Nayanar (Nair subcaste)

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Classification Aristocracy, Feudatory, Landlord
Religions Hinduism
Languages Malayalam
Populated states Kasaragod, Kannur
Subdivisions Nambiar, Samanta Kshatriya

Nayanar is an honorific title used among certain clans of Nairs in the North Malabar region of Kerala. Men of these clans were mainly chiefs of fiefdoms, and formed the aristocracy and landed gentry of the area.


The word Nayanar means "The Nayar" and is used as an aristocratic title in the Malabar region.[1]

Position in society[edit]

The Nayanars were Samanthans and Naduvazhi (chiefs of fiefdoms and aristocracy) and Jenmimar (landed gentry).[2]



  1. ^ Census of India, 1901, Volume 1 By India. Census Commissioner p.131
  2. ^ 1. Organized Struggles of Malabar Peasantry, 1934-1940 Prakash Karat Social Scientist, Vol. 5, No. 8 (Mar., 1977), pp. 3-17

See also[edit]