List of Iyers

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This is a list of Iyers. Iyers are Hindu Brahmins of Tamil origin who are Smarthas or followers of the Smritis.[1] They mostly believe in the Advaita philosophy propounded by Adi Sankara.[2][3][4]

Prior to the 1800s, almost all prominent members of this community hailed from religious or literary spheres.[5] Syama Sastri and Muthuswamy Dīkshitar, who are part of the "Trinity of Carnatic music" were probably the first verified historical personages from the community, as the accounts or biographies of those who lived earlier appear semi-legendary in character.[6] During the British Raj, Iyers and Iyengars dominated the services by their predominance in the legal and administrative professions.[7][8] Most of the Dewans of the princely state of Travancore during the 19th century were Tamil Brahmins (Iyers and Iyengars).[9] Some of the prominent individuals of the period as Seshayya Sastri, Sir T. Muthuswamy Iyer, Sir P. S. Sivaswami Iyer, Shungrasoobyer, Sir K. Seshadri Iyer, Sir S. Subramania Iyer and C. P. Ramaswamy Ayyar all had a legal background.[7] At the same time, they were also intimately associated with the Indian National Congress and the Indian independence movement. The most prominent freedom fighter from the community was Subrahmanya Bharati. Following independence, Iyers have diversified into a number of fields dominating the domain of classical arts in particular.

Saints, religious and spiritual leaders[edit]

Scientists and academics[edit]

Journalists and writers[edit]

Advocates and social activists[edit]

Indian Independence Movement[edit]

Artists and musicians[edit]

Monarchs and military commanders[edit]

  • Ramaiyan (c. 17th century AD), Army general in the service of Thirumalai Nayak. Led the Madurai Nayak troops in the 1639 war against the Sethupathi of Ramnad. Subject of the ballad Ramayyan Ammanai.

Politicians and administrators[edit]



  1. ^ Suresh Singh, Kumar; B. V. Bhanu; B. R. Bhatnagar; D. K. Bose; V. S. Kulkarni; J. Sreenath (2004). Maharashtra. Popular Prakashan. p. 1873. ISBN 81-7991-102-0. 
  2. ^ "Iyer". Uttarakhand Information Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  3. ^ The Imperial Gazetteer of India, Volume XVI. London: Clarendon Press. 1908. , Pg 267
  4. ^ Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Pg 269
  5. ^ Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (1966). A History of South India from Prehistoric Times to the Fall of Vijayanagar: from prehistoric times to the fall of Vijayanagar. Oxford University Press. p. 289. 
  6. ^ Ghose, Rajeshwari (1996). The Tyāgarāja cult in Tamilnāḍu: A Study in Conflict and Accommodation. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 10. ISBN 81-208-1391-X, ISBN 978-81-208-1391-5. 
  7. ^ a b Robert Eric Frykenberg. "Elite Formation in 19th Century South India – An Interpretive Analysis". Retrieved 2008-09-11. [dead link]
  8. ^ Slater, Pg 168
  9. ^ Sivaraman, Mythily (2006). Fragments of a Life: A Family Archive. Zubaan. p. 4. ISBN 978-81-89013-11-0. ISBN 81-89013-11-4. 
  10. ^ "I can't wait to perform live: Harsha Iyer". The Times of India. Feb 20, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Sounds like curiosity". The Hindu: NXG. November 2, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2013. 
  12. ^ Mahadevan, Shankar (8 September 2013). "I am a Malayali grew up in Mumbai: Shankar Mahadevan" (Interview). Interviewed by John Brittas. Kairali TV. 0:38. Retrieved 4 January 2010 – via Kairali Archive on YouTube. Interviewer: You have some connection with Kerala in fact, your family migrated from Palakkad or something like that. Shankar Mahadevan: Yes, I am an Iyer from Palakkad actually 


  • Ghurye, G. S. (1991). Caste and Race in India. Bombay: Popular Prakashan. 
  • Zvelebil, Kamil (1973). The Smile of Murugan on Tamil Literature of South India. BRILL. ISBN 90-04-03591-5.