|Regions with significant populations|
|Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh.|
|Related ethnic groups|
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (October 2012)|
The main difference lies in doctrine i.e. the relation of divine grace to human response. The main views of Thenkalais that are not in line with Vadakalais are:
- Thenkalai Iyengars lay more emphasis on worship of Vishnu while Vadakalais assign an equally important place to Vishnu's consort Lakshmi.
- Thenkalais do not ring bells during worship.
- Though both Vadakalais and Thenkalais revere Sanskrit, the Thenkalais place a higher important to Tamil shlokas than Sanskrit.
- Unlike Vadakalai Iyengars, Thenkalai Iyengars forbid widows to shave (tonsure) their head. While Vadakalais support the tonsure quoting the Manusmriti, Thenkalais oppose it quoting the Parashara Smriti.
- Thenkalais accept that kaivalya is in an eternal position within the realm of Vaikuntha. They say, however, that kaivalya only exists at the outer most regions of Vaikuntha.
- Thenkalais say that God's seemingly contradictory nature as both minuscule and immense are examples of God's special powers that enable Him to accomplish the impossible.
- Thenkalais take prapatti as the only means to attain salvation; while the Vadakalais believe in Karmayoga, Jnanayoga, Bhaktiyoga and Prapatti as means to salvation.
- Thenkalais accept Prapatti as an unconditional surrender, while the Vadakalais consider prapatti as an act of winning grace.
- According to Thenkalais, exalted persons need not perform duties such as sandhyavandanam; they do so only to set a good example.
- Thenkalai iyengars follow Manavala Mamunigal and Pillai Lokacharya, while the Vadakalai Iyengars follow Vedanta Desika.
Additionally, it is believed that while the Vadakalai society was rigid, the Thenkalai society, on the contrary, accepted a significant proportion of the non-Brahmin population into its fold.
The Thenkalai Iyengars are generally followers of Vanamamalai mutt, Sriperumbudur mutt and Tirukkoilur mutt in the Kanchipuram and Viluppuram districts of Tamil Nadu,Tirumala Jeeyar Swamy Mutt in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh  and Yadugiri Yathiraja Mutt in Melukote, Mandya District, Karnataka, Nanguneri, Tirunelveli, and Tamil Nadu.
List of people of Thenkalai Iyengar descent 
General S Padmanabhan, former Chief of Army Staff, Indian Army
- Pg.65 The Indian historical review, Volume 17; Indian Council of Historical Research, Vikas Pub. House
- Pg.66 The Indian historical review, Volume 17; Indian Council of Historical Research, Vikas Pub. House
- Pg.141 The perfectibility of human nature in eastern and western thought -By Harold G. Coward, ISBN 978-0-7914-7336-8
- Philosophy of Nārāyaṇīyam, Dharma, Nārāyaṇabhaṭṭapāda, Study of Nārāyaṇīya of Nārāyaṇabhaṭṭapāda, verse work on Krishna, Hindu deity; Nag Publishers.
- Ānanda and the three great acharyas, by Mysore Sivaram, Vikas Pub. House 1976
- Pg.35 Harmony of religions: Vedānta Siddhānta samarasam of Tāyumānavar - By Thomas Manninezhath, ISBN 81-208-1001-5
- The Journal of Oriental research, Madras, Volumes 68-70, Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute, Mylapore
- Swarnalatha, P. (2005). The world of the weaver in Northern Coromandel, c.1750-c.1850. Orient Blackswan. p. 40. ISBN 8125028684, ISBN 978-81-250-2868-0.
- Thurston, p 349
- Tirumala Jeeyar Swamy Mutt
- Thurston, Edgar; K. Rangachari (1909). "Brahmin". Castes and Tribes of Southern India Volume I – A and B. Madras: Government Press.