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For individuals with the surname, see Dikshit
1909 photograph depicting the traditional Dīkṣitar munkuḍumi, alternately known as pūrvaśikhā, and in English, a forelock
ClassificationPancha Dravida
VedaṚgveda (Āśvalāyana recension)
Yajurveda (Baudhāyana recension)
LanguagesTamil, Sanskrit
Original stateTamil Nadu
Related groupsIyer Brahmin, Nambūdiri Brahmin, Śōḻiya Brahmin
Kingdom (original)Chola Empire

Dīkṣitars (Tamil: தீக்ஷிதர்) or Thillai Vazh Anthaanar are a Brahmin servitor community of Tamil Nadu who are based mainly in the town of Chidambaram; they were originally the ritual arbiters of imperial legitimacy in the Chola Empire, ritually crowning successive monarchs.[1]

They are an exclusive group of Brahmans learned in the Vedas and Yagnas(sacrifices) who also serve as the hereditary trustees of the Nataraja temple in Chidambaram. They are also called Thillai Muvayiravar or the Three Thousand of Thillai[2] Every Dikshitar once he is married becomes as of right a trustee and archaka of the Nataraja temple. A practice unique to the community is that the priests wear the tuft of hair in front of the head similar to the Nambuthiri Brahmans of Kerala.[3]


  1. ^ Mahadevan, T. P. (2016). On the Southern Recension of the Mahābhārata, Brahman Migrations, and Brāhmī Paleography. Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies, 15(2), 1-146.
  2. ^ B. Natarajan (1974). The city of the cosmic dance: Chidambaram, Volume 2 of Southern art series. Orient Longman. p. 128.
  3. ^ Viravanallur Gopalier Ramakrishna Ayyar (1946). The Economy of a South Indian Temple: (Sankara Parvati Prize Essay of the Madras University). Annamalai University. p. 50.

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