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Kanadukathan Chettinadu Palace entrance. It is an example of Chettinadu architecture.

Chettiar (also spelt as Chetti & Chetty) is a title used by many mercantile, weaving, agricultural and land owning castes in South India, especially in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.[1][2]


The word Chettiar is used by many merchant and trading groups in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.[3] The word might be derived from the Tamil word Etti of Sangam era, a honorific title bestowed on the leading merchants by the Tamil monarchs.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chettiar Band, AVM To FM". Outlook. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Chettiars reign where wealth meets godliness". The Economic Times. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  3. ^ Population Review. Indian Institute for Population Studies. 1975. p. 26.
  4. ^ West Rudner, David (1987). "Religious Gifting and Inland Commerce in Seventeenth-Century South India". The Journal of Asian Studies. 46 (2). p. 376. doi:10.2307/2056019. JSTOR 2056019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Christine Dobson, Asian Entrepreneurial Minorities, Curzon Press UK, 1996. (A chapter in the book is devoted to the Chettiars who set up businesses in Burma.)
  • Rajeswary Brown (1993) "Chettiar capital and Southeast Asian credit networks in the inter-war period". In G. Austin and K. Sugihara, eds. Local Suppliers of Credit in the Third World, 1750-1960. (New York: St. Martin's Press).
  • Kudaisya, Medha M. (2009). "Marwari and Chettiar Merchants. 1850s-1950s: Comparative Trajectories". In Kudaisya, Medha M.; Ng, Chin-Keong (eds.). Chinese and Indian Business: Historical Antecedents. Leiden: BRILL. ISBN 9789004172791.
  • David Rudner (1989) Banker's Trust and the Culture of Banking among the Nattukottai Chettiars of Colonial South India. Modern Asian Studies 23 (3), 417-458.
  • Heiko Schrader (1996) Chettiar Finance in Colonial Asia. Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie 121, 101-126.