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Rowther or Ravuthar
cover page of rawther book
Total population
about 1 Million
Regions with significant populations
Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Singapore, Malaysia, Middle east, UK & USA
Tamil, Malayalam, Urdu
Sunni Islam

Rowther or Ravuthar (Tamil: ராவுத்தர்) is a distinctive Islamic community from the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu & Kerala. Together with the Kayalar (Muslim), Lebbai and Maraikayar communities, they constitute the Tamil Muslims, an Islamic community spread across South India. Rowthers follow the Hanafi school of Fiqh.This Community is of the Turk . This community is also acknowledged as the turukkars meaning 'Turk' owing to their Turkish ancestry and history. This Community are also historically acknowledged as Cavalry soldiers who served in the armies of south Indian kingdoms before the colonial period in India.

Rawthers/rowthers/ravuthers are Descendants of a group of Muslim Soldiers, a mixture of arabian, Turkish horse traders and local rajputs of North India who came over to South India in 12th Century, as a part of Turkish Military .Rowthers, also have names ending with, Rowther/Ravuthar/Ravthore/Rawthore.


After the fall of Chola Dynasty, the newly formed Vijayanagara Empire invited the Seljuk Turks from the fractions of Hanafi (known as Rowther in South India) for trade relations in 1279 C.E.. The largest armada of Turkish traders, Soldiers and missionaries settled in Tharangambadi (Nagapattinam), Karaikal, Muthupet, Koothanallur and Podakkudi. Turks (Rowthers), failing to convert Hindus in Tanjore regions, settled in that area's with their armada, expanding into an Islam community of almost one million Rowthers. These new settlements were now added to the Rowther community. Hanafi fractions, more closely connected with the Turkish than others in South, have fair complexions. Some Turkish Anatolian and Turkish Safavid inscriptions have been found in wide areas from Tanjore to Thiruvarur and in many villages. Madras Museum displays the inscriptions to the public.


There is a difference in Rawther's family designations. They call:

Father: Atha (Turkish word means father or ancestor, pronounced Ata in Turkish). Mother: Amma. Elder sister: Akka. Elder brother: Annan. Father's father: Athatha or radha. Father's mother: Athamma or radhi. Mother's father: ammachi atha or nanna. Mother's mother: ammachi amma or nanni. Maternal Uncle: Mama. Maternal Aunt: Mami. Elder sister of mother: Periyamma. Elder brother of father: Periyatha. Younger sister of mother: Chinnamma. Younger brother of father: Chinnatha or Chicha or chacha or zaacha. Brother's wife: Maini or Madani. Sister's husband: Aliyan, Machan.


  • People of India - Volume 40, Part 3 - Page 1259
  • Papers in Anthropology, Volume 18, Issue 2
  • 900 Years Of rawthers, Author : Chunnakara Haneefa

See also[edit]