Madampi (Nair title)

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Madampi (equivalent to Lord in English) is an aristocratic title given to the uppermost subdivisions of Nairs in Kerala, by the Maharajahs of Travancore and Cochin. Usually, it was given in addition to the Pillai title. Madampis served as Jenmis or landlords during the pre-independence era. Their power was severely reduced after the Communist government passed the Land Reforms Ordinance.[1] The title Madampi was also used in Cochin, to denote the 71 Nayar chiefs who ruled under the Maharajah of Cochin.[2] A few Nambuthiri landlord families, most notable of whom being those in Vanjipuzha and Makilanjeri, were also given the Madampi title.[3] In Cochin, the Madampis had their own armies, but seldom numbered more than 100. Their power was only a little bit higher than that of the Desavazhis.[4] Madampis supplied chieftains along with soldiers in times of war to the King.[5]

This title is equivalent to titles such as Eshmanan, Eman and Mannadiyar which were used in Cochin and Malabar areas. The Malayalam film Madampi, released in 2008 portrays the changing lifestyle of Madampis during the post-independence era.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Spirituality of Basic Ecclesial Communities in the Socio-Religious Context of Trivandrum/Kerala, India By Selvister Ponnumuthan p.146
  2. ^ A handbook of Kerala, Volume 1 By T. Madhava Menon, International School of Dravidian Linguistics p.139
  3. ^ The Indian economic and social history review, Volume 28 By Delhi School of Economics p.312
  4. ^ Marriage and the family in Kerala: with special reference to matrilineal castes By Joseph Puthenkalam p.10
  5. ^ Kerala district gazetteers, Volume 10 By A. Sreedhara Menon p.108