mentioned.
Kandan Maravan figures in two inscriptions, dated in the 4th and 7th years of Rajakesarivarmna identified with Rajaraja I, and is also mentioned in two epigraphs of the 15th and 16th year os Parakesarivarman Uttama-Chola, similarly records are found of Maravan kandan covering about the same period in the 10th and 12th years of Rajakesarivarmn Sundara-chola. and between the 9th and 15th years of Parakesari Uttama-Chola. It appears as though these two chiefs were brothers who are stated in a record of the 12th year of Parakesari (Uttma-chola) from Udaiyargudi to have made a gift of land to the temple on behalf of his own younger brother Kandan Satrubhayankaran. It is also likely that he was known by the name Vikramaditya, whose wife Raman Koviyar is recorded to have made a gift of sheep for a lamp to the temple at Kila-Paluvur in the 8th year Uttama-Chola Parakesari.
Muthurajas were instrumental in building many magnificent Temples including Narthamalai A cluster of small hillocks, 25 km from Tiruchi on the Tiruchi-Pudukottai road hosts some of the finest and oldest architectural models and rock cut cave temples, and the longest of rock-cut edicts, similar to Asokan edicts the likes of which are extremely rare in the south. Narthamalai, a heritage complex, consists of nine small hillocks - Melamalai, Kottaimalai, Aluruttimalai, Kadambarmalai, Perayarmalai, Uvakkanmalai, Manmalai, Bommattimalai and Ponmalai and the shrub forests surrounding the same is a habitat for peacock, deer and other animals. According to mythology they were parts of the Sanjeevimalai carried by Hanuman during the war between Rama and Ravana.
Thirumaiyam Temple is located in Tamil Nadu. The cave temple was established by Kuvavan Mutharayar during his rule at Thanjavur from 610 AD – 649 AD. There stands a statue of Kuvavan Mutharayar in the form of Twara Balaga (Dwara Palaka = Gate keeper = Security guard) on the right side of temple door. It is believed that Kuvavan was brought from Renadu (Rayalseema) as a step son by his ancestor Nalladi alias Bhima Solan. Mahendra Pallavan took over Kanchi from Bhima Solan.
On the left side of temple entrance, there stands another Twara Balaga, which is said to be the statue of Kuvavan's younger brother Punnia-kumaran. At the time of Kuvavan's rule Punnia Kumaran was the Yuvaraja. That is why the Dwara Palaka on left entrance is seen without crown. At that time his father was on the seat of power in Renadu. The elder brother Kuvavan was crowned as king at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The younger brother was serving his elder brother faithfully by staying with him. The elder brother Kuvavan honored his younger brother for his love and faithful services by installing his statue along with him as Dwara Palaka in Thirumayam temple in Pudukottai Temple. te of temple entrance, there stands another Twara Balaga, which is said to be the statue of Kuvavan's younger brother Punnia-kumaran. At the time of Kuvavan's rule Punnia Kumaran was the Yuvaraja. That is why the Dwara Palaka on left entrance is seen without crown. At that time his father was on the seat of power in Renadu. The elder brother Kuvavan was crowned as king at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The younger brother was serving his elder brother faithfully by staying with him. The elder brother Kuvavan honored his younger brother for his love and faithful services by installing his statue along with him as Dwara Palaka in Thirumayam temple in Pudukottai Temple. t
Another rock-cut cave temple, dedicated to Shiva, opposite to the Vijayalaya Chozhisvaram temple, about 30 feet south of Samanar-Kudagu.
This Shiva cave temple was excavated in the seventh year of the Pallava ruler Nripatunga (862 AD.) by a Muttaraiyar chief, Sattan-Pazhiyili, son of Videl-Vidugu Muttaraiyan, which is where the temple gets the name. An inscription on the basement, states that the temple was excavated by Pazhiyili. It also states that his son built the front mandapam and installed a nandi, while his daughter Pazhiyili Siriya-Nangai made a gift of land to the temple.
Pazhiyili was a Mutharayar king, who ruled in 857 AD in Narthamalai region. Pazhiyili figures in the inscriptions found near Pudukkottai - Narthamalai - in 857 AD. Pazhiyili practised Shaivaite Hinduism and donated lands to Siva temple and named it as Pazhiyileeswaram. Pazhiyili as the contemporary chieftain under Pallava rule in Kodumbalur region and deviating from his predecessors practised Saivism and made a rock cut temple.
Muttaraiyar kind Before Cholas the area round about Tanjavur was under the sway of a dynasty of chieftains known as the Muttaraiyar whose inscriptions are found at Sendalai and Niyamam, and who seem to have ruled either independently or as vassals of the Pallavas. The Muttaraiyar believed to be ruled from 655AD to 860AD. The city name " Thanjaur" seems to be derived from the name of a Mutharayar king "Thananjay" or "Dhananjaya".
- Perumbidugu Muttaraiyan alias Kuvavan Maran (c. CE 655-c.680)
- Ilangovadiyariyan alias Maran Paramesvaran (c A.D. 680-c.705)
- Perumbidugu Muttaraiyan II alias Suvaran Maran (c. CE 705-c.745)
- Videlvidugu Vilupperadi-Araisan alias Sattan Maran (c.A.C. 745-c.770)
- Marppidugu alias Peradiaraiyan (c. CE 770-791)
- Videlvidugu Muttaraiyan alias Kuvan Sattan (c. CE 791-c.826)
- Sattan Paliyili (c. CE 826-c.851)
Tradition says that the muttaraiyar came from North. We find Renati cholas ruling the kadapa region around 600 AD (We have First full length Telugu Inscription). Renati cholas being feudatories of Pulakesi, could have got the kingdom in south during pulakesin raid in Tamil Nadu. We have Ayyavole 500 (Merchant Guild from Aihole) using pudukottai as one of their bases. So may be Muttaraiyar were installed in Tanjore by Pulakesi II. There is a Kannada inscription in Kodumbalur.
The rule of Muttaryaiyar was ended by Vijayalaya chola, who established the chola dynasty. Vijayala Chola conquered Thanjavur from Elango Mutharayar who was the final ruler of Mutharaiyar dynasty. It is said that in the year A.D.852 Vijayalaya Chola waged war with the Muttaraiyar king Sattan Paliyilli (A.D.826-852) in the neighbouring east, and captured his territory of Thanjavur. While Vijayalaya Chola was supported by Pallava, the Muttaraiyan chief was supported by Pandya. Making use of the opportunity during a war between Pandyas and Pallavas, Vijayalaya having matrimonial relations with cheras captured Thanjavur. After being replaced by cholas, muttaraiyar ruled as Chola vassals in the same region.
Now where was vijayalaya from, how did vijayalaya got an army to defeat a dynasty entrenched in the region. The answer is, he is from another branch from the same mutturaiyar family. First temple work of Vijayalaya was rebuilding a mutturaiyar temple later known as vijaya cholewaram. Both Mutturaiyar and cholas worship Angamma (Ankalamma) devi. Family feud exploited by Pallavas and pandyas. The reason we don't see any swearing from each other. Thus the Chola line of Mutturaiyar comes into place.
Chola descended from Muttaraiyar and Muttaraiyar descended from Telugu Chodas. Dravidian scholars describe muttaraiyar as kalvar or kalabhra and dismiss them as uncivilized.
End of Mutharaiyar rule/Rise of Cholas
Making use of the opportunity during a war between Pandyas and Pallavas, Vijayalaya rose out of obscurity and captured Thanjavur in 848 C.E.
During the 8th century Mutharaiyars family of chiefs rule was ended by Vijayalaya. At this time there was a great struggle going on between the Pallavas and the Pandyas for the political supremacy of South India. In this disturbed state of affairs, Vijayalaya seems to have found a good opportunity to defeat the Muttaraiyan chiefs, and make himself the ruler of Thanjavur and the surrounding Chola country.
Vijayala Chola conquered Thanjavur from Elango Mutharayar who was the final ruler of Mutharaiyar dynasty. It is said that in the year A.D.852 Vijayalaya Chola waged war with the Muttaraiyar king Sattan Paliyilli (A.D.826-852) in the neighbouring east, and captured his territory of Thanjavur. While Vijayalaya Chola was a Pallava feudatory, the Muttaraiyan chief was a Pandya feudatory. Making use of the opportunity during a war between Pandyas and Pallavas, Vijayalaya rose out of obscurity and captured Thanjavur. As a result of this defeat of Muttarayar chiefs, Cholas became so powerful that Pallavas were also wiped out from Thanjavur region at a later stage.
During Nayak rule
During Nayak rule between 16th century & 18th century, Muthuraja community served in the army as soldiers and generals since Muthurajas were one of the communities belonging to KshatriyaVarna.
During British rule
During British rule to nowadays many of the prominent Zamindars at Thanjavur, Tiruchy, Pudukkottai, Tiruvarur, Nagappattian, Dindikkal, Karur, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, Namakkal, Perambalur and madurai districts of Tamil Nadu belonged to Muthuraja community.
- refer Ambalakkāran section in book Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Volume 1 http://www.hellenicaworld.com/India/Literature/EdgarThurston/en/CastesAndTribesSouthernIndia1.html#xd21e990src
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- Page127 http://www.scribd.com/doc/28938233/Castes-and-Tribes-of-Southern-India-Vol-5
- refer to Valuvādi section http://www.hellenicaworld.com/India/Literature/EdgarThurston/en/CastesAndTribesSouthernIndia7.html
- Reference to 1865 Landholding status given in page27/28 of book "A Century of Change: Caste and Irrigated Lands in Tamilnadu, 1860s-1970s" http://books.google.co.in/books?id=KYj8qxhG2R0C&pg=PA24&dq=Tiruchirapalli+castes&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8og8U_3_MuaN7Qbit4GYBw&ved=0CEgQuwUwAw#v=onepage&q=Tiruchirapalli%20castes&f=false